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February 10, 2021
February 2021 Legislative Report

LEGISLATIVE REPORT

By Mark Totman, Legislation Representative

The Ohio Senate and House members are expected to get back to business in early February.

Prior to the end of the session, we were happy to report that we felt our coalition safeguarded our issues through the lame-duck session. Some of the proposed legislation included changes to apprenticeships, trades licensing, etc. We expect these issues and the other issues including prevailing wage, unemployment compensation, etc., to be brought back up this session.

The good news from the lame-duck session is that a Capitol Budget Bill of approximately $2.5 billion was passed. The bill includes funding for state-owned buildings, infrastructure, energy, water treatment plant projects, etc., around the state, providing a needed boost for our industry in these trying times.

The DeWine Administration will introduce their ODOT Budget Bill to the Legislature in mid-January. We have heard from ODOT Director Marchsbanks that we could be looking at a possible $300 million deficit in the budget due to the lack of funding from the gas tax. This was caused by a reduction of gas consumption throughout the state related to COVID-19. The Director said that there is a possibility of $200 million or more in the CARES Act funding that could possibly make up some of the lost gas tax revenue. We are hopeful this can be used to fund ODOT projects in 2021.

We are also working with the DeWine Administration and Director Marchsbanks, at the request of President Biden to our International General President, to compile a list of shovel ready infrastructure projects for possible federal funding to get these projects started in 2021.

Hopefully, 2021 will be the end of COVID-19 and we can get somewhat back to normal. Thanks again to all the members who support Local 18 and our political work here in Ohio and Washington D.C.

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