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Legislature Happening Now: Justice Sharon Kennedy, Taxes on Bags and Containers, and the Ex-Im Bank

Submitted by Tayte Lutz, French Oil Mill Machinery Company

Here are a few things going on that your Government Relations Committee thinks you should know about.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy Seeks Re-Election

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy says she will seek re-election next year. Kennedy noted she has worked in the justice system for over three decades, including as a police officer, a lawyer and a magistrate in southwest Ohio's Butler County. She was elected to the state's high court in 2012 to fill an unexpired term, and then won a six-year term in 2014.

Republicans currently hold five of the court's seven seats. Two Democrats, Cleveland-area Judge John O'Donnell and former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner, are hoping to swing that balance and have announced bids for 2020.

Senate Bill 222 Hearings

This week, the Ohio Senate held its third hearing on Senate Bill 222, a bill that would pre-empt local governments from enacting taxes or bans on auxiliary packaging such as bags and containers. In November, OMA’s Director of Public Policy Services, Rob Brundrett, testified in front of the Senate in support of the bill. He stated, “We must ensure that taxes, fees and regulations on packaging are adopted uniformly and not via a cumbersome patchwork of local mandates that would make Ohio a less friendly climate for manufacturing.” To read Bundrett’s full testimony, click here.

Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im)

Ex-Im operations are currently threatened by a December 20 funding deadline as federal lawmakers try to negotiate a long-term re-authorization. More than 200 Ohio manufacturers have utilized Ex-Im over the past five years. The bank, utilized mostly by small businesses, has often played a critical role for U.S. businesses competing for overseas contracts.

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