Message from Beth -- December 21, 2022
The 134th Ohio General Assembly finished “lame duck” session last week in a flurry of activity that ended after an all-night session wrapped up at 6am on Thursday December 15, 2022. Here are the highlights that may be of interest to the ACEC Ohio community:
HB 45—A $6 Billion Appropriations Bill included $1.4 billion of ARPA one-time funding. ARPA funding included:
- $250 million in water/sewer funding under the Department of Development water and sewer quality grant program
- $75 million water/sewer upgrades for local governments through the Department of Development to be used on megaprojects
- $150 million for lead prevention and mitigation
SB 288-the distracted driving bill supported by FOR Ohio was rolled into this bill which will make it a primary offense in Ohio for using a wireless electronic communications device while driving, which will allow law enforcement officers to pull motorists over for solely that reason. Under current law, using a wireless device is a secondary offense for adult drivers.
SB 131-Concerns occupational licensing and the ability for those who hold valid licenses from other states to receive a license in Ohio
SB 302-Updates Ohio’s unemployment system to curb unemployment fraud.
*No action was taken on SB 277 which would reduce the gas tax, we do not anticipate this bill being re-introduced next year.*
The 135th Ohio General Assembly will begin on January 3, 2023, under the following leadership teams:
Updated 1/3/23: Representative Jason Stephens secures Speaker position and Representative Scott Oelslager secured Speaker Pro Tem (#2). The other members of the majority leadership team have yet to be named.
Minority Leader in the Ohio House will be Representative Allison Russo, with Representatives Dontavius Jarrells, Jessica Miranda, & Tavia Galonski rounding out the team.
Senate President Matt Huffman remains in his role with Senators Kirk Schuring, Rob McColley, and Theresa Gavarone joining him on the majority leadership team.
Minority Leader in the Ohio Senate is Senator Nickie Antonio, with Senators Hearcel Craig, Kent Smith, Paula Hicks-Hudson completing the team.
Governor DeWine Administration:
Stephanie McCloud, former BWC Administrator, is becoming the Governor’s Chief of Staff replacing Michael Hall. John Logue will become the new BWC Administrator.
The following Agency Directors are retiring, no new appointments have been made yet:
- Laurie Stevenson, Director Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Anne Vogel named 12/28/22)
- Dorothy Pelanda, Director of Department of Agriculture
- Tax Commissioner Jeff McClain
- Tom Stickrath, Director Department of Public Safety
If you should have any questions, please reach out to me.
Warmest wishes for a safe and joyous holiday season!