Governor’s Budget Bill: Governor DeWine announced details of his new two-year budget on Friday March 15. The actual budget bill will be introduced in the legislature shortly. The proposed spending outline for Fiscal Years 2020-2021 includes nearly $70 billion in General Revenue Fund and $150.4 billion in all funds appropriations. It includes a $500 million increase in public-school funding targeted to pay for services for at-risk students, a $900 million “H2 Ohio” water protection fund and $200 million on new initiatives aimed at addiction and mental health. The bill will significantly boost funding for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and provide up to $15 million per year to provide “Micro-degrees” (industry credentials) at no cost to a minimum of 10,000 Ohioans, as long as they remain in Ohio after completion. Micro-degrees are low-cost credentials that take a student less than a year to complete and quickly qualify Ohioans to work in growing industries. State support for indigent defense would also increase under the proposal, from $30 million to $90 million, a move that will help counties who have had to bear the brunt of spending in this area. The bill does not cut or increase taxes, and spending increases are projected to be funded by increased revenues based on an expectation of slow but steady economic growth. Further details can be found at http://budget.ohio.gov/. Details about workforce and innovation proposals are at http://budget.ohio.gov/WorkforceInnovation.aspx.
JobsOhio: Governor Mike DeWine announced on March 13 that Richard J. “Rick” Platt of Newark (Licking Co.) has been appointed to the JobsOhio Board of Directors for a term beginning March 13, 2019, and ending July 5, 2019. Rick serves as the President and CEO of the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority and has a broad background in economic development.
Governor’s State of the State Address: On March 5, 2019, Governor Mike DeWine (R) delivered his first State of the State address during a joint House and Senate session in the Statehouse. The Governor restated his administration’s top priorities, which include Children’s Initiatives, Opiate/Heroin Addition Prevention & Treatment, Lake Erie’s Water Quality, Economic Development/Workforce Development and Energy. He also called for all Ohioans to work together to move the state forward.
Governor Mike DeWine and the Board of Directors of JobsOhio announced February 14 that J.P. Nauseef has been selected as the next president and chief investment officer of JobsOhio. Mr. Nauseef will start the new role in March and replace John Minor, who had served since 2012. Mr. Nauseef is a former U.S. Air Force officer with experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and most notably was the president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. More information is at: https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/021419a
Goodbye Governor Kasich, Hello New Administration:
New Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted were sworn in to office shortly after midnight on Monday, January 14. Ceremonial swearing-in events occurred at Noon at the Statehouse, and the inaugural ball occurred there the evening of January 14.
Ceremonies and receptions for others elected to statewide office (Attorney General Dave Yost, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, State Auditor Keith Faber and State Treasurer Robert Sprague) also occurred January 14.
Federal Opportunity Zones: President Trump signed an Executive Order December 12 directing federal agencies to prioritize resources for opportunity zones. The order will create a White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, covering 13 federal agencies and led by Ben Carson, the Housing and Urban Development secretary. The council will work to prioritize opportunity zones in a variety of federal efforts, including grant funding, loan guarantees, infrastructure spending and crime prevention. The 13 federal agencies included in the new council have apparently provided examples of potential actions they could take to support investment in opportunity zones. Projects could include the Agriculture Department targeting water infrastructure and rural broadband spending in certain zones, or the Small Business Administration focusing certain loan programs in designated tracts. The Justice Department could also shepherd spending on anti-crime efforts — such as mentoring and gang-prevention initiatives — to the zones. The Administration apparently also intends to finish two more rounds of regulations that will govern the zones and the funds that invest in them.