Week in Review > Week in Review 12-4-2020Posted by Kevin Miller on December 04th, 2020
The state of Ohio has about $870 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars left to distribute entering the holiday season. With Monday’s Controlling Board approval of an additional $68 million in state CARES Act funding and the Ohio Arts Council’s recent distribution of $20 million to arts organizations, the remaining state share of dollars that have been appropriated — but not expended or encumbered — is about $610 million, according to data provided to Hannah News by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM). That means there is about $260 million that has not yet been appropriated. OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks told Hannah News that the DeWine administration is still hopeful that Congress and the Trump administration will extend the deadline for using the funds, which is currently Wednesday, Dec. 30. Under current law, if the funds are not used by that time, the money goes back to the federal government.
Legislation that was originally aimed at giving university board of trustee members the ability to attend meetings virtually became an omnibus bill late in the legislative session to address continuing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending a number of deadlines that had previously been lengthened earlier this year.
Following through with his threat, Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday vetoed SB311 (McColley-Roegner), saying the bill is “not in the best interest of protecting the health and safety of Ohioans.” The bill would place limits on the authority of the state health director in issuing certain health orders as well as give the General Assembly more oversight on those orders.Meanwhile, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), who suggested Wednesday that his chamber would immediately take up a vote to override the veto, softened his stance on Thursday, saying his comments the previous day were “three or four seconds of commentary for an issue that is more complex than that. “In a statement, Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) expressed disappointment with the veto and said he will be discussing the next steps with members of his caucus.
The STEM education group “Believe in Ohio” announced recently two new professional development opportunities for STEM and business/economics teachers. There are two ways to earn professional development credit through the Believe in Ohio program. The continuing education credit is seven contact hours at no cost, and the college credit through Ashland University is one credit hour and costs $180. Find information about the syllabus and registration forms for each course at believeinohio.org/pd/.
The House Finance Committee adopted several amendments Tuesday to HB305 (Cupp-Patterson), the school funding overhaul that’s been debated throughout this General Assembly, and passed the bill out of committee Wednesday.
The vast majority of House members voted Thursday to approve a new school funding formula in HB305 aimed at defining and funding an adequate education for all students and answering the DeRolph litigation. The 84-8 vote marked major progress for the Cupp-Patterson plan that was years in the making but sets up formidable tasks of winning Senate passage and finding the estimated $2 billion it would take to implement the formula. Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) presided over the vote on the plan he shepherded with Rep. John Patterson (R-Lima) and a working group of local education officials for the past few years.
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