Week in Review - 01/05/2017

Week in Review - 01/05/2017

ECONOMY

The capital-area economy will continue to grow faster than the nation in 2018 at a pace of 1.8 percent, resulting in more than 19,000 new jobs and total employment of over 1.1 million in central Ohio, Regionomics economist Bill Lafayette announced Wednesday. The Columbus region will remain the outlier in the state as a whole, which he said should continue more sluggish performance from 2017.


EDUCATION

Now that the Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments in February, a ruling in the legal battle between Ohio's largest online charter school and the Ohio Department of Education appears to be at least several weeks away.. Justices will meet Tuesday, Feb. 13 for oral arguments in Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, Jeremy Aker et al v. Ohio Department of Education.


The Ohio Department of Education is reminding schools they have little more than a week to petition the state to recognize work credentials for use in achieving high school graduation requirements. A combination of earning an industry-recognized credential and passing the WorkKeys job skills assessment is one of the pathways Ohio high school students can use to earn a diploma. More information about the application process is available at http://education.ohio.gov/Media/Ed-Connection/Jan-3-2018/Deadline-to-recommend-industry-recognized-credenti.

 

ELECTIONS

Secretary of State Jon Husted said that 29 local elections held during the 2017 General Election in November were decided by a single vote or tied, including 25 local races and four local issues.


ELECTIONS 2018

Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) said Tuesday he's naming Stephanie Dodd, District 9 representative for the State Board of Education, as his running mate for the gubernatorial election.


HIGHER EDUCATION

A new report finds Ohio had a net gain in students attending college as freshmen in the fall of 2016 compared to the number of students in the state who left. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education, recently released its report on enrollment in postsecondary institutions around the nation that participate in federal student financial aid programs such as Pell Grants or Direct Stafford Loans during the 2016-17 academic year.


JUDICIAL

Ohio oil and gas leases do not include an implied requirement that drillers "explore further" into untapped deposits that is separate from the requirement that they "reasonably develop" overall mineral rights, whether or not deeper shale formations remain unexplored in a given parcel, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In a 6-1 ruling, the Supreme Court rejected claims by a family of Washington County property owners that an implied covenant to explore further obligated Collins-McGregor Operating Company to drill below the shallow Gordon Sand deposits that had been producing on a 74-acre piece of land for over three decades.


PUBLIC SAFETY

State Fire Marshal Jeff A. Hussey recently announced the FY18 awardees for the Multi-Agency Radio Communications Systems (MARCS) grants, which include 186 fire departments in 54 counties throughout Ohio. The MARCS radio system allows first responders to seamlessly communicate, not only with each other, but with other agencies responding to an incident such as fire departments from neighboring areas and other law enforcement personnel.

 

TAXATION

Starting in 2018, state tax deductions on contributions to an Ohio college savings plan double thanks to a provision in the current biennial budget, HB49 (R. Smith). This year, the state income tax deduction for contributions to an Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 plan doubles from $2,000 to $4,000 per beneficiary per year.