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Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Generally, the Act seeks to provide state and local governments with the resources needed to stabilize their economies following the shutdowns and COVID-19-related deficits incurred in 2020. As such, the Act directs these authorities to fund businesses, programs, and support infrastructure projects and related economic development.

Specifically, a total of $11.2 billion has been allocated to Ohio from the Act, half of which will go directly to the state government with the balance to be divided among Ohio’s municipalities.

The five (5) largest benefactors of the funds include the following counties:

  • Franklin County: $255,380,000
  • Cuyahoga County: $239,530,000
  • Hamilton County: $158,540,000
  • Summit County: $104,930,000
  • Montgomery County: $103,120,000

The stimuli do not, however, come without caveats as to collection requirements and spending boundaries.

Each state or territory intending to collect their share of the funds is required to certify to the U.S. Treasury that it will use any payment in compliance with the use of fund restrictions, discussed below, before any distribution is made. Once the U.S. Treasury receives this certification, the department must make payment to the certifying entity within 60 days.

Counties, metropolitan cities and states as agents for non-entitlement units of local government will not, however, be required to complete certifications, and will instead receive funds in tranches, with the first tranche to be paid within 60 days of the American Rescue Plan becoming law, and the second tranche to be paid at least 12 months after the date on which the county, metropolitan city or state as an agent for non-entitlement unit of local government received its first payment.

The Act leaves broad authority to the state and local governments as to how the money may be directed with the main caveat requiring the ultimate support of COVID-19 economic recovery (e.g., vaccine distribution and other public health efforts, support for low-income citizens, small business relief, and aid to public education). Notably, there is a deadline to use the funds by each applicable jurisdiction — December 31, 2024.

For any questions on the American Rescue Plan Act, or for more information on allocations across the State of Ohio, please contact BMD Government Affairs Law Member Victoria Ferrise at 330.374.5184 or vlferrise@bmdllc.com.

Medicaid Announces Next Generation of Managed Care Organizations

For the first time since 2005, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) made significant changes to the structure of the Medicaid program by finalizing the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process. The Procurement process began in 2019 at the behest of Governor Mike DeWine who had a goal to make Medicaid managed care more focused on the health and well-being of individuals.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.