Archive for The Lobby

Ohio Mid-Market 100 – Top Ohio Companies in 2018

Middle market companies drive the Ohio economy. According to the Ohio State University National Center for the Middle Market, middle market companies constitute only 3% of the US companies but account for 1/3 of all US jobs. The Montrose Group, LLC, a Columbus, Ohio based economic development and public policy consulting firm, annually develops and publicizes the Ohio Mid-Market 100 list to recognize growing and successful Ohio middle market companies producing high-wage jobs. The Montrose Group, LLC is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio (CCEO) to develop the 2018 Ohio Mid-Market 100 list. For 100 years, CCEO has been the central organization for local chambers of commerce executives to network and participate in critical professional development activities. Local chambers of commerce remain where business leaders gather to work together on common business, economic development and public policy issues for the improvement of the community. 2018 Ohio Mid-Market 100 companies must meet the minimum qualifications list below and come from a diverse geographic background across the state.

2018 Ohio Mid-Market 100 Minimum Qualifications:

  • For-profit Ohio-based business
  • Headquartered in the Buckeye State
  • Business pays above average wages, exceeding the national average of $17/hour
  • Business has revenues ranging from $10M to $500M
  • Growth of 20% accumulated over the past 3 years

State of Ohio Capital Budget – The Million Dollar Opportunity

Join us for a webinar on Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 at 9:30 AM EST

Every two years, the Governor and Ohio General Assembly reach agreement on a state of Ohio Capital Budget that includes community projects. Last Ohio General Assembly there were $1.25 B in community project requests and 358 projects were included in the capital budget bill totalling $156M. Join the Montrose Group, who is coordinating a webinar on behalf of the Ohio Economic Development Association, the state of Ohio’s leading voice for economic development professionals, to learn how to gain access to project funding for arts, cultural, sports, social service, health care, infrastructure, workforce and other economic development projects.

Local Chambers of Commerce & Business Groups Moving Forward with State Capital Budget Community Project Ranking Process

A critical requirement for success in many urban Ohio markets for those seeking state capital budget community project funding is to make the list of recommended projects set by the local business community. The support of the local chamber of commerce or business partnership organization illustrates support from the business, academic and local government leaders that often make up these organizations. This process was created decades ago by legislative leaders who were tired of managing the requests of competing constituents. Governor John Kasich has encouraged local business groups to make recommendation to his office as part of the process to recommend community project awards in the state of Ohio capital budget bill. These organizations cover the urban markets which gain a larger dollar amount than individual rural counties.

With the OBM Guidance Memo on the upcoming state capital budget released in late September, many of these local business trade associations have set deadlines for when applications must be filed including: Columbus Partnership (November 6, 2017), Toledo Chamber of Commerce (November 20, 2017), and Dayton Development Coalition (November 10, 2017).

However, making or not making the urban business group list of recommended projects does not guarantee success in the Statehouse. Members of the Ohio General Assembly will have their own application process and there opinion matters most. Also, urban business groups do not represent rural communities- that would be roughly 78 of the Ohio’s 88 counties. More capital budget funding has been flowing to rural communities. As an example, rural Ohio was the major winner in SB 310—the last state of Ohio capital budget bill. Ohio’s 73 rural counties gained 28% of the Community Project funding in SB 310 which is a jump of nearly 10% compared to the lasted capital bill for FY 2015-16. Business support for a state capital budget community project is important but is not the only game in town.

Ohio State Capital Budget: Art & Museum Community Projects, Infrastructure and Social Services Popular

The September, 2017 state Capital Budget Guidance memo released by Ohio Office of Budget and Management Director Tim Keen illustrates lobbying for the Capital Budget Community Projects has begun. A key question is what types of projects are actually funded based upon the recommendation of the Governor and passage by the Ohio General Assembly. The range of projects eligible for state capital budget Community Projects is based upon the state regulations and the state legislative process. Projects must be capital in nature and connected to a state agency either in the form ownership, partnership or through a joint use agreement. Community Projects includes initiatives built around agriculture, arts and museums, economic development, health care, infrastructure, parks, police and fire, social services, sports, telecommunications, veterans and workforce projects. Applicants for funding still range from local governments to university to community colleges and for profit and not for profit organizations.

The FY 2017-18 project types included for Community Projects saw the continued dominance by the arts community for museums, theaters, historical sites but the overall growth in the sector saw a dramatic decline of nearly $20,000,000 in funding. Project types that saw dramatic growth included infrastructure projects, including several parking facilities and a wide range of social service projects. The health care and social service industry in particular again secured a foothold with a number of Community Projects no doubt tied to the opioid crisis around Ohio while support for telecom, parks and workforce saw declines compared to the previous budget. Each state capital bill is different. The economy, government revenue flow and political leadership all impact the scale and scope of the capital budget bill and their Community Projects. Senate Bill 310, the FY 2017-18 capital budget bill, offers critical lobbying lessons for communities as well as public and private sector organizations planning to seek capital bill or other government funding.

Five-Step Public Affairs Lobbying Model Educates Policymakers and Voters

Termed-limited legislatures and a radically divided public demand a shift in how public policy advocates lobby to impact budget, tax, spending, regulatory and policy issues. No longer is merely advocating in City Hall, Statehouse or the Congress through meetings, attending fundraisers or testifying in legislative committees enough to succeed. Instead, a new public affairs model is need to not only educate policymakers on an issue but to educate that policymakers voters. Technology eases this process but a public affairs program is a new lobbying model that expands advocacy into five key steps.

Kasich Administration Kick-Offs State Capital Budget Bill Process

The kick-off is a well-established football tradition most Ohioans are aware of. For serious students of state of Ohio government, the kick-off for the state of Ohio capital budget bill starts with a standard guidance memo from the Director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management. On September 25, 2017 Governor Kasich’s OBM Director Tim Keen released the FY 2019-20 state of Ohio capital budget guidance memo to state agencies and other organizations that may be eligible for state of Ohio capital funding in the upcoming capital bill.

Keen’s state of Ohio capital budget guidance memo is anything but exciting. It is a highly technical document closer to a legal analysis of what and how capital budget items for the state of Ohio should be submitted. Though boring, the OBM capital budget guidance memo has some very important information in it for those planning to seek capital budget requests. The guidance memo again defines “capital” items to include the “cost of acquiring, constructing, reconstructing, rehabilitating, remodeling, renovating, enlarging, improving, and/or equipping facilities.”

In addition, the memo outlines what projects are eligible for capital budget funding either from a state agency or a community project. State capital appropriations are funded primarily through the issuance of State bonds. Capital budget projects funded through State bonds must (1) fall within the authorized purposes for State bonded debt set forth in Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution and (2) meet federal tax law requirements for tax exempt bonds. To be eligible for bond funding in the State capital budget, a project must fall within the capital purposes authorized by the voters as set forth in the Ohio Constitution such as: highways; local government infrastructure; parks and recreation; natural resources and conservation; higher education facilities; elementary and second public school facilities; facilities to house branches and agencies of State government and their functions, including State office buildings and facilities; correction and juvenile detention facilities, mental health and development disabilities facilities; cultural, historical and sports facilities; and research and development (including coal research and development) and site development. Also, the Ohio Revised Code and federal tax law also contain provisions that govern the allowable uses of bond proceeds for capital projects, including the types of projects and expenditures, and the extent to which non-governmental entities (both private for-profit and not-for-profit) can benefit from the project.

Finally and most importantly for local communities, the Keen FY 2019-20 state capital budget guidance memo acknowledged that the upcoming capital budget will contain the popular community projects that funds arts, sports, economic development, historical, parks, health care and other priority community projects. The release of the Keen FY 2019-20 guidance memo in late September indicates planning and lobbying should begin right away for those seeking state of Ohio capital budget funding. It is anticipated Governor Kasich will rely on local business organizations to make recommendations for capital budget community project funding but members of the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate will have their own application project. The Keen FY 2019-20 guidance memo does not outline how large the capital budget bill will be and it is likely to start small in the eyes of Ohio’s Governor and grow larger as members of the Ohio General Assembly get more engaged in the process.

Ohio’s Biennial Budget Bill Tackles Opioid Crisis

With Ohio still in the throes of an opioid abuse epidemic, Ohio’s lawmakers and the Governor continued their work over the first half of 2017 on addressing the issue through provisions enacted in HB 49, the biennial budget bill. Recent reports have shown that opioid overdose deaths jumped over 32% last year, and are being fed by the emergence of newer more potent opioids such as fentanyl and carfentynil. Opioid abuse remains a significant problem that is negatively impacting not only state and local governments, but is tearing apart families and leading to a decrease in work productivity in those communities most affected.

HB 49 attempts to address the opioid crisis by appropriating $180 million over the biennium to attack it on several different fronts:

Mental Health and Addiction:

  • Requires Superintendent of Insurance to develop consumer education on mental health and addictions services insurance parity and creates a hotline to help consumers understand their benefits
  • Creates medication addiction treatment (MAT) standards for prescribers
  • Creates and funds the County Hub Program to combat opioid addiction to be administered by each ADAMHS board
  • Continuum of Care Services funding to ADAMHS boards for subsidized support psychotropic medication and MAT needs of indigent citizens
  • $20 million for recovery housing
  • $2 million for workforce recruitment and retention

Child and Family Welfare

  • Community Innovation Funds of $3 million in FY 2018 and $4 million in FY 2019 to provide funding for community projects that focus on support for families, assisting families in avoiding crisis and crisis innovation
  • Data collection and sharing by agencies that serve multi-system youth
  • Permits a county family and children first council to establish and operate a flexible funding in order to assure access to needed service by families and children in need of protective services

Criminal Justice

  • Creates a pilot program for mental health courts, including antipsychotic drugs that are administered in long-acting injectable form
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in specialized docket programs for drugs
  • Specific grants in support of addiction services alternatives to incarceration
  • Provide specialized re-entry services to offenders leaving prison
  • Creates the Psychotropic Drug Reimbursement Program, through which county jails are to be reimbursed by ODMHAS for psychotropic drugs dispensed to inmates

Wellness and Prevention

  • All Roads Lead to Home program includes a public service announcement (PSA) campaign, website and 24-hour hotline
  • $500,000 each fiscal year to support evidence based prevention in school settings
  • $1.5 million each fiscal year for ADAMHS boards to purchase the provision of evidence based prevention services from providers certified by ODMHAS

Local Government Fund (LGF) Priorities to help local communities:

  • Creates a new fund, Targeting Addition Assistance Fund (TAAF) in FY 2018 and 2019
  • Directs the funds to be utilized as follows:
  • $1 million by the Department of Health for Toxicology Screenings to reimburse county coroners for screenings for drug overdose deaths, and requires screenings for certain drugs
  • $5 million to the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to allocate grants to municipalities to provide services to those addicted to opiates and supplement grants distributed by Community Nonresidential Programs
  • $6 million for Substance Abuse Stabilization Centers to be allocated to local ADAMHS boards, a center to be located in each state psychiatric hospital region
  • $150,000 by ODJFS for Children’s Crisis Care facilities
  • $500,000 for Brigid’s Path Pilot for neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • $5 million through ODMHAS for ADAMHS boards to use for the Continuum of Care services
  • Continued funding for naloxone for local law enforcement through project DAWN in the county.

It is safe to say that the issue of battling the opioid crisis will remain an issue of concern for all levels of government, as the impacts of these HB 49 provisions are assessed, and the need for further state legislation is analyzed.

It is also worth noting that in addition to the HB 49 provisions, administrative rules went into effect on August 31st around the prescribing of opiates for acute pain. These rules limit prescribing for acute pain to seven days for adults and five days for minors.