Week In Review - October 17, 2022



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This report reflects the latest happenings in government relations, in and around the Ohio statehouse. You’ll notice that it’s broad in nature and on an array of topics, from A-Z. This will be updated on a weekly basis.

Please feel free to share it with anyone else you believe may find it of interest, as well. Also, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, concerns or if we can be of any assistance.


ABORTION


The state has filed an appeal of Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christian Jenkins' preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of "heartbeat" abortion ban 133-SB23 (Roegner), according to Attorney General Dave Yost's office. "After consulting with the governor's office, the state of Ohio … filed its notice of appeal of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court's preliminary injunction of the heartbeat bill," Yost's office said. The state is appealing the case, Preterm-Cleveland v. Yost, to the First District Court of Appeals. Judge Jenkins had on Friday issued a preliminary injunction to indefinitely block 133-SB23 (Roegner), the "heartbeat" abortion ban. In remarks from the bench after a daylong hearing, Jenkins said SB23 creates "great difficulty" for Ohio practitioners and puts them in a "terrible position." He added that the Ohio Constitution "confers a fundamental right on all Ohioans to privacy, procreation, bodily integrity and freedom of choice in health care decision making that encompasses the right to abortion."


ADDICTION/SUBSTANCE ABUSE


The OneOhio Recovery Foundation's board discussed its 2023 schedule during a meeting Wednesday, and will likely set alternate times for that year as the current 12 p.m. on Wednesday arrangement would not work for legislative members once voting sessions resume. Board Chair Kathryn Whittington also said they now have an official location at COhatch, an office space and coworking provider at the Polaris Mall. The board's meeting scheduled for Nov. 9 was cancelled due to its being the day after the General Election; the board will not meet again until Dec. 14. Whittington further told members that the board has been "very busy" in recent weeks and urged them to provide information on OneOhio's work to their communities. The expert panel application and policy process will start in the coming weeks, she said, in anticipation of a board vote at the December meeting. The schedule and assignments for committees are also being developed.


ATTORNEY GENERAL


The attorney general's Organized Crime Investigations Commission says a years-long investigation of a human trafficking ring in Central Ohio has led to the arrest of four Columbus residents. The Central Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force had received numerous tips about a possible human- and drug-trafficking ring on Columbus' west side. The investigation ultimately identified 27 potential human trafficking victims and seized a half dozen firearms, more than $200,000 in narcotics and $208,733 in cash. On Oct. 5, a Franklin County grand jury indicted the four co-defendants on 44 felony charges for criminal activity occurring from 2018 to 2022.


AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY


The Biden administration joined Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Tuesday in announcing a $4.4 billion investment by Honda Motor Co. and LG Energy Solutions of Korea in a new Fayette County electric vehicle (EV) battery plant and another $700,000 to convert Honda's three existing Ohio automotive factories to EV production by the end of 2026, creating over 2,500 projected new jobs.


Gathering in a crowded Statehouse Atrium with Honda and LG officials, DeWine said the announcement came 45 years to the day after former Gov. Jim Rhodes signed the first agreement with Honda to build a motorcycle plant in Marysville and follows many other company ventures in Ohio since. Of projected jobs, the governor said 2,200 will come at the Fayette County plant near Washington Court House.


BALLOT ISSUES


The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) announced it has launched an online resource page on State Issue 1, a ballot initiative that would amend the Ohio Constitution and change the way that bail considerations are made in the state. Ohioans will vote on the issue on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The resource page includes background information about the ballot initiative, research and analysis on the issue and a collection of media coverage. It also includes information from HPIO's recently released policy brief, "Connections between Criminal Justice and Health: Pretrial Incarceration and the Bail System."


BUSINESS/CORPORATE


Ohio will receive $52.4 million in federal funds for socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses and early-stage technology-based companies, the Ohio Department of Development (DOD) announced Thursday. This is part of up to $182 million in total funds through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Remaining funds will be made available through further allocations as Ohio meets expected performance targets, according to DOD. DOD will administer the SSBCI program through the Minority Business Development Division and the Ohio Third Frontier, with the following four programs expected to be available by the end of the year:


  • The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Loan Participation Program, which will provide loans to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, very small businesses and businesses located in CDFI tracts.

  • The Ohio Collateral Enhancement Program, which will provide collateral on small business loans made by financial institutions to allow small businesses to access loans that otherwise would have been denied.

  • The Ohio Venture Fund, which will provide capital to investment funds to invest in early-stage, tech-based companies.

  • The Early-Stage Focus Fund, which will complement the existing Ohio Third Frontier Pre-Seed Fund to support funds that target investments to early-stage, tech-based companies in underserved communities and populations.

CHILDREN/FAMILIES


Speakers at this year's Ohio Attorney General Law Enforcement Conference said animal abuse reporting and its nexus to child, spouse and elder abuse are improving 18 months after 133-HB33 (Lanese-Carruthers) became law. Ohio still has to catch up with Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania in Animal Legal Defense Fund rankings, however, and is now the last state without an anti-choking statute. Executive Director Vicki Deisner of Ohio Animal Advocates said the relationship between animal and domestic abuse is not complicated. "When animals are abused, people are at risk. When people are abused, animals are at risk." Deisner said abuse can be defined by direct physical injury to animals, including death; depriving an animal water, food or grooming; denying adult or child caretakers access to pets; giving away a household member's pet; and forbidding the expenditure of money on pets, including veterinary care.


The Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN) Wednesday released a new report finding Ohio had 112 domestic violence fatalities in the year ending June 30, 2022. This included 22 children. ODVN said its seventh annual count of domestic violence fatalities had the highest number of youth fatalities since it began its count. Fatalities were counted from incidents occurring between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, and were compiled from media reports and information provided by ODVN's 76 member programs.


CORONAVIRUS/MONKEYPOX


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released data Thursday showing just over 600,000 people have received a bivalent COVID-19 booster in the state, with a weekly increase of 143,146. On Wednesday, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed a decision memo that expanded use of the bivalent vaccine to children ages 5 through 11. Other ODH data showed that in the past week, there were 7,089 initial vaccinations, 6,326 completed vaccinations, 11,635 first booster shots and 71,055 second booster shots. Ohio's vaccination rates are 64.06 percent or 7.49 million started and 59.37 percent or 6.94 million completed, along with 3.82 million people who received first boosters and 1.14 million second booster shots. The number of new cases reported in the past seven days continued to fall, from 9,997 on Oct. 6 to 8,535 Thursday. Hospitalizations ticked up from 369 to 396 while ICU admissions dropped from 27 to 22. Deaths also decreased from 94 to 87 in Thursday's update.


EDUCATION


With lawmakers set to return next month, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and other state leaders Monday called on the Ohio Senate to pass HB497 (Manning-Robinson), which eliminates mandatory retention under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. The bipartisan legislation would end the requirement that students who fall short of the promotion score on the third grade English language arts test be retained in third grade, and it would cut administration of the third-grade test from twice to once per year. The legislation, however, would maintain the requirement that schools test early elementary students for reading and provide intervention and remediation services to those who are reading below grade level.


The Legislative Committee of the State Board of Education (SBOE) on Tuesday approved a resolution recommending the General Assembly repeal mandatory retention under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Co-sponsored by members Christina Collins and Brendan Shea, the resolution received support from numerous members and passed the committee unanimously.


Former Superintendent of Education Steve Dackin signed a settlement agreement with the Ohio Ethics Commission acknowledging his acceptance of the top Ohio Department of Education (ODE) job was a potential violation of the law. He will not face any sanctions from the commission because he resigned before collecting any salary for the position. Meanwhile, State Board of Education (SBOE) President Charlotte McGuire told Hannah News Tuesday that she would like to see an "expedited" process for finding a new superintendent, but wants the board to discuss the candidacy of Interim Superintendent Stephanie Siddens as it considers pressing ahead with hiring a search firm. Siddens shared with the board her efforts to improve agency effectiveness and efficiency, including the possibility that ODE's headquarters might move.


McGuire later said the Executive Committee is likely to need a special meeting to discuss finding a permanent superintendent. McGuire said Wednesday she's referring to the committee consideration of nine bids submitted by executive search firms for the superintendent search.


After several more hours of testimony and debate Wednesday, the SBOE voted 12-7 to refer a controversial resolution expressing opposition to the Biden administration's proposed changes to Title IX anti-discrimination regulations regarding gender identity to its Executive Committee. Introduced by board member Shea last month, the resolution both disputes the concept of gender identity differing from sex assigned at birth and directs ODE to advise local schools that the regulations are unenforceable, among other provisions.


ELECTIONS


WelcomePAC recently announce its Ohio Advisory Board, saying the board "will work with the organization to recruit and support candidates who connect with voters because they understand, respect and value the diversity in thought, identity and experiences of Ohioans." The WelcomePAC advisory board members include, among others, Phil Heimlich, a former Cincinnati councilman and former Hamilton County commissioner who ran in the Republican primary for the 8th Congressional District in 2022, and former Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper.


ELECTIONS 2022


Ohioans can now begin casting absentee ballots for the Tuesday, Nov. 8 General Election. Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced the first absentee ballot numbers, saying 812,200 absentee ballots have been requested so far, including 4,938 from military and overseas voters whose ballots began to be mailed on Sept. 23. LaRose said applications received to date reflect a 4.4 percent increase over the previous gubernatorial statewide election in 2018.


The schedule of early, in-person voting hours at county boards of elections is as follows:


  • Wednesday - Friday, Oct. 12-14: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

  • Monday - Friday, Oct. 17-21: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Monday - Friday, Oct. 24-28: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Saturday, Oct. 29: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Monday, Oct. 31: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Tuesday - Friday, Nov. 1-4: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, Nov. 5: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Sunday, Nov. 6: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Monday, Nov. 7: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Ohio Progressive Action Leaders (OPAL) submitted a petition Friday to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose asking for the investigation and removal from the ballot of candidates who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol or who continue to deny the results of the 2020 election. The group cited Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The petition with the list of names can be found online at https://tinyurl.com/5n8dnjxy. Asked for the secretary's response to the petition, LaRose spokesman Rob Nichols told Hannah News, "We have no idea who these people are or how they're funded."


In the first debate featuring the candidates for Ohio's open U.S. Senate seat, Democrat Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance spent an hour discussing a wide range of issues and lobbing personal attacks at one another. FOX 8 anchor Joe Toohey and NBC4 anchor Colleen Marshall moderated the event, asking questions about inflation, abortion, opioids, foreign policy, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, public safety, marijuana legalization and threats to democracy, among other topics. Vance, a venture capitalist and author of Hillbilly Elegy, blamed President Joe Biden, Ryan and other Democrats for the rise in inflation. He said he agreed with some of the infrastructure spending recently passed by the federal government, but criticized the overall strategy from Congress and the administration. Ryan, a congressman from Niles, noted the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was negotiated and supported by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), the current occupant of the seat they're seeking. Ryan also said he supports increased production of natural gas.


The Ohio Debate Commission said Monday that it was unable to reach an agreement with the campaigns of Jennifer Brunner and Sharon Kennedy and will not be able to hold a forum on the Ohio Supreme Court chief justice race before November. This was the third commission event to be cancelled after Gov. Mike DeWine and Republican U.S. Senate nominee J.D. Vance last month declined to participate in commission debates.


A day before early voting is set to begin, a 4-3 split Ohio Supreme Court ordered Democrat Tanya Conrath to be put on the ballot for the 94th House District, ruling that Secretary of State Frank LaRose and the Athens County Board of Elections acted in clear disregard of applicable law in rejecting her candidacy. Conrath had been selected by the county Democratic parties in the district to take the place of Democrat Rhyan Goodman, who withdrew from the race in the days after the Aug. 2 primary but before the county boards of elections certified the race where he was the only candidate for the Democratic nomination. LaRose had ruled that because Goodman withdrew before the certification of his race, there was no official candidate for the race and therefore no eligible vacancy to fill. Conrath sued in response. In its per curiam decision joined by Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and Justices Jennifer Brunner, Michael Donnelly, and Melody Stewart, the majority wrote that, "LaRose's interpretation of the relevant statutory provisions gives rise to a legal impossibility -- i.e., Goodman's replacement could not be submitted until he was certified as the candidate on Aug. 19, but the replacement also had to be submitted by the Aug. 15 deadline. That interpretation was unnecessary, resulted in a legal absurdity, and moreover, it is contrary to our case law."


With Tuesday marking the last day to register to vote and Wednesday, the start of early voting in the 2022 General Election, Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) Chair Elizabeth Walters joined down-ballot candidates in a virtual press conference focused on differences between them and their Republican opponents. Walters opened with upbeat remarks, saying they have seen a "groundswell of support" for Democratic candidates in Ohio and calling the Republicans' record "out of touch with working Ohioans." The press conference included Ohio Secretary of State candidate Chelsea Clark, Ohio Attorney General candidate Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) and Ohio Auditor candidate Taylor Sappington.


Gubernatorial hopeful Nan Whaley and other Democratic challengers gathered in the state capital Tuesday to deliver a simple message: Vote early and thoroughly, including all judicial and down-ballot races. Whaley joined candidates including 1st District Judge Marilyn Zayas and 10th District Judge Terri Jamison -- both vying for the Ohio Supreme Court -- outside the Franklin County Board of Elections on the first day of early voting to urge Ohioans to back the entire Democratic slate in this election.


Democratic Secretary of State candidate Chelsea Clark Wednesday announced her plans for poll worker recruitment and how she would increase confidence in the election system.


The re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Mike Carey (R-Columbus) released its first television ad of the 2022 election cycle titled "Generations of Service.”


Independent secretary of state candidate Terpsehore Maras this week filed a new lawsuit against Secretary of State Frank LaRose challenging Ohio laws surrounding election observers for independent candidates. Maras, who has claimed fraud in U.S. elections, is challenging the provision of law that would require any candidate not affiliated with a party on the ballot to join with four other candidates on the ballot to appoint election observers. Her lawsuit claims that requirement violates her equal protection rights "because it only applies to candidates not affiliated with a political party and it is discriminatory and infeasible as applied to Maras as she is the only non-party affiliated candidate on the Ohio 2022 General Election ballot. She cannot garner the support of four other candidates."


Republican U.S. Senate nominee J.D. Vance's campaign Thursday announced that he has raised more than $6.9 million in the third quarter and has $3.3 million on hand. Saturday, Oct. 15 is the deadline for federal candidates to report fundraising numbers for July, August and September. Vance's campaign said 96 percent of donors gave $100 or less and his average online donation was $33.26. He also said his fundraising is nearly a 600 percent increase over his second quarter fundraising. Democrat Tim Ryan's campaign announced earlier this month that he had raised $17.2 million.


The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Black Caucus will be holding its Midwest Regional Leadership Summit at the Hilton Columbus on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15. The caucus said the summit will help train, mobilize and energize voters in advance of the election.


The following endorsements were made over the week:


  • TEA Party President Tom Zawistowski announced his personal endorsement as well as that of We the People Convention of Republican J.R. Majewski for Congress.

  • Doctors Organized for Health Care Solutions, Cincinnati Doctors for Change, Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights and Physicians Action Network endorsed Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court chief justice and Terri Jamison and Marilyn Zayas for Ohio Supreme Court associate justice.

  • The gubernatorial campaign of Nan Whaley announced the endorsement of SEIU Local 1.

  • The Ohio Council of County Officials (OCCO) endorsed state Issue 1 and state Issue 2.

  • The Ohio Environmental Council designated Reps. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville), Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester), Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland), Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park), Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson), Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester), Democratic House candidates Anita Somani, Sean Brenna, Rachel Baker, Erica White and Vincent Peterson and Democratic Senate candidate Patricia Goetz as "Climate Targets," which it said "will shape the environmental future of Ohio if elected."

  • The Ohio Women's Alliance Action Fund endorsed Jennifer Brunner for Ohio Supreme Court chief justice; Terri Jamison and Marilyn Zayas for Ohio Supreme Court associate justice; Emilia Sykes and Marcy Kaptur for Congress; and Chelsea Clark for secretary of state.

EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in September, the lowest since July, as total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 263,000 jobs. BLS said the number of unemployed persons edged down to 5.8 million in September. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Hispanics decreased to 3.8 percent in September. The jobless rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (11.4 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (5.8 percent), and Asians (2.5 percent) showed little change over the month. Among the unemployed, the number of permanent job losers decreased by 173,000 to 1.2 million in September. The number of persons on temporary layoff changed little at 758,000. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.1 million in September. The long-term unemployed accounted for 18.5 percent of all unemployed persons.


ENERGY/UTILITIES


A coalition of environmental groups is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to revoke Ohio's authority over Class II injection wells used to store oil and gas brine. Joined by Ohio NAACP and advocates for the poor, activists charge the state with "systemic and long-standing" violations of its 40-year-old agreement to enforce the Safe Drinking Water Act and protect Ohioans from dangerous carcinogens. Led by Earthjustice, Sierra Club and Buckeye Environmental Network (BEN), the coalition filed a 91-page petition with USEPA that details the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) long list of alleged failures to protect Ohioans and to give them a voice in the regulation of brine injection wells in their communities.


ENVIRONMENT


The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) has approved bond financing of nearly $87,000 for Midtown Dry Cleaners LLC in New Philadelphia. OAQDA also awarded the company a small business grant of just over $17,000, the agency said. The project will include the installation of a new dry-cleaning machine and a wet cleaning machine.


FEDERAL


Approximately 70 million Americans will receive an 8.7 percent increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in 2023, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) announced Thursday. On average, Social Security benefits will increase by more than $140 per month starting in January, according to the agency. The 8.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 65 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2023. Increased payments to more than 7 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on Dec. 30, 2022. Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


GAMING/GAMBLING


Revenues at Ohio's four casinos and seven racinos were slightly higher in September 2022 than they were in September 2021, according to data from the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) and Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC). The state's casinos raked in $81.4 million in September 2022, up from $78.9 million in September 2021. Video lottery terminals (VLTs) at Ohio's racinos pulled in $107.2 million in September 2022, up from $106.5 million in September 2021. Traditional Ohio Lottery sales were slightly lower in September 2022 when compared to September 2021, according to statistics from OLC. Total traditional ticket sales for September 2022 were $328.3 million, down from $345.4 million in September 2021.


The Ohio Lottery has signed contracts with four type C sports gaming proprietors, agency leaders announced Wednesday. Ohio Lottery Executive Director Pat McDonald and Ohio Lottery Sports Gaming Project Manager Jon Dillinger told members of the Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC) that BetSkyBox, Elys-Wright Bet, UBetOhio and BetIGG have signed contracts to provide sports betting services to type C hosts such as bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. These type C sports gaming proprietors still need to be approved and licensed by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). There are three other companies planning to serve as type C proprietors in Ohio, but contracts haven't been signed yet. J&J Ventures Gaming of Ohio isn't planning to be ready until Spring 2023. The other companies are Gold Rush Amusements and Intralot, the latter of which is the Ohio Lottery's traditional gaming and video lottery terminal (VLT) vendor.


GOVERNOR


Appointments made during the week include the following:


  • Sherina Ohanian of Perrysburg (Wood County) and Harold Richard Rowe Jr. of Findlay (Hancock County) reappointed to the Owens Community College Board of Trustees for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Sept. 21, 2028.

  • Sharon M. Evans of Springfield (Clark County) reappointed to the Clark State Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning Dec. 1, 2022 and ending Nov. 30, 2028.

  • Rebecca Rowland-Buckley of Beavercreek (Greene County) and Benjamin Andrew Vollrath of Bellefontaine (Logan County) appointed to the Clark State Community College Board of Trustees for terms beginning Dec. 1, 2022 and ending Nov. 30, 2028.

  • Cynthia Booth of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) and Justin James Howe of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) reappointed to the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Board of Trustees for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Aug. 31, 2028.

  • Jane Garvey of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) appointed to the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Aug. 31, 2028.

  • Faith Bondurant of Columbus (Franklin County) appointed to serve as a student member on the Central State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending June 30, 2024.

  • Linda Matthews of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) appointed to the Central State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending June 30, 2031.

  • Elaine Motylinski of Gates Mills (Cuyahoga County) reappointed to the State Board of Psychology for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022, and ending Oct. 4, 2027.

  • Marnie Renda of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) and Betsy Kay Donahoe-Fillmore of Mason (Warren County) appointed to the Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers Board for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022, and ending August 27, 2025 and Michele Annette Courtney of Lancaster (Fairfield County) appointed for a term beginning Nov. 21, 2022, and ending August 27, 2023.

  • Phillip R. Buell of Kalida (Putnam County) and Robb Allen White of Dayton (Montgomery County) reappointed to the Credit Union Council for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Sept. 22, 2025.

  • Janice Lynne Culver of Dayton (Montgomery County) reappointed to the Accountancy Board for a term beginning Oct. 21, 2022 and ending Oct. 20, 2029.

  • Elizabeth A. Sigg of Defiance (Defiance County) appointed to the Real Estate Appraiser Board for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending June 30, 2025.

  • Peter Howard Riddell of Westerville (Franklin County) appointed to the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending July 1, 2026.

  • David Alan Carty of Worthington (Franklin County) appointed to the State Cosmetology and Barber Board for a term beginning Nov. 1, 2022 and ending Oct. 31, 2027.

  • Kimberly A. Riker-Brown of Monclova (Lucas County) reappointed to the State Veterinary Licensing Medical Board for a term beginning Jan. 1, 2023 and ending Dec. 31, 2025.

  • John Scott Walkenhorst of Lebanon (Warren County) reappointed to the State Veterinary Licensing Medical Board for a term beginning Jan. 1, 2023 and ending Dec. 31, 2025 and Scott Alan Pendleton of Cadiz (Harrison County) appointed for a term beginning Oct. 13, 2022, and ending Dec. 31, 2023.

  • Bradley J. Smith of Westerville (Franklin County) reappointed to the Board of Building Appeals for a term beginning Oct. 14, 2022 and ending Oct. 13, 2026.

  • Kimberly Ann Trout of Albany (Athens County) appointed to the Ohio Private Investigation and Security Services Commission for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Dec. 31, 2022.

  • Charles A. Jones of Cardington (Morrow County) appointed to the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Sept. 20, 2024 and J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Cincinnati Field Office, appointed for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022, and ending Sept. 20, 2023.

  • Stephen Michael Miller of Hilliard (Franklin County) and John F. McCaffrey of Lakewood (Cuyahoga County) appointed to the Ohio Public Defender Commission for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Jan. 12, 2026.

  • Elizabeth Guzman Bowman of Pickerington (Fairfield County) reappointed to the Commission on Hispanic-Latino Affairs for a term beginning Oct. 8, 2022 and ending Oct. 7, 2025.

  • Erin Pettegrew of Hilliard (Franklin County) appointed to the Ohio AMBER Alert Advisory Committee for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Feb. 6, 2023.

  • Kelly Suzanne Liker of Centerville (Montgomery County) appointed to the Children's Trust Fund Board for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending July 2, 2025.

  • David P. Walsh of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) appointed to the Board of Executives of Long-term Services and Supports for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending May 27, 2025.

  • Celina Cunanan of Shaker Heights (Cuyahoga County), Tia Marcel Moretti of Commercial Point (Pickaway County) and L. Tony Ortiz of Beavercreek (Greene County) reappointed to the Commission on Minority Health for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Sept. 2, 2024.

  • Karin Small Wurapa of Blacklick (Franklin County) appointed to the Ohio Advisory Council for Aging for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Nov. 21, 2024.

  • Kerstin Elisabet Sjoberg of Worthington (Franklin County) appointed to the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Council for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending June 1, 2025.

  • Mary L. McCarthy of Delaware (Delaware County) appointed to the Minority Development Financing Advisory Board for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Sept. 30, 2023.

  • Trace Albert Fraley of Patriot (Gallia County) appointed to the Governor's Executive Workforce Board for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and continuing at the pleasure of the governor.

  • Matthew A. Jones of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) appointed to the Third Frontier Commission for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending April 1, 2024.

  • Danielle Giannantonio of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) reappointed to the Ohio Lake Erie Commission for a term beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Sept. 1, 2025.

  • James W. Metz of Eaton (Preble County) and Leigh Ann Miller of Granville (Licking County) reappointed to the Environmental Education Council for terms beginning Oct. 7, 2022 and ending Oct. 1, 2024.

HIGHER EDUCATION


Ohio State University (OSU) and Battelle have partnered to launch an independent neurotechnology accelerator focused on treatments for patients with neurological disorders, which affect one in six individuals worldwide, OSU said, citing the United Nations. The new NeuroTech Institute (NTI) is meant to accelerate the pace of progress for treatments. NTI houses three programs focused on disorders of neural communication, the neural genome and the network of the mind.


The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $506,281 grant to Ohio State University as part of the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, according to an announcement from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Funding will be used to support low-income parents in postsecondary education by providing campus-based child care services. The Child Care Access Means Parents in School program is meant to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services.


Heidelberg University, in Tiffin, and Terra State Community College, in Fremont, have announced a new dual admission and enrollment agreement beginning in the spring of 2023. The partnership will provide a pathway for Terra State students to enroll at Heidelberg to complete their bachelor's degrees. The partnership will officially focus on four academic pathways: business, health science, psychology and sport management, with the development of additional pathways in the near future, according to Heidelberg Provost Bryan Smith. The partnership is designed to incentivize the completion of associate's degrees at Terra while simultaneously beginning to complete bachelor's degree requirements at Heidelberg, followed by full-time Heidelberg enrollment and bachelor's degree completion.


JUDICIAL


Ohio is marking October “Pro Bono Month” by celebrating lawyers who donate their time to those who cannot afford an attorney. "We all have a responsibility as legal professionals to help achieve access to justice for low-income people," says Pro Bono Director Melissa LaRocco of Legal Aid of Western Ohio (LAWO). LaRocco appears in the latest installment of the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism's video series. In three new productions, she and other Ohio legal aid leaders explain the need for pro bono services in their regions of the state. "Pro bono volunteers offer legal services to improve situations related to housing, protection from domestic violence, custody of children, as well as equitable access to government benefits," the Court said this week.


The Ashland County domestic relations judge who sealed the divorce records of former Treasurer Josh Mandel did not cite proper legal authority and must conduct a review to determine which portions should be made public, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. All justices agreed, but for different reasons. Mandel, who also served as a state lawmaker and ran for U.S. Senate, filed with then-wife Ilana Mandel a marriage dissolution petition in Ashland County in April 2020, as well as a motion to seal related documents. Judge Ronald Forsthoefel granted their motion the same day without holding a hearing or specifying in the written order his reasoning for doing so. The Cincinnati Enquirer sued to vacate the sealing order; Mandel's staff turned over some documents from the dissolution case to the newspaper in February 2021.


MARIJUANA/HEMP


More than 300,000 patients are registered in the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (MMCP), according to the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBP). There are 302,508 registered patients, OBP said in its August MMCP patient and caregiver numbers update. Of registered patients, 18,860 are military veterans, 20,261 are classified as "indigent" and 1,171 have a terminal illness. Of the 302,508 registered patients, only 161,988 have an active registration and an active recommendation. A total of 278,902 unique patients have purchased medical marijuana since the beginning of the program. There are now 31,277 caregivers registered in the program.


MENTAL HEALTH


Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) may soon be offering a first-in-the-nation specialty profession in behavioral health under legislation that will be introduced next week by Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Rep. Gail Pavliga (R-Atwater). The new profession will be known as a “mental health assistant” and will be similar to a physician's assistant, but will have a focus solely on behavioral and mental health. NEOMED said it hopes to offer a 24-month program to train mental health assistants. Gavarone, Pavliga and NEOMED officials who participated in the Thursday announcement noted Ohio's continued struggle to have enough providers to treat mental health, behavioral and substance abuse disorders.


NATURAL RESOURCES


The Ohio Wildlife Council recently approved a proposal to allow a maximum of three fishing lines statewide, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The rule will take effect on Jan. 1, 2023. The vote aligns statewide fishing regulations with those already in place in the Lake Erie Sport Fishing District, Ohio River fishing units and Pymatuning Lake by increasing the limit to three lines per person, ODNR said. Additionally, the council voted to remove site-specific catfish regulations for Hoover Reservoir and align the popular central Ohio fishing destination with statewide rules for blue and channel catfish. Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, catfish anglers can harvest one blue catfish 35 inches or longer and one channel catfish 28 inches or longer, with no restrictions on shorter fish.


ODNR announced a series of campfire stories about some of the state's "spookiest" spots. "People know about ODNR's beautiful outdoor spaces, but they may be less familiar with the mysterious backstories that go with some of our historic properties," said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. Hocking College professor and co-author of Haunted Hocking: A Ghost Hunter's Guide to the Hocking Hills and Beyond, Pat Quackenbush will narrate the stories, which will be released once a week through October.


PEOPLE


An organization that promotes healthy eating and a nonprofit newspaper that covers the Ohio Statehouse received the first grant awards from the Tom Meyer Public Interest Fellowship. The inaugural fellows are Brian Landers, a food educator at Local Matters; and Chantal Brown, a college student and intern for the Ohio Capital Journal, a nonprofit news outlet based in Columbus that launched in 2019.


Former Rep. Harry J. Lehman, who served from 1970 to 1980 and chaired the House Judiciary Committee, died Wednesday, Oct. 5 at age 87 with his family by his side, according to an obituary. A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at Epstein Memorial Chapel, 3232 E. Main St., Columbus, followed by a graveside service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Mid-Ohio Food Collective at www.mofc.org. Lehman is survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Patty (Steele); four children, Sara (Mike) Laskey, Adam (Belinda) Lehman, Matt (Julie) Lehman, and Ali (Kevin) Schill; and seven grandchildren.


Long-time executive director of the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) Ernest (Ernie) Boyd has retired, effective Friday Oct. 7, 2022. "I have thoroughly enjoyed being the executive director for the last 34 years," Boyd said in a prepared statement. "Unfortunately, some health-related issues have made it necessary for me to expedite my retirement." The OPA Board of Trustees has selected OPA past president and Ohio Pharmacists Foundation Board member Donald Bennett to serve as the interim executive director during the search process for a new executive director.


POLITICS


Ohio State University's (OSU) Mershon Center for International Security Studies and the College of Public Health sponsored a two-day symposium this week examining the roots and the reach of political extremism, particularly the far-right in the United States with groups such as QAnon and others. Researchers presented their findings of various papers during the virtual event, examining the roots of White supremacy in the U.S, the process of radicalization, the mechanisms of ideological spread, the role of anti-Semitism, and the growing legitimacy of certain extreme ideologies due to their permeation through many aspects of daily lives. Victoria Gurevich, a Ph.D. candidate in the political science department at Ohio State, said the symposium is about understanding far right extremism as an ideology, saying becoming involved with the ideology isn't something that people just are, but it is something that they become. She discussed radicalization of individuals, saying it is not an area of study that has a lot of definitional consensus and no one who studies it can tell how any one person will become aligned with the far-right. She said the radicalization process is different for every person.


POLLS/STUDIES


A new Baldwin Wallace (BW) University Ohio Pulse Poll shows many of Ohio voters' views on some of the more divisive issues are more progressive than conservative, though Ohio is considered a "red state." The poll was conducted among 856 Ohio registered voters by SurveyUSA from Friday, Sept. 30 to Monday, Oct. 3, and was developed by the Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute (CRI). "Recent policy changes on hot-button issues such as guns and abortion rights made us wonder whether Columbus was out of step with public opinion. If so, this is not how a representative democracy is supposed to work," said Lauren Copeland, BW political science professor and CRI associate director.


A new survey by Emerson College Polling and The Hill finds Republican U.S. Senate nominee J.D. Vance with a small lead over Democratic nominee Tim Ryan, 46 percent to 45 percent with 9 percent undecided. The poll said since last month, Vance's support has increased by 2 points and Ryan's support has increased by 5 points. “Men are breaking for the Republican candidate and women are breaking for the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate election; men for Vance over Ryan 53 percent to 40 percent, while women for Ryan over Vance 49 percent to 39 percent. A higher share of women are undecided at 11 percent, compared to 6 percent of men," said Spencer Kimball, executive director of Emerson College Polling. In the election for governor, Gov. Mike DeWine holds a 14-point lead over Democrat Nan Whaley, 50 percent to 36 percent. Eight percent are undecided and 6 percent plan to vote for someone else. Since last month, DeWine's support has held at 50 percent, and Whaley's support has increased 3 percentage points.


PUBLIC SAFETY


Speakers on the final day of the Ohio Attorney General's Law Enforcement Conference said departments are falling behind further if they're still focused on millennial recruits and overlooking the emerging generation. Panelists representing law enforcement agencies, criminal justice programs and hiring agencies said Gen Z-ers have less interest in a traditional, military-like environment and respond increasingly to social media marketing and youth career programs that highlight the policing profession.


The 84 members of Ohio Task Force 1 (OH-TF1) returned from their work taking part in the response to Hurricane Ian. Official demobilization occurred Saturday, Oct. 8 after two weeks of service. In a social media post Sunday, OH-TF1 said its personnel carried out missions along Florida's Gulf Coast that included rescuing "a handful of people from precarious situations" and evacuating dozens who did not have the means to leave on their own. They also checked on dozens of people who were sheltering in place; helped local officials with searching for missing persons; conducted over 4,500 house-by-house searches to ensure those structures were clear; and recorded data on structure damage and hazards.


RACES TO WATCH


Now that early voting has started here in Ohio, Hannah News has compiled all of the "Races to Watch" stories that have been published thus far into one document for easy reference. That compilation, which will be updated as new stories are added to the series, can be found at https://tinyurl.com/mw86nnma .


This year's race in the 28th House District features the same candidates as in 2020 -- incumbent Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park) and Republican nominee Chris Monzel, a former Hamilton County commissioner and Cincinnati city councilman. Miranda won their previous race by a margin of 2,314 votes, receiving 51.69 percent compared to Monzel's 48.31 percent. Under the map being used for this election, the district now has three less precincts -- a change that Miranda told Hannah News eliminates several thousand votes that likely would have gone to her. An earlier map would have drawn her out ofthe 28th District entirely. Miranda, who was first elected in 2018 by a 56-vote margin, said the election will be "very competitive" as a result. When asked how this year's race will be different, Monzel talked about how the pandemic disrupted his campaigning during the 2020 election. Now he is re-engaged in canvassing and connecting with residents at events, the style Monzel used when previously running for local office.


Democratic Rep. Dan Troy (Willowick) and Republican George Phillips will get a rematch in competitive Ohio House District 23 this November. The pair faced off in 2020, with Troy winning House District 60 by just 800 votes. The seat was previously held by term-limited Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake). Phillips, who also ran unsuccessfully against Rogers in 2014, said the district has become more favorable to his "side of the fence.” Troy, an Army veteran, has a long public service record. In his first tenure in the Statehouse, Troy served seven terms, during which he chaired committees including House Ways and Means and the Joint House-Senate Education Oversight Committee. Later, he served as Lake County Commissioner for five terms and has served as a city councilman, along with numerous other local government roles.


A redrawn district and the national spotlight on a key congressional race has given the Assistant House Minority Leader a bigger obstacle for re-election this November. Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) is looking to win re-election for his final term before term limits kick in for him. He faces a new 49th Ohio House District that includes the city of Canton and extends north towards the Summit County line, encompassing McDonaldsville and Lake Cable. He faces Jim Thomas, an attorney and Jackson Township trustee, as well as a former professional tennis player. West said families and the issues that face them are paramount to the district and the race. He said inflation has hit district residents hard, and issues such as medical care remain, leading some to choose between medical care and putting food on the table. He said those are the type of issues he can tackle in the Legislature. Thomas said he has had his eye on the Legislature for a while and he believes economic development and education are the most important issues, followed by inflation. He said those are the top issues he is hearing from residents of the district.


Northeast Franklin County's House District 4 will see a contest this fall between a two-term legislator who flipped the area for Democrats in 2018 and a well-known real estate agent. Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) is seeking a third term. The retired science educator won an open seat election in 2018 to succeed Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) to represent what's currently the 19th District. Republicans have nominated Jill Rudler, a top-selling agent in the region and state for decades. Lightbody said she works hard to be helpful and visible in the district, frequently attending public events, the meetings of city councils, school boards and township trustees, and holding office hours. She said she prides herself on constituent service and recently retired from her faculty position at Ohio State University-Newark to give herself more time for the Statehouse position. Rudler said after a successful career in real estate, she's ready to turn over her business to a new generation of professionals. "I looked around for how I could serve for the next 20 years," she said.


STATE GOVERNMENT


Victims of financial crimes can now apply to the Ohio Investor Recovery Fund (OIRF), Ohio Department of Commerce (DOC) Division of Securities Commissioner Andrea Seidt announced Wednesday. The OIRF, created in budget law HB110 (Oelslager), allows qualifying victims to apply to receive compensation of up to 25 percent of their loss or $25,000, whichever is less.


TECHNOLOGY/AEROSPACE


While Advanced Drainage Systems' (ADS) new engineering and technology center will bring 200 new jobs and $20 million in added payroll to Hilliard, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and other speakers at Monday's groundbreaking ceremony also stressed environmental benefits of its stormwater management products and use of recycled plastic in manufacturing. The center is scheduled to open in late 2023. In response to a question from Hannah News, he said the ADS center will require more engineering and STEM talent, specifically chemical engineers and computer science professionals to run modeling and research, and that the state is continuing "to step up our efforts to develop that talent in Ohio."


TRANSPORTATION/INFRASTRUCTURE


The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) this week released its FFY23 apportionments for 12 formula programs receiving funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). According to U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) and Tim Ryan (D-Niles), Ohio is set to get about $2 billion in funding from the bill, citing data from FHWA. The legislators said Ohio will have flexibility in determining how the federal funding will be deployed. The funding will be broken down as follows:


  • National Highway Performance Program: $970,046,325

  • Surface Transportation Block Grant: $471,914,429

  • Highway Safety Improvement Program: $100,590,011

  • Railway-Highway Crossings Program: $9,406,315

  • Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Program: $106,421,845

  • Metropolitan Planning: $15,587,504

  • National Highway Freight Program: $47,416,042

  • Carbon Reduction Program: $42,079,036

  • PROTECT Formula Program: $47,846,880

  • National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program: $29,844,883

  • Appalachian Development Highway System: $19,369,573

  • Bridge Formula Program: $104,290,441



[Story originally published in The Hannah Report. Copyright 2022 Hannah News Service, Inc.]


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