• Advocacy Team

COVID-19 State Updates: May 27, 2020

The Ohio Department of Health reported Tuesday that coronavirus cases increased by 529 and deaths increased by 15, reaching respective totals of 33,006 and 2,002.

  • Cases have resulted in 5,579 hospitalizations and 1,450 intensive care unit admissions.

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 here.

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.

  • 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.

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.

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