COLUMBUS—On Monday, State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) announced a one-time rebate of approximately $1 billion from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) to Ohio's private employers and public-taxing districts. This will be the third such rebate in the last four years.
"This announcement is great news for Ohio's small business owners and another indicator of our state's improving business climate," said Senator Peterson. "Small businesses are a major driver of our state's economy, and this rebate will allow companies to reinvest in their workers, equipment and technology needs."
Prudent fiscal management and a focus on worker safety and wellness has enabled BWC to continue to grow and see strong investment returns making this rebate possible. Ohio has reduced rates for the state's employers by nearly 30 percent since 2011. The bureau has also improved programs designed to reduce workplace injuries and has focused more on helping injured Ohioans receive the care they need to return to work.
"This rebate gives Ohio's employers an opportunity to reinvest these savings into expansion and hiring, and that translates into jobs for Ohio families," said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). "I commend BWC for its sound management and investment decisions. Today presents another important step in our efforts to improve Ohio's business climate."
To become effective, the proposal will first go to the BWC Board of Directors for review, with an expected vote on April 28. If approved, BWC expects to begin sending checks in early July 2017. Most rebates are expected to equal 66 percent of an employer's premium for the policy year ending June 30, 2016 (calendar year 2015 for public employers). Over $90 million of the total rebate will go to local governments.
Ohio's workers' compensation rates have gone from 3rd highest in the nation in 2008 to 11th lowest, according to the Oregon Study, a nationally recognized benchmark of rates.”
COLUMBUS—This week State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) was sworn in as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 132nd General Assembly. This will be his third term as state representative, after being first elected in 2012.
Smith released the following statement regarding the 132nd General Assembly:
Last night, the Department of Labor announced its final Overtime rule, which will be officially announced today by Vice President Joe Biden. The new ruling raises the salary threshold under the Fair Labor Standards Act for "white-collar" overtime exemption from $23,660 a year to $47,476, as well as raises the threshold for the highly compensated employee and establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years.
The following information was released by the DOL. The Chamber will work to provide further seminars and training regarding this issue in the near future.
Gallia Citizens for Prevention and Recovery
“Local help for local folks” is a tagline that emerged from a recent meeting of the Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery, the county’s local drug prevention coalition. The coalition is made up of community members and representatives of organizations who have an interest in addressing the issue of substance abuse in Gallia County by conducting outreach and awareness programs to assist in preventing new cases of addiction as well as to assist in getting those individuals already suffering from addiction the services needed to promote recovery.
A recent Community Health Assessment conducted by the Gallia County Health Department provides us with some 2016 data regarding the perception of drug use in Gallia County. 91% of the respondents (all confirmed Gallia County residents) identified drug use as one of the biggest problems in Gallia County, with only about half of those respondents reporting knowledge of where help could be obtained within the Gallia County community. The Coalition in conjunction with HRS, the Field of Hope Counseling Center, the Gallia, Jackson, Meigs Board of Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, the Gallia County Health Department, local courts and law enforcement and other local government and service related entities have a vision and a mission to change this perception. The coalition strives to reduce the number of cases of addiction in Gallia County and prevent future cases from emerging.
Health Recovery Services, Inc. (HRS) is a local agency that is actively involved in the coalition’s efforts. HRS is a treatment and prevention agency that offers both outpatient and residential treatment options for those suffering from substance use problems. All outpatient sites offer alcohol, drug ,and mental health counseling to include individual and group counseling, case management, urine drug screens, gambling screenings, medication assisted treatment, and information and referral to other services or programs that may meet a person’s needs. HRS is also a certified provider of prevention services and is available to provide programming in the community and the schools to raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse and other mental health related issues such as gambling and bullying. HRS will work in conjunction with other service providers and treatment agencies to offer and obtain what is needed by an individual seeking help. A person can receive counseling from HRS while receiving medication elsewhere or vice versa. The same applies to all offered services. It is believed that it often takes many entities being involved to truly help someone obtain and maintain recovery. If someone needs treatment or information regarding treatment or prevention services, he or she should contact the HRS Gallia Outpatient Clinic at 740-446-7010. The clinic is located at 3086 State Route 160 Gallipolis, OH 45631.
The Gallia County Citizens for Prevention and Recovery Coalition is actively working on upcoming community awareness events and activities and welcomes anyone with an interest in assisting in these efforts to attend meetings and get involved. It truly does “take a village” to mobilize and make a difference in our county. There is likely not a person living in Gallia County that has not been impacted, in some way, by this epidemic, and we need people who are motivated to make change.
The coalition will be offering a community awareness and coalition recruitment event that will take place in March, but the planning for that event and other efforts are happening now. Currently meetings are being held at noon on the second Monday of each Month at Holzer Health Systems on Jackson Pike in the French 500 Room. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday December 12th. If you would like to attend or to learn more about how you can be involved in the coalition and its efforts (even if unable to attend the current meetings), please contact chairperson Angela Stowers at 740-707-4879. Stowers reports that as the Coalition grows, the meeting days/times will be modified to best meet the interest/availability of the majority and that inability to attend the upcoming meetings as scheduled should not stop someone from reaching out to become involved.
(Columbus, OH. / March 28, 2016) — The Ohio Department of Taxation (ODT) today began alerting employers to the latest fraud scheme that is being reported nationwide. Over the past few weeks, payroll and human resources offices at various companies across the country, including some in Ohio, have received emails that appear to come from the CEO or other high ranking management official of the company. The emails seem to be a legitimate request for confidential payroll data. In fact, those emails are a phishing scheme by cybercriminals posing as company officers and fooling employees into providing detailed payroll and W-2 information that is then used to file fraudulent tax returns.