COVID-19 FAQ: Unemployment, H.B. 197, Ohio 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force, CARES Act, stimulus checks, and PPP/EIDL Loans, Community Conversations

Due to COVID-19 and a mass number of emails and phone calls coming in to our state office, we are doing everything we can to get back to you as quickly as possible. We are here to serve you.

Here are some frequently asked questions that will hopefully address at least part of your concerns:

1)      Unemployment:

  1. If you are having trouble with a PIN number, call 1-866-962-4064.
  2. If you have received a confirmation number but no payment yet, call your processing center (found by your social security number at this link:
  3. If you have not received a confirmation number and cannot complete your application, call the unemployment hotline at 1-877-644-6562.
  4. Jobs and Family Services is still working to implement self-employed workers into the unemployment system, and will inform all 1099 filers as soon as this is up and running.
  5. You can also find a helpful list of FAQ at
  6. For any other concerns, email us.

2)      HB 197:

  1. Voting by absentee ballot must be postmarked on or before April 27th
  2. Tax filing deadline for state income tax extended to July 15th
  3.  Any additional questions, email us.

3)      Ohio 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force:

  1. If you have specific opinions or information to share, Rep. Powell will read it over and thanks you for sending this!
  2. If you are a small business that is willing to share your story and COVID-19 experience with the Task Force, thank you! We will be emailing you shortly with the form to fill out and additional information.

4)      CARES Act, stimulus checks, and PPP/EIDL Loans:

  1. We will forward your concerns along to Congressman Warren Davidson’s office, since the CARES Act is federal.
  2. Social Security recipients will automatically receive their stimulus check.
  3.  Any additional questions regarding assistance available to small businesses, please email us and we will follow up.

5)      Community Conversations:

  1. For information regarding when Rep. Powell is hosting virtual Community Conversations with special guests, please visit her Facebook page.

Let us know if you have a specific request or follow-up question, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

-Jena Powell, State Rep.|OH-80

State Representative Jena Powell is currently serving her first term as a state representative. She represents the 80th Ohio House District, which encompasses Miami County and a portion of Darke County.

For more information, contact Rep Powell’s office at 614-466-8114 or


State Legislator of the Month – OH Representative Jena Powell

Rep. Powell is thrilled to be named “State Legislator of the Month” by American Legislative Exchange Council – a nationwide organization dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.

To hear a podcast conversation with American Legislative Exchange Council and FreedomWorks as we discussed conservative policy in light of COVID-19, follow the link here:

In this podcast we discussed H.B. 197, joint sponsored by Rep. Derek Merrin and Rep. Jena Powell.

More info can be found at

For the month of April, we are pleased to announce Ohio Representative Jena Powell as the ALEC-FreedomWorks State Legislator of the Month. This award is used to highlight substantive state policy successes by State Legislators – bringing their local story to a national platform. The FreedomWorks network of activists is second to none in supporting the efforts of liberty-loving state legislators.

During COVID-19, we’ve seen leaders step up to support Americans across the country.  But in Ohio, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jena Powell, along with fellow ALEC member Rep. Derek Merrin, stands out. The legislation authorized the Ohio Tax Commissioner to extend the deadlines for personal income tax filing and payment for Ohio taxpayers from April to July 15, 2020. At the time of writing, no other state legislature has done this.

Many states have delayed their tax deadlines, but they’ve done so via executive order or by a government agency’s decision. Ohio is the first to do it legislatively and we applaud their work. The bill also supports rolling back licensing requirements, increasing flexibility for school choice programs and many more pro-liberty responses to the pandemic.

Thank you, Representative Powell, for protecting individual liberty and free enterprise in the states. Congratulations on being the newest ALEC-FreedomWorks State Legislator of the Month.

Save Women’s Sports Act

Press Conference Speech given on 2.25.20 by Rep. Jena Powell

The Save Women’s Sports Act is about fairness for women in female sports.

With me on stage are several high school female athletes from my district, the bill’s joint sponsor Representative Reggie Stoltzfus and Rachel Citak (legal counsel for CCV).

The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women to be able to achieve their dream in athletics in our state, and is crucial to preserving women’s rights, and the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports.

Across our country, Female athletes are being robbed of athletic opportunities, dreams of competing at the next level, and even potential scholarships to biological males competing in girls’ sports.

Chelsea Mitchell is one of the top female sprinters in Connecticut. But she has been denied the title of state champion four times because the CIAC has allowed male athletes to compete as girls. Last year, she had the unexpected opportunity to compete on a more level playing field after a male athlete was disqualified for a false start. Chelsea went on to win the state championship and the New England Regional Championships in that event.

In Connecticut, nine different girls used to hold the 15 women’s state championship titles. Those 15 titles are now all held by two different biological males.

Girls want the chance to play and win by the rules in the sports that they love. That opportunity is being ripped from them by biological males competing in their sport.

The Save Women’s Sports Act will require schools that are a part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association to designate separate teams for participants of the biological female sex. No school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall permit biological males to participate on an athletic team or in an athletic competition designated only for biological female participants.

We want everyone in the state of Ohio to be able to compete on an even playing field. The beauty of this bill is that we are including everyone in sports, and upholding the integrity of women’s sports.

The reason we have women’s sports divisions is because biological males have physical and biological advantages over girls. Biological males possess many physiological advantages over females, including greater lung capacity, larger hearts, higher red blood cell counts, stronger tendons and ligaments, greater muscle strength, and increased bone density.

Because of this, Title IX was a federal law enacted precisely for the purpose of ensuring equal opportunity for women and girls to compete in interscholastic sports.

Discriminatory policies violate Title IX and deny girls educational and athletic opportunities. Allowing biological males to compete against biological females is a discriminatory policy that turns back the clock over half-a-century on advances we have made for women.

I am passionate about this issue because we cannot allow girls’ dreams of being a gold medal athlete be crushed by biological males stealing their opportunities.

The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women. This bill ensures that every little girl who works hard to make it on a podium is not robbed of her chance by a biological male competing against her in a female sport. We want every little girl to achieve her athletic dream here in the state of Ohio. The Saves women sports act ensures that happens.

State Representative Jena Powell is currently serving her first term as a state representative. She represents the 80th Ohio House District, which encompasses Miami County and a portion of Darke County. For more information, contact Rep Powell’s office at 614-466-8114 or

State Representative Jena Powell Files Petitions for Reelection

For Immediate Release
December 23, 2019

State Representative Jena Powell Files Petitions for Reelection


TROY – State Representative Jena Powell announced she filed petitions to run for reelection as Ohio State Representative for the 80th District.

The 80th District encompasses all of Miami County and southern Darke County. Representative Powell is currently in her first term after winning the seat in 2018 with over 75 percent of the vote

“I am honored to serve the people of Western Ohio and look forward to making great strides for our region. I want to thank the people for trusting me as their representative and look forward to continuing to serve,” Powell said.

While in the legislature, Representative Powell has been a conservative champion and worked hard to reduce government overreach.

She co-sponsored Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill, which was passed into law in April. She protected our Second Amendment rights and sponsored legislation to exempt antique firearms from certain weapons control laws. She helped make meaningful changes by sponsoring legislation to make technical and corrective changes to Ohio’s tax law.

Representative Powell currently serves on the House committees for Agriculture & Rural Development, Economic & Workforce Development, Ways & Means, and Aging & Long-Term Care.

Representative Powell is a small business owner. In her first term in the legislature, she was named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 list for Law & Policy. She resides in Arcanum.


December Statehouse News Update, From the Desk of Rep. Jena Powell

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

What a wonderful time to celebrate the birth of our Savior! We have so much to be thankful for. Since getting sworn in on January 7th, I’ve been able to meet with so many of you either at the Statehouse for tours, meetings or in the district for coffee events. I’ve had the pleasure of fighting for you here in Columbus and learning about so many of you in our community. Two of our bills have passed the Ohio House, and are now in the Senate. We are continuing to work our bills through the process, and to work with other offices here in Columbus to do our best to make Ohio an even better place to live out your American dream.

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity and responsibility to represent you here in Columbus. It is truly an honor, and one that I do not take lightly.

We are incredibly blessed to be part of an amazing community, celebrating Christmas and a New Year. As we are in the Christmas season, we want to remember that the reason why we are celebrating is the birth of our Savior, which brings us joy and hope.

Happy New Year!

-Jena Powell


Over the past year, we’ve had some incredible wins in the legislature:

Protecting Life! We passed the Heartbeat Bill, which protects life in the womb from the moment a heartbeat is detected.

Tax Cuts! We passed a 4% income tax cut.

Reducing Regulations! One in, two out. With every new regulation a government agency adds, they have to remove two old ones.

The bills that we have been working on uphold our conservative values. They are pro-business and pro-family bills that increase freedom for individuals and families in our state.


GREAT NEWS: ‘The Small Business Crowdfunding Act’ Passed the House

GREAT NEWS: ‘The Small Business Crowdfunding Act‘ Passed the House on Wednesday.

As a business owner and entrepreneur myself, I know the challenges that business owners in our state face. Inadequate funding is one of the top reasons businesses fail.

As a state, we need to remove excessive regulations and allow small business to thrive.

One in two workers in the private sector either work for or run a small business, and small business employers make up 99.7% of all employers in the United States. In order to foster an environment where small businesses can thrive, we have to remove unnecessary barriers to success. 

HB 312 does that.

This bill will allow Ohioans to raise up to 5 million in intrastate equity crowdfunding that can be used to start , grow, or expand their businesses.

Below is sponsor testimony presented to the Financial Institutions Committee

Good morning Chairman Jordan, Vice Chair Hillyer, Ranking Member Crossman, and members of the Financial Institutions Committee. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to present sponsor testimony on H.B. 312 – the Small Business Funding Act.

I’m on a mission to make Ohio the most business friendly state in the nation.

The Small Business Crowdfunding Act was passed by both House and Senate in the last General Assembly, when it ran out of time.

H.B. 312 will allow Ohioans to raise up to $5 million in intrastate equity crowdfunding that can be used to start, grow, or expand their businesses.

The Small Business Act accomplishes four main objectives:

  • Helps businesses have a strong start in Ohio by allowing businesses to raise money in the state through crowdfunding
  • Provides Ohio businesses with customers and loyal advocates who want to support and grow businesses and are financially invested in their success
  • It provides Ohio businesses with a more efficient and an alternative option for raising capital through the option of crowdfunding
  • Has safeguards in place to protect Ohio consumers, and provides penalties for those who conduct deceptive acts

If we pass the Small Business Funding Act, we will save small businesses money by allowing them to bypass costly and timely SEC securities filings. This bill will provide Ohioans with another way to raise capital to start, grow, or expand their small businesses in Ohio.

Some of the guidelines are as follows:

  • The business must have 80% of its assets in the state of Ohio.
  • 80% of the money must be spent in Ohio.
  • Only Ohio residents can purchase securities.
  • An investor is limited to $10,000 contribution per year (unless they are a federally accredited investor).
  • All “OhioInvests offerings” must be made through a website operated by a portal operator, who is required to provide disclosures to investors, and records to the Division of Securities.
  • The cap for how much a small business can raise through intrastate crowdfunding per year is $5 million

Ohio, and Ohio small business owners, will benefit from this bill because it provides them with a more efficient way of funding their businesses, lowers Ohio small business costs by providing an alternative to burdensome regulation, encourages investment in Ohio business by Ohioans, and sends a strong message to neighboring states that Ohio is open for business and we want small businesses to find a home in our great state.

Thank you, and I am ready to answer any questions from the committee at this time.


Sponsor Testimony on H.B. 196 – Unjust [501(c)(3)] Fitness Center Tax Act

What is H.B. 196? H.B. 196 corrects a 1992 error that mistakenly added sales tax to non-profit fitness center memberships here in Ohio. This Act will solve this problem by exempting 501(c)(3) fitness center memberships from sales tax, saving Ohioans $10 million dollars.

This Tuesday, Representative Powell gave sponsor testimony in the Ways & Means Committee. Watch her testimony here:

Good Afternoon Chairman Merrin, Vice Chair LaRe, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the House Ways and Means Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to provide sponsor testimony this afternoon on House Bill 196. This legislation will align Ohio with nearly every other state by removing the sales tax burden from non-profit fitness memberships.
This issue first began in 1992, when these memberships were seemingly accidentally included in a tax code revision. This change increased the tax burden of Ohioans seeking a healthier lifestyle by taxing facilities like the YMCA and Jewish Community Centers for the first time. Ohio became one of only five states in the nation to tax non-profit fitness memberships.
At the time the mistake was discovered, many legislators on both sides of the aisle opposed this new tax. My bill would remove this tax and return Ohio non-profit fitness memberships to full tax exempt status, as they should be as 501(c)(3)s. Taxing memberships is unjust and runs contrary to the YMCAs’ charitable nonprofit purpose. The state exempts other 501(c)(3)s from sales tax, and why should non-profit fitness centers be any different.
Eliminating this mistaken sales tax on non-profits will amount to a tax cut of less than $10 million, which is a small sum for government when compared to the over $23 million in financial assistance to participate in programs that the YMCA provides to all Ohioans.
As a non-profit, YMCAs are not like a for-profit fitness center. YMCAs also provide essential programs to Ohio’s communities, including:
1. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which saves over $2000 per person in healthcare costs;
2. Early childhood education, before and after school care, and summer day camp. The YMCA is Ohio’s and the nation’s largest provider of child care, and our quality programs help children be Kindergarten ready, and prevent the “summer slide.”
Every one of these programs is an investment being made by these community organizations and is an investment that will improve Ohioans lives while saving the state resources. Non-profit organizations operate for the good of the public and provide needed services to more than 750,000 individuals well beyond access to a weight room and treadmills. These organizations provide an incredible array of services and opportunities to our communities.
In Ohio, non-profit gyms play a critical role in helping keep our citizens healthy.
As a state, we do not tax non-profits due to their 501(c)(3) status. It is a mistake that we currently tax memberships to non-profit fitness centers such as the YMCA and Jewish Community Centers. HB 196 will solve this problem by exempting non-profit fitness centers memberships from Ohio sales tax.
Thank you for your support and consideration. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
– Jena Powell

Sponsor & Proponent Testimony for HR 180

On Tuesday, Representative Jena Powell presented sponsor testimony on House Resolution 180 which will declare pornography a public health crisis that perpetuates human trafficking and the abuse of women and minors.
Below please find Representative Powell’s testimony. 11 individuals came to give proponent testimony, and 6 submitted written proponent testimony. For the video of the Health Committee’s 9/17/19 meeting, please start the video at 30 minutes in for Rep. Powell’s testimony.

Chairman Merrin, Vice Chair Manning, Ranking Member Boyd, and Members of the Health Committee, thank you for allowing me to present sponsor testimony today on H.R. 180, a resolution to declare that pornography is creating a public health crisis in relation to the increase in sex trafficking, abuse of women, and minors.
Ohio is the fourth worst state in the United States for human sex trafficking (this is according to statistics compiled by the National Human Trafficking Hotline and the U.S. Marshalls Office).

• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the Trafficking in Persons report, which is created annually by the State Department to document human trafficking in the year prior. He stated, “The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide. So we are driving the demand as a society.” At the heart of the human trafficking trade in America is simple economics: Supply and demand.
• Pornography is integral to prostitution and coerced sexual acts, and over half of sex trafficking victims report that they were required to learn and perform according to pornographic media. Please refer if you wish to the study in front of you conducted by psychologist Melissa Farley. There is also a study in front of you from the Northwestern University Law Review discussing how human traffickers force those they have trafficked into pornographic videos as a way to entrap them.
According to a 2016 Barna Group survey, 64% of young people (aged 13-24) proactively seek out pornography weekly.

It is crucial to understand pornography as a form of violence against women. Mainstream pornography consists of socially sanctioned acts of direct violence against women.
• An analysis of the 50 most popular pornographic videos found that 88% of the scenes contain physical violence against women and in 95% of these scenes, the woman displays a positive or neutral reaction to the violence. You can find the scholarly article which has the results of these analyses in the stack of articles we passed out to you. says that pornography increases the demand for commercialized sex, especially with underage girls and boys.

According to the American Psychological Association, the earlier a boy is exposed to pornography the more likely he is to want power over women, and the later a man is exposed to pornography the more likely he is to engage in playboy behavior. Both having negative impact on our community. Pornography shrinks the brain and the brain reacts to pornography similarly to how it reacts to cocaine. You can see the statistics and research found on a University of Nebraska Lincoln chart.
We live in a time of a pornography epidemic, where young children are exposed and addicted to pornography thus causing a myriad of problematic sexual activity (feel free to look at the Times article in the stack which discusses the problems young men are having with ED due to porn), low self-esteem (for both boys and girls as referenced in multiple articles in front of you), negatively impacting brain development (see the Your Brain on Porn article for information on dozens of studies by neuroscientists and scholars about how pornography affects brain development and behavior), etc.
• Men who watch pornography are more likely to believe that women want to be raped, and to include violent acts of aggression and physical violence against women during sex, having been conditioned by pornography to believe these acts are normal and that women like to be choked, raped, etc. Please see the Pornography as a Public Health Issue article we have given you.
• This devaluation of women and children is because of the fact that “when neurologists looked at their brain scans, men’s brains reacted to women as if they were objects, not people.” This is a quote from Dr. Foubert, whose article on the public health harms of pornography is in front of you. His studies, and others, have shown that viewing pornography increases sexual aggression. You may see the article from the Journal of Communication for additional support.

Overall, the factors which compel men and women to enter the pornography industry are the same factors that place individuals at risk for human trafficking. Poverty, abuse, homelessness, and a history of childhood sexual or physical abuse.
• If you go online to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or to view sex trafficking data collected by the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, you will see these factors listed as risk factors for trafficking.
• Please also reference the Public Health Harms of Pornography summary of peer-reviewed studies and papers

This resolution will not outlaw pornography – this resolution is bringing awareness to the negative impact that pornography has on society, through its contributions to the demand for trafficked persons, violence against women, men, and minors, and its destruction of the brains as well as families of those individuals who are caught in its addicting web.
We want to promote human flourishing and a health society – we must recognize that this includes pushing against pornography and human trafficking for children and families. This resolution will declare that we in the Ohio House of Representatives, are against human trafficking and the sexual mistreatment of our fellow human beings whether they be women, men, or children. Let us by this resolution encourage families, churches, and businesses on a local level to promote education, prevention, research, and policy changes to confront the proliferation of pornography and human trafficking.

Today is the day to stand up and say enough is enough against the exploitation of women and children in our communities.
I’m happy to take any questions from the committee at this time.

Representative Jena Powell
Ohio’s 80th House District

NEW BILL: Tax Code Streamlining and Correction Act

Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) is joint-sponsoring a bill with Rep. Derek Merrin (R-) to streamline the Ohio tax code. At their direction, the Legislative Service Commission identified errors in the tax code, of which 125 are corrected by HB 197. HB 197 fixes typographical errors, incorrect or non-existent cross references, obsolete sections, awkward organization, and generic references to the effective date of an amendment.

“Thrilled to be working on tax policy here in Ohio,” says Powell. “The tax code is confusing, and HB 197 will help clean up some of the mistakes in the code that make it hard to read. This bill will make it easier for businesses and families to thrive in our state.”

The bill has had its first hearing in Ways and Means Committee. You can read the bill and see the analysis at if you search legislation for HB 197. As always, if you have state government concerns you can give our office a call at 614-466-8114 or email

News Release: Ohio Resolution Declares Pornography a Public Health Crisis

Article from  Citizens for Community Value

Sponsored by Rep. Jena Powell, resolution also highlights the connection of pornography with human trafficking.

COLUMBUS — Representative Jena Powell and 18 co-sponsors have introduced a powerful Ohio House resolution to declare pornography a public health crisis. Along with highlighting the serious hardships pornography causes for men, women and children, the resolution emphasizes the connections between pornography and human trafficking.

A recent study ranked Ohio the “4th worst state in the nation for human sex trafficking.” As lawmakers and law enforcement work to end the exploitation of Ohio’s most vulnerable, the resolution brings to light the importance of protecting children from pornography, and enforcing existing obscenity laws.

“The #MeToo movement has awakened America to the epidemic of sexual assault, human trafficking, and the objectification of women,” said Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values. “But any serious conversation about ending a toxic sexual culture must include an honest assessment of the harms of pornography. Pornography is more widely available than ever before, and until we get serious about enforcing our existing obscenity laws and ensuring children aren’t exposed to porn, we will never end the exploitation.”

If the resolution passes in the House, Ohio will join at least 15 other states who have passed similar resolutions: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.

Citizens for Community Values and the National Decency Coalition worked with Representative Jena Powell to draft the resolution. Eighteen other House members have signed on as cosponsors—Rep. John Becker, Rep. Louis Blessing, Tom Brinkman, Rep. Bill Dean, Rep. Tim Ginter, Rep. Diane Grendell, Rep. Ron Hood, Rep. Candice Keller, Rep. Kyle Koehler, Rep. George Lang, Rep. Riordan McClain, Rep. Derek Merrin, Rep. Tracy Richardson, Rep. Craig Riedel, Rep. Mark Romanchuk, Rep. Todd Smith, Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus, and Rep. Nino Vitale.

You can read the resolution online here.