Ohio Chamber of Commerce

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Ohio’s unemployment rate was down slightly in June. It was an even 4% last month compared to 4.1 percent in May. 

Some companies in Ohio have jobs that are going unfilled right now.

The number of unemployed Ohioans decreased by 31,000 during the past year. In fact, Keith Lake with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said it’s now to the point that some businesses are having difficulty finding people to hire.

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Business groups are blasting the House version of the budget for a change it makes to a controversial tax deduction – the one that allows many small businesses to take the first quarter million dollars of their income tax free. The change would drop that income threshold to $100,000.

Tony Long at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce said the deduction was meant to equalize tax payments by different kinds of small businesses, but he thinks it’s also created jobs.

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House lawmakers are working on possible changes to a bill that would bail out nuclear plants while repealing the state’s green energy standards on utilities. The measure could dole out more than $150 million to Ohio’s two nuclear plants. The bill is collecting a variety of opponents that don’t usually take the same side.

Conservative groups have joined environmental groups in voicing their objections to the energy bill - albeit for different reasons.

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Beginning July 1st, Ohio’s gas tax will increase by ten and half cents per gallon for regular fuel. But the tax on diesel will go up by 19 cents, because big trucks do most of the damage on Ohio’s roads. The diesel fuel increase is what some business leaders said will end up costing all Ohioans more in the long run.

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Backers of gender equality legislation that’s been proposed again in Ohio say they are making slow headway in getting the civil rights protection they think the bill would afford them.

Alana Jochum with Equality Ohio says civil rights protections for LGBTQ Ohioans are being passed in Ohio’s cities, including recently in Cleveland.

“We have gone from 14 percent of Ohioans from having access to a remedy to 27 percent.”  

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A bill that would overhaul the way Ohio mandates the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency is likely to get a vote in the Senate this week. 

The bill would take the amount of renewable energy the state requires to be on the grid and cut it by a third. The measure gives more companies the ability to opt out of energy efficiency standards.

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If the state went into a recession now, the unemployment compensation fund may not be able to pay laid-off workers for very long. But there’s been no progress on a bill touted as a way to fix that.

Hearings on House Bill 382 have become routine with many people waiting for action.

A House committee held its 20th hearing on the bill that would try to bring the state’s unemployment compensation fund to solvency.

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The largest business group in the state has put together a free online toolkit for any employer who’s dealing with opioid problems in the workplace – showing just how serious the epidemic is to businesses in Ohio. 

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The bill to protect LGBTQ people from housing and employment discrimination is expected to take a big step as a committee prepares to hear from a major supporter, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The bill also seems to be getting support from the top House leader.

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the bill to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity will get a second hearing.

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A Democratic state lawmaker says if Ohio wants to become more appealing as a place to move a business or family, it must create protections for LGBTQ people. There could be new momentum for a bill that has stalled several times in the last decade.

Janine Boyd and Christie Bryand Kuhns
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A new bill in the Ohio legislature would give employees of businesses in the state a full 12 weeks of paid family leave each year.

Some Democratic state lawmakers are backing the plan that would require most employees to pay about $25 to $30 a year into a state insurance program much like the one operated by the Bureau of Unemployment Services.

Then, when they need maternity or paternity leave or time off to care for close family members, they could tap into the program to be paid while they’re not working.