New perspectives, new paths forward; save the date for Greater Ohio’s 2019 Summit on March 14, 2019.
By Jason Warner, GOPC Manager of Government Affairs As Greater Ohio continues its advocacy efforts at the Ohio Statehouse, we have recently updated our policy platform as it relates to House Bill 49, the state main operating budget for Fiscal Years 2018-2019.
The full position paper is available here.
To learn more about House Bill 49, including status updates, you can read our April legislative update.
This week, the Governor’s mid-biennium review budget bill related to water systems testing was introduced. HB512 (Ginther-R) focuses on four major reform areas. First, it proposes new and stricter guidelines for testing lead in drinking water.
Second, it proposes to shorten the timelines for the Ohio EPA and water system owners to notify affected residents of test results.
Third, it proposes to extend the maximum repayment schedule for loans taken out in service of renovating or constructing wastewater treatment systems to 30 years, making these loans more affordable; it also proposes to expand the types of projects eligible for financing through state programs.
Last, it proposes to provide more grant dollars to be used to replaced lead pipelines in schools.
GOPC applauds Governor Kasich and the Legislature for pro-actively offering more and stronger tools to Ohio’s local communities as they work to address lead in Ohio’s water systems. Mitigating outdated and dangerous pipes are one important component reforming and modernizing Ohio’s water and sewer infrastructure systems. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates on this bill and other legislation we are tracking.
GOPC is a leading advocate for policy reforms that will support a diverse and modernized transportation system in Ohio. To support GOPC’s most recent policy recommendations, GOPC has published a series of research memos that:
- Analyze Pennsylvania’s 2013 comprehensive budget reform and identifies strategies that Ohio could replicate. Undertaking a similar reform in Ohio could produce more resources and recalibrated funding to better fund all transportation modes, especially public transportation.
- Outline the benefits of “flexing” $30 million of Ohio’s federal dollars to public transportation. Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the country yet ranks 38th in state support of public transportation. The allocation of existing federal funds to transit could support 370 new rural transit vans or 107 new full size buses per year. Ohio currently has 275 rural vehicles and 900 urban buses beyond their useful life and 22 rural counties without any transit service.
- Discuss the benefits of raising the state motor fuel tax, indexing it to inflation and removing, through statewide ballot, the constitutional provisions that restricts the gas tax’s use to highways. By the Ohio constitution, the state’s gas tax can only be used for highway construction and repairs. While increasing the gas tax is not a complete solution, it is a longstanding resource that will remain so for Ohio.
To attract and retain businesses and residents, states across the country are investing in diverse, modern transportation systems that support all modes. Ohio has a geographic advantage of being within 600 miles of over half of the U.S. and Canadian populations. To leveraging this prime position, Ohio must invest in transit, bike/ped, rail, deep water ports, airports and highways. GOPC’s memos outline strategies to support and enhance all the modes that make up Ohio’s transportation system.
Click here to for more information and to access the memos.
Lavea Brachman selected from nationally competitive pool to serve as Fellow at University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. The Greater Ohio Policy Center is proud to announce that Lavea Brachman, Executive Director, will serve as a Resident Fellow at The University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics for ten weeks during the spring quarter, starting the end of March.
The University of Chicago Institute of Politics (IOP) Fellows Program provides opportunities for students to learn from practitioners about civic engagement, public service, and public policy issues. Fellows, which include journalists, former elected officials, campaign strategists, and other experts in their field, “lead non-credit seminars on timely and relevant issues of national import.”
Lavea will teach a seminar that will focus on the challenges and future of older industrial cities. During this time, she will have an opportunity to interact with other practitioners, academics and community leaders.
From March 28th until May 31st, Lavea will be in residence at the IOP and be taking a leave from her day-to-day responsibilities as GOPC Executive Director. During this short absence, GOPC’s Deputy Director Alison Goebel will manage and oversee the organization’s day-to-day operations. Lavea will remain available to staff throughout her two month Fellowship and will continue to advise on and contribute to certain on-going projects.
The GOPC Board and staff are thrilled for Lavea. Her selection as an IOP Fellow is also a great honor for GOPC – reflecting on GOPC’s stellar work and expertise in this arena.