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LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

We'll be your advocate — because when we support each other, we all see stronger outcomes.

Policy Priorities

We are going to make sure the legislature doesn’t stray from their main priority of making Ohio a better place in which to do business. Our goal for 2021-2022 is to create policy that further strengthens free enterprise. At the beginning of each new legislative session, the Ohio Chamber develops a list of Public Policy Priorities that make it clear to legislators what Ohio employers expect from their state legislature: A competitive, modern economy will create an environment in which businesses can expand and create jobs with less government interference. When businesses are not stifled, Ohio’s communities thrive and all Ohioans win.

For a printable copy, click on the image below, or scroll down the page to learn more.

Click the image for a printable copy.

Education & Workforce Development

To respond to the needs of Ohio employers for qualified, well-trained employees by promoting policies that meet the demands of today's workplace by pursuing strategies that link education and workforce development in a seamless system and embed skills-based learning into academic instruction.

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Advocate for a financial literacy high school graduation requirement.

  • Ohio Senate Makes Financial Literacy a Priority Blog Post
  • Financial Literacy Bill Receives Hearing in Senate Blog Post

Support increased efforts towards FAFSA completion for Ohioans.

Explore opportunities to expand the workforce to help fill existing needs by employers.

Strengthen school district Business Advisory Councils to assist in building a stronger relationship with local employers.

Ensure the continuation of the TechCred Program.

Continue efforts to alleviate the "benefits cliff."

Energy & Environment

To ensure environmental policies and regulations are both based on sound science and comprehensive information and avoid creating unnecessary red tape.

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Continue to oppose all efforts that grant nature or specific ecosystems with judicially enforceable legal rights.

Address the unintended consequences of newly enacted water withdrawal requirements.

Support remediation of brownfield properties and redevelopment of those properties to support economic development.

Work with the U.S. Chamber to protect against costly federal environmental regulations and make sure state regulations are no more stringent than their federal counterpoints.

Support comprehensive reforms to Ohio's energy policy that both balances a diverse portfolio of energy sources and provides for reliable, affordable sources of energy.

Remove barriers to entry and push back against new barriers to entry for all energy sources.

  • Overly Burdensome Solar and Wind Referendum Bills Receive First Hearing Blog Post

Equality of Opportunity

To help address inequality and injustice in America, in June 2020 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced its Equality of Opportunity Agenda comprised of substantive policy recommendations and private sector solutions. The Ohio Chamber intends to be a leader by doing our part to drive policy action at the state level.

There are many barriers that hold back people of color in their efforts to obtain an education, secure a job or state a business. Systemic inequalities hurt individuals, communities, our economy and our society. Addressing them is the smart thing to do for our economy:

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Recognize that racism is a public health crisis and support a unified effort to addressing inequities. 

Support the continuation of the Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship Program.

Improve educational opportunities for the incarcerated.

Develop entrepreneurial programs for reformed citizens. 

Reform occupational licensing restrictions and eliminate unnecessary occupational licenses.

Encourage "Fair Chance" hiring and "Clean Slate" reforms.

Health Care

To advocate for an affordable and sustainable market-based health care system that provides access to quality, affordable health care for all Ohioans.

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Advocate for greater health care cost and quality transparency to effectively empower employers and consumers to be better purchasers.

Encourage utilization of technological advancements in health care delivery.

Oppose health insurance mandates and codify ACA requirements that the state must defray actuarial cost of any new state-mandated benefits.

Work with the Health Policy Institute of Ohio to identify an appropriate role that employers can play in helping reduce health care disparities. 

Helping Businesses Recover from the Pandemic

Our members continue to face significant challenges, and a great deal of uncertainty remains due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because it's still not business-as-usual for our members, it can't be business-as-usual for the Ohio Chamber. Therefore, we will continue to prioritize a public policy response to the pandemic that seeks to assist employers in overcoming the economic disruptions caused by the virus and ensure the survival of as many businesses as possible.

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Align existing workforce training programs with new and different workforce challenges caused by COVID-19.

Ease municipal tax withholding compliance burden for employers whose employees continue to work at various locations and not in the company office.

Amend state wage and hour laws to clarify that de minimis amounts of time spent on electronic devices are not used when calculating overtime pay.

  • Ohio Chamber Bill to Modernize Ohio's Overtime Laws Gets First Hearing in Senate Blog Post
  • Ohio Chamber Testifies in Support of Bill to Modernize Ohio's Overtime Laws Blog Post

Codify when work from home injuries are compensable.

Support effective and timely administration of COVID-19 vaccine.

Advocate that Ohio direct some of Ohio's federal coronavirus relief dollars towards shoring up the state's Unemployment Compensation Fund.

Prevent employers from facing unreasonable civil liability in claims arising from COVID-19.

Labor & Employment

To protect employers' rights to manage their workplace with limited governmental involvement and regulation and to simplify Ohio's employment law statutes in a way that's fair to both employers and employees.

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Address the long-term solvency of the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund.

  • Ohio's Broke Unemployment System Sticks Buckeye State Employers with $1.3 Billion Tab - And It's Only Getting Worse Blog Post

Reduce the complexity and administrative burden of Ohio's unemployment compensation system.

  • Ohio Chamber Testifies in Front of Unemployment Compensation Modernization & Improvement Council Blog Post

Reinforce employers' ability to make employment decisions based upon an individual's medical marijuana use.

Defend against onerous government mandates that drive up labor costs.

Continue to stress the need to ultimately make Ohio a right-to-work state.

Push for the enactment of the Ohio Fairness Act.

  • Ohio Chamber Voices Continued Support for Ohio Fairness Act Blog Post

Public Affairs

To monitor and evaluate public affairs issues and activities including elections, campaign finance, ethics and lobbyist regulations, when of interest to the business community; and to examine proposed state constitutional amendments or initiative petition efforts that affect the electoral process.

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Proactively battle ballot initiatives proposed by anti-business special interest groups.

Safeguard the Ohio Constitution by requiring broader public support for proposed amendments.

Clarify and reinforce laws governing the ballot issue petition process.

Preserve the First Amendment right of businesses to unrestricted political advocacy.

Identify, encourage, endorse and support pro-business candidates for the General Assembly.

Lead the business community in monitoring judicial decisions and engaging in judicial elections and educate the public about the role and importance of the judiciary. 

Enhance awareness of the Ohio Chamber's General Assembly voting record, the Free Enterprise Index.

Small Business

To promote and protect the establishment, growth and vitality of small business in Ohio.

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Advocate for responsible, increased price transparency for health care services and oppose policies such as health care mandates that contribute to the rising costs of health care.

Support legislation that strengthens small business options when faced with unknown and/or uncertain regulations.

  • Ohio Senate Hears Support for Ohio Chamber Legislation During First Judiciary Committee This Year (SB 13) Blog Post
  • Ohio Senate Takes Quick Action in Support of Ohio's Business Community (SB 13) Blog Post
  • Update: Regulatory Reform Measure Clears Senate Committee (SB 9) Blog Post
  • Ohio Chamber Priority Legislation is First Bill to Reach Gov. DeWine's Desk This Year (SB 13) Blog Post
  • DeWine Makes Pro-Business Bill the First Law Enacted in the 134th General Assembly Blog Post

Support the Common Sense Initiative office and pursue attempts to expand their responsibilities. 

Explore measures that provide fairness to businesses as it relates to property taxes.

Support a fair and equitable plan for the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund to achieve solvency.

Taxes

To foster a fair and equitable tax system that stimulates growth, innovation and job creation and minimizes compliance costs and administrative burdens.

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Modernize and clarify the rules regarding what constitutes electronic information services and their sales and use tax treatment.

Reform the withholding requirements for pass-through entities. 

Improve the current D+ grade on the Council on State Taxation (COST) Property Tax Administration Scorecard. 

  • The Ohio Chamber Testifies in Support of HB 126 - Revaluation Notification Blog Post

Work to keep and improve the Business Investment Income Deduction (BIID). Repeal equity claw-back and clarify business income definition. 

Study current economic development incentives and report on ideas for new or improved incentives for the economy of the 21st century.

Repeal the existing sales tax on employment services.

Simplify municipal income tax compliance.

  • Municipal Income Tax Withholding Update Blog Post

Workers' Compensation

To ensure Ohio's workers' compensation system runs efficiently and effectively for both state-funded and self-insured employers, is effective in providing proper medical treatment for injured employees, and keeps its cost for employers competitive with other states' systems.

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Ensure that non-medical benefit payments are only payable for loss of earning capacity.

Establish performance, outcome and cost metrics by which providers can be measured and ranked.

Ensure employers are not unreasonably penalized for an employee's failure to attend medical or other appointments.

Clarify when claimants receiving wage continuation may apply for permanent partial disability. 

Guard against expansion of workers' compensation coverage to include psychological-only claims.

Make claimants more responsible for their care.

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