Greg R. Lawson
In The Lima News, The Buckeye Institute highlights the work of the Ohio Senate and Senate President Matt Huffman in mitigating the learning loss that Ohio’s K-12 students have experienced due to the pandemic. “President Huffman and the Ohio Senate helped keep a bad situation from worsening. And for that, Ohio families should be grateful. But more education reforms will be needed to help students recoup some of their learning losses and recover from the great COVID disruption. The Senate, it seems, is up to the challenge.”
Buckeye Institute-Championed Universal Occupational License Recognition One Step Closer to Becoming Law
Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, commented on the House passage of Ohio House Bill 203 and the Senate passage of Ohio Senate Bill 131, which would make Ohio a more attractive state for workers to move to by adopting universal occupational license recognition. “By passing Ohio House Bill 203 and Ohio Senate Bill 131—universal occupational license recognition—both chambers of the General Assembly took an important step forward to help Ohio address critical worker shortages brought on by the pandemic.”
In a new policy memo, Expand Ohio ACE & Adopt a “Students First” Approach to Education Funding, The Buckeye Institute urged Ohio lawmakers to transition to a “students first” approach to education funding and use a portion of the $2.6 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to expand the Ohio Afterschool Child Enrichment program for students who lost classroom time during the pandemic. “To prevent further long-term damage, lawmakers should give families the financial resources needed to help close the educational gaps exposed by the pandemic.”
In the Akron Beacon Journal, The Buckeye Institute cautions Summit County officials against “committing millions of dollars of temporary federal COVID-19 funds to build a permanent government-owned broadband network,” writing, “Communities that need better broadband service should…partner with private providers and pursue the state’s new residential broadband program or use the federal COVID-19 money to create vouchers for consumers to purchase broadband services from private providers. Either option is less risky for Summit County taxpayers than the county’s current plan.”
The Buckeye Institute Urges Ohio’s Communities to Avoid Using Federal Tax Dollars to Build and Expand GONs
In a new policy memo, Better Ways to Build & Expand Broadband Service in Ohio, The Buckeye Institute cautioned communities across the state to “resist the temptation to build or expand government-owned broadband networks (GON) with the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) tax dollars.” Instead, the memo urges community leaders to rely on “efficient, taxpayer-friendly partnerships with private broadband providers to build or expand broadband service or offer service vouchers to consumers in underserved areas of the state.”
The long-awaited Ohio Afterschool Child Enrichment (Ohio ACE) program has finally launched. The Buckeye Institute has promoted Ohio ACE and similar policy initiatives to help families better afford K-12 learning resources and improve their children’s education. Families have faced significant disruptions to schooling over the past two years, and Ohio’s first education savings account program has arrived just in time to help families pay for a variety of necessary educational services.
The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony to the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee on the recommendations in House Bill 509, which would help make Ohio more economically competitive by eliminating and modernizing the state’s burdensome occupational licensing requirements. To assist lawmakers in their review, The Buckeye Institute identified 63 licenses that Ohio should eliminate or reform, many of which were adopted by the committee in its 2021 Occupational License Review Report.
The Buckeye Institute testified before the Ohio Senate Workforce and Higher Education Committee on the policies in Senate Bill 131, which would ease worker shortages and encourage skilled workers to pursue their careers and professions in the Buckeye State—an integral component to modernizing Ohio’s outdated economic system. “Would-be Ohioans with similar licenses in good standing should not have to pay additional fees or take expensive, extraneous classes that do not make them any more qualified for or capable of doing their jobs.”
New Buckeye Institute Report Offers a Blueprint for How Ohio Cities Can Transition to a More Sustainable Tax System
The Buckeye Institute released a new report, Sustainable Ohio: How to Fund Ohio’s Cities in the 21st Century, which offers a blueprint for how Ohio can move away from its outmoded local income tax system—that heavily relies on nonresident taxpayers—and towards a property or sales tax system that will fund city services in a much more sustainable way. By transitioning to the new funding system Ohio’s cities can better provide government services, attract and retain businesses and workers, and offer residents the economic growth and opportunity they deserve.
The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony to the Ohio House Government Oversight Committee on the policies in Senate Bill 9, which would “cut through unnecessary restrictions and red tape that strangle Ohio’s economy, entrepreneurs, and workforce.” Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, applauded the General Assembly for “continuing regulatory reform and cutting bureaucratic red tape,” and urged lawmakers to “eliminate many of the unnecessary regulations that strangle our businesses and keep our citizens from working.”