Last week, Ohio witnessed the first COVID-19 vaccinations being given out to frontline and essential workers and those in vulnerable populations. This marks the first step in returning to normalcy, and it is all thanks to President Trump and Governor DeWine’s leadership. Democrats and political pundits doubted President Trump’s Administration would be able to produce a vaccine in less than one year, but thanks to Operation Warp Speed, we now have multiple pharmaceutical companies working diligently to produce effective vaccines. Once again, President Trump delivered on a promise he made to Americans.
With just over two weeks to go until the January 5th Georgia Senate runoff elections, Republicans must continue voicing support for the two candidates. Senators Loeffler and Perdue must be re-elected by Georgians in order to maintain a conservative majority in the Senate. It is not too late to volunteer your time to help the Senators win their races. If you are interested in helping us win two very important Senate races, you can Volunteer Here!
Jane M. Timken
On Senate Floor, Portman Calls on Senate to Pass Critical legislation to Respond to Challenge of COVID-19
Last week on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Rob Portman gave his 21st speech since March calling on Congress to pass legislation to respond to the health care and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this week, Portman joined a group of bipartisan senators in introducing two bipartisan packages to provide as much as $908 billion in relief to American students, families, businesses, workers, and health care providers during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Congressional leadership is using most of the legislation for the basis of the final product they will unveil to create a bridge of support between now and when the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.
A video of his remarks can be found here.
DeWine: COVID Vaccinations Start in Ohio
On Monday, Governor DeWine announced that the first COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in Ohio. Shipments of 975 doses were delivered to both The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus and UC Health in Cincinnati. Several healthcare workers and personnel who are routinely involved with the care of COVID-19 patients immediately received vaccinations.
“It was such a moment of hope to watch the healthcare workers begin to get vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine. “This is the first day of a process that will continue over the months ahead as Ohioans who choose to be vaccinated have their opportunity to receive the vaccine. However, until the vaccine is widely available for all Ohioans who choose to receive it, we must continue to use all available tools to prevent the spread of the virus, like wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and washing your hands.”
As COVID-19 vaccines continue to come to Ohio, Cardinal Health’s OptiFreight Logistics business will help provide same-day delivery services. Once the vaccine is widely available, this partnership will allow Ohio to ship the vaccine to approximately 350 locations across the state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention invited Ohio to participate in an early scaled launch of vaccinations in nursing homes beginning Friday.
Ohio had previously been scheduled to start its nursing home vaccination program in partnership with pharmacy providers on Monday, December 21.
On Friday, Governor DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Governor Husted visited nursing facilities across the state to watch the administration of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the nation in long-term care facilities as part of a new partnership. The vaccines, which were given to residents and staff who chose to receive them, were given as part of the early scaling up of the federal Pharmacy Long-Term Care Partnership program.
“It’s an incredible day in Ohio’s history. The rolling out of these vaccines mark a turning point in this pandemic,” said Governor DeWine.
Husted Announces Innovative Broadband Expansion Pilot Project
Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced on Wednesday another innovative broadband expansion project aimed at connecting underserved households and businesses in Ohio.
Allen Township, outside of Marysville, will be the site of a new pilot project through the Starlink satellite broadband service developed by SpaceX.
The pilot will test the delivery of Starlink’s space-based high speed internet to 90 households and about 10 small businesses. It marks the largest Starlink pilot in the Midwest and it was made possible through the partnership of InnovateOhio, BroadbandOhio, the City of Marysville, economic leaders in Union County, and JobsOhio.
To learn more, click here.
Yost Joins Lawsuit to End Google’s Illegal Monopoly
Attorney General Dave Yost joined a bipartisan coalition of 37 attorneys general last week in suing Google for anticompetitive conduct. Yost and the states allege Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over search engines and related advertising markets through anticompetitive conduct.
“Exclusion and discrimination are by their nature anti-competitive,” Yost said. “When you add those tactics to Google’s dominance, you’re stepping on the market, not competing in it.”
Through its monopoly, Google has deprived consumers of competition that can lead to greater choice, innovation and better privacy protections.
LaRose Receives National Cyber Security Award for 2020 Election
On Monday, the 55th Ohio Electoral College cast their 18 electoral votes for President Trump, signifying the end of the 2020 election in Ohio. This election was the most secure election in Ohio history, thanks largely due to the preparations made by Secretary LaRose over the last two years. For this work, this week LaRose received the SANS Institute’s prestigious cybersecurity “Difference Maker” Award.
“I’m honored to receive this on behalf of hundreds of election officials throughout the state as well as our world class cybersecurity team,” said LaRose. “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and that is why we never fall into a ‘mission accomplished’ mindset. We are not resting — we are innovating to make sure Ohio continues leading on election cybersecurity so that voters can be confident that their voice is heard.”
Ohio’s cyber security initiatives were in the national spotlight this week when Senator Rob Portman highlighted them during a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. His remarks about Ohio’s state of the art cybersecurity measures implemented at all 88 county board can be watched here.
Faber Visits Local Officials
This week Auditor of State Keith Faber was in NE Ohio, talking with mayors and finance directors about how COVID has impacted their communities and seeing what help they need as they continue to suffer the effects of the economic shutdown due to the pandemic. Auditor Faber has encouraged local governments to make funds available to help small businesses so many of which are risking closure because of the economic downturn.
Treasurer Sprague: STABLE Account Hits the 20k Mark, Sees a Record-Breaking Year
On Wednesday, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague announced the STABLE Account program has reached another milestone in exceeding 20,000 active accounts. The announcement comes as participation in the program has more than doubled in less than two years.
Launched in 2016, the STABLE Account program makes 529-like specialized savings and investment accounts available to people living with disabilities and their families.
“Today’s announcement is about much more than reaching a milestone,” said Treasurer Sprague. “It represents the profound impact STABLE accounts are making in bringing independence and peace of mind to individuals and families. Despite the many challenges brought on by COVID-19, the STABLE Account program has proven to be a trusted and reliable resource for those living with disabilities to achieve financial empowerment.”
The enrollment announcement caps off a record-breaking year for the program. Throughout 2020, STABLE Account set new single-month, single-week, and single-day records for program enrollment.
Video: A Record Year for STABLE
Statement from ORP Chairman Jane Timken on the Casting of Ohio’s Electoral College Votes
Columbus,OH – Ohio Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken released the following statement regarding Ohio’s Electoral College votes being cast:
The Georgia Senate runoff elections set to take place on January 5th are races that continually deserve our attention. Nearly one month ago, some of Ohio’s Trump Victory staff went down to Georgia to help Senators Loeffler and Perdue on their path to victory. It is imperative we hold the line and re-elect conservative leaders. Republicans made great gains in the U.S. House nationally, but we still need to maintain our conservative majority in the Senate. Otherwise, we risk having radical Democrat control in all three chambers of Congress.
The fight for free and fair elections continues in Georgia. If you are interested in helping us win two very important Senate races, you can Volunteer Here!
Jane M. Timken
Portman Introduces CARA 2.0 to Increase Access to Treatment, Prevention & Bolster Fight Against Addiction Epidemic
Last week, U.S. Senators Rob Portman, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0 to increase the funding authorization levels for the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) programs enacted in 2016 and put in place additional policy reforms to help combat the opioid epidemic that has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. CARA was a bipartisan, national effort designed to ensure that federal resources were devoted to evidence-based education, treatment and recovery programs that work. In FY 2020, CARA programs were funded at $658 million.
CARA 2.0 builds on this effort by increasing the funding authorization levels and laying out new policy reforms to strengthen the federal government’s response to this crisis. The CARA 2.0 bill text is here, section-by-section here, and a summary here.
Governor DeWine Announces Tax Credit Approvals; First Lady Promotes Imagination Library
On Monday, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted announced the approval of assistance for 16 projects set to create 4,183 new jobs and retain 1,051 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $240 million in new payroll and spur more than $864 million in investments across Ohio.
On Wednesday, Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine encouraged more Ohio children to enroll in Ohio’s Imagination Library Program as a new documentary about Imagination Library founder Dolly Parton premiered. “The Library That Dolly Built” is a behind-the-scenes look at the Imagination Library Program country music singer Dolly Parton started in 1995 to encourage reading to preschool children.
In 2019, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program partnered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to spread the program throughout Ohio. Partnerships and funding have been established in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, so that all children who enroll – from birth to age 5 – can receive a free book in the mail each month to help accelerate their development.
“Dolly Parton and her dedication to children’s literacy and this program is so inspiring,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “We share a belief that the gift of reading is one of the best things you can give a child. We are proud of all the partners in Ohio that have ensured that every single eligible Ohio child can receive these books every month.”
Currently 255,672 Ohio children younger than age 5, or 35% of eligible children, receive the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library books. Nearly 2 million children worldwide receive free monthly books from the Imagination Library.
Husted Announces DataOhio Portal
Lt. Governor Jon Husted and InnovateOhio, in partnership with the Department of Administrative Services and the Office of Information Technology’s InnovateOhio Platform (IOP), announced the launch of the DataOhio Portal, which offers a first-of-its kind service to Ohioans by delivering unprecedented access through an innovative, data-sharing platform.
“We’ve all learned over the past year how critical data is to tackling our biggest challenges,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “The IOP team has built a one-stop-shop for the state’s data, providing a secure approach to data access and displaying datasets that, in some cases, are available now for the first time. This collaboration will help Ohio make better public policy decisions so we can better serve the people of our state.”
Yost Joins Lawsuit to End Facebook’s Illegal Monopoly
Attorney General Dave Yost joined 48 attorneys general last week to file a lawsuit against Facebook, saying the company used dominance and monopoly power to illegally stifle competition and reduce consumer privacy. The lawsuit alleges that Facebook illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner over the last decade, depriving users of the benefits of competition, and reducing privacy protections.
“Facebook’s unchecked power has grabbed an alarming level of control over what we see, say, buy and even who our friends are,” Yost said. “It is a dangerous seduction where we, as consumers, have become the product for Facebook by controlling so many aspects of our lives.
LaRose to Preside Over the 55th Ohio Electoral College
On Monday, December 14, 2020 at noon, the 18 members of Ohio’s Electoral College will gather in the Senate Chamber of The Ohio Statehouse to cast their electoral votes for President and Vice-President of the United States for Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence. You can watch the state’s 55th Electoral College At Facebook.com/FrankLaRose.
Faber Recognizes City of Niles with Auditor of State Award
After taking office in 2019, one of Auditor of State Keith Faber’s first acts was to remove the City of Niles from fiscal emergency, after years of bad bookkeeping had put the city into a dire financial situation. This week, Auditor Faber returned to honor the city with one of the highest distinctions from his office: an Auditor of State Award. Hear more about Niles’ journey from fiscal emergency to fiscal excellence by clicking here.
Sprague’s Family Forward Proposal Clears the Senate
On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate unanimously approved House Bill 405, a measure to create Treasurer Robert Sprague’s Family Forward initiative. The new program will help families to lessen the financial burdens often experience when navigating the adoption process.
“Too often, families shy away from adoption when faced with the skyrocketing costs associated with it,” said Treasurer Sprague. “With the Senate’s passage of House Bill 405, we take a big step forward for Ohio’s families to alleviate some of that financial burden and help bring more children into loving homes. I thank Representative Cross, Senator Burke, and the Ohio General Assembly for their leadership and support of Family Forward.”
The Georgia Senate runoff elections will take place in just under one month. It is critical that the people of Georgia re-elect Senators Loeffler and Perdue. If they don’t, and we lose our conservative majority in the Senate, we can expect Democrats to defund the police, raise taxes, pack the courts, and radically take over our health care system. President Trump visited Georgia just yesterday to show his support and to help them hold the line.
We can continue to fight for free and fair elections and support President Trump while also showing up for our friends in Georgia. There is still time to help, and if you are interested in helping us win these two very important Senate races, you can Volunteer Here!
Jane M. Timken
60 Portman Bills Have Been Signed Into Law by President Trump
Last week, President Trump signed into law Portman’s bipartisan Information Technology Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act , bringing the total number of laws authored or co-authored by Senator Portman in this administration to 60. After getting 68 bills signed into law during his tenure with the Obama administration, yesterday’s bill signing is just the latest in a long line of accomplishments Portman had delivered for Ohio and the country over the last four years in working with the Trump administration.
Here are some highlights of the 60 Portman bills that have been signed into law by President Trump:
DeWine Announces COVID Vaccine Rollout
On Friday, Governor DeWine announced details for Ohio’s first phase of vaccine distribution that is expected to begin on or around December 15.
During Phase 1, vaccine supply will be limited, and Ohio will focus on vaccinating those who wish to be vaccinated in the critical Phase 1A groups outlined below.
The federal government has advised that the Ohio Department of Health will not know the exact number of vaccines that will be shipped to Ohio until closer to each shipment date. The current shipment figures, which are subject to change, are as follows:
These vaccines will be the first dose for those in the identified critical groups. A second dose will be delivered and administered in the future. It has not been determined when members of the general public will have the option to receive vaccines. As information becomes available about the next phases of vaccine distribution, it will be made public.
Husted Announces Next Round of TechCred
On Thursday, Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the results of the October round of TechCred, which will provide the opportunity for 246 Ohio companies to upskill their current and incoming workforce with tech-focused skills. This round marks a milestone as funding for the program has now been approved for over 15,000 credentials.
“Despite the obstacles created by COVID-19, we continue to see great results coming out of the TechCred program. It is helping employers and employees adapt and prevail during very difficult economic conditions,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This marks another milestone in upskilling opportunities that will help Ohioans earn the tech-focused skills needed to succeed in the changing workplace.”
The next TechCred application period opens Monday, January 4th and closes January 29th at 3:00 p.m. Learn more at TechCred.Ohio.gov.
Yost Highlights New Cold Case Unit
Attorney General Dave Yost highlighted his office’s new Cold Case Unit last week in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer. The unit, which is part of Yost’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, has investigators from a variety of backgrounds, including forensics and intelligence, focused on assisting departments across the state crack cold cases.
“Either everybody counts or nobody counts,” Yost said about the new unit. “If it was your son or daughter that was murdered…you’d want to know that every stone was being turned over. That’s what this unit is about. It’s about turning over every stone…Cases might go stale, but they never get cold. Maybe we should call this the Warming Up Unit.”
The unit is targeting homicide and rape cases, especially cases where evidence can be re-tested using new technology and techniques. It is also focused on assisting small and mid-size departments that are strapped for resources.
LaRose Visits Boards as They Complete Post-Election Audits
Mandatory post-election audits are just another reason why Ohioan’s know that our elections are trustworthy. All of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections will complete these audits by next week to confirm the accuracy of their election.
Secretary LaRose stopped by the Montgomery, Allen and Lucas County Boards of Elections this week to review the great work they are doing to give voters the confidence that every legally cast ballot is accurately counted.
Auditor Faber Talks CARES Funding in St. Clairsville
This week, Auditor of State Keith Faber was in St Clairsville speaking with city and county officials about CARES Act. Auditor Faber has urged local governments to make money available for small businesses and those struggling to make rent. He has taken that message on the road to ensure that Ohio’s small businesses and individuals get the relief that they need.
Sprague Kicks-Off Regional Advisory Board Meetings
This week, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague convened the first meetings of his office’s regional advisory boards. The initiative brings together local leaders and elected officials from Ohio’s various regions to discuss the issues facing their communities and ways the Treasurer’s office may be helpful to them. As part of the discussion, personnel from the Treasurer’s office provided updates on investment and existing office programs.
Columbus,OH – Chairman Jane Timken announced that she will be running for re-election to a third term as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
Elected as Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party in 2017, under Chairman Timken’s leadership, Republicans witnessed statewide success in 2018 and paved the way for another drastic 8% win by the president in November’s election. Statewide, Republicans also maintained their supermajority in the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate. Republicans even managed to flip a Democrat stronghold, Trumbull County, to red this cycle.
Overwhelming Republican successes across the state are a direct result of Chairman Timken’s leadership and teamwork. The Ohio Republican Party looks forward to her continued leadership.