March 23, 2022
Ohio Chamber Joins Amicus Brief in Support of Keeping Line 5 Open
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, along with five other business organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Canadian Chamber of Commerce, filed an amicus brief in support of Enbridge’s lawsuit that seeks to keep Line 5 open.

The amicus brief was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, et al. v. Gretchen Whitmer. CLICK HERE to read the full amicus brief filed today.
Ephemeral Streams- HB 175
Last week, House Bill 175 received opponent testimony in the Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee where it received significant changes.

The substitute would narrow the scope of the bill by excluding ephemeral features not subjected to regulation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the federal Clean Water Act. The changes would also establish requirements for impacts to those features that are subject to Army Corps regulation, including mitigation requirements and best management practices. The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency would be prohibited from imposing any requirements on those features beyond those specified.

A separate amendment was also unveiled to require the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a statewide underground injection control program for Class IV injection wells, which would give the state primary enforcement authority over those wells from the U.S. EPA.

The Ohio Chamber will continue to support the bill.
House Bill 2 - Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program 
Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik unveiled the first round of grant awards for the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program in the amount of $232 million. The awards will go to 11 assorted private providers to help fund 104 total projects to partially offset constructions costs associated with building broadband infrastructure into unserved areas of the state.

As a result of these awards, nearly 100,000 presently unserved households and 230,000 Ohioans across 62 counties will soon have access to high speed internet service. The program and initial $20 million funding were established under House Bill 2, sponsored by former State Rep. Rick Carfagna and State Rep. Brian Stewart, with $250 million added in the state operating budget.

This was priority legislation for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, who proudly testified as an original proponent of this bill numerous times across three General Assemblies.
Ohio Chamber Testifies on Workforce Housing
Government Affairs SVP Rick Carfagna testified before the Ohio Federally Subsidized Housing Study Committee on the importance of workforce housing. The Chamber urged the body to not just reaffirm Ohio’s existing commitments to federally subsidized housing, but also explore and recommend additional strategies to promote new construction and availability of housing stock.

Where and how companies locate or expand will largely be determined by proximity to employees, with housing being a critical component in shaping the growth potential of our communities statewide. Subsidized housing at below market-rate rents allows income-restricted individuals, families, and older adults to meet other household needs such as food, transportation, utilities and personal services. The opportunity cost of these savings translates into new money spent locally that supports jobs and generates tax revenue.

The Ohio Chamber stands ready to support efforts to enhance Ohio’s housing stock as both an attraction tool to lure companies to the state, and as a retention tool for Ohio-based companies looking to expand their operational footprint.
Ohio Chamber of Commerce | 614-228-4201 |