Government/Politics

Political news

Ohio Department of Health conducting tests for COVID-19 with new testing equipment.
Ohio Department of Health

The state now has the ability to conduct tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Due to limited resources the state has created a protocol to determine who to prioritize for testing.

Andy Chow

The state has opened a call center for anyone who has questions about the potential spread of coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, while urging people around the state to prepare.

Karen Kasler

Among the possible questions voters might face on the ballot this fall is whether they want to make it harder to raise the state income tax, by requiring approval from a supermajority of state lawmakers.

GagliardiPhotography, Shutterstock.com

Nearly a dozen people at a nursing home in Washington died from COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. Nursing homes throughout Ohio are being urged to take precautions to prevent coronavirus in their facilities so that doesn’t happen here.  

Ohio Ballot Board votes to split the Secure and Fair Elections Amendment into four different initiatives.
Andy Chow

The group trying to put a voter rights amendment on this year's ballot has filed an appeal in the Ohio Supreme Court to fight against a decision by the Ohio Ballot Board to split their measure into four different initiatives.

Andy Chow

Gov. Mike DeWine is issuing a public health order to bar spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival competitions, except for the finals tomorrow night and Saturday night, due to coronavirus concerns.

Dr. Amy Acton, with Gov. Mike DeWine alongside, talks to reporters before the statewide coronavirus summit.
Andy Chow

There are still no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio, but the state department of health reports three people now under investigation.

SamaraHeisz5/Shutterstock.com

UPDATE: The Senate has voted 96-1 to pass the coronavirus emergency bill. Only Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against it.

The U.S. House has passed a bipartisan $8.3 billion emergency bill to help states deal with coronavirus, sending it to the Senate, where it will get support from Ohio's two Senators.

Dan Konik

Republicans in Ohio might be tempted to cross over to vote for a Democrat in that party’s presidential primary on March 17th. After all, the Republican presidential candidate, President Donald Trump, is unopposed. But there are some things you should know before doing that.

Andy Chow

There are currently no cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, in Ohio. And while public health officials say it's only a matter of time, they are still urging people to take preventative measures.

Agenturfotografin, Shutterstock.com

Patients, especially those in rural areas who find it difficult to access a doctor in person, can often access doctors through two-way conferences via computers. The Ohio Senate has passed a bill that bans doctors from using telemedicine to prescribe abortion inducing drugs. 

Friday is the deadline for Ohio communities suing drug makers and distributors to decide to continue with their lawsuits or join the state’s effort to reach what’s likely to be a massive settlement over the opioid crisis.

Attorney General Dave Yost gestures as he explains the system that creates the billions of robocalls Ohioans got last year.
Karen Kasler

Ohioans got 2.2 billion robocalls just in 2019 – and the state attorney general says that number has been going up every year. He’s launching a new effort to crack down on the system that has flooded cell phones and work and landlines with robocalls.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland
Jo Ingles

Former Governor Ted Strickland is officially joining the effort to repeal capital punishment, saying he regrets the way he handled Ohio’s death penalty while he was in office. 

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections decided not to move two downtown Cleveland polling places near the St. Patrick's Day parade route, but 11 polling places in the suburbs with other holiday-related conflicts were moved.
Karen Kasler

With Super Tuesday voting over, the focus will shift to the six states that will vote March 10, followed by Ohio and the three states that hold primaries on March 17. It’s the first time Ohio has voted on St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s created a few problems.

Andy Chow

The Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus has become the largest mass gathering in the U.S. to be all but cancelled because of concerns surrounding the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights)
Andy Chow

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and state health officials are urging people to stay home if they are showing any signs of being sick. This is a major step towards preventing germs as cold and flu season continues and concerns about the coronavirus grow. But Democratic lawmakers say staying home from work isn't an option for many Ohioans. 

Inside a marijuana store in Denver, Colorado
Jo Ingles

Ohio’s medical marijuana program has been fully operational for a year now but participation in the program has lagged behind projections based on neighboring states. Now there’s a move afoot to put an issue on the fall ballot that would legalize marijuana outright. 

Andy Chow

The Ohio Ballot Board has voted to split a voter rights measure into four separate potential ballot issues. The amendment, which includes constitutionally protected early voting and automated voter registration, could now circulate as four different petitions.

Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron)
Dan Konik

A state group set up to promote the advancement of women and remove barriers to women’s equality was dissolved in 18 years ago, but it might come back if some Ohio lawmakers get their way. 

A Columbus grocery store has some empty space in the paper products aisle. Some stores are reporting items selling out or shortages of some items, such as hand sanitizer.
Karen Kasler

As the coronavirus spreads, people are being urged to prepare by stocking up on food and supplies, checking to see if they can work from home if schools and workplaces are shut down, and staying home if they’re sick. But these aren’t options for many people in Ohio.

Shannon Y, Shutterstock.com

When animals are put to sleep in Ohio, they are most often euthanized with medications administered by a veterinarian. But there have been some cases where dogs and cats have been put down in gas chambers. Now there’s a new bill that would make that practice illegal.

25th Annual Children's Hunger Alliance "Menu of Hope" in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom in Columbus.
Andy Chow

Some of the biggest leaders in public service and in the business world gathered in Columbus for the 25th Annual Children's Hunger Alliance "Menu of Hope" luncheon aimed at ending food insecurity.

ChiccoDodiFC/shutterstock.com

A group of advocates working on education, health care, trauma prevention and early intervention for young children has launched a new campaign to encourage investing in programs earlier than ever before.  It's aimed at the more than 545,000 kids three and younger who are living in Ohio – half in poverty.

Karen Kasler

Ohio Democratic lawmakers brought in a big crowd for their 11th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse in order to keep people up-to-date on the latest trends of oppression.

State schools superintendent Paolo DeMaria speaks at a press conference in 2018.
Karen Kasler

(UPDATE: As he said he would, DeMaria set the competency score at 684 for Algebra I and English II, which is within "basic" and below "proficient" in the five performance levels for state tests.)

Spring is coming, and so is state testing season in Ohio’s schools. And next week, the state school superintendent and the Ohio Department of Education will set minimum scores for students to show competency in Algebra I and English II – but they won’t  be required to be proficient.

Andy Chow

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is rolling out a new training program geared towards teaching law enforcement and officials how to assess potential risks of violence at schools.

Newborn baby in incubator
sukanya sitthikongsak/shutterstock.com

Ohio has ranked near the bottom of all the states when it comes to the number of babies who die in their first year of life. The state’s infant mortality rate is dropping, but there’s still a big racial gap.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court will decide if a state law that says gun owners can’t use their weapons while drunk is constitutional.

Reps. Reggie Stoltzfus (Paris Township) and Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) speak at the press conference announcing their planned legislation.
Karen Kasler

Two Republican lawmakers say they’re working on a bill that would support girls’ and women’s sports, by banning transgender girls and women from competing on female teams in high schools and colleges.

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