Week in Review > Week in Review 02-11-2022

Posted by on February 11th, 2022


Income taxes yielded nearly $200 million more than expected in January, helping tax collections beat forecasts by 10.1 percent for the month, according to preliminary figures from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Tax collections for January reached $2.57 billion, $236 million more than the $2.34 billion expected. For FY22 so far, collections are up $816.4 million or 5.5 percent, reaching $15.8 billion.


Even though COVID-19 vaccines have been available for all children ages five and older for at least three months, the vaccination rate for minors is lagging significantly behind that of adults, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Friday. “Vaccination rates are currently lowest among some of our youngest Ohioans. For example, approximately 47 percent of those 16 to 17 are fully vaccinated. Approximately 42 percent of adolescents between 12 and 15 are fully vaccinated. And approximately 19 percent of children 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated,” Vanderhoff said during a virtual press conference. Just over 60 percent of all eligible Ohioans are fully vaccinated, according to ODH. For those ages 18-29, the number is nearly 50 percent. Approximately 63 percent of Ohioans ages 30 to 59 are fully vaccinated, while more than 80 percent of Ohioans ages 60 and older are fully vaccinated.


Nearly five years after the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee (OCJRC) issued its final report, some of its recommendations could become law, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) said Tuesday. “A lot of great things came out of that committee, and we just really never did anything with it,” Manning told the rest of the committee he chairs during an informal hearing on his criminal justice reform omnibus bill, SB288. Manning noted that he served on the OCJRC with Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) and many other public officials and criminal justice experts. He said there is widespread agreement on many of the panel’s recommendations, and those should be implemented as soon as possible.


Peloton announced Tuesday that it was ending plans for its Wood County manufacturing facility, along with changes in executive leadership and elimination of around 2,800 positions worldwide as part of a re-evaluation of costs. The factory was first announced in May 2021, with Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted taking part in the August groundbreaking ceremony. It was expected to create 2,174 full-time jobs and $138 million in annual payroll, and Peloton would have received a 15-year job creation tax credit previously estimated at $49.4 million in value. A statement by JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef said Peloton had not drawn performance-based incentives offered by the economic development entity or the state yet, as fiscal safeguards are in place.


Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) told reporters Wednesday that the state will likely need two primary dates this year due to an unsettled redistricting process. He indicated that the election on May 3 would include all the statewide officers, U.S. Senate, and the locals. Huffman added that, after talking to Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office and boards of elections, he is skeptical the primary for the General Assembly and congressional seats will be held on May 3 because it will take a few weeks once maps are completed to be able to upload the new districts to their systems. He also said there may need to be a new filing deadline for candidates if lines are moved from the previously adopted maps. It would take legislative action to set a second primary date.

However, a day after Huffman floated the idea of having two primaries, election officials sent a letter to “strongly encourage” the Legislature to reject that possibility, citing the “enormous” cost of two primaries. They also said it will be difficult and potentially impossible for elections officials to recruit poll workers, secure polling locations, test and prepare voting machines, and obtain ballots among supply chain issues for back-to-back elections. They noted they have already been warned about a possible paper and toner shortage. Finally, they said two primaries “will almost certainly cause voter confusion and low turnout, making the expense and difficulty of conducting two elections even more worrisome.”


The STRS Board of Trustees recently met and discussed implementing a one-time 2 percent COLA and removing the age 60 retirement requirement, replacing it with a policy that grants full benefits after 35 years of service, regardless of age.

Posted by on February 11th, 2022

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