Government/Politics

Political news

Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges looks up at a video while on the floor at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016. Borges expressed reservations about Trump, but voted for him.
Karen Kasler

The former head of the Ohio Republican Party is spearheading an effort to get Democrat Joe Biden elected president.

Lottery tickets on display in a gas station convenience store in Columbus.
Karen Kasler

State lawmakers are still considering how to regulate sports gambling in Ohio. But one Republican state senator says sports betting isn’t going to help bring in a lot more money for the state, so he wants more action from a state agency already in the gambling game.

A poll worker helps a voter to a machine at Franklin County's early voting center in Columbus on Sunday, March 15. In-person voting for the March 17 primary was cancelled the next day and the mail-in deadline was extended to April 28.
Karen Kasler

Voter turnout in Ohio has been around 70 percent in presidential election years, and elections officials think turnout will be high this year as well. But with lingering concerns related to the pandemic, they say it’s going to be important to get as many Ohioans as possible to vote early this November. 

Chompoo Suriyo/Shutterstock

As doctors around the country have expressed concerns that people are avoiding hospitals due to the pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is urging Ohioans to continue seeking care for other ailments outside of the coronavirus. 

Dan Konik

The fund by which Ohio pays jobless benefits is officially broke, and the state has asked to borrow more than $3 billion so payments can keep going out to unemployed workers.

TORWAISTUDIO, shutterstock.com

Reports of child abuse in Ohio are down dramatically, but those working in the field say they’re concerned that the real incidents of child abuse are actually on the rise. Advocates are preparing for a surge of new reports that could come from child care providers, camps and eventually schools as those facilities all open up.

Shutterstock

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of anti-discrimination protections for LGTBQ people in the workplace. Advocates in Ohio are celebrating the ruling but say there's still more work to be done.

SFIO CRACHO, Shutterstock.com

Nearly one million Ohio households lack reliable broadband service and of that, there are 300,000 that don’t have any service at all. The Ohio House has passed a bill that would help bring broadband to those area. It’s now up to Senators to pass the plan.

The Ohio Channel

The top leader of the Ohio Senate, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), has rebuked the racist comments made by Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) during a committee hearing.

Dan Konik

The movement that began with demonstrators protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black people killed by police is starting to shape a policy debate over the future of law enforcement. There are leaders calling for reforms, advocates calling to "defund the police," and others wanting more discussion on the issue.

Ohio Statehouse
Statehouse News Bureau

An amendment to ban the sale and display of the Confederate flag at Ohio county fairs failed in committee earlier this week. But that didn’t prevent the sponsor of that amendment from trying again.

Andy Chow

State lawmakers approved hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to help local governments recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Mark Hurst, appearing on "The State of Ohio" as the director of the Ohio Department of Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services in 2018.
Ohio Channel

Ohio’s confirmed deaths from and cases of COVID-19 continue to inch up. Today there were 2,280 confirmed deaths and more than 37,500 confirmed cases. But as the pandemic continues, the state’s health department has now lost two of its top medical experts.

Pegasus pics, Shutterstock.com

A court in eastern Ohio has dismissed a case that brought criminal charges against the owner of a diner in Cambridge for failing to comply with rules set forth in the state’s reopening plan for restaurants. This was the outcome the state’s Attorney General had requested.

Sen. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City)
Ohio Senate

UPDATE: Sen. Steve Huffman has issued an apology on his Facebook page, in which he writes: "I recognize that my choice of words was unacceptable and hurtful. I apologize, and I make no excuses."

A Republican state senator from the Dayton area has lost his job as an emergency room doctor after asking a racially insensitive question at a hearing on a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Ashtabula)
Jo Ingles

As state lawmakers are asked to consider a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis, Ohio Senate leaders plan to hold meetings throughout the state to listen to the concerns of black Ohioans. Here's some of the issues Senate President Larry Obhof thinks might come up in those meetings.

Dr. Amy Acton speaks at a press conference on April 2, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The director of the Ohio Department of Health, who drew national praise and criticism from some members of the state legislature for the state's pandemic shutdowns, has resigned.

T shirts and flags at Fairfield County Fair
Karen Kasler

Lawmakers in a House committee rejected a proposed amendment that would have banned the sale and display of the Confederate flag at county fairs in Ohio. 

(Ohio House)

Republican leaders in the Ohio House are proposing a list of reforms to the law enforcement system, with changes that include more training, stronger disciplinary measures and possible pay increases for police officers.

OBM Director Kim Murnieks testified on the state budget before the House Finance Committee in March 2019.
Karen Kasler

Using three quarters of a billion dollars in cuts and some reserve cash and federal Medicaid funding, the state of Ohio has staved off a budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends on June 30. But there’s a huge shortfall ahead for the year that begins on July 1.

Karen Kasler

Some Ohio lawmakers are pushing five different bills they say will deal with the state’s opioid abuse problem in a comprehensive way. 

Farknot Architect, Shutterstock.com

Ohio has joined six other states in suing a pair of Texas-based businesses, saying they have blasted Ohioans with more than 59 million illegal robocalls offering extended car warranties and health care services. 

Taraja Shephard Allen and her son Daylen, both of Columbus, testify in support of the resolution before the Senate Health and Medicaid Committee.
Karen Kasler

More than 50 people were signed up to speak out at the first hearing in the Ohio Senate for a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. They were some of the more than 130 people and groups who provided written testimony in support of the proposal backed by eight Senate Democrats and one Republican.

Ohio Department of Health

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have continued to increase at a low rate, but health experts are urging people to still take the virus seriously even as more businesses reopen.

Andy Chow

Gov. Mike DeWine is moving forward with plans to create what he says will be more accountability and oversight for law enforcement in Ohio. The moves focus on diversifying police forces and getting departments to meet certain standards.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services building in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler

The state has paid out more than $3.8 billion in unemployment benefits to over 683,000 Ohioans since mid-March, more than it’s ever paid out in a full year. And the state has paid $1.4 billion in federally funded pandemic unemployment assistance nearly 200,000 people who wouldn’t normally qualify for unemployment.

Roger Ingles

After more than a week of protests in Ohio cities that have spread to college campuses and smaller communities, protestors are taking their messages against racism and police brutality to individual movers and shakers. Here’s the latest from a demonstration in Columbus.

Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) talk before House session on June 4, 2020, as protestors demonstrate outside the Statehouse. A few moments later, the House held a moment of silence for George Floyd.
Karen Kasler

A resolution introduced last week to declare racism a public health crisis is getting its first hearing in the Republican-dominated Ohio Senate, where one member of the GOP has joined eight Democrats in sponsoring the measure.

Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock.com

The owners of eight bars and restaurants in Northeast Ohio are suing Gov. Mike DeWine and Department of Health Director Amy Acton over rules put in place for restaurants to reopen following closure due to coronavirus. 

Andy Chow

The Ohio National Guard is returning to the state after being called to Washington, DC to secure demonstrations in the District. However, members of the guard are still in some Ohio cities as protesters continue to demonstrate against the deaths of George Floyd and other black people killed by police.

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