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Issues and Advocacy

BRAC and Military Affairs Taskforce formed

Last week, the Ohio House of Representatives announced members for its newly created Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Military Affairs Taskforce.

The task force is one of several that Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger has called for to further examine key policy issues and provide recommendations for future legislative action.

The role of the BRAC and Military Affairs Taskforce will be to analyze Ohio's current federal Department of Defense and NASA assets, resources and missions in anticipation of potential BRAC actions by Congress. The task force also will consider other major mission realignment opportunities that the state’s federal and defense assets could capture.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership has a long history of supporting federal and defense assets in the region when the organization worked closely with congressional leaders to reverse a BRAC decision to close DFAS Cleveland and most recently with NASA Glenn to advocate for critical budget and future mission opportunities.

The GCP worked closely with the chair of the BRAC and Military Affairs Taskforce to nominate Representative Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake). Representative Greenspan previously served on Cuyahoga County Council and has a deep knowledge of the impact of NASA Glenn Research Center and DFAS Cleveland on Northeast Ohio.

The GCP will work with Rep. Greenspan and the task force to highlight the federal and defense assets in Northeast Ohio and advocate on their behalf. Read more.

Federal overtime rule invalidated

The U.S. Justice Department has said it will not appeal a court decision that the federal government overreached its authority when it increased the salary threshold that would require employees to be paid overtime.

As a result, the rule has been invalidated, and the annual salary threshold of $23,660 remains the same. Read more.

FTC hears small business concerns on cyber security

Small businesses are a prime target for cyber criminals.

For example, phishing campaigns, targeted them approximately 43 percent of the time, according to a recent Internet Security Threat Report provided by Symantec, a company that specializes in cyber security.

That’s a significant increase when considering that, in 2011, about 18 percent of attacks focused on small businesses.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership recently hosted a roundtable discussion for small businesses on cyber security and fraud with representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Read more.

GCP remains a strong supporter of The Q Transformation Plan


The Greater Cleveland Partnership remains a strong supporter of The Q Transformation Plan. Maintaining and upgrading our civic assets like Quicken Loans Arena prolongs their useful life and enhances the impact they have in our community.

There is no doubt The Q provides an unmatched economic impact in Northeast Ohio. The facility has over a thousand events annually, bringing roughly 2 million people to the heart of our city. Read more.

Goals of federal tax reform

In this “GCP Insight” video, Congressman Brad Wenstrup talks with Marty McGann, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s senior vice president of advocacy, about some of the goals of federal tax reform for both businesses and individuals.

For businesses, this includes reducing the corporate tax rate to help American companies be more competitive globally. Click to watch.

Update on medical marijuana in Ohio

As the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and our members continue to monitor the implementation of medical marijuana in the State of Ohio, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program recently announced an updated timeline.

The first marijuana cultivator licenses will likely be awarded in November. While cultivator licenses could be awarded earlier than November, state officials believe that time frame is a safe prediction.

The Ohio Department of Commerce is currently reviewing 185 cultivator applications; ultimately, that number will be reduced to 24 cultivator licenses.

The entire program is required by law to be operational by September 2018. Read more.

Job Creation Tax Credit can apply to employees who work from home

When Governor Kasich signed the state budget bill into law, it included an important provision that would allow eligible employers applying for the Job Creation Tax Credit to count qualifying work from home employees in their job creation totals.

The provision also ensures that the benefit of an employer expanding in or locating in the state still has an advantage for Ohio by specifying that the new employees must reside here.

The GCP championed the inclusion of this provision in the state budget bill, as well as stand-alone legislation sponsored by Senator Matt Dolan and Representatives Tom Patton and Sarah LaTourette. Read more.

GCP advocacy efforts continue to protect and support NASA Glenn


NASA Glenn Research Center’s recently released FY 2016 Economic Impact Study demonstrates that the importance of the center continues to grow.

NASA Glenn has an overall $1.4 billion economic impact on Northeast Ohio, an increase from the previous fiscal year. The center generates $125 million in tax revenue for the region and has created, directly and indirectly, more than 7,000 jobs in the region.

The annual study produced by Cleveland State University helps to illustrate NASA Glenn’s impact on the State of Ohio and serves as a critical advocacy tool to support the center in Washington DC and Columbus.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership maintains a leadership role in working collectively with Ohio’s federal and state elected leaders to protect NASA Glenn’s core missions and position the center to seize new opportunities that advance new technologies for space exploration and the business community.

Read more.


Photo: A Centaur engine display with the NASA Glenn Flight Research Building in the background. Source: NASA Glenn website

Water quality bill signed; will strengthen protection of Lake Erie, connected waterways


Governor John Kasich recently signed Senate Bill 2—the legislature’s key water quality legislation—at the Great Lakes Science Center.

Representatives from the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority were present with state leaders to celebrate the occasion.

The Governor spoke of Lake Erie as one of Ohio’s greatest natural assets. The policy changes in Senate Bill 2 will help to strengthen the quality of the lake and connected waterways, which has a significant impact on a variety of industries in Ohio.

Through written testimony and ongoing advocacy with key elected leaders, the GCP was successful in supporting the bill through final passage in June.

Read more.

Key considerations in finalizing the new state budget

In this “GCP Insight” video, State Representative Sarah LaTourette talks with Sante Ghetti, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s vice president of advocacy, about some of her recent legislative priorities.

They include health care and key considerations that were discussed in the process of finalizing the new state budget.

Click to watch.

Great Lakes funding restored, advocacy continues


Last week the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior (EPA and related agencies) marked up its FY2018 appropriations bill.

This proposal restored the $300 million funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that was originally eliminated in the president’s executive budget proposal. The subcommittee also included language prohibiting the Army Corps of Engineers from dumping dredged materials from the Cuyahoga River into Lake Erie without approval from the State of Ohio.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership thanks subcommittee members Congressman Dave Joyce and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur for their hard work on these initiatives. Read more.

Fighting for NASA Glenn


The bill that funds the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is making its way through Congress.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Science, and Justice marked up its FY 2018 bill last week. The bill allocates $54 billion for NASA, which is nearly $5 billion more than what was in the President’s budget request.

If enacted, the budget would allocate funding for several programs that are important to NASA Glenn, including $660 million for aeronautics, an area where NASA Glenn is regarded as a leader among its peers. Congressman Dave Joyce and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur have been instrumental during the appropriations process to support NASA Glenn. Read more.

Above photo: A 100-pound liquid oxygen/liquid methane engine fires up after NASA Glenn’s Altitude Combustion Stand (ACS) was reactivated recently. (Image from the NASA Glenn website.)

Cleveland City Council introduces petition transparency proposal


Sometimes well-intended ballot issue proposals and campaigns can severely limit the way businesses can strengthen and grow. The Greater Cleveland Partnership membership has expressed concerns over parts of the process in place for petitioners to place an issue on the local ballot.

To help provide more transparency on Cleveland ballot issues that are brought forward, City Council introduced a proposal last week that would make it mandatory for circulators of petitions to file an itemized statement that provides more information about that petition's circulation experience. Read more.

Water quality bill awaiting Governor Kasich’s signature

Last week Senate Bill 2—the Ohio General Assembly’s environmental protection legislation—was sent to Governor Kasich for his signature.

Senate Bill 2 will strengthen requirements for the disposal and safe use of dredged materials from federal navigation channels and connected maritime port facilities. This provision is beneficial for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Port Authority.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership works closely with the Port to advocate for timely and consistent dredging along the Cuyahoga River, an important water channel for international businesses shipping goods in and out of Cleveland. Read more.

Policy makers debating state budget process, congressional redistricting reform

Important policy issues continue to be debated at the Ohio Statehouse leading up to a new two-year state budget deal that will need to be in place by the end of June.

In this segment of “GCP Insight,” Sante Ghetti, the GCP’s vice president of advocacy, speaks with State Senator Frank LaRose about the state budget and the possibility of congressional redistricting reform. Click to watch.

GCP submits testimony on importance of access to capital

On June 13th, the Greater Cleveland Partnership submitted testimony to the Ohio House Financial Institutions, Housing, and Urban Development Committee regarding House Bill 10 (HB 10), legislation that would permit intrastate crowdfunding in Ohio.

HB 10 would allow Ohioans to invest in businesses through an online OhioInvests portal. Click to read the testimony.

Expanding the state’s job creation tax credit

Topics in this “GCP Insight” interview with Greater Cleveland Partnership Senior Vice President of Advocacy Marty McGann and State Senator Matt Dolan include the expansion of the state’s job creation tax credit to include full-time, home-based employees.

Click to watch.

The GCP Insight video series features conversations about topics of interest to the Greater Cleveland business community.

Update on Ohio’s medical marijuana program

Marijuana remains classified as an illegal controlled substance under federal law, yet medical marijuana technically became legal in Ohio on September 8, 2016.

Meanwhile, the rules and regulations are being systematically rolled out and finalized by state agencies that are required by law to take all actions necessary to ensure the program is operational no later than September 2018.

So, what’s on the horizon? The Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet again on June 8 to continue the rules process that will eventually govern growers, dispensaries, patients, caregivers, physicians, processors, and testing labs. Learn more.

GCP urges congressional support to protect NASA Glenn priorities, funding

In partnership with the office of U.S. Senator Rob Portman, the Greater Cleveland Partnership hosted a congressional briefing in the U.S. Capitol on the importance of NASA Glenn Research Center to Northeast Ohio and issued a rallying cry to attendees on the need to protect and grow the economic impact of the Center in the region. 

“Ohio’s congressional delegation strongly supports NASA Glenn,” said Marty McGann, the GCP’s senior vice president of advocacy. 

“Our elected leaders understand that NASA Glenn’s $600 million in direct spending generates over $1 billion in economic impact that touches every corner of our state.”

Congressional staff from the majority of Ohio’s delegation attended the meeting along with several organizations and companies who work directly with NASA Glenn on their core missions. Read more.


Business leaders, public officials discuss policy issues in D.C.

Members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and public officials from all levels of government throughout Northeast Ohio descended on Washington, D.C. last week to discuss crucial federal public policy issues.

The Fifth Annual Empowering Local Leadership Conference was presented by the GCP with special guests Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Congressman Jim Renacci (OH-16) and in partnership with the Northeast Ohio Mayors and City Managers Association and the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association. Read more.

Photo: Speakers at the two-day event included Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-9) , chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Ohio's congressional delegation supports key development tool

In recent weeks, Ohio’s U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown signed on as legislative cosponsors of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Extension Act of 2017.

This legislation proposes a permanent extension of the federal NMTC program, currently set to expire in 2019. The legislative proposal would also increase the annual NMTC allocation. Several U.S. House members from Ohio are already lined up in support of the companion legislation in the House.

Those members include: Rep. Pat Tiberi (lead sponsor), Rep. Dave Joyce, Rep. Jim Renacci, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Bob Gibbs, Rep. Bill Johnson, Rep. Betty Joyce, Rep. Steve Stivers, and Rep. Michael Turner.

“The NMTC program is helping drive Cleveland’s momentum,” said Greater Cleveland Partnership President and CEO Joe Roman. Read more.

GCP testimony supports job creation tax credit bill

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) provided testimony in support of Senate Bill 131, which would expand Ohio’s Job Creation Tax Credit to allow qualifying work from home employees to be counted in the job creation totals for applicants approved for the tax credit program.

Marty McGann, the GCP’s senior vice president of advocacy, provided testimony before the Senate Ways and Means Committee on how SB 131 is “a step in the right direction.” Read more.

GCP advocacy efforts impact funding, protection for Great Lakes

Maintaining the quality of the Great Lakes and maximizing their economic impact continue to be top priorities for the Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Recently, the organization has engaged in key advocacy and community initiatives to advance efforts to protect this valuable resource.

Read more.

Federal priority issues include tax reform, funding for Great Lakes

Hear about some of the issues that are a high priority in Congress in this interview with Congressman Jim Renacci by Marty McGann, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s senior vice president of government advocacy.

Tax reform is key, and Ohio’s representatives are working to ensure that the final budget includes funding to support the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Click to watch.

GCP supports commercial docket

Efficient and consistent resolution of legal business disputes can be a competitive advantage for our region. The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Commercial Court, in effect from 2013 to 2015, was one such success that made our region a better place to do business.

Following a modification to Ohio Supreme Court rules, the Greater Cleveland Partnership is joining other organizations from across our region in calling for reestablishment of this important docket.

Click to read our letter of support.

Senator Portman in Cleveland to discuss Great Lakes

The Port of Cleveland hosted U.S. Senator Rob Portman and state administration officials for a roundtable discussion with stakeholders supportive of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

Greater Cleveland Partnership staff members were involved in the session that focused on how federal GLRI funding aims to combat invasive species, control polluted runoff and otherwise improve the Great Lakes.

A recent budget blueprint by the federal administration called for an elimination of GLRI funding. The GCP will continue working with local stakeholders, regional partners, and federal officials to build support for full funding ($300 million) of the GLRI. Read more.

Ohio chambers’ government-efficiency recommendations recognized for excellence

A new Harvard Kennedy School website with a focus on operational excellence in government will include the “Redesigning Ohio” report. Originally released in 2010 by nine Ohio chambers of commerce, the report provided recommendations for sweeping changes to help the state improve economic performance and reduce costs. 

“Redesigning Ohio” was one of 30 studies selected for the website. 

The participating chambers—known as the Metro Chambers Coalition—include the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), as well as the Canton Regional Chamber of CommerceCincinnati USA Regional ChamberColumbus ChamberDayton Area Chamber of CommerceGreater Akron ChamberOhio Chamber of CommerceToledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber.

Read more.

Full federal funding urged to protect the Great Lakes



The Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Port of Cleveland and Cleveland Water Alliance today issued the following joint statement in response to the federal budget proposal released last week:

“We stand in strong support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

“Our lake, Lake Erie is a treasured asset and the most vulnerable of the five Great Lakes. It accounts for $10.7 billion in economic impact and roughly 30 percent of all tourism dollars that come to our state. This economic impact trickles into nearly every aspect of our community." Read more.

GCP supports Ohio Senate water quality reform bill

The Ohio Senate recently passed Senate Bill 2, a water quality reform bill that will continue efforts by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen policies and regulations that will protect the quality of Lake Erie and other key water channels throughout the state.

The GCP provided testimony on the bill and has long been an advocate of preserving and enhancing the quality of the Great Lakes. Read more.

Great Lakes chambers deliver infrastructure projects list to Congress

Twenty-five members of the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) attended the organization’s annual Fly-In and lobby days in Washington, D.C. last week to express their support for infrastructure legislation and present the list of priority Great Lakes infrastructure projects compiled by the coalition.

The group, which included representatives from the Greater Cleveland Partnership attended more than 50 meetings with Members of Congress and staff, making the case for the coalition’s highest legislative priorities.

View the full list of GLMCC infrastructure priorities here.

GCP provides comment on state’s plan to align with federal education directive

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) recently provided public comment on Ohio’s draft state plan for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ESSA, signed into law December 2015, reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act.

To begin implementation of the new federal law, states are required to submit draft plans for how they will strategically align with ESSA either in April or September 2017. Read more.

Tax reform and the Northeast Ohio business community

On Friday, February 24, the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) hosted a forum with Senator Rob Portman and GCP members regarding the direct impact our nation’s tax code has on job creators and the business community as whole.

The constructive discussion provided business leaders from across the region the opportunity to address critical tax issues and specific tax priorities that directly impact our region.

Click to watch a portion of the Senator’s remarks after the meeting.

Governor proposes biennum budget

The state budget process begins every two years with a spending proposal from the Governor of Ohio. Governor Kasich unveiled his proposal earlier today in Columbus.

The Ohio House Finance Committee is scheduled to begin hearings on the two-year plan on Wednesday. Lawmakers in the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate will spend the next several months listening to testimony and amending the plan proposed by the Governor.

A final budget is expected to be approved by the legislature and sent back to the Governor’s desk for enactment before the start of the new state fiscal year on July 1.

Click for details of the Governor’s proposed budget for the next two fiscal years.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership will engage members in discussions on this proposal in the coming weeks.

GCP PAC 2016 Annual Report released

As a region, we have recently enjoyed many gratifying success stories.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) is more energized than ever to support your priorities through government advocacy. Critical tools at our disposal, like the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Political Action Committee (GCP PAC)—help ensure the collective voice of all our members is heard in state and local government.

The GCP recently unveiled the GCP PAC 2016 Annual Report, a document that summarizes the progress we’ve made to further strengthen the GCP PAC and the impact we can have going forward by collectively pooling our resources for the betterment of our business environment.  Read more.

GCP releases Public Policy Agenda 01 23 17

Highlights key legislative priorities for Northeast Ohio business community

Cleveland—Today the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) released its 2017-18 Public Policy Agenda. The document reflects the top legislative priorities for the organization over the next two years.

The development of this agenda follows the GCP and Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) restructuring, announced in early 2016.

This was a strategic effort by both organizations to create greater efficiencies and align priorities, making the new organization one of the strongest and largest in the country representing the needs of small, mid-market and large businesses. Read more.


Ensuring a level playing field for Ohio companies

In this segment of the “GCP Insight” video series, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s conversation with Marty McGann, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s senior vice president of advocacy, includes comments on the importance of trade enforcement to ensure a level playing field for Ohio companies.

Click to watch.

GCP Advocacy: A look back, A look ahead

The Greater Cleveland Partnership’s advocacy efforts are driven by our mission of mobilizing private-sector leadership, expertise, and resources from businesses of all sizes to create attractive economic conditions that create jobs, grow investment, and improve the prosperity of our region.

In 2016, we enjoyed some significant victories for the business community locally and throughout Ohio. Click to read more in our blog.

The next few years will bring several changes to the political landscape at the local, state, and federal levels. Later this month, the GCP will release its board-approved 2017-18 Public Policy Agenda, which will serve as a road map for the top public policy issues that have been identified as important to the Northeast Ohio business community.

Cleveland-only minimum wage increase effort, opposed by GCP, is suspended

An initiative that proposed a Cleveland-only minimum wage increase was brought forward months ago that would have phased in a $15 minimum wage (starting with $12 an hour in January 2018) while the rest of the state remained at $8.15.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership and our partners advocated for state intervention and opposed this misguided local minimum wage ballot issue because it would place the City of Cleveland at a disadvantage.

In late December, state legislation – Senate Bill 331 – passed and was signed by the Governor that prohibits Cleveland and other political subdivisions from establishing minimum wage rates different from the rate required by state law.

Petitioners announced today that they are suspending their effort to raise the minimum wage in Cleveland but will continue advocating for a statewide effort to raise the minimum wage. Read more.