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Town Hall: Statehouse update

Written on Aug 6, 2020

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern

State Rep. Thomas West, D-Canton, shared insights on how the State Legislature is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic during OSCPA’s July 30 Town Hall session.

OSCPA’s town hall sessions – the next of which is scheduled for Aug. 13 as part of OSCPA’s Annual Meeting – is hosted by Society President and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE.

West, who is Vice president of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, shared his insight on the caucus’s priorities.

“There's of course a number of us that are pushing a lot of legislation around COVID-19,” West said. “And pushing a lot of bills around the issue of racism as a public health crisis.”

For example, one priority is House Bill 706, a police reform bill which will require de-escalation, mental health, implicit bias and procedural justice training for all police officers.

“It actually brings forward not only the training, but also the funding available to make it happen on a local level,” West said.

He has also for the past year been working on a pilot project for the Minority Business Association in Stark County.

“It really is a mentoring program for minority businesses to partner with the local Chamber of Commerce,” he said. “When they’re sitting at the same table, they all get the same information and they all eat the same meal. But when minority businesses are not at the table, then they get crumbs.”

Also in attendance was OSCPA’s Director of Tax Policy Greg Saul, Esq., CAE to discuss COVID-19 related developments.

“It's definitely been an interesting time in 2020 with the political and tax world,” he said.

Saul said there are six issues where OSCPA’s Government Relations team is focusing their efforts at the federal level. These are:

  1. Including full deductibility for PPP related business expenses
  2. Providing additional tools and simplification of the PPP loan forgiveness application
  3. Removing tax obstacles for remote working, including support for the Remote and Mobile Worker Relief Act of 2020
  4. Allowing 501(c)(6) organizations to access PPP loans
  5. Granting flexibility to state and local governments when spending CARES Act federal relief
  6. Providing temporary and targeted liability protection for businesses as they re-open

As COVID-19 related news continues to develop, stay current on the latest issues with our Coronavirus Resources & Information page. And tune into our next Town Hall on Aug. 13.