Week in Review - 08/10/2018

Week in Review - 08/10/2018

FY18-19 BUDGET

Tax receipts held close to projections in July for the first month of FY19, with a small dip in personal income tax collections and a modest bump in sales tax collections versus forecasts. Preliminary revenue reports from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) show tax receipts ahead of estimates by $11.6 million, or 0.7 percent, reaching $1.67 billion for the month. Since it's the first month of FY19, those are the relevant figures for year-to-date revenues as well.


EDUCATION

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation this week announced that 11 new credentials have been approved for students seeking to use the industry-recognized credential option to receive a high school diploma in the 2018-2019 school year.


Ohio law allows the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to use log-in duration data to determine enrollment and funding levels for online charter schools, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, ratifying lower court decisions in the lawsuit filed by Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). The decision follows a two-year saga involving the now defunct ECOT, which closed in January. The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West pulled the plug on the school as its cash dwindled because the state was garnishing monthly funding to recoup past overpayments.


Attendees to a Wednesday afternoon session of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual meeting were told "often the simplest solution is the most effective" for school safety, with panelists suggesting that schools should include classroom doors that lock from the inside and require teachers to lock those doors once classes start.


ELECTIONS 2018

State Board of Education Vice President Nancy Hollister will not seek reelection to the State Board of Education (SBOE), according to candidate fillings in Stark County. Wednesday was the filing deadline for nonpartisan candidates in five regional districts to appear on ballots in November, with incumbents appearing in four of those races. Notably, in the eighth district, returning candidate Kathleen Purdy will run against former Rep. John Hagan, father of Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance).


EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

The nation added 157,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 4 percent in June, according to new numbers released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


GAMING/GAMBLING

Total adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for Ohio's four casinos was $69.7 million in July 2018, a small dip from July 2017's AGR of $69.9 million, according to the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). July racino net revenues were $88.9 million, up significantly from $84.5 million in July 2017, according to video lottery terminal (VLT) numbers released by the Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC). The month's revenues were also up from June, which totaled $87.4 million.


GOVERNOR

Gov. John Kasich's office announced his Friday, August 3 signing of the following bills:

- HB312 (Schuring-Greenspan), regulating local governments' use of credit and debit cards.

- HB87 (Roegner), governing the return of money recover after a charter school enrollment audit, requiring the creation of standards on learning management software for online charter schools, and making other education law changes.

- HB318 (Patterson-LaTourette), setting standards for school resource officers and limiting the use of suspension and expulsions for children in third grade and below, among other education law changes.

- SB216 (Huffman), a deregulatory measure for K-12 schools.


LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Ohio Municipal League (OML) and Ohio Township Association (OTA) both called Wednesday for the use of a projected state surplus for infrastructure, public safety and anti-addiction efforts, rather than additional contributions to the Rainy Day Fund or a cut in tax withholding, as Gov. John Kasich proposes. Their statements follow similar sentiments expressed Tuesday by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio

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TAXATION

The administration plans in November to reduce the amount of income tax withheld from Ohioans' paychecks, Gov. John Kasich and Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Tim Keen announced Tuesday.