To our friends, clients and colleagues in local and regional government, higher education and the nonprofit sector, welcome to our latest Monday Message from the Public Law Group at McDonald Hopkins. In today’s email, assembled by attorneys Teresa Metcalf Beasley, Kelsey Smith and Kevin Butler, you’ll find insights into areas of law we’re watching on your behalf.
In today’s edition:
- Ohio senior centers set to reopen with restrictions
- New OEPA electric vehicle charging station grants available
- If you missed our employment webinar on Ohio’s reopening, replay it here
- Update from Washington: House Postal Service work yields little toward COVID relief
- Congratulations to go around: the Best Lawyers in America among us
Ohio senior centers set to reopen with restrictions
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on August 20 that adult day care and senior centers could begin to reopen at a reduced capacity starting on September 21. The facilities will only be authorized to reopen if each facility can meet certain safety standards that will be outlined in a future health order. Gov. DeWine stated that “by delaying the opening until September 21, we are providing time for each center to properly prepare based on the order’s guidelines.” The facilities will be expected to consider various reopening factors, including the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the surrounding communities.
In addition to the future reopening guidelines, Interim Director of Health Lance D. Himes and Gov. DeWine released a statewide testing initiative for all of Ohio’s assisted living facilities. The director’s order requires that all facility staff and residents be tested for COVID-19 at no cost to the facilities.
The future health order, which is expected to be released later this week on the state’s coronavirus clearinghouse site, was developed with assistance from the Ohio Association of Senior Centers and other organizations representing adult day centers. The same organizations assisting with the reopening helped develop the Responsible RestartOhio plan for adult day care and senior centers. We know those operating senior centers are anxious to learn more, so we will provide updates on the required reopening measures and health order once they become available.
New OEPA electric vehicle charging station grants now available
The Ohio EPA has announced a new grant program offering up to $15,000 toward the procurement and installation of publicly available Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations in eligible counties, which include those in northeast Ohio. Examples of sites for charging stations that will qualify under the grant:
- Public parks, during normal opening hours
- Parking facilities open at least 16 hours per day near government offices and schools, airports, transit centers, shopping centers, libraries, sporting arenas or other recreation facilities (but not parking facilities serving tenants of a single landlord or the employees or customers of a single business)
- Hospital parking facilities for patients and visitors
Government entities and public educational entities would have no matching obligation, while private and nonprofit applicants would receive 80 percent toward the cost of Level 2 EV charging stations up to the grant limit.
Across all eligible counties, the grant program totals $3 million and is supported by Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement dollars. Applications are due September 30. Find the application form and all instructions and eligibility details here.
If you missed our employment webinar on Ohio’s reopening, replay it here
We thank our friends at Team NEO for joining us last week to discuss what every employer in Ohio should consider now that employees are returning to the workplace. Our webinar, Ohio is open for business: Now what?, is now archived and can be viewed here if you missed it. Hear our dedicated employment law attorneys Miriam Rosen and Karina Conley provide answers to hot-button questions under state and federal law such as: What happens if an employee refuses to wear a mask? How can we bring certain furloughed employees back but not others? Can we require employee COVID and antibody tests? And how can employers best accommodate employees who need time away for childcare? Accessible here, it’s an hour’s time well spent.
Update from Washington: House Postal Service work yields little toward COVID relief
Our Public Law team member Kelsey Smith reports today that the U.S. House’s efforts in a special session over the past week to shore up the Postal Service prior to the November election will be met with stiff headwinds from the Senate, and that Congress appears no closer to reaching a deal on the next coronavirus-related stimulus package until at least late September. Read Kelsey’s post here. Public statements from chamber leaders suggest the chief reason the sides are far apart is cost, with the Senate wishing to cap relief at $1 trillion and the House – having already passed a $3 trillion spending measure that has not seen action in the Senate – looking for a compromise at near $2 trillion. We’ll continue to provide updates online and in this Monday Message.
Congratulations to go around: the Best Lawyers in America among us
We end our message today with a tip of the cap to those in our Public Law group who have been named by their peers to the 2021 edition of the Best Lawyers in America: Chad Arfons, Jennifer Dowdell Armstrong, Teresa Metcalf Beasley, Richard H. Blake, David H. Gunning II, Jeffrey R. Huntsberger, Adam C. Smith and Michael W. Wise. Each is distinguished in various fields supporting our comprehensive services to government, nonprofit and educational clients, as well as clients doing business with those entities. The attorneys from our Public Law team join a list of 42 McDonald Hopkins lawyers firmwide who have been named to this prestigious list. Read more here.
If you have questions or need assistance on any of the matters we’ve covered above or with your legal needs in general, please feel free to contact any member of the McDonald Hopkins Public Law team.
Have a great week!
Teresa Metcalf Beasley
Chair, Public Law