Greater Cleveland Partnership is leading our business community’s response to COVID-19. We recently launched Cleveland Metro RESTART and are connecting suppliers and buyers of essential goods, compiling job data and sharing information. We are well positioned, collaborative and standing strong with our members during this challenging time. 

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State and Federal COVID-19 Updates:

For more State of Ohio updates visit: coronavirus.ohio.gov
For more federal updates visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus 

  • >> The Ohio Senate introduced their version of a re-appropriations bill, SB 316, on Tuesday.

    • The Senate Finance Committee will meet Wednesday for its first hearing on the legislation.
    • The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks will present and Chairman Matt Dolan will provide sponsor testimony during the hearing.

    >> The Ohio House also has a version of a capital re-appropriations bill, HB 670.

    • The House Finance Committee will also hold its first hearing on HB 670 on Wednesday with sponsor testimony provided by Representative Derek Merrin.

    >> The capital re-appropriations bills will each have emergency clauses attached to ensure that there is not a lapse in funding for existing capital projects at the end of the fiscal year on June 30. However, the House as-introduced version is nearly half the size of the Senate version in terms of funded projects, which is expected to require negotiations over the next several weeks. The debate will focus on the fact that the Senate version includes, but the House version removes, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), and Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) projects. As of now, it is expected that a re-appropriations bill will pass by the end of June.

    >> The Ohio House Civil Justice will have its fifth hearing for possible amendments and a vote on civil immunity legislation, HB 606, on Wednesday; the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its fourth hearing on SB 308 on similar legislation with possible amendments.

    >> The Ohio House Finance Committee will hold its fifth hearing for all testimony on broadband expansion legislation, HB 13.

    >> COVID-19 signage and health screening questions for use with customers/clients as resources for businesses and other organizations are available on the coronavirus website

    >> Governor Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that newly-formed Congregate Care Unified Response Teams, which include medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard, have been deployed to provide COVID-19 testing to long-term care facilities, which have been hit particularly hard during the pandemic. 

    >> As a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020, which ends on June 30.

    • These budget reductions, in addition to identifying areas of savings, are deemed necessary to ensure Ohio fulfills its constitutional requirement of maintaining a balanced state budget each year.
    • The budget reductions for the Ohio Development Services Agency (DAS) will preclude their ability to award funding to any of the applications submitted for the Industry Sector Partnership Program in the current fiscal year. At this time, all applications submitted for funding will be retained. If funding is available for the program next fiscal year, DAS will proceed with scoring the applications currently received and awarding grant funds in accordance with the program guidelines.

    >> Last week, Lt. Governor Husted announced several new sector opening dates in Ohio:

    • On June 1, catering and banquet centers may reopen if they can meet required safety protocols. Protocols include six feet between tables, no congregating, and a crowd size of no more than 300 people.
    • Full guidelines to ensure that these sectors operate in the safest manner possible are/will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> On Tuesday, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has at least delayed a lower court ruling ordering Ohio to accept electronically collected signatures for ballot initiatives and delaying the filing deadline, writing that the district court exceeded its authority by rewriting Ohio election law.

    • The order blocked the lower court decision and remains in effect while the appeals court continues its review of the case.
    • Under Ohio law, proposed constitutional amendments aiming for the November ballot must submit valid signatures from 452,958 voters collected from 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties before a July 1 deadline and there are two initiatives seeking to secure constitutional amendments on the Ohio ballot.
      -"Ohioans for Secure & Fair Elections”: would allow for same-day voter registration and the ability to cast a ballot during early voting and on Election Day.
      -“Ohioans for Raising the Wage”: want to raise Ohio’s minimum wage incrementally to $13 by 2025.

    >> As of May 25, the Small Business Administration has approved 430,906 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications resulting in $37.8 billion in disaster loan funds available to assist businesses and their employees.

    • The SBA has also approved over 4.4 million Paycheck Protection Program applications resulting in $511.2 billion available to assist businesses and their employees.

    >> The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to reconvene, with possible votes expected to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and on legislation to change parts of the small business loan program that launched in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    >> Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday Congress will “probably” have to pass another coronavirus relief package, with talks expected to take place “in the next month or so” on a bill.

    >> On Tuesday, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations clarifying the reporting requirements generally applicable to tax-exempt organizations.

    • The final regulations reflect statutory amendments and certain grants of reporting relief announced by the Treasury Department and the IRS in prior guidance to help many tax-exempt organizations generally find the reporting requirements in one place.
    • Among other provisions, the final regulations incorporate the existing exception from having to file an annual return for certain organizations that normally have gross receipts of $50,000 or less. That exception was previously announced in Revenue Procedure 2011-15. The regulations also provide that the requirement to report contributor names and addresses on annual returns generally applies only to returns filed by Section 501(c)(3) organizations and Section 527 political organizations. All tax-exempt organizations must continue to maintain the names and addresses of their substantial contributors in their books and records. This change will have no effect on transparency, as contributor information that is open to public inspection will be unaffected by this regulation.
    >> The final regulations allow tax-exempt organizations to choose to apply the regulations to returns filed after September 6, 2019.

    >> The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking public comments on how to improve the exclusion process for tariffs and quotas imposed on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (“Section 232”). 

    >> An executive order signed by President Trump directing agencies to decrease regulations to boost the economy may lead to court challenges.

    • The order directs agency heads to “identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery,” highlighting that regulations could be permanently or temporarily lifted to fight the economic fallout of the coronavirus.

    >> For more information on the President’s phased-in approach, in response to COVID-19, based on the advice of public experts see below:

    • Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
    ▪ Testing Overview (HERE)
    ▪ Testing Blueprint (HERE)
    ▪ Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (HERE)
    ▪ CDC guidance for Camps, Child Care Programs, Schools, Mass Transit, Restaurants And Bars, and Workplaces
    ▪ CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again (HERE)

  • >> The Ohio House introduced its version of a capital re-appropriations bill, HB 670. The House Finance Committee will hold its first hearing on HB 670 on Wednesday with sponsor testimony provided by Representative Derek Merrin.

    • The Ohio Senate is expected to introduce its own version of a re-appropriations bill. The Senate Finance Committee will meet on Wednesday to hold its first hearing on the legislation that has not yet been introduced. The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks will present and Finance Chair Matt Dolan will provide sponsor testimony during the hearing.
    • The capital re-appropriations bills will each have emergency clauses attached to ensure that there is not a lapse in funding for existing capital projects at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

    >> As a result of the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020, which ends on June 30.

    • These budget reductions, in addition to identifying areas of savings, are necessary to ensure Ohio fulfills its constitutional requirement of maintaining a balanced state budget each year.
    • The budget reductions for the Ohio Development Services Agency (DAS) will preclude their ability to award funding to any of the applications submitted for the Industry Sector Partnership Program in the current fiscal year. At this time, all applications submitted for funding will be retained. If funding is available for the program next fiscal year, DAS will proceed with scoring the applications currently received and awarding grant funds in accordance with the program guidelines.

    >> Last week, Lt. Governor Husted announced several new sector opening dates in Ohio:

    • On May 26, miniature golf, batting cages, and bowling alleys may resume operations if they can meet required safety protocols.
    • On May 26, skills training for all sports, including contact sports, may resume if required safety protocols can be met. Tournaments, games, and competitions for contact sports are still prohibited.
    • On June 1, catering and banquet centers may reopen if they can meet required safety protocols. Protocols include six feet between tables, no congregating, and a crowd size of no more than 300 people.
    • Guidance for these Orders are here: baseball, golf, general non-contact sports, and skills training.
    • Full guidelines to ensure that these sectors operate in the safest manner possible are/will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> Last week, Governor DeWine announced initial findings from his Minority Health Strike Force:

    • The Minority Health Strike Force’s preliminary report will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov and final recommendations will be issued on June 11.
    • Examples of these recommendations include: establishing culturally appropriate and accessible COVID-19 exposure notification services for communities of color; expanding testing capacity and access for minorities and high-risk populations; using data to prioritize resources in the communities that have the highest need; developing and launching a statewide, culturally-sensitive outreach campaign that educates African Americans and communities of color on COVID-19, health disparities, and social determinants of health.
    • A new position will be created within the Ohio Department of Health dedicated to social determinants of health and opportunity. This person’s work will build on several existing efforts to respond to health inequity by working directly with local communities on their specific long-term health needs and Ohio’s response to COVID-19.

    >> The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday reported 1,637,456 coronavirus cases and said that the number of deaths had risen by 620 to 97,669.

    >> On May 20, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the extension of non-essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico and U.S. Canada borders in order to limit the further spread of the coronavirus.

    • These measures were implemented on March 21 and were originally in place for 30 days, subject to reevaluation and further extension.
    • On April 20, these measures were extended for an additional 30 days and, on May 19, these measures were once again extended until June 22.

    >> The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is seeking public comments on how to improve the exclusion process for tariffs and quotas imposed on steel and aluminum imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (“Section 232”). 

    >> On Friday, the President identified houses of worship as essential places that provide essential services as communities reopen. Read the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith. 

    >> Reports out of Washington indicate there may be a level of bi-partisan support to extend the eight-week statutory duration of the Paycheck Protection Program to 10 or 12 weeks.

    • Separately, the U.S. Treasury Secretary said there’s “strong likelihood” that additional federal intervention will be needed to help businesses and workers as states start to re-open and the economy struggles to stabilize.
    • The administration and many Republicans in Congress still may want to first gauge the effect of trillions of dollars already appropriated.

    >> The U.S. House of Representatives will convene on Tuesday for a pro forma session.

    >> The U.S. Senate will also meet for a pro forma session on Tuesday and plans to return to Washington on June 1.

                    
  • >> The Ohio Department of Health reported Thursday that cases of coronavirus increased by 731 and deaths increased by 55 from Wednesday, reaching respective totals of 30,167 and 1,836. Cases have resulted in 5,295 hospitalizations and 1,397 intensive care unit admissions. Nursing home deaths account for at least 70 percent of the total coronavirus deaths in Ohio.

    >> As U.S. states and countries around the world look to boost their economies by loosening restrictions, coronavirus infections continue to spread, with more than a million new infections world-wide in less than two weeks.

    • Globally there are more than 5.1 million recorded cases of the coronavirus, up from 3.85 million two weeks ago, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and more than 333,000 deaths.
    • In the U.S., there have been nearly 1.58 million confirmed infections. The death toll reached 94,702, including 1,222 deaths recorded between 8 p.m. Wednesday and the same time Thursday, a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data showed.

    >> Reports out of Washington indicate there may be bi-partisan support to extend the eight-week statutory duration of the Paycheck Protection Program to 10 or 12 weeks.

    • Separately, the U.S. Treasury Secretary said there’s “strong likelihood” that additional federal intervention will be needed to help businesses and workers as states start to reopen and the economy struggles to stabilize.
    • The administration and many Republicans in Congress want to first gauge the effect of trillions of dollars already appropriated.

    >> For the week ending May 16, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 46,062 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor.

    • The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last nine weeks (1,215,756) is more than the combined total of those filed during the last three years.
    • Over the last nine weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $2.8 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 619,000 claimants.
    • Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, more than 92% have been processed, with less than 8% pending. 

    >> Lt. Governor Husted announced several new sector opening dates in Ohio:

    • On May 26, miniature golf, batting cages, and bowling alleys may resume operations if they can meet required safety protocols.
    • On May 26, skills training for all sports, including contact sports, may resume if required safety protocols can be met. Tournaments, games, and competitions for contact sports are still prohibited.
    • On June 1, catering and banquet centers may reopen if they can meet required safety protocols. Protocols include six feet between tables, no congregating, and a crowd size of no more than 300 people.
    • Guidance for these Orders are here: baseball, golf, general non-contact sports, and skills training.
    • Full guidelines to ensure that these sectors operate in the safest manner possible are/will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> Governor DeWine announced initial findings from his Minority Health Strike Force.

    • The Minority Health Strike Force’s preliminary report will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov and final recommendations will be issued on June 11.
    • Examples of these recommendations include: establishing culturally appropriate and accessible COVID-19 exposure notification services for communities of color; expanding testing capacity and access for minorities and high-risk populations; using data to prioritize resources in the communities that have the highest need; developing and launching a statewide, culturally-sensitive outreach campaign that educates African Americans and communities of color on COVID-19, health disparities, and social determinants of health.
    • A new position will be created within the Ohio Department of Health dedicated to social determinants of health and opportunity. This person’s work will build on several existing efforts to respond to health inequity by working directly with local communities on their specific long-term health needs and Ohio’s response to COVID-19.

    >> The Ohio Expositions Commission cancelled the 2020 Ohio State Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    >> According to Hannah News Service, a collection of budget planning documents Governor DeWine requested from state agencies, boards and commissions as he contemplated how to handle declining state revenues are now available.

    • The details submitted by agency heads in response to DeWine’s order to identify FY20 cuts of 20 percent are not necessarily reflective of the actual course the administration took; they do show, however, where state agencies placed their priorities, information that will continue to be relevant as additional cuts loom in FY21.
    • The Governor and Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks detailed in early May their plans for $776 million in FY20 reductions.
    • OBM recently told agencies to identify 20 percent of spending in certain GRF line items for FY21 that could be placed into a holding account and would be inaccessible.
    • The department plans to release updated FY21 revenue projections in June.

    >> The Ohio Department of Agriculture appears to have issued 195 cultivator licenses under the Ohio Hemp Program.

    • Hemp was legalized in Ohio following Governor DeWine’s signing of SB 57 last year, a bill GCP supported.
    • The first license application period ended on May 1.
          

  • >> Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard.  

    >> Please find below the signed Ohio Department of Health Director’s Order that Rescinds and Modifies Portions of the Stay Safe Ohio Order and the Urgent Health Advisory.

    • ODH Order that Rescinds and Modifies Portions of the Stay Safe Ohio Order
    • Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans

    >> The following order has also been signed by Ohio’s Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH: Camp Safe Ohio Order 

    >> The Ohio House version of a capital re-appropriations bill, HB 670, was released Wednesday.

    • The bill "will allow funding for previously approved construction projects focused on health, safety and jobs to continue uninterrupted into the new fiscal year."
    • Lawmakers have until end of the fiscal year on June 30 to approve any re-appropriations.
    • While an Ohio Senate re-appropriations bill has not been formally introduced yet, Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan estimated it could contain about $1.2 billion.
     

    >> The Senate Local Government, Public Safety, & Veterans Affairs Committee held its second hearing on HB 242, regarding auxiliary containers; GCP has weighed-in on this issue and the legislation.

    • The Committee passed an amended version of HB 242 that included a 12-month sunset amendment.
    • Pending passage on the Ohio Senate floor, the House would either need to concur with the Senate changes or send the legislation to a conference committee to resolve the differences between the bills.

    >> President Trump signed an executive order instructing federal agencies to use any and all authority to waive, suspend and eliminate unnecessary regulations that impede economic recovery.

    >> The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote next week on legislation to update issues with the SBA Paycheck Protection Program that have served as obstacles to some small businesses seeking relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • The standalone bill will extend the time businesses have to rehire employees and qualify for loan forgiveness under the program beyond the existing June 30 deadline.
    • It would also extend the period for paying back portions of the loans that aren't forgiven beyond two years, as well as eliminate the "75-25 rule" implemented by the White House that says businesses have to spend at least 75 percent of the loan on payroll costs and no more than 25 percent on other expenses like rent and utilities.
    • GCP weighed in on this issue in a recent Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition letter, calling for greater flexibility in the program to better assist small businesses.

    >> Some Senate Republican support for moving the next coronavirus relief bill as soon as next month may be growing after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers this week that the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic could last for years.

    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has maintained a “pause” almost a week after the House passed a $3 trillion relief bill containing a Democratic wish list of items.

    >> The government could save tens of billions of dollars by addressing 467 issues, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in its annual report released Tuesday.

    • Some economists say that when the downturn ends, the government will need to find a credible plan to reduce deficits and the overall debt.
         

  • >> The Ohio Department of Health reported Tuesday that cases of coronavirus increased by 498 and deaths increased by 63 from Monday, reaching respective totals of 28,952 and 1,720. Cases have resulted in 5,117 hospitalizations and 1,357 intensive care unit admissions. 

    >> Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported each morning this week: Monday, 89,564. Tuesday, 90,369. Wednesday, 91,938.

    >> The Ohio House and Senate held numerous committee meetings on Tuesday. The Ohio House and Ohio Senate will meet for session today.

    • Civil immunity legislation in the Ohio House, HB 606, and Ohio Senate, SB 308, will receive continued hearings.
    • HB 606 received its third hearing for all testimony in House Civil Justice Committee yesterday. The bill is scheduled to have a fourth hearing for all testimony and a substitute bill today at 9 a.m.
    • SB 308 will receive its third hearing for all testimony, with amendments and a vote possible, in Senate Judiciary Committee today at 9:15 a.m.
    • GCP advocacy staff remains in close contact with legislative leaders as proceedings progress.

    >> Governor DeWine released details of the new "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory" which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health on April 30, 2020.

    • The health order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay at home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those who are high-risk, stay at home as much as possible.
    • The order does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remain at a 10-person limit.
    • The new health advisory also lifts overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio.
    • Unnecessary travel within or outside of Ohio is not encouraged.
    • The Administration will share a copy of the order as soon as possible.

    >> Additionally, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not recovered, those who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, and those who are exhibiting the symptoms identified in the screening guidance available from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, remain prohibited from entering the state of Ohio unless they are doing so under medical orders for purposes of medical care, are being transported by emergency medical services EMS, are driving or being driven directly to a medical provider for the purposes of initial care, or are a permanent resident of Ohio. 

    >> Governor DeWine also announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) will begin distributing at least 2 million non-medical-grade face coverings to Ohio employers who are covered by BWC.

    • Public and private employers that participate in the State Insurance Fund will receive a package from BWC containing at least 50 face coverings.
    • These packages will be shipped in batches beginning tomorrow.
    • The masks are funded through BWC’s existing budget and will not impact any premiums.

    >> Responsible RestartOhio documents: day campspools and aquatic centers; golf courses; gyms, dance studios and fitness centers; baseball and softball leagues; and tennis courts.

    >> There are now printable posters and forms for employers/businesses to download and use 

    >> Governor DeWine announced that he is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants are operating safely under the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

    • The enforcement team will operate as part of the Ohio Department of Safety's Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and will conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants.
    • Businesses found violating the Stay Safe Ohio order or the Dine Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses.
    • The OIU team will also work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners who do not follow the order, which includes the requirement that patrons remain seated while eating/drinking and that parties stay six feet apart.

    >> Closure of the U.S. Canadian border to non-essential travel, which is set to expire Thursday, will likely be renewed for another month to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, media in Canada report.

    >> The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released recommendations for State and Local officials considering the reopening of nursing homes.

    >> The President will reportedly nominate Justin Herdman, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland, as the next prosecutor for the District of Columbia.

    >> The U.S. economy will recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but the process could stretch through until the end of next year and depend on the delivery of a vaccine, said Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

       
  • >> By Sunday, Ohio reported 27,923 cases of the coronavirus, and 1,625 deaths.

    >> The DeWine administration is not yet ordering cuts to General Revenue Fund budgets for FY21, as it did for the current fiscal year, but wants agencies to keep a share of their budgeted spending in reserve in anticipation of further revenue shortfalls. 

    >> Governor Mike DeWine will likely have an announcement about health-access measures for African-American Ohioans at his daily briefing this week; it’s been approximately one month since the Governor’s Minority Health Strike Force began meeting to discuss strategies to combat the coronavirus’ impact on black communities. 

    >> See the Director of Health Orders for reopening personal services and restaurants and bars.

    >> On May 21, campgrounds in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols

    >> On May 22, horse racing in Ohio will be permitted if these operations can meet required safety protocols; spectators will not be permitted.

    >> On May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

    >> On May 26, sports leagues in Ohio will be permitted to operate if these leagues can meet required safety protocols.

    • This applies only to non-contact and limited-contact sports.
    • A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
    • Note that safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development.

    >> On May 26, public pools and club pools that are regulated by local health departments in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas.
    • Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.
    • A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> On May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if they can meet required safety protocols.

    • The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices.
    • To assist in the reopening of child care centers, Ohio will seek to use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers, including family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers.
     

    >> Senator Matt Dolan shared during Senate Finance Committee that the Senate intends to pass a re-appropriations bill before the end of June with an emergency clause.

    • The inclusion of an emergency clause would eliminate the 90-day wait period for the law to go into effect following the Governor's signature.
    • The Ohio House has not announced whether it shares the Senate's interest in passing a re-appropriations bill on this timeline. The Chairman shared that the passage of a re-appropriations bill would be introduced and passed out of Senate Finance Committee over the next several meetings in order to stimulate commerce.

    >> The Ohio House Economic Recovery Task Force, Ohio 2020, will hold their next meeting today. 

    >> State civil immunity legislation in the Ohio House, HB 606, and Ohio Senate, SB 308, will receive their next hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    • HB 606 will receive its third hearing for all testimony in House Civil Justice Committee on May 19 at 3 p.m.
    • SB 308 will receive its third hearing for all testimony, with amendments and a vote possible, in Senate Judiciary Committee on May 20 at 9:15 a.m.

    >> Secretary of State Frank LaRose proposed several changes to November’s election.

    • The plan includes in-person voting options and changes to improve voting by mail and he is working with the legislature on a plan to put forward.
    • Meanwhile, members of the House Democratic Caucus outlined their ideas Friday for reforming voting in Ohio before the November election, including mailing a ballot to all registered voters.

    >> According the to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 11 million Americans were laid off in March. 

    >> The U.S. House on Friday approved a $3 trillion coronavirus package that supporters hoped would open negotiations for more COVID-19 relief; the text of the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800, is here.

    One-pager on the legislation
    Section-by-section summary
    State and local relief provisions
    • The House Small Business Committee circulated factsheets on the small business provisions in The Heroes Act.
    • The White House released a statement yesterday on H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, indicating the President would be advised to veto the legislation in its current form.

    >> The House also passed a rule change temporarily allowing for remote voting during the COVID-19 crisis.

    • Proxy voting and remote committee business would only be allowed for a 45-day period, but it could be renewed.
    • The authority to enact a period of proxy voting ends at the close of the 116th Congress. 

    >> U.S. House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey shared that there is no timetable yet for when the appropriations subcommittees will mark up the fiscal 2021 spending bills.

    • June was the original deadline provided by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, however that may be unlikely as all attention will be focused on a potential fourth stimulus package in June.

    >> On May 11, HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced the allocation of $1 billion through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBGR) program to States and insular areas in response to COVID-19.

    • Every state and insular area will receive a portion of the relief funds.
    • To date, HUD has provided over $3 billion in CDBG funding nationwide to help communities acutely combat coronavirus and alleviate economic hardship.

    >> On May 14, FHA announced an extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through June 30, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages, while also supporting new FHA-insured mortgage originations through an extension of temporary policy flexibilities for lenders and appraisers.

    • More from HUD Secretary Ben Carson on actions taken to safeguard the American renter and homeowner against impacts of coronavirus.

    >> On May 14, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the publication of updated guidance, including FAQs, regarding the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

    >> On May 15, Vice Mike President Pence announced five new individuals joining the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The five new members are: Sonny Perdue (Secretary of Agriculture), Gene Scalia (Secretary of Labor), Dr. Francis Collins (Director of the National Institutes of Health), Dr. Peter Marks (FDDA Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research), and Thomas Engels (Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration).

     
  • >> The Ohio Department of Health reported Thursday that cases of coronavirus increased by 636 and deaths increased by 51 from Wednesday, reaching respective totals of 26,357 and 1,534. In-depth Ohio COVID-19 case data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

    >> On May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if they can meet required safety protocols.

    • Read the full list of mandatory and recommended best practices.
    • To assist in the reopening of child care centers, Ohio will seek to use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers, including family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers.

    >> On May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov 

    >> On May 26, sports leagues in Ohio will be permitted to operate if these leagues can meet required safety protocols.

    • This applies only to non-contact and limited-contact sports.
    • A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
    • Note that safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development.

    >> On May 26, public pools and club pools that are regulated by local health departments in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

    • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas.
    • Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.
    • A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> On May 21, campgrounds in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

    >> See the Director of Health Orders for reopening personal services and restaurants and bars.

    >> Sectors licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio, including massage therapy, acupuncture, cosmetic therapy will be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures.

    >> Tattoo and body piercing services will also be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures.

    >> With the joblessness accompanying the coronavirus pandemic, more Ohioans are turning to Medicaid for health coverage with approximately 3 million people now on Medicaid.

    • “We had an increase in the number of people by about 140,000 from the end of March until the end of April,” said Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran.

    >> Senator Matt Dolan shared during Senate Finance Committee that the Senate intends to pass a re-appropriations bill before the end of June with an emergency clause.

    • The inclusion of an emergency clause would eliminate the 90-day wait period for the law to go into effect following the Governor's signature.
    • The Ohio House has not announced whether it shares the Senate's interest in passing a re-appropriations bill on this timeline. The Chairman shared that the passage of a re-appropriations bill would be introduced and passed out of Senate Finance Committee over the next several meetings in order to stimulate commerce.

    >> On possibly civil immunity legislation:

    • The Ohio House Civil Justice Committee heard testimony on a substitute version of HB 606 and continued the bill for a future committee hearing with no further actions taken.
    • The Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee accepted and heard testimony on a substitute version of SB 308; the committee continued the legislation with no additional actions taken after hearing from a list of witnesses.

    >> The $3 trillion economic rescue bill that the House Democrats unveiled yesterday would make major changes to small business loan programs. Read the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800.

    One-pager on the legislation
    • Section-by-section summary
    • Resource on the state and local relief provisions
    • The House Small Business Committee circulated fact sheets on the small business provisions in The Heroes Act.

    The bill would make several adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers low-interest loans that can be forgiven if borrowers agree to maintain their payrolls. The revisions would expand the universe of organizations able to receive the loans and limit the Trump administration's ability to restrict how the loans are used.

    Among the provisions in the bill is one that would allow nonprofits of any kind to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans. While the idea has bipartisan support, it will likely also create controversy because it would open-up the program to 501(c)(6)s, which include business trade associations.

    Another measure would prevent the Small Business Administration (SBA), which runs the program, from limiting the portion of the loans that can be spent on non-payroll costs if borrowers want the loans forgiven. The SBA and the Treasury Department decided at the outset of the program that businesses could spend no more than 75 percent of the forgivable amount of the loans on expenses outside of payroll. Some businesses are concerned that the cap is too onerous. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused to ease the requirement on his own but says he's open to working with Congress on that.

    Addressing another criticism from businesses, the bill would give borrowers 24 weeks to spend loan funds, an increase from the current eight weeks set now.

    The bill would not appropriate new funding for the program, but it includes carve-outs for nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, as well as a set-aside for community financial institutions.

    In addition, the bill includes $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants.

    The House plans to vote on the bill this Friday.

    >> "This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters after the House bill was released.

    • Senate Republicans are privately putting together possible priorities of their own for the next COVID-19 relief package, which some believe will set the stage for a bill to be passed this summer.
    • Issues Senate Republicans may want to address include: a litigation shield for businesses that reopen as the pandemic carries on and a reform of beefed-up unemployment benefits that Congress approved in March.


  • >> The Ohio Department of Health reported Tuesday that cases of coronavirus increased by 473 and deaths increased by 79 from Monday, reaching respective totals of 25,250 and 1,436. A total of 216,290 coronavirus tests have been conducted in Ohio. In-depth Ohio COVID-19 case data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> In case you missed it, Lt. Governor Husted announced that sectors licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio, including massage therapy, acupuncture, cosmetic therapy will be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures. Read the full list of mandatory and recommended best practices.

    >> Tattoo and body piercing services will also be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures. Read the list of mandatory and recommended best practices for personal services.

    >> The lists of members of the advisory groups who are in charge of developing statewide guidelines for gyms and outdoor recreation are now available.  

    >> From the Governor’s Office here are five protocols for all businesses:

    • Require face coverings for employees and recommend them for clients/customers at all times.
    • Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.”
    • Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing.
    • Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
    • Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines: Establish maximum capacity at 50% of fire code and use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.

    >> The Ohio Department of Health plans to screen 1,200 residents in their homes for the virus through a nasal swab test and through an antibody blood test.

    • Screening may start as soon as next week.
    • Selected households will receive a postcard and a letter in the mail.
    • Participation is voluntary and recipients may opt out by phone or email or decline to participate when the state workers arrive.

    >> With the joblessness accompanying the coronavirus pandemic, more Ohioans are turning to Medicaid for health coverage with approximately 3 million people now on Medicaid.

    >> Senate President Larry Obhof announced Tuesday the return of $1 million from the Ohio Senate’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget to the state’s General Revenue Fund, as part of a plan to offset state revenue shortfalls and reduce government spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • This figure is more than 20% of the Senate’s remaining appropriation for Fiscal Year 2020.”
    • The reduction is from the Senate’s budget for FY2020 and will be returned to the state’s General Revenue Fund when the fiscal year ends on June 30.

    >> On Wednesday, SB 308, sponsored by Senator Matt Huffman will receive its second hearing; the bill seeks to revise the law governing immunity from civil liability and amendments and a possible vote have been scheduled for Senate Judiciary Committee.

    • The Senate could pass the amended version of the bill on the Senate floor this afternoon.

    >> The health care industry, businesses and individuals would receive further protection from civil liability for COVID-19 transmission under similar legislation; the substitute version of HB 606, was accepted by the House Civil Justice Committee on Tuesday.

    • The bill will receive another hearing on Wednesday, but may not receive a vote during that meeting.

    >> In federal updates, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration's top infectious disease expert, warned the U.S. Senate yesterday that states should not reopen faster than White House guidelines.

    >> The $3 trillion economic rescue bill that the House Democrats unveiled yesterday would make major changes to small business loan programs. Read the HEROES Act, H.R. 6800.

    One-pager on the legislation
    • Section-by-section summary
    • Resource on the state and local relief provisions
    • The House Small Business Committee circulated fact sheets on the small business provisions in The Heroes Act.

    The bill would make several adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers low-interest loans that can be forgiven if borrowers agree to maintain their payrolls. The revisions would expand the universe of organizations able to receive the loans and limit the Trump administration's ability to restrict how the loans are used.

    Among the provisions in the bill is one that would allow nonprofits of any kind to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans. While the idea has bipartisan support, it will likely also create controversy because it would open-up the program to 501(c)(6)s, which include business trade associations.

    Another measure would prevent the Small Business Administration (SBA), which runs the program, from limiting the portion of the loans that can be spent on non-payroll costs if borrowers want the loans forgiven. The SBA and the Treasury Department decided at the outset of the program that businesses could spend no more than 75 percent of the forgivable amount of the loans on expenses outside of payroll. Some businesses are concerned that the cap is too onerous. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused to ease the requirement on his own but says he's open to working with Congress on that.

    Addressing another criticism from businesses, the bill would give borrowers 24 weeks to spend loan funds, an increase from the current eight weeks set now.

    The bill would not appropriate new funding for the program, but it includes carve-outs for nonprofits and small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, as well as a set-aside for community financial institutions.

    In addition, the bill includes $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants.

    The House plans to vote on the bill this Friday.

    >> "This is not a time for aspirational legislation, this is a time for practical response to the coronavirus pandemic," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters after the House bill was released.

    • Senate Republicans are privately putting together possible priorities of their own for the next COVID-19 relief package, which some believe will set the stage for a bill to be passed this summer.
    • Issues Senate Republicans may want to address include: a litigation shield for businesses that reopen as the pandemic carries on and a reform of beefed-up unemployment benefits that Congress approved in March.

    >> A group of legislators including Representative Marcy Kaptur and Representative Anthony Gonzalez want upcoming coronavirus relief packages to include help for the auto industry.

    • They sent a letter Tuesday that asked Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure “that American workers in the automotive industry can help drive a robust recovery.”

    >> Representatives Anthony Gonzalez, Dave Joyce, and Brad Wenstrup introduced a bi-partisan bill on Tuesday to help small businesses, those that are unable to fully reopen in the coming weeks.

    • The Promoting Flexibility for Small Business Owners Act would provide restaurants, retailers, and other similar businesses with more time to meet the requirements to receive full forgiveness of their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

    >> Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday encouraged states "that have cash flow issues" to take advantage of low interest rates and borrow money to cover revenue lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • >> By Sunday, 24,081 Ohioans had been infected with the coronavirus and 1,341 had died. In-depth Ohio COVID-19 case data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> From the Governor’s Office, here are five protocols for all businesses:

    • Require face coverings for employees and recommend them for clients/customers at all times.
    • Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.”
    • Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing.
    • Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
    • Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines: Establish maximum capacity at 50% of fire code and use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.

    >> Governor Mike DeWine announced at his Thursday briefing that places of business such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15. Read the list of mandatory and recommended best practices for personal services.

    >> In addition, restaurants and bars can open for outside dining on May 15 with indoor dining opening on May 21. See the guidelines and best practices.

    >> On Monday, the Governor said he’ll have an announcement about childcare.

    >> Under previously announced reopening plans, elective surgeries without an overnight hospital stay resumed May 1, manufacturing, distribution, construction and general office businesses reopened May 4 and consumer, retail and services businesses will reopen on May 12.

    >> According to Crain’s Cleveland, the Ohio Department of Health plans to screen 1,200 residents in their homes for the virus through a nasal swab test and through an antibody blood test.

    • Screening may start as soon as next week.
    • Selected households will receive a postcard and a letter in the mail.
    • Participation is voluntary and recipients may opt out by phone or email or decline to participate when the state workers arrive.

    >> The Ohio Department of Health is looking to fill open “contact tracing” jobs, part -time health workers who will help investigate small coronavirus outbreaks to try to prevent them from spreading.

    >> The April jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the U.S. lost 20.5 million jobs in April.

    • The unemployment rate increased to 14.7 percent from 4.4 percent in March.
    • The one-month rise in the unemployment rate between March and April is the largest ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    >> Last week, the U.S. Treasury and IRS released the latest state-by-state Economic Impact Payment figures and almost 5 million payments had been made to Ohioans, totaling more than $8 billion.

    >> White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow signaled Friday that formal negotiations on the next coronavirus stimulus package would be paused, possibly until early June.

    • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed the unveiling of Congressional Democrats CARES 2.0 package until this week; House Democrats are hoping to release a bill that would follow three pillars: funding for those on the front lines, testing and relief to Americans in some form, including direct payments. The proposal could include at least $800 billion in funding for state and local governments.
    • Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has called for a pause on emergency assistance until the trillions already allocated is delivered and Senate Republicans are said to insist on including language to protect businesses from virus-related lawsuits and liability.

    >> According to the Associated Press, Vice President Mike Pence was self-isolating Sunday after an aide tested positive for the coronavirus last week, but he planned to return to the White House on Monday.

    • An administration official said Pence was voluntarily keeping his distance from other people in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    • He has tested negative for COVID-19 since his exposure.

  • >> The Ohio Department of Health reported Thursday that coronavirus cases increased by 555 and deaths increased by 46 from Wednesday, bringing the respective totals to 22,131 and 1,271. Over 175,000 Ohioans have been tested for coronavirus, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said. In-depth Ohio COVID-19 case data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> The total number of cases world-wide rose to nearly 3.85 million Friday and the U.S. death toll, the highest in the world, stood at more than 75,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

    >> More than 1.1 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment in the past three weeks which is more people than the prior three years combined.

    >> Gov. Mike DeWine announced at his Thursday briefing that places of business such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15. See the list of mandatory and recommended best practices for personal services.

    >> In addition, restaurants and bars can open for outside dining on May 15 with indoor dining opening on May 21. See the detailed lists of guidelines and best practices

    >> On Monday, the Governor said he’ll have an announcement about childcare.

    >> Under previously announced reopening plans, elective surgeries without an overnight hospital stay resumed May 1, manufacturing, distribution, construction and general office businesses reopened May 4 and consumer, retail and services businesses will reopen on May 12.

    >> On the state re-openings Governor DeWine said, “Let me just state the obvious. The risk is up. The more contacts we have, the more that we do, the more risk there is.” The business industries discussed Thursday want strict enforcement to identify any bad actors that can damage their collective reputations, Lt. Governor Husted added.

    >> The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) released preliminary April 2020 revenue data.

    • Total General Revenue Fund tax receipts finished the month $866.5 million (-35.3%) below estimates.

    • Details on the specific impacts on K-12 schools and higher education institutions can be found at the following links: Higher Education, K-12 Education, K-12 Summary Tables.

    • The Governor’s 3.8% cut in funding for each of Ohio’s public colleges and universities adds up to $76.7 million overall, according to information released by the state’s budget office. More details from Cleveland.com.

    • School district-level details for the planned $300.4 million in cuts to the state’s public K-12 schools through the end of the fiscal year on June 30 showed the largest cuts by percentage were in the suburban counties of Geauga (13.5%) and Delaware (13.2%).

    • The Cleveland school system is slated to lose $5.6 million, or about 1%.

    >> The Ohio Senate sent a bill to the Ohio House on Wednesday that would provide $350 million to local governments to pay for expenses racked up to combat the coronavirus.

    • The money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed last month.

    • It can only be used on expenses related to the pandemic -- such as disinfectant, personal protective equipment and emergency personnel expenses.

    • The state has more money to send to local governments, but because federal guidelines are very strict, some state legislators are hopeful the federal rules will ease soon and they’ll release the rest of it.

    >> Ohio House Republicans amended and passed a bill that would limit Ohio Department of Health orders to 14 days, unless a legislative panel agrees to extend them.

    • "We are in the middle of an emergency now,” Governor DeWine said. “....I don’t understand why anyone would think this is a great time to be changing the law, to be taking away the power of the executive branch to protect people.”.

    • Another bill the House passed Wednesday would decriminalize violations of the health orders, making them a minor misdemeanor.

    • The Ohio Senate has not acted on either piece of legislation.

    >> The Ohio House economic recovery task force Ohio 2020 will meet Friday at 10 a.m. Read past testimony and agendas.

    >> The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments on May 13 in a challenge by local communities to the state’s legislature’s decision to centralize municipal tax collection.

    • Two separate appeals will be heard, with one being an Elyria group of plaintiffs representing 28 Northeast Ohio communities.

    >> Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats are planning to unveil a CARES 2 package in the coming days, with a possible (not yet confirmed) House floor vote as early as next week.

    • The bill’s release is “imminent,” and is expected to include at least $800 billion in funding directed to state and local governments, along with money for COVID-19 testing and food stamp funding, unemployment support and other direct payouts for the needy and unemployed.

    • "This is not plowing any new territory,” Pelosi said. “It is digging deeper with more money.”

    • House passage would set up a clash with Republicans in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling for a “pause” in emergency aid, to allow the trillions of dollars already allocated to get out the door.

    • Having put negotiations on pause, Senate Republicans continue to insist on including language to protect businesses from virus-related lawsuits and liability.

    • On Thursday, President Trump said that employers. including sports stadiums and team owners, need protection from lawsuits that may stem from infections with COVID-19 as national activities resume. 

    >> U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy named Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez to a new GOP task force that will examine Chinese threats to the United States.

    >> President Trump said on Wednesday - day after he and Vice President Pence said the task force would soon be wound down - that the coronavirus task force will continue on “indefinitely” as the country struggles with the balancing act of reopening the economy and stemming the spread of the virus, with more dire economic numbers set to be released on Friday.

    >> The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) announced the launch of its “Strengthening American Competitiveness” initiative.

  • >> Ohio now has at least 20,969 coronavirus cases, including 1,135 people who have died. The 79 deaths reported Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Health was the second highest total since the outbreak of the coronavirus in early March. In-depth Ohio COVID-19 case data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus surged past 70,000 on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally. Nearly 1.2 million people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 - more than the combined total of the next largest outbreaks in Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

    >> State information is now available for children with special healthcare needs, guidance on Ohio travel, a checklist for businesses and employers, and a guide for businesses that are preparing to open. 

    >> Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. At the end of February and prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, state revenues for the fiscal year were ahead of estimates by over $200 million. As of the end of April, Ohio's revenues were below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million.

    >> Additional details are expected, but because Ohio is mandated to balance its budget each year, and in addition to identifying areas of savings, the following budget reductions will be made for the next two months:

    • Medicaid: $210 million
    • K12 Foundation Payment Reduction: $300 million
    • Other Education Budget Line Items: $55 million
    • Higher Education: $110 million
    • All Other Agencies: $100 million

    >> Governor DeWine said they wanted to let schools know what they will be confronted with into the next year, and they hope cuts beyond the initial ones announced on Tuesday will be minimal.

    >> The budget reductions are in addition to Governor DeWine's March 23 directive to freeze hiring, new contracts, pay increases, and promotions at all state agencies, boards, and commissions. The new budget reductions will not apply to critical services available to Ohioans or COVID-19 pandemic services. At this time, money to balance the Fiscal Year 2020 budget will not be drawn from Ohio's Budget Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the "rainy-day fund."

    >> Projections by Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks indicate that the state’s revenues will continue to be below estimates in the coming months as Ohio moves through the COVID-19 crisis.

    >> The Governor is reviewing reports from the working groups advising him on the reopening of restaurants, bars, day cares and salons and he hopes to make an announcement this week.

    >> House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and Representative Beth Liston discussed House Democratic Caucus priorities yesterday, including but not limited to addressing health disparities, expanding broadband access to make learning from home more accessible, and the need for contingency plans for schools in the fall.

    >> A task force of school superintendents, principals and teachers is considering different options for the fall. One option is dividing students into two groups, sending one group to school for two days and the other on two separate days, so the school would have fewer students at a time. No decision has been made, Governor DeWine said.

    >> The Ohio Turnpike Commission has imposed a hiring freeze and plans to reduce some work shifts, among other cost-cutting measures.

    >> The White House is in the early stages of winding down its coronavirus task force, Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed Tuesday.

    • Vice President Pence, who has led the task force for two months, said it would probably wrap up its work around the end of the May, and shift management of the public health response back to the federal agencies whose work it was created to coordinate.

    >> U.S. House Democratic leaders have resolved to push for $25 billion in funding for the U.S. Postal Service in the next coronavirus relief bill.

    • In the House, chairs of the committees were asked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday to submit priorities to the Speaker's office by Friday for inclusion in the fourth stimulus package.
    • A fourth stimulus package may happen before legislative work on the FY 21 appropriations bills begin.

    >> Senator Rob Portman discussed reforms he believes are needed for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including making it inclusive of those with past criminal records and ensuring business support is given in “the most targeted way possible.”

    • Portman noted the PPP will run out of funding again in the coming days, and answered a press question by agreeing that data on recipients should be made public as long as the level of disclosure does not harm small businesses.
    • He also called for the program to be changed to offer more flexibility to support small businesses that will not reopen for some time, such as restaurants.

    >> Ohio members of Congress want Ohioans who can’t access the internet to be able to track the economic stimulus payments the federal government is issuing to help people pay their bills during the coronavirus pandemic.

    • They’d like the IRS to consider creating a telephone hotline for those who can’t access the agency’s online portal, or to let congressional offices work with IRS liaisons to update information for their constituents.

    >> Two businessmen have been charged with defrauding the federal relief program meant to help small businesses pay their employees during the pandemic, U.S. Department of Justice officials announced Tuesday.

    >> The Census Bureau is to resume some 2020 census field operations in select locations.

  • >> In-depth Ohio COVID-19 case data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> Governor DeWine provided an update on Ohio's plan for increased COVID-19 testing. With new increased testing capacity, Ohio will prioritize testing in three groups.  

    >> Employers: per the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, please visit unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/employer and review the “Return to Work Guidelines.”

    >> Governor DeWine signaled Ohio’s restaurants may be allowed to re-open “not too long” after retailers are allowed to re-open on May 12; please note two separate advisory groups are convening to discuss recommendations and best practices when reopening dine-in restaurants, and personal service locations (hair salons, barbershops, etc.) throughout the state.

    >> Lt. Governor Husted announced that, although opening dates for individual locations have not yet been finalized, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) deputy registrars around the state may begin reopening as early as later this month. Upon reopening, every deputy registrar will offer online the Ohio BMV's Get In Line program that was launched by Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted as a pilot project last year.

    >> Recommendations are available for water supply flushing for reopening of buildings under the statewide COVID-19 transition plan, and guidance for premise plumbing water service restoration.

    >> Senate President Obhof stated his four priorities for the first full week of May are to get federal dollars into the hands of local governments, add money to the near-bankrupt state unemployment fund, make it easier for pharmacists to adjust patient medications and limit liability for businesses that might accidentally expose employees and customers to COVID-19.

    >> The House Economic Recovery Task Force met Monday, with testimony provided by witnesses representing the hair salon, plumbing, building security, restaurant and athletic training industries with some raising concerns over the legality of and continued need for restrictions related to COVID-19.

    >> The House Democratic Caucus Friday released some of their priority issues.

    >> Read the latest statistics on the Paycheck Protection Program: PPP Report-Second Round.

    >> The Small Business Administration said it has allotted over half of the $310 billion in a key coronavirus relief fund in less than a week, setting expectations that it may run dry this week.

    >> The Treasury Department will borrow a record-breaking $3 trillion between April and June as it moves to dispense emergency relief for the coronavirus pandemic.

  • >> By Sunday, Ohio had 19,914 cases of the coronavirus, with 1,038 deaths. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

    >> Please see the amended Ohio Stay At Home Order effective through 11:59 p.m. EST on May 29, 2020 with the exceptions announced as part of the Responsible Restart Ohio plan. More detailed information can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

    • Beginning May 1, 2020, all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility, or do not require inpatient hospital admission and minimizes use of personal protective equipment, may move forward. This includes regular doctor visits, well-care checks, well-baby visits, out-patient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests. Dental services and veterinary services may also proceed if a safe environment can be established.

    • Beginning May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees.

    • Beginning May 4, 2020, general office environments may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees.

    • Beginning on May 12, 2020, consumer, retail and services, may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees.

    • As part of the Governor’s order, the following establishments are to remain closed due to their increased risk of potential COVID-19 exposure:
     - Schools and daycares
     - Dine-in restaurants and bars (carry-out is still permitted)
     - Personal appearance and beauty businesses
     - Older adult daycare serveries and senior centers
     - Adult day support or vocational rehabilitation services in group settings
     - Entertainment, recreation, and gyms  

    >> Governor DeWine announced the members of two separate advisory groups for recommendations and best practices when reopening dine-in restaurants, and personal service locations (hair salons, barbershops, etc.) throughout the state.

    Restaurant advisory group members
    Personal services advisory group members

    >> The state has less than two months to fill a big budget gap. The state fiscal year runs through June 30, by which point the Ohio Constitution requires a balanced budget. Some estimate the deficit is approximately $2.4 billion.

    >> The Ohio House of Representatives will meet on both May 6 and 7 at 1 p.m.

    >> The Ohio House Finance Committee will meet on Tuesday where testimony will be offered on HB 388, legislation regarding out-of-network care. The legislation, sponsored by Representative Adam Holmes, received its last hearing in mid-December.

    >> For the week ending April 25, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 92,920 initial unemployment claims, taking the state’s coronavirus-related six-week total to 1,057,486.

    • “To put that in perspective, the total for the last six weeks of claims is 341,974 more than the combined total of 715,512 for the last two years,” ODJFS said in a news release.

    • More than $1.45 billion in unemployment compensation payments has been distributed to more than 481,000 claimants over the last six weeks, according to the department.

    >> Federal policymakers are set to start returning to Washington on Monday and they appear to be no closer to an agreement on the next potential relief bill. 

    >> President Trump said that he will not support another round of COVID-19 stimulus funding without a payroll tax cut included; the remark was made while discussing his support for federal investments in infrastructure projects as a job-creating ingredient in future legislation.

    >> Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has joined Democratic colleagues in a letter that asks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer to include a $50 billion child care bailout in upcoming legislation to help the nation recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

    >> Senator Brown and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur have said they want the next aid package to include money to shore up multi-employer pension systems. 

    >> The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) invites small business and workers to participate in the DOL’s “Opening America’s Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue.” Through this dialogue, the public can play a key role in helping to reopen America’s workplaces safely. The public – including employers, workers, local authorities and advocacy groups – is invited to share ideas on six topics:

    1. Reopening businesses;
    2. Commuting safely;
    3. Working safely;
    4. Accommodating members of vulnerable populations;
    5. Supporting America’s families; and
    6. Reducing regulatory burdens.

    Ideas and feedback collected during the dialogue will be used by the DOL as it continues to develop compliance assistance materials and guidance for workers and employers, and will be shared with policy-makers at the federal, state and local level as they develop and refine plans on reopening America’s workplaces. The comment period ends May 7, 2020.

    The department’s Office of Compliance Initiatives (OCI) will host the dialogue in partnership with OSHA, WHD, the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, its Employee Benefits Security Administration, its Employment and Training Administration, its Office of Disability Employment Policy, its Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and its Women’s Bureau.

    OCI is part of the department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy. It aims to foster a compliance assistance culture within the department, complement its enforcement efforts and improve compliance assistance outreach. Through Worker.gov and Employer.gov, OCI provides information about worker rights and employer responsibilities. Please join the dialogue to submit your ideas, votes, and comments directly to DOL.
     
    >> Register to participate.