Last week, the ORP held various press conferences across the state. I traveled across Ohio with fellow Republicans and small business owners to bring light to the hypocrisy of the Ohio Democrat Party. Many of you may know that the ODP accepted nearly $334,000 in Paycheck Protection Program funds, only to later criticize the program for not being accessible to small business owners. The program was meant to help those struggling to keep their small businesses afloat during difficult times. It was never intended to help partisan political organizations with campaign activities.
DNC Chair Tom Perez even came out saying he thought it was the right thing for Democrats in Florida to return PPP money they had accepted, voicing support for all political parties to return the money including Ohio Democrats, who have been trying to divert attention to the issue since it emerged. It was illegal to accept the money in Florida and it should be no different in our state.
The hypocrisy of Democrats is not unique to Ohio. With less than four months until Election Day, it is critical that we continue fighting to retain conservative values in the White House. President Trump has kept the promises he made to Americans, but we cannot trust a Democrat to do the same. We must continue working to Keep America Great.
Jane M. Timken
Portman Tours Battelle’s Critical Care Decontamination System and COVID-19 Research Lab
Last week, U.S. Senator Rob Portman toured Battelle’s Critical Care Decontamination System and COVID-19 research lab. In April, Portman praised the Trump administration for awarding a new federal contract to help fund the rapid deployment of Battelle’s decontamination systems to return to use previously worn N95 respirator masks and training to operate these systems to 60 sites across the country. Portman worked with Battelle and the appropriate contacts at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the White House to help secure the necessary federal funding.
Governor DeWine: Ohio at Critical Point in COVID-19 Pandemic
On Wednesday, in a statewide address from his office in the Statehouse, Governor DeWine said that the state is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and implored Ohioans to take appropriate action to reverse the rapidly increasing spread of the virus.
“Today, more Ohioans are getting sick than at any previous point in this pandemic. We are sliding down a very dangerous path, with our once flattened-curve starting to sharpen and spike,” said Governor DeWine. “This is a worrisome, disturbing reversal of our progress — a jarring reminder of just how quickly our fate can change.”
Governor DeWine commended Ohioans for doing their part at the beginning of the pandemic. However, with positive cases increasing, he reminded Ohioans that the choices they make today will impact the spread of the virus in the coming weeks. During the speech, grounded in scientific evidence and data, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans about the efficacy of facial coverings to protect themselves, loved ones, friends, neighbors and other citizens. He also renewed the call to socially distance and limit public gatherings.
“I am calling on all Ohioans to once again unite. We must work together, support each other, and help each other through this challenging time. I’ve seen you do this. I know you can do this. Ohioans can continue to help our most vulnerable, while also protecting ourselves and our families. Together, we can be the Ohio where our hospitals are not overwhelmed, where our schools can open, where sports can start, and where our economy can continue to grow, Governor DeWine added.
A video of the address is available on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
Husted Announces Workforce Program to Get Ohio Back to Work
Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced the launch of Ohio’s Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP), which is a new, $2.5 million grant program to help Ohioans upskill their abilities and prepare themselves for a career in growing industries. Training providers are currently being linked into the program, which will be open for individuals to apply in the near future. There are currently approximately 120,000 jobs available at OhioMeansJobs.com, about half of which pay over $50,000 a year. Visit IMAP.Development.Ohio.gov to learn more about the program.
Yost Holds Pharmacy Middlemen Accountable, Seeks to Recoup Millions
Attorney General Dave Yost continued his fight to hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) accountable last week by filing a lawsuit against Express Scripts for silently pocketing millions of dollars in overcharges to the state. Express Scripts is accused of multiple contract breaches, which helped the PBM overcharge the Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System.
This is Yost’s second lawsuit against a PBM amidst ongoing investigations. In 2019, Yost sued OptumRx for overcharging the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by $16 million.
“It’s no secret that PBMs have been keeping secret their prescription pricing in order to evade public scrutiny and rake in revenue,” Yost said. “I intend to shed light on their business model and bring true transparency to the process – they need to answer the tough questions and repay what is owed.”
LaRose Calls on Ohioans to Celebrate Independence Day with Active Citizenship
As we celebrate the birth of our nation, Secretary LaRose, in a recent OpEd, called on each Ohioan to recommit themselves to active citizenship by being a voter and considering serving as a poll worker.
“This nation is not perfect, but there is no nation on earth that has done more than America has to advance the cause of human freedom – and we have the power to make it more perfect,” said LaRose. “Celebrate America by recommitting to active citizenship! Social media posts alone won’t do it – be a voter and be a poll worker. Get started by visiting VoteOhio.gov!”
Auditor Faber Meets with Southwest Ohio Business Leaders
This week, Auditor of State Keith Faber held a teleconference with chamber leaders from across Southwest Ohio. Auditor Faber discussed how his office has been operating throughout the pandemic and heard from business leaders some of the struggles they have been experiencing through the shut down and subsequent reopening.
Sprague Announces New All-Time High for STAR Ohio
Last week, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced that the STAR Ohio investment pool has hit an all-time high of $15 billion. With nearly 1,700 entities participating, STAR Ohio allows government subdivisions—from municipalities to school districts—to invest in high-grade, short-term securities, while offering safety, penalty-free liquidity, and comparatively higher yields.
“STAR Ohio continues to be a sound and trusted investment option for local governments as they battle unforeseen financial challenges brought on by COVID-19,” said Treasurer Sprague. “With its high rating and decades-long track record of success, STAR Ohio plays a vital role in helping local fiscal officers manage public resources.”
Additionally, Treasurer Sprague announced that the investment pool distributed nearly $217 million in interest earnings to Ohio government subdivisions in FY 2020.
Touching Nine Counties Kennedy Continues to Travel Ohio
Continuing her travels across the highways and byways of Ohio, Justice Sharon L. Kennedy touched 9 counties spanning our great state. From walking door-to-door to numerous Zoom meetings with business groups to speaking to the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and the Putnam County Women’s Republican Club, it was a packed week.
“It is always great to hit the bricks and walk door-to-door,” said Kennedy. “The voters seem really grateful for the opportunity to talk to someone and it was an amazing opportunity to speak at the first in-person Putnam County Chamber of Commerce meeting which allowed me to discuss how the rule of law – property rights, judicial effectiveness and government integrity impact economic freedom and growth,” she remarked. But Kennedy stressed that “nothing is more fun than speaking about the founding of America – the originating documents – and the limited role in government that members of the third branch of government play. The great civic education is about why the protection of liberty and preservation of the Republic requires those who choose to wear robes must honor their limited role in government – judicial restraint.”
French Travels to Putnam County to Meet Voters
French traveled to Putnam County this week to meet with local voters. Thanks to the organizing by chairman tony Schroeder and the Putnam Republican Women’s Club, French attended a meet and greet reception and a community event in Ottawa. Her message continues to be one focused on the importance of the 2020 Supreme Court races and the need for conservative justices.