Energy Subsidy Bill Passes


GCP has continued to encourage policies that provide incentives for utilities to offer businesses opportunities that leverage energy efficiency programming. GCP members did not take a formal position on all provisions within controversial legislation, House Bill 6 (HB 6), that aims to keep Ohio’s two nuclear power plants running.  GCP recognizes it is important utilities are provided a level of elasticity needed to meet state mandated energy benchmarks, but we also have strongly encouraged the continuation of those benchmarks to spur growth and economic development.

On Tuesday and by a vote of 51-38, the Ohio House concurred with an Ohio Senate substitute version of the bill. And, the Governor signed the bill just hours after lawmakers sent the final version to him. Click here for a recap of the bill and the proceedings to this point.

GCP businesses weighed-in on this initiative throughout the year and advocacy staff worked with high-level state officials to reinforce or position. Click here to read more on GCP’s consistent, pragmatic statement on the issue from last year.

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  • Next up: GCP Hires Consultant to Perform GCRTA Financial Analysis and Presents to GCRTA Leadership

    GCP Hires Consultant to Perform GCRTA Financial Analysis and Presents to GCRTA Leadership


    Earlier this month the GCP Advocacy team provided an update to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Board regarding its ongoing efforts to complete a fiscal analysis and economic forecast for the transit agency. Last fall, GCP assembled a taskforce of GCP member companies to guide this work. At a recent GCRTA board committee meeting, GCP’s Vice President of Government Advocacy, Alesha Washington, shared that GCP has hired a consulting group to complete this work. The team combines national expertise in transit finance and operations with a strong local understanding of GCRTA and its fiscal constraints.

    Since this work began in June 2018, GCP has actively worked with GCRTA leadership to develop an approach to studying the current system that will eventually allow GCP to make recommendations about its future, including the structure of a potential levy request. The first step of this effort was to secure a consultant—and now that a team is onboard, GCP will continue to work closely with GCRTA to produce a comprehensive and rigorous analysis. The GCP Advocacy team hopes to wrap up this work—which will culminate in a final report—in fall 2019.


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  • Next up: GCP Holds Seventh Annual DC Fly-In

    GCP Holds Seventh Annual DC Fly-In


    Last week, GCP held the Empowering Local Leadership Conference—it’s seventh annual DC Fly-In event. The conference was hosted in partnership with Northeast Ohio’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation—Congressman Dave Joyce, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. Thanks to the leadership of the House delegation and their staff, attendees from across the region connected to federally elected officials and policymakers.

    Throughout the conference, attendees heard from a range of White House officials, including James Carroll, Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control, who spoke about Ohio’s ongoing challenges with the opioid epidemic. Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, addressed the group regarding EPA support for local municipalities. Finally, attendees heard from a host of White House officials about community revitalization efforts like Opportunity Zones, which GCP has played a key role in locally.

    During the opening night reception on the Hill, Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman spoke and connected with local leaders. Day two of the conference convened on the Hill again with an Ohio Delegation Breakfast. Participants heard from a range of Ohio delegation House members, but also from national leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Officials from the EPA, Department of Homeland Security, and White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council rounded out this year’s conference, providing valuable information about available federal resources.

    GCP thanks its sponsors for their support of this event, including leadership-level sponsors Westfield Group, Dominion Energy, MetroHealth, and BakerHostetler. Additional sponsors included CT Consultants, NOPEC, University Hospitals, and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.


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  • Next up: GCP-Supported Hemp Cultivation Bill Headed to Governor

    GCP-Supported Hemp Cultivation Bill Headed to Governor


    Ohio Senate Bill 57 (SB 57) was introduced in late February and the bill would formally decriminalize hemp in Ohio by excluding it from the definition of marijuana that is used to enforce controlled substance laws.  The latest federal farm bill, enacted by Congress, removed hemp from listing under the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to regulate hemp through their departments of agriculture.

    A vast majority of states have now enacted legislation to establish industrial hemp cultivation and production programs.  Ohio does not currently have any specific laws in place regarding hemp or hemp products, and hemp and hemp products are prohibited in Ohio because hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana – cannabis.  Therefore, hemp is currently considered a Schedule I controlled substance under Ohio law.

    SB 57 – a bill GCP supported – passed in July with a clause that specifies that it will go into effect immediately, instead of roughly 90 days after the Governor signs it.  The reason is because Ohio is behind other states and the Department of Agriculture needs to set up the program so farmers can plant and have a harvest next spring.  Also, the bill includes provisions allowing the release of CBD products that authorities have seized under some circumstances, and the legislature wants people to be able to get their products back quickly.

    In line with federal law, SB 57 would allow for the sales of hemp, clearly defining hemp and marijuana as different.  Our membership sees merit in aligning state and federal laws – as it relates to hemp – allowing for a responsible, reputable hemp market with the potential to expand jobs and increase prosperity in Ohio.

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  • Next up: GCP-Supported Hemp Cultivation Legislation Now Law

    GCP-Supported Hemp Cultivation Legislation Now Law

    Ohio Senate Bill 57 (SB 57) was introduced in late February and the bill will formally decriminalize hemp in Ohio by excluding it from the definition of marijuana that is used to enforce controlled substance laws.  The latest federal farm bill, enacted by Congress, removed hemp from listing under the Controlled Substances Act, allowing states to regulate hemp through their departments of agriculture. 

    A vast majority of states have now enacted legislation to establish industrial hemp cultivation and production programs.  Ohio did not have any specific laws in place regarding hemp or hemp products, and hemp and hemp products were prohibited in Ohio because hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana – cannabis.  Therefore, hemp was considered a Schedule I controlled substance under Ohio law.

    SB 57 – a bill GCP supported – passed in July and was recently signed by the Governor with a clause that specifies that it will go into effect immediately, instead of roughly 90 days after the Governor signed it.  The reason is because Ohio is behind other states and the Department of Agriculture needs to set up the program so farmers can plant and have a harvest next spring.  Also, the law includes provisions allowing the release of CBD products that authorities have seized under some circumstances, and the legislature wants people to be able to get their products back quickly.

    In line with federal law, SB 57 allows for the sales of hemp, clearly defining hemp and marijuana as different.  Our membership sees merit in aligning state and federal laws – as it relates to hemp – allowing for a responsible, reputable hemp market with the potential to expand jobs and increase prosperity in Ohio.


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  • Next up: GLMCC Supports Passage of USMCA

    GLMCC Supports Passage of USMCA

    Last week, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition (GLMCC) announced its support for passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), after careful vetting with coalition members. GCP serves as a leading chamber of the GLMCC—a growing collective of chambers of commerce across the Great Lakes region that jointly advocate on core policy issues.

    The USMCA modernizes NAFTA to be more compatible with the economic environment of the present. It is especially crucial for the Great Lakes region that North American countries maintain strong trade relationships. Eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces make up the region and are responsible for 50 percent of the goods transported across the northern border, making it a $6 trillion economy.

    North American trade supports 12 million U.S. jobs, and the GLMCC recognizes the absolute necessity of preserving those positions. GLMCC has long held a "do no harm" position on any trade policy. In this case, upholding that policy prompts urging the Trump Administration and Congress to approve the USMCA.

    The legislatures of all three countries involved in the USMCA must approve the changes before it can be implemented. Mexico was the first do so in June 2019. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made efforts to have discussions with President Trump concerning the deal. The Trump Administration is set on passing the USMCA with Congress this year.

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