Government Relations Committee November Update
Submitted by Government Relations Committee
Tayte Lutz from French Oil Mill Machinery serves on DRMA’s Government Relations Committee and is the liaison for OMA’s GRC as well. She recently attended their quarterly meeting and summarized the key topics below.
NAM H1-B Visa
In October a federal district court ruled in favor of the NAMs actions to expand H1-B and other visas for manufacturers, outside the existing federal government limits.
Ohio COVID response
OMA expects DeWine to roll out new COVID related orders. As he reported recently, there is a current strain on the hospital systems in Ohio due to workforce issues and cases continue to rise at a high rate. Most spread is tied back to social gatherings but beginning to have an impact on businesses and schools due to quarantining recommendations.
HB 606, providing COVID-related protection to employers, has an end date of 9/31/21 and will likely be extended.
Householder Corruption Scandal
The scandal did not impact the election as much as expected. No other charges or arrests have been announced, but there has been a lot of activity. It is possible that First Energy will be faced with charges.
HB 6 Repeal / HB 772 Replacement
HB 6 provided subsidies for OVEC at an unfixed rate, allowing them to sell energy for less than it costs to make. Since the passage of HB 6 OVEC has reduced energy production. There is no end in sight for this subsidy based on improved OVEC performance. HB 772 is being proposed to replace HB 6. The bill eliminates OVEC, prohibits the return of the subsidies and allows for refunds to customers.
Supreme Court Elections
As we know, Justice French did not win reelection to the Ohio Supreme Court, even in counties where Trump won by 70-80%, leading people to believe that she did not have enough name recognition with voters. Her race opponent, Bruner, may have had better name recognition due to other positions she has held and other campaigns she has run in the past.
Justice Kennedy did win re-election. It is predicted that her Democratic-sounding name gave her an advantage, getting votes from both sides of the aisle.
In 2022 three more Ohio Supreme Court seats will be up for reelection. These races will see big spend and big stakes.
OMA workforce opportunities
Oct 28 OMA held the fourth annual OMA Workforce Summit. Access to the full-day event is available through March.