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Overview

Since 1988, Calfee’s State Government Relations and Policy practice has been respected for its political savvy and effectiveness, legal expertise, honesty, and relationships with all levels of local, regional, and state government on both sides of the political aisle.

Calfee’s Ohio team operates from offices across the state and regularly partners with our Federal Government Relations team in Washington, D.C., continuously building and strengthening relationships with key decision-makers. From legislative aides to top lawmakers and officials, we advocate for our clients and work with them to provide sophisticated solutions for their business needs.

Many of our lawyers and lobbyists have formerly served in governmental positions, including capacities such as the director of a state cabinet-level agency and deputy chief lobbyist for a national trade organization. Our collective knowledge and experiences allow us to analyze the law and political climate, anticipate how it may affect businesses, and execute a plan that will help clients communicate and work effectively with all levels of government.

As one of the top law firms in Ohio, Calfee lobbyists also have the legal background and immediate resources of lawyers in offices across Ohio who provide a variety of specialized services. We are able to analyze the law for our clients in the state and globally, anticipate how Ohio laws may impact their business, and strategize and execute a plan of action. 

Noteworthy

Chambers USA Leading Law Firm Rankings 

Calfee has been recognized by Chambers USA as a Leading Law Firm in Government Relations: State & Local in Band 1 in USA - Nationwide (2023).

Clients interviewed by Chambers USA researchers stated, "We are very happy with the level of professionalism, knowledge, responsiveness, and value of the work product we receive from Calfee's attorneys. They are the utmost professionals, always helping clients achieve the stated goal; they are extremely well-connected within Ohio state and local politics. Calfee's government relations team is amazing and includes high-powered lobbyists as well as extremely detailed attorneys who analyze legislation; the group is multitalented and will use all of those resources to help the client. The team is tremendously experienced and brings a wealth of knowledge to its work. It is filled with an incredible number of people who bring federal, state, and local government experience, which lends itself to them providing workable, realistic solutions to problems.

Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” Rankings

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2024 "Best Law Firms" rankings in Government Relations Practice (Regional Tier 1 Columbus).

Disclaimer

Although many of the professionals in Calfee's State Government Relations and Policy group are attorneys, the non-licensed professionals in this group are affiliated with Calfee Strategic Solutions, LLC (CSS). CSS is not a law firm and is not authorized to engage in the practice of law. Accordingly, its advice should not be regarded as legal advice, and its services should not be considered the practice of law.

Professionals

Experience

Experience

Representative Clients

  • Alliance for Automotive Innovation
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Diageo
  • Gilead Sciences
  • JACK Entertainment
  • KeyBank
  • Ohio Apartment Association
  • RPM International Inc.

Representative Industries

  • Associations
  • Banking, financial services, and insurance
  • Environmental and natural resources
  • Gaming and hospitality
  • Health care
  • Higher education
  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate
  • Retail organizations
  • Technology and Innovation

Representative Matters

  • Assisting a state-wide health organization in all government advocacy matters. The most important recent project involved assisting the client in advocating for funding in the state’s biennial operating budget bill. A significant portion of their annual funding is provided from state tax revenues. With our help, the client successfully advocated for an increase in the state funding proposed by the Governor and the removal of a number of earmarks to those funds that would have reduced direct funding. We also helped the client secure an amendment to the budget bill of a separate standalone bill containing important policy updates that will modernize functions and processes.
  • Assisting a nonprofit healthcare provider in all government advocacy matters. A significant recent matter included our efforts with the client to secure an allocation of $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money from a city in Ohio to support a new multi-million-dollar health center. This effort included helping the client develop advocacy materials and obtaining and preparing the client for meetings with local elected officials. This effort was in connection with the client’s successful application for a competitive national grant, awarded in conjunction with a local women’s health clinic, to provide healthcare to clients and conduct research related to the reduction of infant mortality.
  • Serving an American real estate technology company as the client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. We are assisting the client in obtaining an amendment to the state’s operating budget bill to prohibit certain predatory right-to-list sales agreements. As part of the larger realty industry, the client advocated for laws to prohibit right-to-list sales agreements where the agreement runs with the land or otherwise purports to bind future owners or the agreement purports to be a lien, encumbrance, or other security interest. We also kept the client abreast of developments and assisted in their participation in legislative hearings and interested party meetings and facilitated one-on-one meetings with legislative sponsors on bills of interest.
  • Provided ongoing government relations services to an Ohio university for more than 20 years and currently serving as the client’s representative in the state in all government-related matters. We recently helped the client maintain several million dollars in direct state funding for the client’s medical school during state budget negotiations. We have closely monitored and advised the client on proposed state legislation regarding the teaching of “divisive concepts” and diversity in education and successfully helped ensure that the legislation will not apply to private, nonprofit universities.
  • Representing television provider clients before the General Assembly monitoring legislation that impacts the clients' business. In the past year, we have worked with the clients, their in-house legislative counsel, and their legislative representatives from approximately 12 states to enact legislation to prevent the application of cable franchise fees to streaming video services offered by the clients over the internet. We helped review and edit draft legislation and supporting materials to fit our political and policy climate, conducted legislative outreach efforts, obtained legislative sponsors, worked on amendments with interested parties, and saw the legislation successfully amended into a legislative vehicle and passed by the General Assembly, all over a 5-month period.
  • Assisted in an effort to modernize the state’s lease-to-own laws from an older, in-person model of consumer sales and disclosure to allow a business model of partnering with online retailers and providing digital disclosure for in-store purchases. Calfee worked with the client to customize the nationally agreed-upon language to reflect Ohio laws. We also connected the client with the Ohio Attorney General, the enforcement office for the state’s consumer protection laws, to gain their support for the language. We obtained legislative sponsors for an amendment to the language in the state’s biennial operating budget bill and conducted an educational campaign with legislative members. Despite only having a couple of months and starting after the budget bill was introduced and passed by the Ohio House, we obtained inclusion of the amendment in the Ohio Senate’s version of the budget and maintained its inclusion through to passage.
  • Serving as the representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for an affiliated organization of one of the largest business associations in the U.S. Calfee's focus for this client is tort reform, which this year has included collaborating with local business partners to support two pieces of legislation. We serve as the client’s local Ohio representative to bring a national perspective to promote uniformity in state laws for businesses. We monitor the legislation, coordinate client participation in legislative hearings and interested party meetings, provide feedback on legislative edits, and help set the collaboration’s legislative strategy.
  • Serving as a technology company’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. Calfee has assisted the client with its introduction to the Ohio government and our legislative process. We assisted the client in meeting and educating Ohio elected officials on the important aspects of the client’s industry-leading technology. During the process, we have helped elected officials separate fact from fiction regarding both the client’s history and its business model, untangling the complicated social media industry for officials who are seeking information. We have helped the client establish relationships and lines of communication, which will allow the state and the client to productively address concerns raised with fast-moving technology. In addition, we have connected the client to legislative members to provide input on a number of pending legislative proposals.
  • Serving as the representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for a gaming company client. An important recent matter was advocacy in the state’s biennial operating budget bill, Ohio House Bill 33. The operating budget bill is Ohio’s most important policy bill of the two-year session and contains a multitude of provisions that impact the gaming industry. Along with other industry lobbyists, we advocated for or against the inclusion of gaming provisions during the House, Senate, and Conference Committee phases of the legislative process.
  • Counseled a client through the rulemaking and licensing processes in the state for the inaugural launch of Ohio’s new sports gaming industry. We worked with the client to successfully submit their licensing application and addressed regulatory questions posed by regulators throughout the submittal and license review process. During the process, we frequently added productive comments and proposed revisions to the state rule package to create a competitive and safe marketplace for operators and customers. The client and its individual licensees received their licenses and were able to open by the universal start date. We continue to provide counsel on regulatory issues for the client.
  • Provided ongoing government relations services to a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company for more than a decade. We serve as the client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. Our most recent significant assignment was to obtain an amendment to the state’s biennial operating budget bill to eliminate current law that authorized HIV testing only if necessary to provide diagnosis and treatment of an individual and instead authorize testing if the individual or their parent or guardian have given general consent for care and been notified that a test is planned. We worked to obtain a sponsor for the amendment and conducted a legislative education campaign to obtain inclusion in the bill and to ensure the amendment was maintained in the bill during the conference committee process. The change was included in the recently passed bill and brings the state into compliance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for HIV testing.
  • Provided ongoing government relations services to a multinational alcoholic beverage company for more than a decade. We serve as the client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. A key recent initiative was the passage of two provisions in the state’s operating budget bill that are beneficial to the client’s business, including lowering the cost to obtain a liquor permit to provide samples to customers and codifying a provision of law that creates an expedited process for a permit holder to expand their permitted business premise. The client anticipates that these provisions will expand sales in the state. We helped the client prepare testimony and supporting materials, meet with legislators, and work with interested parties as the bill progressed to passage. We also are working with the client to introduce standalone legislation to address an existing tax disparity in state law for similar alcoholic beverages.
  • Serving as a trade coalition client’s representative in Ohio in all government-related matters. A key recent initiative was the introduction of House Bill 203 to set a time limit on when private owners must submit payment to general contractors, mirroring current law for public projects “timely pay” legislation. As there is no law on this issue currently, private owners’ failure to pay general contractors in turn delays payment to our client, the subcontractors, in essence making subcontractors unwilling financiers of private construction projects. We have helped the client develop the legislation, secure legislative sponsors, prepare testimony and supporting materials, meet with legislators, and work with interested parties as the bill progresses through the General Assembly.
  • Advocating for a delivery company for a revision to the application of the state’s sales tax to purchases made using online marketplace sellers. Current state law requires all online marketplace sellers to collect and remit sales taxes, a system that often results in both the client, a grocery delivery service, and its participating retailers collecting and remitting sales tax on the same order. The revision would end double taxation. We have secured support for the revision from industry players as well as the state Department of Taxation. We have obtained legislative sponsors in both the House and Senate for a standalone bill to be introduced in the fall. We also started a larger legislative education campaign as part of the operating budget bill process, as the Senate sponsor was interested in placing the revision in the budget despite it being late in the budget process.
  • Serving as representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for an East Coast healthcare consulting company. A key recent initiative involved maintaining inclusion in the state’s operating budget bill, the largest policy bill of the two-year session, of a provision to require the Ohio Department of Medicaid to obtain a third-party contractor to help streamline redetermination of member eligibility decisions following the conclusion of the public health emergency. We also worked with the client to obtain a provision in the budget to both increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for emergency medical service providers on a going-forward basis as well as a supplemental payment program to help reimburse past underpayments to those same providers.
  • Assisting a state-wide health organization in all government advocacy matters. The most important recent project involved assisting the client in advocating for funding in the state’s biennial operating budget bill. A significant portion of their annual funding is provided from state tax revenues. With our help, the client successfully advocated for an increase in the state funding proposed by the Governor and the removal of a number of earmarks to those funds that would have reduced direct funding. We also helped the client secure an amendment to the budget bill of a separate standalone bill containing important policy updates that will modernize functions and processes.
  • Assisted a publicly traded telecommunication company in making connections in support of their government sales division. This is a relatively new business line for the client. We have helped the client understand state procurement processes, work with the Department of Administrative Services, which oversees state procurement, and connect potential government buyers. In the last year, the client has made successful sales to several Ohio departments.
  • Serving as representative in Ohio in all government-related matters for a global, publicly traded, European-based pharmaceutical company. The primary project of the last year has been working to maintain and expand a state program to provide reimbursement to county jails for the purchase of behavioral health drugs. We worked with the client to double the funding for the program in the state’s biennial operating budget bill and to expand the program to include community-based correctional facilities. We helped the client develop the language, secure executive support and legislative sponsors, prepare testimony and supporting materials, meet with legislators, and work with interested parties as the bill progressed through the General Assembly. This expansion and additional funding open a new market for the client.

Services

Services

Calfee partners with our clients to deliver superior services that result in success, including:

Legislative Lobbying

  • Develop legislative strategy
  • Draft legislation
  • Prepare testimony
  • Build legislative support
  • Testify before legislative committees
  • Foster legislative relationships with clients
  • Monitor legislative activity

 Executive Agency Lobbying

  • Develop lobbying strategy
  • Prepare supporting materials and briefings
  • Foster executive agency relationships with clients

 Public Policy Advocacy

  • Analyze policy and political perspectives
  • Develop grass-roots support
  • Create coalitions among stakeholders
  • Coordinate and analyze media and public relations

Government Contract / Executive Agency Procurement

  • Monitor procurement opportunities
  • Develop business relationships
  • Support State Term Schedule applications
  • Counsel on competitive bid requirements
  • Assist with public records requests
  • Truth-In-Negotiations Act issues
  • Buy American / Buy Ohio
  • Specification requirements

Agency Regulatory Matters

  • Analyze regulations
  • Prepare legal and political arguments
  • Attend hearings on behalf of clients
  • Ensure Executive Order compliance
  • Assist with permit and licensing regulations and applications
  • Develop compatible required legislation

Administrative Rule-Making Process

  • Monitor administrative agencies
  • Draft administrative rules
  • Impact rule-making process
  • Represent clients in public and administrative hearings

Political Action Committees (PACs)

  • Review laws and regulations
  • Develop strategies for PAC contributions
  • Facilitate legal formation
  • Handle regulatory functions
  • Monitor campaign finance limitations

Client Feedback

Client Feedback

  • "We are very happy with the level of professionalism, knowledge, responsiveness, and value of the work product we receive from Calfee's attorneys." Chambers USA client quote
  • "They are the utmost professionals, always helping clients achieve the stated goal; they are extremely well-connected within Ohio state and local politics." Chambers USA client quote
  • "Calfee's government relations team is amazing and includes high-powered lobbyists as well as extremely detailed attorneys who analyze legislation; the group is multitalented and will use all of those resources to help the client." Chambers USA client quote
  • "The team is tremendously experienced and brings a wealth of knowledge to its work. It is filled with an incredible number of people who bring federal, state, and local government experience, which lends itself to them providing workable, realistic solutions to problems." – Chambers USA client quote
  • "I employ lobbyists in many other states. Josh Sanders at Calfee is extremely results-oriented and responsive. I rate him and his staff in the very top of all of my other very strong lobbying firms." – Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in “Best Law Firms” report
  • "Calfee's Columbus office attorneys have been one of the most responsive, proactive, and cost-effective relationships I have had with any office of any firm in my 27 years of in-house experience." – Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in “Best Law Firms” report
  • "The Calfee, Halter & Griswold Government Relations practice provides my company with expertise and, more importantly, access to the relationships needed to successfully navigate the legislative and executive branches. I rely on their team for business development strategy, legislative lobbying, and their insights into the latest public policy goals. We’ve successfully been able to grow our business with the state of Ohio in large part because of the partnership we have with the team at Calfee. I’d offer them my highest recommendation." – Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in “Best Law Firms” report
  • "The Government Relations expertise we receive from Calfee, Halter & Griswold has made a meaningful contribution to the expansion of our business within the Ohio government. The Government Relations team has helped us successfully navigate the complexities of government procurement and helped us effectively strategize for future growth. I highly recommend the firm and have had nothing but good things to say about their work. They are elite lobbying professionals." – Calfee client, as reported by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in “Best Law Firms” report

News & Events

News

Alerts

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Practice Contacts

"They are the utmost professionals, always helping clients achieve the stated goal. They are extremely well connected within Ohio state and local politics."

Chambers USA client quote

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