Ohio Starts COVID 19 Response to Regulatory Relief and Business Support Program

Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio General Assembly and JobsOhio are starting to push an agenda to provide COVID 19 regulatory relief and support for Ohio based companies.

Governor Mike DeWine, the forty-year public servant who served in local, state and federal government at the highest levels, was attacked in the 2018 campaign for Governor as a “career politician.” Move forward two years and launch a Black Swan event like COVID 19 and now Governor DeWine is winning not just accolades in the state but across the nation and around the globe. Could there be a better time for a “career politicians”? Governor DeWine along with leadership from Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther made an early tough decision to restrict fan participation in the Arnold Sports Classic which cost the city and state millions of dollars. Governor DeWine listened to the health professionals and every step of the way has had Ohio ahead of the curve to attempt to limit the spread of COVID 19 from school closures to dine in bar and restaurant closures to a Stay in Place order. Governor DeWine’s 2pm daily press conferences with Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Director of the Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton have become somewhat of a social event for many. These “Wine with Dewine” events have even spurred a social media and merchandising movement– https://awebee-designs.myshopify.com/collections/ohio-collection.

The Ohio General Assembly jump into the COVID 19 recovery effort as well as they reconvened to pass legislation addressing areas of state government impacted by the outbreak. Meeting over a period of few hours both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate passed Am. Sub. House Bill 197 with broad bi-partisan support. The legislation included a number of provisions such as extending Ohio’s income tax filing deadline from April 15th to July 15th of this year, extending Ohioans ability to vote by mail for the March 17th primary by establishing a new date absentee ballot deadline to April 28th, codified Governor DeWine’s executive order on unemployment compensation to allow for mutualization within the program for Ohio’s employers, prohibits water service disconnections, extended renewals for professional licenses, allows local governments, education boards, and other public entities the ability to meet remotely as long as they provide a way for the public to access the meeting via video or telephone.

Additionally, Sub. House Bill 197 dealt with a number of education issues due to the ordered school building closure from the Ohio Department of Health such as the suspension of State mandated testing for the 2019-2020 school year, the ability for schools to use distance-learning, and allowing for Ohio’s school districts to graduate students who were on track to graduate prior to the COVID19 outbreak and school building closure.

The legislation provided additional flexibility to Governor DeWine’s administration to handle expected upcoming funding needs by authorizing the Director of the Office of Budget and Management to access the state’s budget stabilization fund, or “rainy day” fund with at least 2 members from both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate support on the State Controlling Board. The bill delayed Step Up To Quality requirements for Ohio’s childcare centers during the state of emergency. States across the union are taking leadership roles to address COVID 19 and making tough decisions to limit the spread of the virus, treat the surge of sick and help the impacted residents and businesses survive the slowdown in the economy.