Government/Politics

Political news

Bryan Scrafford, Shutterstock.com

A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to a group that’s trying to put changes to voting laws on this fall’s ballot. A federal court stayed a lower court ruling that gave the group more time and allowed for electronic signatures.

Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) at a press conference with other Ohio House Democrats in 2019.
Ohio House

As Ohio opens for business again, many workers have qualms about returning to their jobs. Some Democrats are proposing a bill they say will protect those workers.

A "closed" sign is posted on a closed duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler

1.2 million Ohioans have filed jobless claims since mid-March. And as Ohio’s businesses reopen, workers are concerned about the availability of child care, the cleanliness of their workplaces and the safety of vulnerable family members as they go back to work. And the agency processing claims has seen that concern too.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) speaks to masked reporters after session on May 13, 2020.
Karen Kasler

Gov. Mike DeWine changed his initial mask mandate as a condition of businesses reopening, instead requiring masks for employees but not for customers. But while mask wearing has become something of a partisan symbol, DeWine said it shouldn’t be.

Dan Konik

COVID-19 closed down the March primary election, and lawmakers extended the absentee ballot deadline to late April.  Voter rights groups are asking state lawmakers to reform voting laws now, to avoid confusion before the November election. But they are not necessarily on the same page when it comes to which reforms should be made. 

Andy Chow

House Minority Caucus Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) is criticizing the state's plan to address racial health disparities during the coronavirus pandemic saying the strategy Gov. Mike DeWine is taking is good but not enough, calling it "too little, too late."

Ohio National Guard/Twitter

Ohio National Guard members have been performing a variety of duties during the COVID19 pandemic. But the roles of members are changing a bit as time progresses.

"Closed" signs on the front of a restaurant in Bexley near downtown Columbus
Karen Kasler

Ohio’s unemployment rate nearly tripled in just a month and set a record as COVID-19 closures and the state’s stay at home order fully hit economic activity.

Andy Chow

The state of Ohio is rolling out a new initiative to tackle the racial health disparity with COVID-19. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says there's a major issue the state and country can address in order to improve minority health; worker protection.

The Stratford Barn - Delaware County Historical Society
Jo Ingles

Wedding venues, banquet halls and large catering facilities can reopen June 1st. And some venues say they are ready to open now.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine rolled out the first steps to a plan to address racial disparities in the fight against COVID-19 which he says has only highlighted a problem that has existed for generations.

A hand sanitizer station at a nursing home in central Ohio. Nursing homes were banned from allowing visitors in March.
Karen Kasler

More than three quarters of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Ohio have come from nursing homes. This week’s total is a 30% increase from a week ago.

The Ohio State Fair opened last year on July 24. 934,925 people attended the fair last year, a slight increase over 2018.
Daniel Konik

For the first time since World War II, the Ohio State Fair won’t go on as scheduled. The fair was set to start on July 29.

Andy Chow

The Ohio Senate unanimously rejected an Ohio House measure that would've scaled back the power of state public health orders. Senators blasted the House amendment, saying it undermined health experts and created too many unintended consequences.

Andy Chow

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci has issued a preliminary injunction against the state's public health order closing gyms and fitness centers. The attorneys representing gyms say this ruling has wider implications.

Watershed Distillery Facebook page

Ohio’s bars and restaurants would be able to expand their seating and service into parking lots or public grounds under a new bill at the Statehouse. And they’d also be able to sell alcohol for delivery through third-party services such as GrubHub or Doordash.

Vitalil Vodolazskyl, Shutterstock.com

Deloitte, a consulting company contracted by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), is investigating a data breach in the system launched last week to pay benefits to 1099 and self-employed workers. A mass message was sent to applicants letting them know that their personal information was left unconcealed for a period of time.

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks in his daily press briefing on April 30. Five days later he announced budget cuts of $775 million.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

With a state budget deficit of three quarters of a billion dollars and just two months left in the fiscal year, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered huge cuts to schools, Medicaid and other areas. He says he’s considering other options going forward, but he has ruled out one possibility.

Bryan Scrafford, Shutterstock.com

A group that’s trying to put changes to voting laws on this fall’s ballot has more time to collect petition signatures. And a federal court is also allowing the group to collect them electronically.

The entrance to Continuing Health Care in Gahanna, where two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 tests, but no residents have.
Karen Kasler

There have been at least 674 deaths from coronavirus at nursing homes in Ohio, which is 43% of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 deaths. After saying for weeks that nursing home residents who have symptoms are tested but limitations prevented mass testing, there’s a plan for more tests in long-term care facilities.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is revising the state's public health policies on COVID-19 to slowly transition away from public health orders. He says this represents a shift to give more of the accountability to Ohioans.

Annie and John Glenn smile at the event announcing his run for president in New Concord, Ohio, on April 21, 1983.  Glenn later withdrew from the race.
Ohio State University, John Glenn Archives/Ohio History Connection

Annie Glenn, the wife of the late astronaut, Senator and presidential candidate John Glenn, has died of complications from COVID-19.

Gov. Mike DeWine is warning bars and restaurants that those who don't follow safety guidelines could risk losing their liquor licenses and even face possible criminal charges. The announcement comes after reports and photos circulated of crowded patios on the first night outdoor dining was allowed since March 15.

Food Banks And Face Masks

May 18, 2020
Credit New Path food bank Facebook page

Ohio’s foodbanks employ and serve people who are often in high risk populations for developing COVID-19 because of age or health conditions. So, wearing face masks or coverings is recommended but it also causes some problems.

An empty elementary school classroom in Westerville. It's expected classrooms will have to be reconfigured if students will return to school buildings for the '20-'21 school year.
Karen Kasler

Ohio’s K-12 schools are winding down their remote classes to end this unusual year. And Gov. Mike DeWine says he and school leaders are making plans for returning to in-person classes after summer break.

A tweet of the scene at Standard Hall in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus on Friday, as shared by @musicsaves41. Friday was the first night Ohio bars and restaurants could offer outdoor dining since they were shut down March 15.
@musicsaves41/Twitter

It was a big weekend for the bars and restaurants that reopened outdoor patios. Many chose not to open, and most of those that did observed social distancing. But pictures of some that didn’t were widely circulated on social media.

The Backstretch, Delaware Ohio
Roger Ingles

As restaurants and bars that had been closed since March opened for outdoor dining this weekend, pictures of packed patios from around the state appeared to show operators and patrons ignoring social distancing protocols. And some restaurants didn’t open their patios for service at all.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Health officials say the new study to gather samples of COVID-19 antibody test results will include a broad range of participants from around Ohio.

ChiccoDodiFC/shutterstock.com

Child care facilities can reopen under strict new rules on May 31, a move that's considered essential for many workers to return to their jobs. And many other businesses got the go-ahead to reopen as well.

Rep. Tavia Galonski
Ohio Legislature

Many Democratic state lawmakers were upset Wednesday when they discovered an earlier seating plan that allowed social distancing in the Ohio House chamber had been scrapped in favor of one allowing all legislators inside the chamber. Now, one of those minority lawmakers has filed a complaint with the Franklin County Health Department.

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