Category Archives: State Government

Shawnee State University Board Appointment Among Dozens Made By Governor DeWine

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(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has made the following appointments:

  • Catherine L. Evans of Middletown (Butler Co.) has been appointed to the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending August 31, 2026.
  • Tyeis L. Baker-Baumann of Greenville (Darke Co.) has been appointed to the Edison State Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 17, 2025.
  • Philip E. Dubbs of New Madison (Darke Co.) has been reappointed to the Edison State Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 17, 2027.
  • Pamela E. Bobst of Rocky River (Cuyahoga Co.) has been appointed to the Kent State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending May 16, 2021; and for a term beginning May 17, 2021, and ending May 16, 2030.
  • Brenda S. Haas of Ironton (Lawrence Co.) has been appointed to the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending June 30, 2028.
  • Wendy Humphrey Doolittle of Springfield (Clark Co.) has been appointed to the Chemical Dependency Professionals Board for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending December 23, 2022.
  • Alverta Muhammad of Columbus (Franklin Co.) has been appointed to the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending October 10, 2023.
  • Lisa Dodge Burton of Powell (Delaware Co.) has been reappointed to the State Speech and Hearing Professionals Board for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending March 22, 2024.
  • Ralph Eugene Ross of Mt. Sterling (Madison Co.) has been appointed to the Mt. Sterling Financial Planning and Supervision Commission for a term beginning April 9, 2021 and continuing at the pleasure of the Governor.
  • Tammy J. Bobo of Albany (Athens Co.) has been appointed to the Banking Commission for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 31, 2025.
  • Kathleen L. Fischer of Sylvania (Lucas Co.) has been appointed to the Banking Commission for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 31, 2022.
  • William U. Martin of St. Marys (Auglaize Co.) has been reappointed to the Banking Commission for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 31, 2025.
  • Jasmine Clements of New Albany (Franklin Co.) has been reappointed to the Board of Tax Appeals for a term beginning April 7, 2021, and ending February 28, 2027.
  • Gregory M. Gantt of Oakwood (Montgomery Co.) has been reappointed to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending February 26, 2027.
  • Kristin Beggs of Columbus (Franklin Co) has been appointed to the Ohio AMBER Alert Advisory Committee for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending February 6, 2023.
  • Christine H. Merritt of Columbus (Franklin Co.) has been reappointed to the Ohio AMBER Alert Advisory Committee for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending February 6, 2023.
  • James W. Metz of Eaton (Preble Co.) has been reappointed to serve on the Environmental Education Council for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending October 1, 2022.
  • Erik Yassenoff of Granville (Licking Co.) has been appointed to the Technical Advisory Council on Oil and Gas for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 31, 2022.
  • Brian D. Morley of Louisville (Stark Co.) has been reappointed to the Technical Advisory Council on Oil and Gas for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 31, 2024.
  • Brian Ross of Columbus (Franklin Co.) has been reappointed to the TourismOhio Advisory Board for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending September 27, 2023.
  • Daniel M. Rice of Cuyahoga Falls (Summit Co.) has been reappointed to the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board for a term beginning April 9, 2021, and ending January 14, 2024.

Governor Talks Economy, Unemployment In Health Advisory Update

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(COLUMBUS)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Governor DeWine today outlined the progression of Ohio’s economic recovery.

Ohio’s gross domestic product (GDP) outpaced the nation in the final quarter of calendar year 2020. The U.S. GDP is estimated to have grown 4.3 percent in the quarter, and Ohio’s GDP is estimated to have increased 5 percent during the same timeframe.

Ohio’s unemployment rate in February 2021 was 5 percent and the national rate was 6.2 percent.

This month, Ohio’s tax revenues exceeded the monthly estimate by $41 million, or 2.6 percent, and remain 4.3 percent above the estimate for the fiscal year-to-date. This is a dramatic improvement from one year ago.

These positive developments follow several steps taken by Governor DeWine at the onset of the pandemic to ensure that the state budget remained balanced and stable, including a freeze on state government spending, cuts in state staffing costs, and refinanced state bonds.”I made these hard choices early on, tightening our belt because we did not know what the future held,” said Governor DeWine. “A strong post-pandemic economy directly depends on defeating the virus, and as we are working hard to vaccinate Ohioans, we are seeing good signs in our economy as well.” 
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Using federal dollars strategically to shore up Ohio’s unemployment system will also contribute to Ohio’s year of recovery. Governor DeWine recommended to the General Assembly that Ohio use a portion of its federal COVID relief and recovery dollars to pay off the Unemployment Insurance loan owed to the federal government.  

“This loan was caused by the global pandemic, and paying it off now will free Ohio employers from this burden so they can instead focus on getting employees across our state back to work.,” said Governor DeWine “This will help small businesses owners and employees, and I look forward to working with our partners in the General Assembly on legislation to pay off the loan.”

“The Ohio Chamber of Commerce applauds Gov. DeWine’s announcement today recommending a portion of the state’s federal pandemic relief funds be used to pay off the state’s unemployment compensation loan. Eliminating Ohio’s outstanding federal unemployment loan balance and shoring up the state’s trust fund will prevent employers from facing an estimated tax increase in 2022 of over $100 million and could save employers as much as $658 million in tax increases over a three-year period,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew E. Doehrel. “The DeWine administration’s investment will also prevent a repeat of the tax hikes employers were saddled with stemming from the 2008 recession when it took the state 8 years to pay back Ohio’s federal unemployment loan of more than $3.3 billion.”

“During the last unemployment crisis, Ohio borrowed about $3.4 billion to pay unemployment benefits to workers. During that time, Ohio employers were hit with federal interest and penalties that cost them over $3 billion. Due to the COVID pandemic, Ohio is already over $1.4 billion in unemployment compensation debt. To pay that back would be a huge cost to Ohio businesses who are trying desperately to recover and hire people,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.
CASE INCREASES & OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM UPDATE
This week is the second week where the cases over two weeks per 100,000 people have gone up by more than 10. Two weeks ago, Ohio’s cases per 100,000 people were 146.9. Today, case per 100,000 people is at 183.7. 

“We are moving in the wrong direction from our statewide goal of 50 cases per 100,000 people,” said Governor DeWine. “We are not seeing the runaway case growth we saw during the fall yet, so we can still turn this around if more people continue to get vaccinated and we continue to mask and social distance.”

The increases in case rates are reflected in this week’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 53 counties over the past week.

Level changes include:
Franklin County moved to the watch list following sustained increases in cases and in COVID-related healthcare use including emergency department and outpatient visits and hospitalizations for COVID.

Putnam County moved from orange to red.

Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from yellow to orange.

Brown and Noble counties dropped from orange to yellow.

According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio and the nation are enduring another wave of COVID-19 due to variants of the original virus that are more contagious and more deadly. Variant counts in Ohio jumped from 92 on March 12 to 797 today, a doubling time of about every 9-10 days.
Photo Courtesy of Ohio Department of Health
MULTISYSTEM INFLAMMATORY SYNDROME IN CHILDREN
Although COVID-19 has historically affected older Ohioans, children are not immune to getting sick with coronavirus, and in some rare cases, kids can develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Since the start of the pandemic, 166 children have been treated for this syndrome since the start of the pandemic. 

According to Dr. Dustin Fleck, chief of rheumatology at Dayton Children’s Hospital, this syndrome is unique because it is not associated with an active COVID infection. Rather, symptoms usually develop 2-4 weeks after a child has a symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID infection.

The syndrome is characterized by fever and inflammation throughout the body, specifically targeting the heart. The syndrome can also target the gastrointestinal system, liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Parents should look for symptoms of abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling of hands and feet, and redness of eyes.

Dr. Fleck’s full explanation of multisystem inflammatory syndrome is available on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
CHOOSE OHIO FIRST SCHOLARSHIP
Lt. Governor Jon Husted highlighted a scholarship that boosts Ohio’s efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).The scholarship, part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) program, will support an estimated 3,400 Ohio students who are new to the program, along with an additional 3,000 existing COF scholars.

The scholarship awards a total of $69,826,882 over the next five years.

“The Choose Ohio First scholarship is helping Ohio students get a head start on their future careers, preparing them for in-demand jobs including coding and cybersecurity,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who led efforts to create the program as then-Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.“

This new investment shows how valuable a STEM education – and keeping those students in Ohio – is to the state. I encourage high school students to consider the Choose Ohio First program as they are looking at their future college education.”This new COF scholarship will support students completing programs in the STEM disciplines at 57 colleges and universities across the state, including several schools that are new to the program.
BMV UPDATES
Lt. Governor Husted also announced enhancements to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s (BMV) “Get In Line, Online” system.

The update allows customers to check in at the deputy registrar agency by using a QR code, located on the BMV deputy registrar storefront.

Instead of checking in at the self-service kiosk and waiting inside the agency, customers may now wait in their vehicle and will receive a text message with instructions when it is their turn to return to the agency to complete their transaction.

On March 16, QR codes were rolled out to approximately 10-20 agencies per week.  By May, most agencies will have this “Get in Line, Online” enhancement available to customers.

The BMV is also reminding customers that the COVID-19 automatic extension that was applied to Ohio driver licenses, identification cards, and vehicle registrations is ending soon.

Visit bmv.ohio.gov for more information.  

ODOT To Invest $2 Billion To Improve Infrastructure

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Photo Courtesy of Ohio Department of Transportation

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is gearing up for another busy construction season. This year, ODOT will invest $1.92 billion into 956 projects to improve transportation across the state.

The 2021 construction program includes improvements to 876 bridges and 4,596 miles of pavement. Ninety-six cents of every dollar invested will go toward making sure existing roads and bridges are in good condition and as safe as possible.

“Ohio’s ability to safely and easily move people and goods is vital as we continue to recover from the global pandemic,” said Governor Mike DeWine.  “As ODOT begins the 2021 construction season, there are many infrastructure projects throughout the state that will improve safety for motorists.   We also need motorists to pay attention and not drive distracted, and to slow down in construction zones.” 

An increase in the state motor fuel tax that went into effect on July 1, 2019, has allowed ODOT to keep maintenance and safety projects on schedule despite a 15.5 percent drop in traffic volume last year.

“Thanks to the foresight of Gov. DeWine and the Ohio General Assembly and internal operational savings identified by our workforce, we have been able to weather this global pandemic. Without those extra funds, we would be nearly a billion dollars in the red,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “While other states have been delaying or cancelling projects, Ohio continues moving forward.”

Safety remains the top priority, with a total of 266 safety projects included in this year’s construction program. Of those, 131 projects are funded through the ODOT Highway Safety Improvement Program, a total investment of $178 million. A portion of these funds will go to local municipalities, townships, and counties to make safety improvements on roads they maintain.

Funding will also help target more than 150 intersections prioritized by Gov. DeWine in early 2019. These projects include simple adjustments like changing signage and striping to more complex solutions like the full reconstruction of an intersection. To date, 36 locations have been completed, 43 are under or will soon begin construction this year, 101 are under design, and 4 are still being studied. These safety improvements will no doubt save lives.

“We engineer our roads to be as safe as possible, but we need motorists to do their part by obeying speed limits, paying attention, buckling up, and driving sober. Please pay attention to the traffic and roads, not your phones,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

With increased construction throughout the state, it’s more important than ever that motorists follow Ohio’s “move over law.” The law requires drivers to move over for any roadside vehicles with flashing lights. If they cannot move over, they must slow down.

“Drivers should always pay attention, but work zones require extra attention. Just like you, these workers want to go home at the end of the day,” Marchbanks said.

There were 4,536 work zone crashes in Ohio last year. Of those, 18 crashes were fatal and 96 resulted in serious injuries. ODOT will continue to work with the Ohio State Highway Patrol for targeting enforcement of traffic laws in work zones.

Last year, ODOT crews were struck 125 times while on the job. ODOT crews have been hit 52 times already in 2021. A total of 162 ODOT workers have been killed while working to improve Ohio’s roadways.

Governor Opens Door For High School Students To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

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(COLUMBUS)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CONDENSED HEALTH ORDER
Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a simplified health order that streamlines previous orders into a single order that underscores the most important tenants of infection prevention. “Our understanding of this virus and how it spreads is much more advanced than it was when we first learned about coronavirus in early 2020,” said Governor DeWine.

“As we move to begin a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic, where more and more Ohioans are being vaccinated, this new order will focus on our best defense measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, being outside, and practicing good hand hygiene.” 

Director’s Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings, and Non-Congregating
HIGH SCHOOL VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine announced that he has asked Ohio’s local health departments and vaccine providers that are offering the Pfizer vaccine to coordinate with local high schools to offer vaccinations to high school students who are 16 or older. Pfizer is the only vaccine that is currently approved for children as young as 16. 

Today’s announcement follows last week’s announcement that vaccination clinics will be offered at all higher education campuses in the coming weeks. “As with our colleges, by taking vaccines to schools, we’ll increase the percentage of people in this age group who choose to get vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine.

OhioRISE
As part of the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s managed care overhaul, Governor DeWine announced the “Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence (OhioRISE) program. The program will feature new, intensive, community-based services that will serve youth in their homes and communities, rather than in congregate settings that can be far away from a child’s home and support system. 

Over the next ten months, Aetna Better Health of Ohio will work with the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Family and Children First Cabinet Council to launch OhioRISE to serve all of Ohio’s eligible children.

To enroll in OhioRISE, children must be Medicaid eligible, have significant behavioral health needs, and require enhanced services.
CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

COVID-19 Cases Increase For Ohio/Colleges To Become Vaccination Sites

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(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, April 1st. 

HIGHER EDUCATION VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine announced the state will begin working with local colleges and universities to offer vaccination clinics on campuses across the state. These higher-education vaccination clinics will start on various campuses next week and will offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. “Although young people are less likely to get sick from the coronavirus, they are significant carriers of the virus,” said Governor DeWine. “By offering one-dose clinics on campus, students who wish to be vaccinated will have a nearby, convenient location to get the vaccine with their peers.”

The goal is to offer on-campus clinics to all of Ohio’s college students before the school year ends in May. 

WORKPLACE VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will begin working with employers and other organizations to offer workplace vaccination clinics throughout Ohio. Beginning the week of April 12, vaccine providers can allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation to be used to vaccinate their own employees or to partner with local employers, labor unions, and other organizations to vaccinate their employees at their work locations. 

INCREASE IN CASES, VARIANT SPREAD
For the past two Thursdays, Ohio’s statewide average was just under 150 cases per 100,000 population. The two-week case rate has now risen to 167.1 cases per 100,000. New cases had been relatively flat through the month of March, but cases are beginning to increase once again, which demonstrates the necessity that Ohioans choose to be vaccinated.

To date, nearly 30 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of vaccine. According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, variant activity continues to rise, closely mirroring what is occurring in the rest of the nation.

Michigan is currently experiencing an increase in cases that is more than 3.5 times what Ohio is seeing, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this increase appears to be driven substantially by variants. Most of Ohio’s rising cases numbers and variant cases are happening in the area of the state bordering Michigan. “Ohio remains in a race against a virus that is now more contagious and right back on our heels,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “We can win this race as long as we don’t falter; as long as we press on with consistent masking and vaccination, especially in light of this week’s important and encouraging research out of the CDC confirming that the vaccines are powerful protection against COVID-19 and its variants.”

Governor DeWine announced today that as Ohio continues to receive increases in its vaccine allotment, the state will allot more doses to areas that are seeing case spikes or increases in vaccine demand. 

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM
New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 56 counties over the past week, however, because there are not yet significant increases in healthcare utilization at the county level, most counties stayed at the same level this week.

Level changes include: Van Wert County moved from yellow to orange. Auglaize, Paulding and Scioto moved from red to orange. Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from orange to yellow. Clinton County dropped from red to yellow.
Ohio Map
Ohio COVID-19 Color Alert Map
IN-DEMAND JOBS WEEK (MAY 3 – 7)
Lt. Governor Husted, in his capacity as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also announced that In-Demand Jobs Week will officially take place May 3 through 7.

In-Demand Jobs Week is designed to promote Ohio’s most in-demand and fastest growing industries through statewide hiring, education, and training events. This year, In-Demand Jobs Week will feature all of Ohio’s top jobs, including critical jobs, which focus on the health and well-being of Ohioans such as child care workers, home health aides, and firefighters.

Throughout the week, businesses, education providers, community organizations, and more are encouraged to plan unique, virtual opportunities that will inspire students and job seekers to pursue a job in Ohio. From virtual tours and roundtables to virtual career-tech signing days and online job fairs, In-Demand Jobs Week is an opportunity to highlight what Ohio has to offer.Organizations can visit TopJobs.Ohio.gov to add their event to the official In-Demand Jobs Week map. Individuals interested in attending an event can use this map to find events near them.

LAUNCH OF APRIL ROUND OF TECHCRED
The next round of TechCred launches today and closes on April 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Ohio businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.gov to apply and help their employees earn a new tech-focused credential, at no cost.

More than 1,100 Ohio businesses have used TechCred, creating the opportunity for 19,841 technology-focused credentials to be earned by Ohio employees.

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinicsAll vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.govMore vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

Governor Signs Ohio Transportation Bill

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 74, Ohio’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 transportation budget, into law.

“This budget ensures that we can continue to maintain and invest in Ohio’s roadways,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohio’s transportation system continues to be a critical part of our economy, moving materials and people safely across our state. This budget advances our commitment to invest in state and locally-maintained roadways.” 

House Bill 74, sponsored by Representative Scott Oelslager, was approved with bipartisan support in both the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, investing $8.3 billion over the biennial.  

The biennial budget includes:

  • $318 million for highway safety projects.
  • $2.6 billion for other state-maintained roadway improvements.
  • $2.4 billion for local roadway improvements.
  • $74 million in public transit.
  • $116 million for the Public Works Commission, including $14 million for emergency road-slip repair.
  • $8 million for electric vehicle charging station grants through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Additionally, the biennial budget includes various provisions to enhance and expand services offered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, requires the completion of classroom or online instruction for driver’s training before beginning behind-the-wheel instruction, repurposes closed weigh stations, and creates a school zone around a preschool.

Governor DeWine also signed the following bills into law Wednesday. 

  • Senate Bill 18, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Tim Schaffer, incorporates federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) changes into Ohio’s tax code, amends Section 36 of House Bill 481 of the 133rd General Assembly to modify the law governing taxation, and declares an emergency.
  • House Bill 128, sponsored by Representatives Jim Hoops and Dick Stein, repeals nuclear provisions of House Bill 6 of the 133rd General Assembly and makes changes to electric utility service law.
  • Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senators Kristina Roegner and Bill Blessing III, enters Ohio into the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact will make it easier for Ohio’s physical therapists to practice in other compact states, and non-Ohio physical therapists to practice here.
  • Senate Bill 7, sponsored by Kristina Roegner, enters Ohio into the Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact. The compact is not yet active, but nine other potential member states have pending legislation to join. 

Ohio Jobless Rate Takes Slight Drop In February

Presented By Atomic Speedway

(COLUMBUS) – The jobless rate dipped slight last month, according to data released by Ohio Jobs & Family Services, Friday. The February county-by-county numbers will be released on March 30th.

Here is what the statewide figures currently show us:

Ohio and U.S. Employment Situation (Seasonally Adjusted)
Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.0% in February 2021, down from 5.3% in January. Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 8,400 over the month, from a revised 5,304,300 in January to 5,295,900 in February 2021.

The number of workers unemployed in Ohio in February was 289,000, down from 306,000 in January. The number of unemployed has increased by 10,000 in the past 12 months from 279,000. The February unemployment rate for Ohio increased from 4.7% in February 2020.

The U.S. unemployment rate for February was 6.2%, down from 6.3% in January, and up from 3.5% in February 2020.

Total Nonagricultural Wage and Salary Employment (Seasonally Adjusted)
Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 8,400 over the month, from a revised 5,304,300 in January to 5,295,900 in February, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) in cooperation with ODJFS.

Employment in goods-producing industries, at 889,400, decreased 600 over the month with losses in manufacturing (-300), mining and logging (-200), and construction (-100). The private service-providing sector, at 3,661,700 decreased 8,000 as losses in educational and health services (-12,700) and professional and business services (-1,400) outpaced gains in leisure and hospitality (+4,300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+900), financial activities (+400), other services (+400), and information (+100). Government employment, at 744,800, increased 200 as gains in state government (+400) exceeded losses in federal government (-200). Local government did not change over the month.

From February 2020 to February 2021, nonagricultural wage and salary employment decreased 314,000. Employment in goods-producing industries decreased 47,200. Manufacturing lost 36,600 jobs in durable goods (-34,300) and nondurable goods (-2,300). Construction lost 8,900 jobs and mining and logging employment decreased 1,700. Employment in the private service-providing sector decreased 216,600 as losses in leisure and hospitality (-89,600), educational and health services (-59,100), professional and business services (-36,800), other services (-22,800), information (-5,500), and trade, transportation, and utilities (-3,100) outweighed gains in financial activities (+300). Government employment decreased 50,200 with losses in local (-30,700), state (-18,700), and federal (-800) government.

Chillicothe COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Clinic Among 11 To Open Week Of March 29th

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted Thursday, March 25th provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

REGIONAL MASS VACCINATION SITES

Next week, Ohio will open 11 stationary mass vaccination sites and four mobile clinics that will travel throughout specific regions of the state. The stationary mass vaccination sites will be held at:

  • The Knights of Columbus, Lima, Ohio
  • The Lucas County Rec Center, Maumee, Ohio
  • Dayton-Montgomery County Convention Center, Dayton, Ohio
  • The Celeste Center, Columbus, Ohio
  • The Summit County Fairgrounds, Akron, Ohio
  • The site of the former Dillard’s at Southern Park Mall, Youngstown, Ohio
  • The Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • The Wilmington Airpark, Wilmington, Ohio
  • Adena Medical Education Center, Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Wayne Street Medical Campus, Marietta, Ohio
  • Colony Square Mall, Zanesville, Ohio

Additionally, an Ohio Northern University mobile clinic will start next week and travel between Wyandot, Marion, Union, Logan, Crawford and Hardin counties.

The Ohio University Mobile Clinic will travel between Lawrence, Meigs, Vinton, Washington, Morgan and Perry counties. 

(Southeast Ohio Mobile Clinic Schedule)

Additional details about the stationary and mobile clinics will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Appointments can be scheduled by visiting gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. or by calling 1-833-427-5634 (1-833-4-ASK-ODH). Appointments will be available for Ohioans ages 16 years and older. 

VACCINE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM

The Ohio Department of Aging has created the Vaccine Maintenance Program to ensure new residents and employees, and established residents and employees who previously decided not to receive a vaccine, can still choose to receive one. 

“We are eager to partner with facilities across the state to ensure our long-term care residents and their caregivers are protected from COVID-19,” said Governor DeWine.  

The list of facilities includes nursing homes and assisted living facilities who have not indicated their willingness to participate in the Vaccine Maintenance Program or how they would make vaccinations available to their residents and staff.  

BMV WEBSITE REDESIGN

Lt. Governor Husted and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) today announced the launch of a vastly improved, more user-friendly BMV website. The redesign allows Ohio customers to have a faster, easier and more streamlined experience when they are using this resource.  

“We’ve already heard from many Ohioans who have found the newly redesigned site to be cleaner, more efficient and much easier to use,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who also serves as Director of InnovateOhio. “The teams at InnovateOhio and the BMV built this site with the customer in mind so that when someone visits BMV.Ohio.Gov, they can quickly find what they’re looking for, get their question answered, and go on with their day.”

The newly redesigned website features a number of enhanced tools including a simplified authentication process for logging in, a dynamic search function to help customers explore by keyword, and a new “My BMV” profile allowing the user to see the status of their driver’s license, organ donation options, driving record, and more, all on one page as compared to the more than ten pages it was previously. Additionally, Ohioans will have an easier time utilizing the site on their mobile device.

TEAM OHIO RECOGNITION

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that this week, Government Technology Magazine named its annual Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers. This program annually recognizes the work of innovators around the country to improve state and local government through technology.  

Along with 21 individuals, the magazine recognized four teams. Among those teams was “Team Ohio,” including Lt. Governor Husted and Ervan Rodgers, the State Chief Information Officer and Assistant Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

The magazine focused on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Ohio’s ongoing focus on making use of technology assets to improve the well-being of Ohioans and their health, property, security, livelihood, and prosperity.

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows declining rates of COVID-19 exposure and spread in ten counties. 

Dropping from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2: Brown, Columbiana, Coshocton, Fulton, Lawrence, and Logan. 

Dropping from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1: Holmes and Van Wert. 

JOB AND FAMILY SERVICES UPDATE

Governor DeWine today announced a new agreement between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Google to conduct data analytics on all outstanding claims. Google will review claims for markers and patterns of fraud. This will allow the department to prioritize and quickly process legitimate, outstanding claims. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that David DeVillers, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, will join the Public-Private Partnership Team (P3) as the law enforcement subject matter expert.  He will serve as a liaison between the department and local, state and federal law enforcement. 

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION

In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Ohio Extending Income Tax Filing Deadline

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(COLUMBUS) – The State of Ohio has extended their income tax deadline filings to May 17, 2021- following the federal government’s lead. 

The announcement came Wednesday morning from Ohio Tax Commissioner Jeff McClain, stating Ohio will extend the tax deadline from April 15th to May 17th, to match what the IRS had already announced for federal returns. The state will waive penalties on late payments during the extension.

Ohio is expected to make other changes to fall in line with federal reforms, like waiving taxes on unemployment payments up to $10,200, but that will require approval from the legislature. 

However, first-quarter estimated income tax payments for the tax year 2021 must still be completed by April 15th.

The City of Chillicothe has already extended the deadline for filing city income tax forms to May 17th.

More Approvals Made For Area Solar Field Farms

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(COLUMBUS) – The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) today approved applications filed by Big Plain Solar, LLC (Big Plain) and Hecate Energy Highland 4, LLC (Hecate) to construct solar‑powered generating facilities in Madison and Highland counties, respectively.

Big Plain’s Madison Solar Project is a 196 megawatt (MW) facility located in Fairfield and Oak Run townships in Madison County. The project will occupy approximately 1,200 acres within a 2,438-acre project area.

Hecate’s New Market Solar I Project is a 65 MW facility located in Clay and Whiteoak townships in Highland County. The project will occupy approximately 824 acres within a 1,114-acre project area. Hecate’s request for certification of the 35 MW New Market Solar II Project was not addressed by the OPSB.

Both projects will consist of large arrays of ground-mounted photovoltaic modules, commonly referred to as solar panels, mounted on tracking systems that will rotate to track the sun. The projects include associated facilities such as access roads, electric collection lines, inverters and transformers, and substations.

Additional information about today’s OPSB decisions is available at www.OPSB.ohio.gov. Copies of today’s opinions and orders will be available in case numbers 19-1823-EL-BGN (Big Plain) and 20‑1288-EL‑BGN (Hecate). A recorded webcast of today’s OPSB meeting is available on the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/PUCOhio.