In mid-January, Mike DeWine was sworn in as Ohio's 70th governor. DeWine, a Cedarville, Ohio Republican, has served as lieutenant governor of Ohio under George Voinovich, then U.S. senator, and most recently as Ohio's attorney general. DeWine succeeds former Governor John Kasich.
DeWine has made numerous appointments of individuals to direct state agencies. Included are several agencies that can impact advanced transportation fuels and vehicle technologies:
Ohio Innovation office: John Husted, newly elected Ohio lieutenant governor
Ohio EPA: Laurie Stevenson, formerly deputy director of business relations for the Ohio EPA
Ohio Department of Transportation: Jack Marchbanks, formerly assistant director for business and human resources at ODOT
Ohio Department of Administrative Services: Matt Damschroeder, formerly deputy assistant secretary of state
Ohio Developmental Services Agency: Lydia Mihalik, former mayor of Findlay
DeWine also named Dan McCarthy as his director of legislative affairs. McCarthy was formerly the president of The Success Group, a central Ohio-based lobbying firm that represents Clean Fuels Ohio as well as others in the alternative fuels and energy industries. His job will include working with the legislature to advance Governor DeWine's policy agenda.
“The people Governor DeWine has appointed to head his state agencies have first-rate backgrounds in the day-to-day operations of running an agency,” commented Jason Phillips, Policy Director for Clean Fuels Ohio. “I look forward to building relationships with them as well as their staffs to help Ohio employers, workers and taxpayers reap the benefits from transitioning to these advanced fuel and vehicle choices.”
In the Legislature, the Ohio Senate re-elected Larry Obhof (R- Montville Township) as president of the Senate. The Ohio House elected a new speaker, Larry Householder (R- Glenford). Both have extensive leadership experience in the Ohio General Assembly.
“While we have had some recent success in helping to craft and advance state policy, we still see barriers that needs to be reduced,” Phillips continued. “The knowledge President Obhof and Speaker Householder have in terms of running their respective chambers will be very helpful to everyone as we begin to address our issues in the 2019-2020 term.”
The legislative session for the first half of 2019 began in January and will continue until summer break in late June.