Quick hits: Ohio news in brief for Monday, March 30

Ohio’s congressional delegation urges ‘major disaster declaration’ for Ohio

(The Center Square) – Ohio’s congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to approve Gov. Mike DeWine’s request to declare a major disaster declaration for Ohio in response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“COVID-19 has created significant and unprecedented challenges for state and local governments, businesses, individuals, and families in Ohio,” the delegation wrote. “The State and local governments do not have the capacity to sufficiently respond to this major disaster, and therefore, additional Federal assistance is necessary to supplement response and recovery efforts. We fully support Governor DeWine’s request, and urge your prompt consideration.”

Ohio leaders thank FDA for allowing the use of Columbus company’s technology

(The Center Square) – Ohio leaders thanked President Donald Trump and the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving the use of new technology to sterilize surgical masks.

The FDA approved Columbus-based Battelle to use its technology to sterilize an unlimited number of surgical masks daily. The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System can decontaminate up to 80,000 respirator masks per system each day.

In addition to offering its technology in Ohio, Battelle plans to send its technology to New York City; Stony Brook, New York; Washington state; and elsewhere in the weeks ahead.

LaRose expresses disappointment in voting change for the March 17 primary

(The Center Square) – Secretary of State Frank LaRose expressed disappointment that lawmakers opted “to significantly reduce the time provided for Ohio to bring this primary to a close.”

LaRose, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted wanted to move the March 17 primary to June 2. But, in passing Amended Substitute House Bill 197, lawmakers extended absentee voting by mail to April 28.

The “legislature has spoken, and I will uphold my oath of office by doing everything in my power … to ensure that every Ohio voter has the opportunity to safely make their voice heard,” LaRose said in a statement.

WalletHub: Ohio has the sixth-best taxpayer ROI

(The Center Square) – Ohio has the sixth-best return on investment for taxpayers, according to a new analysis from WalletHub.

In handing down its results, WalletHub looked at 30 metrics across five categories — education, health, safety, the economy and infrastructure and pollution — to compare the quality and efficiency of state-government services.

Ohio ranked No. 13 for total taxes paid per capita (for the population 18 years and older) and No. 27 for its overall government services.

The Buckeye State bested Kentucky (No. 16), Michigan (No. 24), Illinois ( No. 26) and West Virginia (No. 37). New Hampshire topped the list, while Hawaii ranked at the bottom.

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