Week in Review > Week in Review 01-08-2021Posted by Kevin Miller on January 08th, 2021
Sales tax collections beat estimates by nearly $50.0 million in December, while income taxes were about on target, the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) reported in preliminary revenue figures Thursday. Total tax collections were up 3.3 percent or nearly $64.2 million in December and are ahead by 3.7 percent or $457.7 million halfway through this fiscal year, which began July 1.
The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) extended the deadline for its contest soliciting public service announcements made by students to promote the Safer Ohio School Tip Line. The new deadline is Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. Students in grades 6 and above are encouraged to submit videos which “spread awareness and encourage participation with the state’s tip line,” according to OSSC. The creators of winning video submissions will be invited to OSSC when it’s safe to do so to produce a professional quality version of their original submission. The newly produced PSA will then be used in a statewide marketing campaign for the Safer Ohio School Tip Line.
Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) President Melissa Cropper held a press conference Thursday morning to address changes to school quarantine procedures as well as the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to teachers and school staff. Cropper said the federation has some “major concerns” about changes to school quarantine policy, which Gov. Mike DeWine announced shortly before the New Year. Under the new guidance, students and teachers exposed to a COVID-19 positive person in school are no longer required to quarantine as long as the exposure occurred in a classroom setting and all students and teachers were wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols.
The opening day of the session for the Senate in the 134th General Assembly was held with the usual first day swearing-in of members and the passing of resolutions setting staff pay and travel reimbursement but was missing its leader as newly-elected Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) was unable to attend after he was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the weekend. Huffman told reporters on a conference call after the session that he feels fine and the positive test was sparked after he and his wife did not feel well at the end of last week.
While the conventional pomp and circumstance of the occasion was somewhat subdued due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the House did return to its tradition of displaying unity as the chamber elected its leaders during the 134th General Assembly’s opening session. While recent speaker elections have featured public displays of division and rancor as different factions of the chamber struggled for power, on Monday House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) was elected 91-0 to retain the leadership position he gained following the removal of scandal-plagued Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) from the speakership in July 2020.
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