June 3, 2024

June 11th Special Election for Ohio's 6th Congressional District

Recently, the ACAA held a Candidates Conference at the University of Mount Union with Michael Ruilli (R) and Michael Kripchak (D), the two candidates running for Ohio’s 6th Congressional District. The candidates shared their priorities for elected office and discussed their positions on issues such as immigration reform, downtown revitalization, the Small Business Income Deduction, and energy independence.  


To watch the discussion with Michael Ruilli, click here.

To watch the discussion with Michael Kripchak, click here.


On Tuesday, June 11th, a Special Election is being held to fill this currently vacant seat, which was previously held by (former) Congressman Bill Johnson. This election is particularly relevant to Belmont, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe, Noble, Stark, Tuscarawas, and Washington Counties (which comprise the 6th Congressional District).  

To find out if you are registered to vote, change your voting information, or find out where to vote on election day, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website and/or your county board of elections. Whether you vote in person or through an absentee ballot, make your voice heard in this Special Election! 

Ohio Secretary of State Elections & Voting Resources 

Belmont County BOE 

Columbiana County BOE 

Harrison County BOE 

Jefferson County BOE 

Mahoning County BOE

Monroe County BOE 

Noble County BOE 

Stark County BOE 

Tuscarawas County BOE 

Washington County BOE 

Ohio Legislature Considers Multiple Child Care Bills

Earlier this month, several bills in the Ohio Legislature were introduced to address the state’s child care crisis. The ACAA is closely monitoring these bills and is working on scheduling roundtable discussions with key legislators who are leading these bills and otherwise working to better Ohio’s workforce and economy. 


  • House Bill 484: This legislation’s goal is to increase the availability of child care in communities across Ohio and to aid in business growth and recruitment. It would help employers retrofit or equip onsite or near-site child care facilities, build new facilities, and/or partner with providers, governments, nonprofits, and others on initiatives to create child care capacity. It would also provide support for establishing child care cohorts, learning labs, and other related resources.  
  • House Bill 570: Includes certain policy changes to make publicly funded child care more accessible to child care staff members across Ohio. Under this legislation, county departments of job and family services would exclude all income of child care staff members when determining their eligibility for publicly funded child care. 
  • House Bill 576: Authorizes nonrefundable tax credits for certain employer-provided child care expenditures.  
  • House Bill 577: Authorizes a refundable income tax credit for certain child care expenses. 
  • House Bill 578: Authorizes a nonrefundable income tax credit for contributions to certain child care programs.  
  • House Bill 580: Makes foster caregivers and kinship caregivers eligible for publicly funded child care but requires they be employed or participating in a program of education or training for an amount of time reasonably related to the time that the child is receiving publicly funded child care. 
  • Senate Bill 273: Establishes the Child Care Cred Program. This voluntary program would enable an employee’s child care costs to be shared equally by the employee, their employer, and the Ohio Department of Children and Youth.  

If you are interested in participating in upcoming roundtable discussions with legislative leaders focused on child care, please reach out to Alexis at araineri@akroncantonadvocacy.org

Employers Looking to Immigrant Populations to Fill Workforce Gaps

In recent months, there have been a series of emerging conversations across Northeast Ohio on how regional employers could more effectively and efficiently look to immigrant populations to meet their workforce needs. While there is no simple answer, it does seem obvious to many key stakeholders that there is more that we, as a regional business community, could and should be doing to better access existing (and future) talent from within immigrant populations to fill crucial workforce gaps.

In the coming months, the ACAA will participate in a series of dialogues with its partners around what policy reforms and support infrastructures are needed to help make this possible. More information will be shared on how to get involved in these discussions in the coming months. In the meantime, if there are questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Alexis at araineri@akroncantonadvocacy.org.  

As these conversations continue to evolve, we actively monitor state and federal activities that stand to impact immigration-related policies and programs. Here are a few things on our radar: 

  • House Bill 535: This legislation would create an interim limited term driver’s license for pending visa applicants, which are defined as those who have submitted a valid visa application to the United States citizenship and immigration services and are waiting to receive final approval. These temporary licenses are good for up to one year and can be replaced in cases where visa processing takes longer than the license term.  
  • NUZIARD v. MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY: In a March 2024 decision, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas found the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) presumption of social disadvantage for certain program applicants to be unconstitutional and ordered the MBDA to discontinue using race or ethnicity as criteria for receiving MBDA Business Center services nationwide. This court case, and any subsequent appeals to its decision, could have significant impacts on local, state, and federal programs designed to provide MBEs with management and technical assistance and help with accessing capital for business startup and expansion activities.  


For a quick snapshot of the impact that Akron’s immigrant population has on our regional economy click here. This summer, we will have a similar report to share detailing similar information for the Canton region.     

For more information, contact John Rizzo, Vice President, Akron-Canton Advocacy Alliance, at jrizzo@akroncantonadvocacy.org.