for visiting the website for State Representative Nan Baker. I would appreciate any comments you would like to offer. You can send your comments directly to me at email@example.com
As I continue to say . . .
‘It’s All About Jobs!’
Continuing to move Ohio toward a more business friendly environment, the 129th General Assembly has enacted historic changes whether it's reducing taxes, balancing an $8 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, or specifically enacting legislation that encourages business to stay, expand or move Jobs to Ohio. At times, difficult decisions needed to be made to turn the corner toward prosperity.
OHIO IS GETTING STRONGER
As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics June 15, 2012, here are Ohio Job Numbers:
Since Jan. 2011, Ohioans have created 94,300 jobs.
Ohio's unemployment rate went down in May to 7.3%. The U.S. rate went up to 8.2%.
The most recent numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics say the U.S. created 69,000 jobs in May. Ohio created 19,600.
Since House Bill 153 (the state budget) took effect, Ohio's unemployment rate has improved nearly twice as fast as the national rate.
Over the past month (April 2012 – May 2012), Ohio is 2nd in the nation and 1st in the Midwest with 19,600 jobs added. (California was 1st)
Over the past year (May 2011 – May 2012), we are 4th in the nation and 1st in the Midwest in job creation with 75,700 new jobs. (Texas, California, and New York are 1, 2 and 3 respectively)
Since January of 2011, Ohio is 4th in the nation and 1st in the Midwest in job creation with 94,300 new jobs added. (Texas, California, and New York are 1, 2 and 3 respectively)
OHIO'S CREDIT RATINGS: IMPROVING & STABLE
• Standard & Poor's: Upgraded Ohio's Credit Rating to "Stable" from "Negative" in July 2011
• Moody's Upgraded Ohio's Credit Rating to "Stable" from "Negative" in March 2012
• Fitch's: Holding Steady at AA+
THIS HAS BEEN THE 1ST TIME ALL THREE CREDIT RATINGS HAVE BEEN STABLE SINCE FEBRUARY 2007
This sends a signal all across this country that Ohio IS open for business.
In 2012, we will continue to see Ohio’s private sector economy grow jobs through job retention and creation fostered by the changes we have made to make Ohio a more friendly business environment.
Here's a recap of the 2011-2012, 129th General Assembly job-focused legislation for your review.
SUCCESSFUL JOB BILLS
1. State Operating Budget
AND SAVING YOU TAX DOLLARS
- This was a tough budget given we inherited an $8 billion financial hole caused by the loss of Obama stimulus funds and a decline in revenue because of job loss. Since its introduction in March, the House developed a number of significant changes to the proposed budget. These changes were instrumental in helping the budget retain vital services while continuing to improve our job market and economy. As you recall, Westlake and Rocky River schools were destined for a 72% and 79% state-aid cut and I was able to work with our five superintendents and representatives at the House to cap the loss of state-aid to 20%. Representatives Dovilla and Anielski were also very engaged in this effort. Senator Patton enhanced the budget further with his colleagues in the Senate and restored all state-aid except for the Tangible Personal Property Tax reimbursement. Given the state of the economy, everyone was asked to tighten their belt. We felt this was a reasonable compromise. On the local government front, the House made cuts to state agencies and made other adjustments in order to provide access to $45 million per year to local governments as they show ways to improve collaboration with other cities to save costs. Our five cities have an outstanding reputation as being trail blazers of innovation; the St. John Medical Dispatch Center is a great example. Possible uses for this funding could potentially include purchasing equipment, covering personnel costs, as well as other cooperative agreements. PASSED INTO LAW
2. Final Roll Back of the Personal Income Tax Reduction
- Since 2006, 4% each year (except 2010) the collection of income taxes has been reduced. We were the 7th highest taxed state and we are now the 16th highest tax state. Although there is still more room for improvement, we are certainly moving in the right direction. This means more money for businesses to invest and more money in your paycheck. PASSED INTO LAW
- Tax Incentive To Spur Small Business Investment - As part of the 2011 budget, this program is aimed at spurring investments by linking the small businesses with the money needed to grow and create jobs. The goal is to generate at least $1 billion in new private investment by 2013 and lead to 30,000 new jobs. This bill permits investors to collect an income tax credit for investment of up to $10 million in eligible small businesses. Investors must keep the investment for at least two years. The tax credit on personal income will generally be equal to 10 percent of the investment. Businesses receiving investment must spend the money within six months, putting it into one of five categories such as compensation for new or retained employees, real estate in Ohio and equipment. PASSED INTO LAW
4. Small Business Resource Portal
- Ohio Business Gateway - We are currently working with the Department of Administrative Services to enhance the online Small Business Resource Center on the Ohio Business Gateway. We have met several times with different business advocates such as the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Council of Small Enterprises (COSE), Society of CPAs and many business owners to create a user friendly online business center. This business center will offer a source of valuable information by businesses in Ohio or those looking to relocate. ACTIVELY IN PROGRESS
5. Ohio Third Frontier
- Continued Innovation Program Creating Opportunity - Passed by the voters in 2010, the Ohio Third Frontier is an unprecedented commitment to create new technology-based products, companies, industries and jobs extended through 2015. The voters overwhelmingly supported that technology and innovation will lead to economic prosperity both today and for future generations. ACTIVELY IN PROGRESS
6. Workforce Development
- As Ohio is attracting new companies and fostering the growth of existing companies, a critical component to job growth is workforce development. It is clear that a critical focus for improving Ohio's economy is a well-prepared and educated workforce. It was a privilege to be part of the newly created Workforce Development Committee that traveled to Ohio University, Miami University, Bowling Green and Lorain County Community College. We heard from eighty-five witnesses encompassing nearly twenty hours of discussion with the committee. I'll keep you posted as to our progress on this front. ACTIVELY IN PROGRESS
7. Clean Ohio Council
- The Clean Ohio Council was created to select projects that will receive grants and low-interest loans from the Clean Ohio Fund. It is a privilege to serve as one of 15 council members. It's purpose is to restore, protect, and connect Ohio's important natural and urban places by cleaning up brownfields and encourage redevelopment and revitalize communities. ACTIVELY IN PROGRESS
8. House Bill 1
- JobsOhio, Restructuring of the Ohio Department of Development - The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) is the top agency for fostering a climate for job creation. Part of this effort means ensuring that the department is responsive to business and for business leaders to have direct access to provide feedback to the agency without enduring excessive bureaucracy. JobsOhio has recently been launched and Tom Waltermire with Team NEO representing North East Ohio is our contact. PASSED INTO LAW
9. House Bill 2
- Performance Audits for State Agencies - This House Bill will grant the Auditor of State explicit authority to conduct performance audits on state agencies. In these tough economic times, it is vital for our economic success that we are not wasting any valuable resources. PASSED INTO LAW
10. House Bill 3
- Repealing the Estate Tax - Ohio is only one of thirteen states that levies an estate or inheritance tax on their citizens. All of your life you pay taxes and Ohio taxes you again upon your death. The estate tax threshold is $338,333.00. This tax affects small business, middle class families and family farms. For small businesses, inventory, equipment and a building could easily add up to more than $338,333.00. This repeal allows Ohio citizens to plan for their future without worrying whether their heirs will receive their assets. It encourages many people to stay in Ohio and keep their businesses and investments in Ohio. For planning purposes, this bill, now part of the state operating budget, is scheduled to take effect January 2013. PASSED INTO LAW
11. House Bill 18 - Vacant Property/Job Creation Bill
- This House Bill gives an incentive to businesses that are out of space, adding new employees and need to relocate. This bill will give the business owner an incentive to stay in Ohio, or if out of state, come to Ohio and consider locating to a vacant building. The mass exodus of large and small corporations from Ohio has left behind abandoned and vacant buildings dotting urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. New and expanding companies could revitalize these buildings. By occupying buildings where businesses have left, companies will be entering economies full of citizens that need jobs and are ready to work. Areas with high percentages of vacant or abandoned properties are also areas that have high unemployment rates. Companies expanding into these areas can revitalize the communities and make the local economy enticing for more businesses to enter, as well. Occupying previously abandoned buildings also raises the property value and therefore local governments receive a higher return on property taxes. This bill has passed unanimously in the House Ways and Means Committee by both Democrats and Republicans on December 7, 2011 and passed overwhelmingly by 82 bi-partisan votes in the House of Representatives on December 14, 2011. Unanimously passed out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on March 15, 2012 and passed unanimously out of the Senate Chamber in April 2012.
SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR KASICH MAY, 2012.
12. House Bill 58 - Creates a New Refundable Job Retention Tax Credit
- Companies eligible for the tax credit are those with at least 1,000 employees that agree to make $25 million in capital improvements over three consecutive years. This bill was instrumental in keeping American Greetings in Northeast Ohio after the company said it was considering moving its headquarters to Illinois. We look forward to their grand opening in Westlake. PASSED INTO LAW
13. House Bill 94 - Small Business Regulatory Reforms
- This is a House Bill that Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor spearheaded. It was a privilege to have this bill presented in our Economic and Small Business Development Committee. This bill will assist businesses that often struggle to remain apprised of and compliant with the ever-changing regulatory environment. A rule-making agency is required to conduct a cost-benefit analysis and regulatory flexibility analysis on how proposed rules might impact business. Created in this legislation is the Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Office. There will be a Business Ombudsperson that will insure that regulations pass the common sense test. PASSED INTO LAW
14. House Bill 133 - Responsible Oil and Gas Development
- The development of Marcellus and Utica shale offers the State of Ohio exciting new opportunities for oil and gas production, economic development and job growth. The creation of the Oil and Gas Leasing Commission will oversee and coordinate the leasing of land owned or controlled by a state agency, state university or college for the exploration, development and production of oil and gas. PASSED INTO LAW
15. House Bill 315
– Tough but Fair Policy Protecting the Environment – Moving Forward on Economic Development – This legislation relates to advanced and renewable energy, water conservation and waste-water treatment. The was changes will require increased disclosure of fracking chemicals and water usage, water well sampling with 1,500 feet of proposed horizontal wells and documentation and tracking of oil and gas wells from the time they are started until they are capped. Shippers of brine and other waste fluids will have to be disclosed prior to injection into disposal wells. This bill also requires increased inspections of wells and liability insurance coverage for well owners. Drillers who break the law could face up to $20,000 in daily fines. These regulations are tougher in high-pressure pipelines and gathering lines than the federal government. PASSED INTO LAW.
16. House Bill 473
– Provides Strong Protections While Also Developing the Jobs Associated with Steel Plants, Farms, and Many Factories in Ohio's Industrial Corridor. Legislation to establish a permitting process to protect Lake Erie and its tributaries from potentially harmful withdrawals and to establish other requirements related to the implementation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. This common sense approach to protecting Lake Erie addresses all of the tenets of the Great Lakes Compact. In fact, HB 473 exceeds what many Great Lakes states have done regarding the protection and monitoring of high quality streams. Withdrawal vs. Consumption: the important issue in not how much water is withdrawn, but how much is consumed. Almost all of the water that is withdrawn is returned to the watershed and only a fraction is actually consumed. In the past, Ohio did not regulate these withdrawals, but under the Compact we are required to implement this new regulatory program. This bill does so in a manner that promotes good stewardship of our water resources and at the same time it promotes job creation. PASSED INTO LAW.
17. House Resolution 51
– Urges Congress to enact the Stop Invasive Species (including Asian Carp) Act, S.2317. This Resolution would compel the Secretary of the Army to complete the report from the Great Lakes Mississippi River Interfacing Study within eighteen months of its enactment to determine what is necessary to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species including Asian Carp between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins. The risk of Asian Carp establishing populations in the Great Lakes basin is significant, potentially severe, and certainly a very real threat to the fishing industry, the ecological health and economic well-being of the Great Lakes. PASSED UNANIMOUSLY OUT OF THE HOUSE AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE AND UNANIMOUSLY OUT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES JUNE 2012. PENDING SENATE APPROVAL.
18. House Bill 327
– Provides Opportunities for Home Based Workers. This legislation creates the opportunity for an employee jobs creation tax credit for qualifying employers. Specifically, the bill allows the Ohio Tax Credit Authority to give tax credits to employers with home based workers. This would be an excellent opportunity for those that are restricted in their mobility. Also, this gives an opportunity to those that want to stay home while raising their family to earn additional income. House bill 327 is another innovative, competitive proposal to boosting job growth. PASSED INTO LAW.
19. House Bill 489 - TourismOhio/ODSA
- Revamps the state's tourism office into the TourismOhio office and forms an advisory board of tourism experts to oversee it. It establishes a pilot program to test a new funding mechanism for Ohio's travel and tourism marketing. This bill also gives the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) a new name called Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA). The change comes as part of the transfer of economic development duties from the ODOD to JobsOhio. PASSED INTO LAW.
20. House Bill 521 - Motion Picture Ohio Incentive
- A proposal to reauthorize and increase funding for the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit to $20 Million per year for 2 years. This bill will keep young people from leaving the state seeking employment elsewhere and attract new people to move here to work in this new industry. Renewing the motion picture tax credit is a critical step in building a strong statewide film industry. PASSED INTO LAW.