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Ohio Statehouse Update: Week in Review – July 15, 2011 — Our top "5" subjects you should know

Week in Review

July 15, 2011 — Our top “5” subjects you should know

1. JobsOhio Board members named

Governor Kasich this week appointed eight directors to the JobsOhio Board, the state’s newly created private economic development agency. The nonprofit corporation met for its inaugural meeting on July 11 and named Mark Kvamme, Kasich’s top economic development official as interim chief investment officer. JobsOhio will provide job training grants, invest in start-up companies and coordinate local and state-level economic development activities.

Newly appointed directors include:

  • James C. Boland, retired vice chairman of Ernst & Young, and former president, CEO & vice chairman of the Cavaliers Operating Company
  • Steven A. Davis, chairman of the board and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, Inc.
  • E. Gordon Gee, president of the Ohio State University
  • C. Martin Harris, chief information officer and chairman, Information Technology Division, of the Cleveland Clinic
  • Gary R. Heminger, president and CEO of Marathon Petroleum Corporation
  • Mark D. Kvamme, special limited partner of Sequoia Capital
  • Bob McDonald, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble
  • Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta Media, Inc.

The governor will make the ninth and final appointment in the next 60 days.

2. House members chosen to fill senate vacancies

Speaker Batchelder accepted letters of resignation from two House members in session on Wednesday. Both legislators then crossed the rotunda and were sworn in to fill vacant Senate seats.

Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) was chosen by Senate Republicans to succeed former Majority Floor Leader Jimmy Stewart in the 20th Senate District. Balderson chaired the House Finance-Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee during the budget process. His district now includes nine southeast Ohio counties. He indicates that energy, agriculture and economic development issues are among his legislative priorities. Stewart resigned from his seat at the end of June to become the President of the Ohio Gas Association. Majority members will vote to replace Stewart’s leadership position in the fall.

Dave Burke (R-Marysville) now represents the 26th Senate District, formerly held by Senator Karen Gillmor, who joined the Kasich Administration as a commissioner on the Ohio Industrial Commission. Burke, a pharmacist by trade, chaired the House Finance-Health and Human Services Subcommittee during the budget process. His district now includes eight counties in northwest Ohio. He says he will continue to focus on education, job creation and healthcare issues.

3. $246 million added to Budget Stabilization Fund

According to the Office of Budget and Management, Ohio ended FY11 with an ending balance of $138.8 million. This followed the transfer of $246.9 million from the General Revenue Fund to the Budget Stabilization Fund, also referred to as the “Rainy Day Fund,” as determined in the FY12-13 biennial budget bill. The fund, which at one time held over $1 billion, was nearly zeroed out in the previous general assembly to fill budget gaps and was left with a $1.78 balance prior to the transfer.

4. Department of Taxation closes seven service centers, offers alternatives

The Ohio Department of Taxation has announced the closure of taxpayer service centers in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo, Youngstown, and Zanesville because of the drop in traffic, largely due to increased usage of electronic filing. Historically, these taxpayer service centers have been used to assist walk-in visitors and answer local telephone calls. Incoming calls from the toll-free taxpayer phone system are now automatically routed to available agents throughout the state.

The department suggests contacting the following services for assistance with tax questions:

Personal Income Tax — 800.282.1780
Business Taxes — 888.405.4039
Commercial Activity Tax — 888.722.8829
Excise Taxes — 614.466.3921
Website: www.tax.ohio.gov

5. Regional Congressional redistricting hearings scheduled

Rep. Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Redistricting, and Sen. Keith Faber (R-Celina), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting, announced that they will hold a series of five joint regional hearings beginning July 20 to receive public feedback on Congressional redistricting.

In Ohio, Congressional district plans are enacted by the General Assembly through the legislative process and codified in the Ohio Revised Code. Due to slow population growth in the 2010 Census, Ohio will soon have 16 congressional representatives, down from 18. While there is no statutory deadline for completion of Congressional redistricting, the filing deadline for Congressional candidates serves as the practical deadline. Recently enacted House Bill 194 moves the 2012 primary to May, providing legislators additional time to decide which current Congressional districts should be eliminated.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Caputo
(non-attorney professional)

Rebecca M. Kuhns
(non-attorney professional)

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