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Ohio Statehouse Update: Week in Review – July 22, 2011 — Our top "4" subjects you should know

Week in Review

July 22, 2011 — Our top “4” subjects you should know

1. Small Business Advisory Council members announced

Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, House Speaker William Batchelder (R-Medina) and Senate President Tom Niehaus (R-New Richmond) announced their selections for the Small Business Advisory Council this week. The nine-member council established in Senate Bill 2 will advise the newly created Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Office of the adverse impact that proposed or existing agency rules and regulations have or could have on small businesses in Ohio. The council will meet at least quarterly.

Taylor, chosen to lead the CSI office for the administration, appointed the following members from the nearly 240 applications her office received:

  • Orlando Alonso, president and general manager of Columbus Pest Control, Columbus
  • Brandon Cohen, president and CEO of Ohio IT Alliance, Toledo
  • Richard Fedorovich, CEO of Bober Markey Fedorovich, a CPA firm, Akron
  • Michael Flowers, vice president of KBK Enterprises, a real estate development company, Columbus
  • Dan Young, CEO of Young’s Jersey Dairy, Yellow Springs

Batchelder selected:

  • Michael Baach, president and CEO of Philpott Rubber Company in Brunswick
  • Michael Canty, owner, president and CEO of Alloy Bellows & Precision Welding, a Cleveland-based company

Niehaus’ appointments are:

  • Thomas Demaline, president of Willoway Nurseries in Avon
  • Crystal Faulkner, founding partner of Cooney, Faulkner & Stevens LLC, Cincinnati

2. Kasich vetoes Lake Erie water withdrawal bill

Citing the need to improve portions of a bill that would establish a withdrawal permit program in the Lake Erie watershed, Governor Kasich vetoed House Bill 231 late last week, his first veto since taking office. Opponents of the bill say its provisions would drain Lake Erie and violate the Great Lakes Compact, an interstate agreement between the eight Great Lakes States, Ontario and Québec regarding protections for the waters of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.

Under HB 231, businesses could draw up to five million gallons per day from Lake Erie without being subject to permitting requirements. Governor Kasich faced substantial pressure from news organizations, environmental groups and public officials in surrounding states to veto the bill.

3. Senate Bill 5 will be on the November ballot

Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Thursday, July 21, 2011, that supporters of repealing Senate Bill 5 have far exceeded the amount of valid signatures needed to get the issue on the ballot this fall. Opponents of the controversial law that makes changes to collective bargaining for public sector unions submitted 915,456 valid signatures, nearly four times the 231,147 signatures needed to put the issue before voters. Now the Ballot Board must convene to approve the ballot language that voters will consider in November. The Ballot Board is expected to meet in early August.

4. Cincinnati area legislator to resign

State Representative Robert Mecklenborg (R- Green Township) has submitted his letter of resignation to House Speaker William Batchelder, effective August 2. Mecklenborg has been the center of attention on Capitol Square in recent weeks, after reports became public of his April 23 arrest in Dearborn County, Indiana for failing three sobriety tests after he was initially pulled over for a broken headlight. A court-ordered blood test showed he had a 0.097 percent alcohol level, which is above the legal limit.

Mecklenborg is a practicing attorney in Westwood. He was appointed to the Ohio House in 2007 and was elected to the seat in 2008 and 2010. Earlier this year he was appointed to chair the State Government and Elections Committee and sponsored House Bill 159, which would require a photo identification to vote at a polling precinct. The bill was passed by the Ohio House, but stalled in the Senate after Secretary of State Jon Husted expressed his opposition to the measure, which a Quinnipiac poll released on July 20 shows Ohioans support 78-20 percent.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Caputo
(non-attorney professional)

Rebecca M. Kuhns
(non-attorney professional)

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