OML UPDATE AT-A-GLANCE
Here are the top three things you need to know from this past week:
- The Ohio's Road to Our Future Joint Legislative Study Committee, created by the Transportation Budget (HB 62) has named ten legislators to the panel, five from each chamber, to be co-chaired by Rep. Greenspan (R - Westlake) and Sen. McColley (R - Napoleon). The panel will examine alternative sources of revenue for the Ohio Department of Taxation, evolving technology, innovative finance techniques and similar issues.
- The Bureau of Worker's Compensation (BWC) has announced they are considering reducing premium rates for public employers by an average of 10% starting in 2020. This is in addition to the 20% reduction for private employer rates that became effective on July 1st as well as a $1.5 billion refund that is going to Ohio employers.
- Ohio's unemployment rate continues to drop as the state's rate dropped from 4.6% in May to 4% in June.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION RELESES 2020 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUND (LGF) PROJECTIONS
The Ohio Department of Taxation (PDT) has released their projections with the increase in the LGF via the recently passed state operating budget for the Undivided Local Government Fund (ULGF) that will be dispersed first to counties, then other political subdivisions, in 2020. Our members can access a spreadsheet HERE that breaks down the projected estimate that will be distributed to the counties over each month in 2020. Additionally, our members can access a document HERE breaking down more information on the ULGF for each county. These documents can be access on ODT's website as well.
GOVERNOR SIGNS CONTROVERSIAL ENERGY BILL, HB 6
On July 23, Governor DeWine signed HB 6, which would facilitate and encourage electricity production and use from nuclear and renewable energy resources in this state and to maintain, with modifications, the standards for renewable energy and energy efficiency savings. (Link: https://bit.ly/2XK7rRK).
The debate over the final version of HB 6 was featured prominently in the media due to provisions that opponents argue were essentially bailouts of two nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions. Political ad spending regarding this bill totaled over $ 9 million dollars before the legislature concurred on the final version of HB 6.
The final bill grants $150 million each year for the, Davis-Besse and Perry Plants. These funds will be allocated from a $170 million-a-year subsidy program created by the bill that will be overseen by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority starting in 2021. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) will have the authority to audit First Energy Solutions' books and requires that the company comply fully and provide any documents PUCO requests. The PUCO will have the authority to revise or end the subsidy based on the audit's findings.
The additional $20 million from the subsidy program will be allocated to several solar projects that have already been approved by state regulators.
Supporters of the final version of the bill say it will result in $1.3 billion in savings for ratepayers by rolling back renewable and energy efficiency standards. The bill lowers renewable energy standards from 12.5% to 8.5% by 2026 before eliminating them entirely in 2027.