COLUMBUS—Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) highlighted a report published by Secretary of State Jon Husted's office today showing that 2016 was the seventh consecutive record-breaking year for the number of new entities filing to do business in the state of Ohio.

Last year, 105,009 new businesses were formed, surpassing the previous year's record of 97,746. Since 2010, the annual number of new business formations with the state has increased by more than 30 percent.

"Our future is about innovating. It’s about improving. It’s about transforming. Ohio is becoming a premier state for entrepreneurs to start and expand their businesses. We must continue to build on this momentum by pursuing further improvements to our state's business climate," said Obhof.

In 2015, Senator Obhof sponsored Senate Bill 26 and co-sponsored House Bill 3, which cut the filing fees for starting a new business or non-profit entity by more than 20 percent. Ohio is now the least expensive state to start and maintain a business in the Midwest.

Ranked 11th in the nation on Forbes' Best States for Business 2016, Ohio has climbed 27 spots since 2011. Private sector employers have created more than 430,000 new jobs during that span.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced today the recommendation of Steve Wilson to fill the vacancy in Ohio’s 7th State Senate District seat, including all of Warren and part of Hamilton and Butler counties.

A seven-member screening committee of senators met with five applicants for the vacancy and recommended Wilson for appointment to the seat.  

“Steve has a tremendous record of leadership in the private sector,” said Obhof.  “This was a very talented group of candidates, and every applicant for this seat made a strong impression on the committee.  Steve offers a unique depth of experience, temperament and understanding of the issues impacting this region of the state, and we’re confident his constituents will agree.  Our caucus looks forward to helping him serve the people of the 7th Senate district."

Wilson, the former chief executive and current chairman of LCNB Corp and LCNB National Bank, offers more than 40 years of local service experience in the private and non-profit sectors.  Wilson serves on the board of trustees at his alma mater, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and as vice chair of the Warren County Port Authority.  He is a past chair of the American Bankers Association and the Ohio Bankers Association, as well as a former board member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.  Wilson served as president of the Lebanon Area Chamber of Commerce, the Lebanon City Schools board of education and as a member of the board of directors for Countryside YMCA, currently the largest YMCA organization in the world.  He also is a member of the Butler County Business Hall of Fame, as well as Cincinnati Magazine’s Business Hall of Fame.

Wilson has chaired or coordinated multiple economic, capital and historic development campaigns, including projects with the Ohio Historical Society, the Little Miami Bike Trail, the Warren County Foundation and the Child Advocacy Center of Warren County.

Upon graduation from Miami University, Wilson received a commission as a United States Naval Officer and was named a Distinguished Naval Graduate by the Chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C.  He and his wife, Jill, have four children and five grandchildren.  They currently reside in Maineville, Ohio, where they are active members of the Otterbein United Methodist Church.  Wilson is an avid walker and recently completed the Ohio Erie Trail, which starts on the banks of the Ohio River and ends on the shores of Lake Erie.

The 24-member Senate Republican caucus is responsible by law for appointing a temporary replacement to the seat after the resignation of State Senator Shannon Jones, who recently became a Warren County commissioner.  The caucus plans to meet by the end of January to accept the screening committee’s recommendation and seat the new member.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today announced the release of the 2016 Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee Progress Report, which showed an estimated $1.6 billion in Medicaid cost savings during the last two fiscal years. 

“The results highlighted in the report show that the collaborative approach taken by the legislature and executive branch, as well as the health care industry's concerted efforts to improve efficiency have been successful,” said Burke.  “More importantly, this reduction in costs bends the curve moving forward, as originally proposed by the legislature over four years ago.”

Ohio Medicaid experts attribute the savings to policy changes which have increased the use of managed care and home- and community-based alternatives to institutional care, as well as more efficient program administration.   

Established by the legislature in 2014, the JMOC consists of members of both the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives. The committee works collaboratively with the state's Medicaid program to help reduce health care costs while improving health outcomes for Ohioans. 

“I look forward to building on this success, which will benefit both Ohio's taxpayers and Medicaid recipients,” said Burke. 

The report concludes that collaborative work must continue in order improve health outcomes. Ohio is underperforming other states in key measures and Medicaid plays an important role in improving these statistics.

The 2016 JMOC Progress Report is available online at http://www.jmoc.state.oh.us/reports.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) announced today that he will reappoint Senator Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the panel responsible for managing Ohio’s biennial state budget bill.
 
“Scott’s one of the most respected members of the Ohio Senate, and he offers an incredible wealth of experience and institutional knowledge to the budget process,” said Obhof.  “He’s done a remarkable job guiding our chamber through the development of one of the most complex pieces of legislation we’ll consider throughout this General Assembly.  I look forward to relying on his steady leadership and sharp insights in what appears to be a challenging fiscal environment ahead."
 
Governor John Kasich is expected to announce his proposed two-year state operating budget by the end of the month.  The bill will begin in the Ohio House before making its way to the Senate for consideration prior to the end of the fiscal year on June 30th.
 
Senator Oelslager became a member of the Ohio Senate in 1985 and went on to serve four terms on behalf of the people of Stark County. In 2002, he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives.  He returned to the Ohio Senate in 2011, where he is currently serving his final term. 
 
Senator Oelslager received his bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College and earned his law degree from Capital University Law School.  He and his wife Elsie live in North Canton.  

 
 
  

For the first time ever, Ohioans are now able to register to vote online. I am proud to say that Ohio’s election process will be more secure, more convenient and less expensive as a result. 

Launched on January 1st, 2017, Ohio’s new online voter registration system allows Ohioans with access to the internet to submit their new voter registrations or update their voting address online at www.myohiovote.com.  To complete the voter registration online, voters must provide their name, address, date of birth, the last four digits of their social security number, and an Ohio driver’s license or state ID card number. Those who prefer using the hardcopy method still have the option of registering to vote by mail or in-person at their local Board of Elections office. 

Upon submitting the required information, the system immediately verifies the voter’s eligibility prior to accepting the registration. The Ohio Secretary of State is required to annually review the database to ensure that there are no non-U.S. citizens registered to vote.  This new system is based on a successful model used in other states. Arizona, for example, has used a similar electronic registration arrangement for over a decade with zero reports of security breaches or voter fraud. 

We also anticipate that the new system will save Ohio's taxpayers millions of dollars in reduced administrative costs. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, online registration saves an average of between $0.50 and $2.34 per registration. This cost reduction would have saved Ohio taxpayers between $3.7 million to $17.3 million between 2011 and 2016. Paper registration forms require significantly more processing, which translates to increased administrative fees. 

The new system helps to streamline an outdated process, allowing easier access for Ohioans to submit and update their voter registration information. For many, this process is a more convenient alternative to registering and updating voter information using the paper form, in-person or by mail.

I was proud to co-sponsor Senate Bill 63, which encourages more Ohioans to participate in our electoral process by taking advantage of modern technology. I believe that this legislation makes it easier for Ohioans to exercise their constitutional rights and reduces inefficiencies that are helping to save millions for Ohio taxpayers. I encourage all Ohioans to visit www.myohiovote.com to learn more about our new online voter registration system.

 
 
  
Senator Obhof presents Major Chad M. McGinty of Bellville with a Senate commendation recognizing his 27 years of service with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

COLUMBUS—State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) this week presented retiring Major Chad M. McGinty with a Senate commendation recognizing his 27 years of service to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

"I'm honored to recognize Major McGinty today for his exemplary career as a State Highway Patrol officer," said Obhof. "He has dedicated his life to protecting Ohioans with the utmost integrity and strong moral character."

A resident of Richland county, Major McGinty began his career as a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 1989. Throughout his distinguished career, he has served at various posts including Mansfield and Ashland, among others. He held the ranks of sergeant, assistant post commander, lieutenant, post commander and staff lieutenant before being promoted to the rank of major and assuming responsibilities as commander of the Office of Field Operations in 2014. McGinty has served on the Special Response Team and Honor Guard, as an instructor at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy, and as the governmental affairs spokesperson of the Office of the Superintendent.

 
 
  
Senator Eklund (left) joins state lawmakers and health officials as Governor Kasich signs legislation aimed at curbing Ohio's opioid abuse epidemic.

COLUMBUS - On Wednesday, State Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) joined Governor John Kasich as he signed legislation which makes new reforms aimed at tackling Ohio's opiate addiction epidemic by enhancing oversight and addressing the issue of over-prescribing. 

“There is no one silver bullet that will end Ohio's drug addiction crisis but this legislation takes important steps to prevent these addictive substances from falling into the wrong hands in the first place," said Eklund. "Along with efforts to enhance drug prevention education programs in our classrooms, these reforms will play an important role in helping to address the drug problem before it rears its ugly head."

Senate Bill 319 includes provisions to ensure responsible opiate treatment for Ohioans struggling with addiction. The legislation requires that addiction treatment facilities treating 30 or more individuals with Suboxone be licensed by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The licensure requirement seeks to increase accountability and prevent the misuse of Suboxone, which can be part of an effective treatment plan to deter opiate dependence.

The legislation also addresses access to methadone clinics where medication-assisted treatment is made available in a highly regulated environment. Eklund's bill maintains the high level of accountability while waiving legal requirements limiting addiction treatment professionals from opening new clinics. 

Provisions in the bill require pharmacy technicians to register with the Board of Pharmacy. Since 2013, more than one-third of all drug theft cases investigated by the Pharmacy Board involved pharmacy technicians. Mandatory pharmacy technician registration ensures uniform background checks establish consistent continuing education competencies. 

The legislation creates new oversight for purchasing and distributing controlled substances and closes loopholes by requiring all healthcare providers who store, administer and dispense controlled substances from their facilities to obtain licensure from the Pharmacy Board. Added oversight will help to provide safeguards to prevent theft or misuse of highly addictive substances.

"By plugging the leaks in the system, we can significantly reduce the illicit supply of opiates," added Eklund.

Senator Eklund's legislation also restricts high-volume prescriptions in an effort to prevent medication misuse. Current law provides no limitation on the amount of opiate pills that may be dispensed through a single prescription. New reforms limit most dispensing to a 90-day supply for any opiate prescription that a patient may receive. Additionally, the legislation would invalidate any opiate prescription not used within 14 days. These reforms seek to limit the availability of unused opioids, which often fall into the wrong hands. 

 
 
  
Senator Hoagland takes the oath of office at the historic Ohio Statehouse.

COLUMBUS—The Honorable Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court today administered the oath of office for State Senator Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction), marking the beginning of his first four-year term in the Ohio Senate. Today's opening ceremonies also served as the official start of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly. 

"I'm truly honored by this opportunity to serve the people of southeastern and eastern Ohio," said Hoagland. "Alongside my colleagues, I look forward to serving my constituents and doing what's right for all Ohioans."

Senator Hoagland volunteered for the Navy just two weeks after graduating from Buckeye North High School in Jefferson County. He quickly signed up for Navy SEAL BUDS training, following in the special forces footsteps of his father who had served as an Army Green Beret.

For nearly 30 years, he served our nation in combat zones, including in the International War on Terrorism and the War on Drugs in South America. Hoagland credits his Navy SEAL training for instilling his commitment to serving others. 

After retiring from active duty military service in 2011, Hoagland returned home to eastern Ohio where he founded his own small business specializing in emergency situation preparation and emergency response procedures for local school districts, businesses and law enforcement agencies. 

Senator Hoagland is married to his high school sweetheart, Darla, and is the proud father of two grown children. 

 
 
  
Senator Stephanie Kunze takes the oath of office today at the Ohio Statehouse.

COLUMBUS—The Honorable Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court administered the oath of office today for State Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard), marking the beginning of her first four-year term in the Ohio Senate. Today's opening ceremonies also served as the official start of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly. 

"I'm honored to have the opportunity to serve the constituents of the 16th District, and I look forward to continuing the work to move our great state forward," said Kunze.  

Prior to her election to the Ohio Senate, Senator Kunze served four years in the House of Representatives. As State Representative, Kunze successfully championed legislation aimed at delivering justice for victims of sexual violence, advocated for efforts to improve Ohio's business climate and fought to ensure that Ohio's students receive the highest quality education possible. 

Encompassing a large portion of Franklin County, Senator Kunze's district includes the cities of Dublin, Galloway, Grove City, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, Worthington as well as portions of Clintonville and Columbus.

Senator Kunze and her husband, Matt, live in Hilliard with their two daughters, Hannah and Abigail.

 
 
  
Senator Dolan (left) takes the oath of office with Senators Larry Obhof, Troy Balderson and Dave Burke.

COLUMBUS—This week, State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) was sworn in as a member of the Ohio Senate during opening ceremonies held at the Statehouse. The first official session marked the beginning of the 132nd Ohio General Assembly. 

"I am honored and excited to serve in the Ohio Senate," said Dolan. "I will work to promote economic growth, workforce development, an improved education system and our greatest natural asset, Lake Erie."

Senator Dolan also served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, representing Ohioans of the 98th House District, which included parts of Cuyahoga County and Geauga county. While in the House, he earned the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Finance and Appropriations Committee during his second term. In this role, he worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass a nearly unanimous $54 billion budget that lowered taxes and reduced the size of government. He made significant contributions in the area of tax reform, spearheading a campaign that resulted in legislation reducing the kilowatt-hour tax and supporting tax credits that stimulate business growth. He was also the sponsor and chief advocate of the Great Lakes Compact.

Senator Dolan’s background in the private and public sectors is extensive as well as diverse. He is currently a partner at the law firm of Thrasher, Dinsmore & Dolan, where he represents business clients in a variety of matters, in addition to handling municipal law and real estate matters, including zoning and land use issues. He is also Vice President of 7th Avenue Properties, where he manages several area businesses as well as real estate properties. He has been an adjunct professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Law, as well as Kent State University’s Geauga Campus. 

He is a former Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Geauga County and Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio. 

Senator Dolan is active in the community, serving on several boards, including the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, LifeAct, the Rio Grande University Board of Trustees and Cleveland Indians Charities. He also sits on the Case Western Reserve University Advisory Committee and the Cleveland Foodbank Strategic Planning Committee. He is a member of the Cleveland City Club and the Cleveland Council on World Affairs. 

As a result of his public service, Senator Dolan was selected as an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow. Identified by the program’s leadership as America’s emerging political leaders, Rodel Fellows participate in a two-year program focused on exploring the underlying values and principles of western democracy, the relationship between individuals and the community, and the responsibilities of public leadership.

Senator Dolan is a graduate of Gilmour Academy, Boston College and Case Western Reserve School of Law. He lives with his wife, Jessica, his son, Sam, and his stepson, Maddox, in Chagrin Falls.

 
 
  
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Featured Posts

Ohio Breaks Record For New Business Formations In 2016

 

"Our future is about innovating. It’s about improving. It’s about transforming. Ohio is becoming a premier state for entrepreneurs to start and expand their businesses. We must continue to build on this momentum by pursuing further improvements to our state's business climate," said Obhof.



 
 

Senate Screening Committee Recommends Wilson To Fill Vacancy

 

“Steve has a tremendous record of leadership in the private sector,” said Obhof.  “This was a very talented group of candidates, and every applicant for this seat made a strong impression on the committee.  Steve offers a unique depth of experience, temperament and understanding of the issues impacting this region of the state, and we’re confident his constituents will agree.  Our caucus looks forward to helping him serve the people of the 7th Senate district."



 
 

Burke Highlights Report Showing $1.6 Billion In Ohio Medicaid Savings

 

“The results highlighted in the report show that the collaborative approach taken by the legislature and executive branch, as well as the health care industry's concerted efforts to improve efficiency have been successful,” said Burke.



 
 

Senate President Names Oelslager To Chair Finance Committee

 

“Scott’s one of the most respected members of the Ohio Senate, and he offers an incredible wealth of experience and institutional knowledge to the budget process,” said Obhof.  “He’s done a remarkable job guiding our chamber through the development of one of the most complex pieces of legislation we’ll consider throughout this General Assembly.  I look forward to relying on his steady leadership and sharp insights in what appears to be a challenging fiscal environment ahead."