Statehouse: Week in Review (3.16.18)

Exterior of the Ohio Statehouse on an overcast day in

Legislative Report Update  (Week of: 3.16.18)
Source: Neil Clark, Grant Street Consultants


The state law prohibiting abortion for women seeking the procedure because of a Down syndrome diagnosis is “unconstitutional on its face,” U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black wrote in his order blocking implementation of HB214 (LaTourette-Merrin) on Wednesday.

“Federal law is crystal clear: ‘a state may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,'” Black wrote, citing U.S. Supreme Court rulings in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade.


The Ohio Chamber of Commerce unveiled an opioid tool kit Wednesday in conjunction with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office that seeks to educate employers and employees on a drug-free workplace.


Ohio farmers will soon have access to a newly-revised online tool that can quickly and easily tell them their risk of agricultural phosphorus running off into Ohio waterways such as Lake Erie, according to Ohio State University (OSU). An updated version of the Ohio Phosphorus Risk Index will allow farmers to digitally enter their farm-specific data to generate their risk of phosphorus and other agricultural runoff.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday announced its decision to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule published on Jan. 19, 2017, one day before President Donald Trump was sworn into office. “The rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers,” USDA said, noting the withdrawal becomes effective on Sunday, May 13, 2018.Proponents of a bill that would change the official title of state-licensed veterinary technicians to veterinary nurses came out in force at a meeting of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee Tuesday. HB501 (LaTourette-Huffman) would make no changes to the credentialing or training of veterinary technicians — just to the title.

Proponents said that a simple name change may seem small, but would have a significant effect on the public understanding of the profession.The House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee on Wednesday reported out a revised version of Rep. Brian Hill’s (R-Zanesville) bill increasing standards for high-volume dog breeders. Hill said while HB506 will likely need further work in the Senate, he believes “everybody” involved in interested party meetings now agrees that the legislation moves the state in a positive direction.

Aubrey Fetchik is the 2017 winner of the Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program, Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODAg) Director David Daniels announced Thursday. Fetchik received a $1,000 scholarship for growing a 27.4 pound cabbage as part of the company’s annual nationwide contest. Daniels’ stop in Chardon to hand out the award was part of a tour across the state to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Week, which takes place from Monday-Friday, March 12-16.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has presented U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) with the “Golden Plow,” the highest honor the organization gives to sitting members of Congress.


On the heels of highly successful regular seasons for the Ohio State University (OSU) men’s and women’s basketball programs, personal finance blog WalletHub released a report ranking Columbus as the 15th best large city for college basketball and one of four Ohio cities to be in the top 15 for their categories.

WalletHub also provided statistics on March Madness, saying for the men’s Final Four, the projected economic impact for host city San Antonio represents $135 million, with 71,000 fans visiting the city and 3,000 people volunteering. Fourteen cities will host the 2018 NCAA basketball tournament before then, including Dayton for the “First Four” games at the University of Dayton Arena. Since 2001 that region has received $80 million in associated economic impact.


Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2018 edition of Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual on Monday, coinciding with the beginning of National Sunshine Week. The Sunshine Laws Manual summarizes Revised Code provisions and case law regarding the Ohio Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act. The 2018 edition, also referred to as the “Yellow Book,” includes updates on recent open government legal decisions and law changes.

The electronic edition, accessible at , includes clickable bookmarks that allow readers to quickly jump to their topic of interest as well as hyperlinked court cases to allow readers to quickly access court decisions.


The Senate Finance Committee sent HB529 (Ryan), the capital budget, on to the full Senate by a unanimous vote Tuesday, though the bill will have to wait another week for action after the Senate cancelled its Wednesday session. Tuesday’s meeting was only the first hearing for the bill in the Senate committee, though the committee has held three hearings on companion bill SB266 (Oelslager).


Secretary of State Jon Husted Thursday said 9,634 new entities filed to do business in Ohio in February, down from the 10,204 entities formed during the same month in 2017.


House and Senate lawmakers appeared before the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission Thursday to provide an overview of the legislation currently in the pipeline that would affect the state’s criminal justice system.


During a Statehouse event on Monday, Gov. John Kasich said PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and Daelim Industrial Company, two of Asia’s largest petrochemical companies, are on the verge of inking a deal to invest between $5 billion and $10 billion to build and operate “one of the most significant projects in the history of Ohio” — an ethane cracker complex in Belmont County — comparing it to when the state became home to the Honda Marysville auto plant in 1982.


Democratic leaders in the Ohio House and Senate said the state should “invest” in its workers by raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour in 2019 and using $0.50/hour annual increases to bring it to $15 by 2025. The minimum wage would continue to be adjusted for inflation after 2025 as well.


State Board of Education members discussed Monday Ohio’s current programs and practices for making schools safe and secure and possible new approaches, sparked by the recent deadly shooting at a Florida high school. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria discussed safety and security measures through four lenses — prevention strategies, facilities, planning and practice. He reviewed topics such as implementation of positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) in schools, construction and retro-fitting of secure doors and emergency radios through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, development of required safety plans by all schools and the use of those plans in table-top exercises and drills.

The State Board of Education voted 11-4 Tuesday to state its “complete opposition” to HB512 (Reineke), a plan supported by House Republican leaders and Gov. John Kasich to merge K-12, higher education and workforce functions of state government and, in the process, diminish the role of the board and the state superintendent. The resolution was supported by board members Pat Bruns, Stephanie Dodd, Sarah Fowler, Linda Haycock, Meryl Johnson, Laura Kohler, Charlotte McGuire, Antoinette Miranda, Kara Morgan, Nick Owens and Lisa Woods. In opposition were Vice President Nancy Hollister and members Cathye Flory, Eric Poklar and James Sheppard. President Tess Elshoff and members Martha Manchester and Joe Farmer were not present for the vote.

While the vast majority of individuals testifying on HB512 (Reineke) on Wednesday were opposed to consolidating several education-related agencies into the Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement (DLA), the Ohio Chamber of Commerce cautiously commended the legislation.

“The Ohio Chamber recognizes that HB512 is a comprehensive piece of legislation that touches on the whole of Ohio’s educational system. However, I am here testifying as an interested party in order to express support for how the bill would impact workforce development, specifically.

Better alignment of our education system to better prepare our workforce for both today and for the future is essential,” Ohio Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Affairs Keith Lake told the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.

Gov. John Kasich’s office had not made a decision as of Monday night on Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s request for a seat on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board.

Four charter schools will share $4 million in state funding for facilities projects, the second round of building awards under a state program created in the 2016-2017 biennial budget, 131-HB64 (R. Smith). The award recipients are as follows: Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus, which received $1.88 million; Dayton Early College Academy in Dayton, which received $749,182; United Preparatory Academy in Columbus, which received $1.1 million; and Zanesville Community High School in Zanesville, which received $298,679.

A new national study finds nearly one in five teachers who were victims of physical or verbal violence at their schools didn’t report the incidents to school administrators, according to Ohio State University. The study found “significant” minorities of teachers who experienced violence also didn’t tell their colleagues (14 percent) or family (24 percent). Only 12 percent went to a counselor.

A former Central Ohio school administrator and teacher with more than 20 years in education has joined the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) as its deputy chief executive. Kathy McFarland comes from Olentangy Local Schools’ Orange High School in Delaware County, where she served as principal for more than two years.


Calling them “dangerous federal overreach,” Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Friday that proposed election security provisions aimed at preventing Russian meddling may instead make the American election system look “more like (President Vladimir) Putin’s Russia.” The safeguards, which Husted said could include allowing the president to place “Secret Service agents in polling places,” are being considered for inclusion in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reauthorization bill HR2825, according to a statement by the secretary’s office.


Friends of Sherrod Brown, the re-election campaign for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, announced Semedrian Smith has joined the campaign as deputy campaign manager.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich wrote to the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP) and urged the party to set more primary debates.

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) announced Tuesday that his U.S. Senate campaign has hired Brittany Martinez as communications director.

Republican Mike Gibbons Wednesday challenged U.S. Senate primary rival Jim Renacci to a series of five debates over the final five weeks of the campaign. The Gibbons campaign said the debates would take place in five different parts of the state, suggesting hosts including media organizations, local Republican parties or other interested groups.

Recently, First Freedom Ohio, the grassroots action partner of Citizens for Community Values, announced that Jeremiah Martin will serve as executive director as the organization works to elect two conservatives, Christina Hagan and Melanie Leneghan, in congressional districts 12 and 16.

The following endorsements were made over the week:
– The campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Mike Gibbons announced the endorsement of Butler County Sherriff Richard Jones and the Miami County Republican Party.
– The campaign of gubernatorial candidate Mary Taylor announced the endorsement of the Miami County Republican Party.
– The campaign of gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray announced the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo).
– Associated Builders and Contractors endorsed Mike DeWine for governor and Jon Husted for lieutenant governor.
– The campaign of congressional candidate Troy Balderson announced the endorsements of Rep. Scott Ryan (R-Newark); Licking County Treasurer Olivia Parkinson; Licking County Common Pleas Clerk of Courts Gary Walters; Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb; Licking County Commissioner Rick Black; Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp; Licking County Auditor Michael Smith; Licking County Recorder Bryan Long; Newark Mayor Jeff Hall; former Licking County Republican Party Chairman Rod Yost; and former Licking County Republican Party Chairman Neil Carson.
– The Ohio Restaurant Association endorsed Mike DeWine for governor and Jon Husted for lieutenant governor.
– The campaign of state auditor candidate Zack Space announced the endorsement of the Ohio AFL-CIO.
– The campaign of congressional candidate Tim Kane announced the endorsement of Glenn Hubbard, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under George W. Bush.
– The Ohio Federation of Republic Women endorsed Keith Faber for auditor; Frank LaRose for secretary of state; Dave Yost for attorney general; and Mary DeGenaro and Craig Baldwin for Ohio Supreme Court. – The Summit County Republican Party endorsed Jim Renacci for U.S. Senate; Chris DePizzo for the 13th Congressional District; Dave Joyce for the 14th Congressional District; Anthony Gonzalez for the 16th Congressional District; Mike DeWine for governor and Jon Husted for lieutenant governor; Dave Yost for attorney general; Keith Faber for state auditor; Frank LaRose for secretary of state; Robert Sprague for state treasurer; Craig Baldwin and Mary DeGenaro for Ohio Supreme Court; Kristina Daley Roegner for the 27th Ohio Senate District; Josh Sines for the 34th Ohio House District; Osita Obierika for the 35th Ohio House District; Anthony DeVitis for the 36th Ohio House District; Mike Rasor for the 37th Ohio House District; and Bill Roemer for the 38th Ohio House District.
– Rep. Dave Greenspan’s re-election campaign announced the endorsement of United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 880.


Ohio’s unemployment rate fell from a revised 4.9 percent in December to 4.7 percent in January, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The state’s non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 12,100 over the month from a revised 5,534,300 in December 2017 to 5,546,400 in January 2018, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in cooperation with ODJFS.

Also released on Friday were the national unemployment figures for February which showed total non-farm payroll employment increased by 313,000, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent for the fifth consecutive month, BLS said. Employment rose in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities and mining.


The state of Ohio requires at least $25 billion in additional funding for drinking water and wastewater systems over the next 20 years to continue providing safe services, according to a new report from the U.S. Water Alliance (USWA). The report, “An Equitable Water Future: Opportunities for the Great Lakes Region,” calls for the federal, state and local governments to focus investment on water infrastructure with an emphasis on water equity related to economically-disadvantaged communities in the Great Lakes region.


Recently seated Rep. Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) talked with Hannah News about what it means to follow in his father’s footsteps in the Ohio House and what it is he hopes to accomplish.

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) announced that Christopher Scott will serve as the group’s new executive director. Most recently, Scott served as the minority engagement and special projects manager for the Ohio Democratic Party.

In other legislative action, the House Criminal Justice Committee reported out HB391 (Merrin) which includes the cost of accounting as eligible for restitution; the House Education and Career Readiness Committee reported out HB360 (Greenspan) which enacts the “Ohio Anti-Bullying and Hazing Act”; the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee reported out HB411 (Seitz-Sykes) which modifies the state’s wrongful imprisonment law; HB489 (Dever) dealing with bank and credit union regulation; and SB170 (LaRose) which deals with commercial driver’s licenses for military personnel; the House State and Local Government Committee reported out designation bill HB483 (Patterson); the Senate Judiciary Committee reported out SB244 (Dolan-Manning) which amends the penalties for promoting prostitution; and HB354 (Reineke) which addresses the Tiffin-Fostoria addiction program; and the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee reported out HCR20 which addresses federal vehicle crash standards; and highway designation bills HB516 (Cera) and HB534 (Retherford).


The state of Ohio is observing March as “Gambling Awareness Month,” coinciding with the national observance. According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), Gov. John Kasich resolves to “… recognize March 2018 as Problem Gambling Awareness Month throughout Ohio and encourage all Ohioans to participate in the theme, ‘Have the Conversation,’ with friends, family, patients and clients about responsible gambling and gambling addiction” in his proclamation.

Appointments made during the week include the following:
– John J. Lisy of Cleveland Heights (Cuyahoga County) to the Chemical Dependency Professionals Board for a term beginning March 9, 2018, and ending Dec. 23, 2019.
– Kathy A. Maguschak of Mingo Junction (Jefferson County) to the Eastern Gateway Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning March 9, 2018, and ending Oct. 16, 2022.
– Tracy S. Freeman of Pickerington (Fairfield County) to the Environmental Education Council for a term beginning March 9, 2018, and ending Oct. 1, 2019.
– Catherine A. Cawthon of Powell (Delaware County) reappointed to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for a term beginning March 9, 2018, and ending Jan. 21, 2024.
– Duana M. Patton of Galion (Crawford County) to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency for a term beginning March 9, 2018, and ending Jan. 21, 2024.
– Philip M. Walton of Perrysburg (Wood County) to the Ohio Advisory Council for Aging for a term beginning March 12, 2018, and ending Oct. 21, 2020.
– James E. Kunk of Dublin (Franklin County) to the Ohio Venture Capital Authority for a term beginning March 12, 2018, and ending Jan. 31, 2022.
– Jacqueline Goings Davis of Reynoldsburg (Franklin County) to the State Vision Professionals Board for a term beginning March 12, 2018, and ending April 22, 2019.
– Richard C. Hylant of Ottawa Hills (Lucas County) reappointed to the Great Lakes Protection Fund Board for a term beginning March 13, 2018, and ending Oct. 10, 2019.
– Glen H. Tinkoff of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) to the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services for a term beginning March 13, 2018, and ending Nov. 12, 2018.
– Aaron Jennings of Centerburg (Delaware County) to the State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services for a term beginning March 13, 2018, and ending Nov. 12, 2019.
– Manuel Chavez of Cincinnati (Hamilton County) to the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Board of Trustees for a term beginning March 13, 2018, and ending Aug. 31, 2018.
– Lori Barreras of Columbus (Franklin County) designated chair of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. Barreras was appointed to the commission in 2013. She will succeed Leonard Hubert, who resigned.
– James J. Mermis of Columbus (Franklin County) to the Chemical Dependency Professionals Board for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending Dec. 23, 2018.
– John D. Igoe of Upper Arlington (Franklin County) to the Public Benefits Advisory Board for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending June 30, 2019.
– Fred G. DeBiasi of Franklin (Warren County) to the Banking Commission for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending Jan. 31, 2021.
– Jennifer S. Wolfe of Westerville (Franklin County) to the State Cosmetology and Barber Board for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending Oct. 31, 2022.
– John Sharier of Coshocton (Coshocton County) to the Historical Boilers Licensing Board for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending Oct. 23, 2020.
– Homer D. Rufener of Sardis (Monroe County) to the Historical Boilers Licensing Board for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending Oct. 23, 2021.
– Richard L. Oeder of Morrow (Warren County) reappointed to the Historical Boilers Licensing Board for a term beginning March 14, 2018, and ending Oct. 23, 2022.


Students across Ohio and the U.S. left their classrooms in large numbers Wednesday morning for walkouts planned to honor victims of the Parkland, FL shooting and advocate for new firearms restrictions. Hundreds of those students gathered at the Ohio Statehouse later Wednesday to visit their state legislators and speak about their aims at a press conference. They met outside the Senate chambers, wearing orange and sporting signs or shirts that said “enough.”


Auditor of State Dave Yost Wednesday joined House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and other Republican legislators as they announced pending legislation to obtain additional information about the pricing practices of the state’s pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) in order to understand why small pharmacies are being forced to close due to lowered reimbursements but the state’s Medicaid program is faced with a more than 20 percent increase in its pharmacy program costs in the last two years.

There are three PBMs operating in Ohio: Express Scripts, CVS Caremark and Optum, which is owned by UnitedHealthCare. The other four managed care organizations contract with CVS Caremark for their pharmacy needs, thus giving that PBM control of a large portion of the Medicaid pharmacy business.

A new study from the liberal think tank Urban Institute measuring the effects of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on poverty indicated that the U.S. Census Bureau has drastically underreported benefits received by families nationwide, and when data were modified to fit the real amount of benefits distributed, SNAP reduced poverty by 17 percent.

Gov. John Kasich Thursday signed Executive Order 2018-02K to reauthorize the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council for the third time of his administration. The council promotes independent living, including self-help, self-determination and equal access for individuals with disabilities. The council was created in 2000 by former Gov. Bob Taft. Kasich reauthorized it in 2012 and 2015.


The Bowling Green State University (BGSU) Board of Trustees recently appointed Dr. Rodney Rogers president of the school, after his having served as interim president since Jan. 1, 2018.


Two reports from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) examining housing affordability in Ohio found that while the Buckeye State’s rental properties were cheap relative to the rest of the nation, the poorest tenants were still struggling to find places to live. According to the group’s studies “The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Renting Homes,” released in March 2018, and “Out of Reach 2017,” Ohio had the ninth-lowest housing wage in the nation, but there were only 42 housing units that are both affordable and available per 100 extremely-low income (ELI) households.


Ohio Supreme Court Justice Patrick DeWine says Special Disciplinary Counsel Brad Frick violated his legal rights in the handling of a four-count ethics complaint against him, and that allegations DeWine improperly influenced the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office to hire his sons should therefore be dismissed.

The Ohio Supreme Court will accept public comment until Wednesday, April 11 on two proposed amendments to the Rules for the Government of the Bar. One amendment is related to the attorney resignation/retirement process, and the other to continuing legal education (CLE).


Cannabis companies do not need — and would likely be harmed by — the creation of a closed-loop payment processing system for the Medical Marijuana Control Program, industry representatives said Tuesday. “This bill has already created confusion and delay for banks contemplating providing treasury management services for the marijuana industry,” Grow Ohio Pharmaceuticals Principal Mel Kurtz told the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee during testimony on HB495 (Seitz).


Medicaid Director Barbara Sears said Thursday that Ohio will start requiring managed care organizations (MCOs) to report details of pharmacy reimbursements later this year and pledged her agency’s cooperation with efforts by Auditor Dave Yost to get similar data, as lawmakers raise concerns about the pricing practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). But Sears argued against moving pharmacy benefits back under direct state control, citing increased costs and diminished care coordination abilities.


Six-and-a-half years after the law creating the Oil and Gas Leasing Commission became effective, the panel held its first meeting Thursday. After opting not to appoint members to the 129-HB133 (Adams)-created commission for years following a position change on the propriety of fracking in state parks, Gov. John Kasich relented after facing a likely budget veto override. Lawmakers included a provision in HB49 (R. Smith), vetoed by the governor, that would have shifted appointment authority from the governor to the General Assembly. The House overrode the veto nearly a year ago. The first meeting, largely organizational in nature, took place at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Geological Survey offices on Morse Road. Commission members received training on ethics and public records laws.


Attorney General Mike DeWine Friday rejected a petition for a proposed ballot issue that would amend the Ohio Constitution to regulate short-term, payday loans. Payday lending opponents submitted the petition with 2,000 signatures last month, noting a lack of action on HB123 (Koehler-Ashford), which contains similar provisions to the constitutional amendment. The constitutional amendment would cap loan interest rates at 28 percent, set a monthly lending fee cap of $20 and extend the time period borrowers can pay back the loans from two weeks to 180 days, among other provisions.


U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced Monday that Jason Knox will serve as his Central Ohio district director. Knox succeeds Stephen White, who is leaving for a job with the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) as vice president of external affairs, strategic initiatives and business development, and in-house counsel after serving as the senator’s Central Ohio district director since 2012 and a general counsel since March of 2011.

The Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice (OCHCH) announced Tuesday that Andrew Yogmour has joined its staff as the new policy and advocacy director. Since 2013, Yogmour has served as legislative aide to Ohio Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay).

The Ohio Oil and Gas Association (OOGA) has chosen Matthew Hammond as executive vice president, the organization announced Tuesday.


For the third time in the past year, the Controlling Board adopted its agenda Monday with no holds on any of the items.


A Senate bill that would make a three-day sales tax holiday during each August permanent left the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday with an amendment allowing educational service centers (ESC) to put a levy on the ballot for safety and general health. The amendment to SB226 (Bacon) had been previewed during Tuesday’s meeting by Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), who said that it would apply to any district that is a member of a particular ESC.


The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved results Thursday for American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio’s wholesale auction, which ultimately will determine its default generation rates beginning June 1. At the March 6 auction, four suppliers submitted winning bids for a one-year product at an average clearing price of $52.01 per megawatt hour (MWh) for AEP’s service period June 2018 to May 2019. Six suppliers also won bids for a two-year product at an average clearing price of $48.29 MWh for the period June 2018 to May 2020. Six suppliers, finally, won bids for a three-year product at an average clearing price of $46.53 MWh for the period June 2018 to May 2021.

Energy experts told the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) that the cost of utility-scale batteries has dropped to the point of making energy storage cheaper than the construction of traditional transmission and distribution (T&D) lines in certain situations. The last day of the PowerForward conference focused on energy storage as a component of the macro grid as an application in electric vehicles.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) approved results Wednesday from Dayton Power and Light’s (DP&L) wholesale auction, which ultimately will determine its default generation rates beginning June 1. At the March 12 auction, four suppliers submitted winning bids for a two-year product at an average clearing price of $48.66 per megawatt hour (MWh) for DP&L’s service period June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2020. Two suppliers also submitted winning bids for a three-year product at an average price of $46.34 MWh for the period June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2021.


The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recognized four Ohio employers with Safety Innovation Awards at the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo for projects addressing safety concerns in the workplace. They included Navistar, Springfield; MPW Industrial Services, Hebron; Terracon Consultants Inc., Cincinnati; and Ramco Electric Motors Inc., Greenville.

Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), providing sponsor testimony Tuesday on HB380 for himself and co-sponsor Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford), came in for a barrage of questions from members of the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee. The bill, which Seitz said he has been working on since 2009, is based on the premise that the state’s workers’ comp system should not pay benefits to undocumented immigrants who have been hurt on the job.

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors reviewed results Thursday from the 88th Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, which drew 8,100 participants in another record-breaking year — 700 more than in 2017.