Government/Politics

Political news

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Ohio ranks second in a list of states with the most puppy mills, even after a law that was supposed to crack down on them. 

The Spot, located in Grandview west of downtown Columbus, is one of the 35 independent gyms suing the state over its shutdown order.
Karen Kasler

A group of 35 independent gyms and fitness centers is suing the state, saying they could reopen for business safely but they’re not being allowed to.

Karen Kasler

Democrats in the Ohio House are accusing Republican leadership of failing to provide a safe workplace while they vote on bills in the Ohio Statehouse. The Democrats say House Session lacks physical distancing while most of their Republican counterparts don't wear face masks.

Andy Chow

The company that runs Ohio's two nuclear power plants is increasing its stock buyback from $500 million to $800 million, less than a year after lawmakers approved a bailout for those power plants. This has critics questioning the company's financial situation.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court has let stand the law that allows the state to take over failing school districts, starting with the Youngstown City Schools in 2015.

Lower traffic levels have allowed some ODOT work that would normally be shifted to night hours to continue in daylight.
Karen Kasler

The slowdown of the economy because of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on traffic and transit. And even though the state’s gas tax that funds road construction went up by 10.5 cents a gallon last July, the Ohio Department of Transportation is bracing for a big hit. 

credit jakkaje879, Shutterstock.com

Some libraries throughout Ohio are announcing they will be reopening soon. But it might take a little longer for others to reopen their doors.

Karen Lampe, Dayton area child care operator
Jo Ingles

As retail stores throughout Ohio reopen after closing under state order for the coronavirus pandemic, some employees are scrambling to find a way to work without having reliable child care available. 

Half Price Books
Dan Konik

Many of Ohio’s retail stores that had been closed for the past few weeks opened today. There was a light yet steady stream of shoppers inside a Columbus area book store.

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Families that are part of their school district's free or reduced-price meal programs will soon receive assistance to help buy food through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which just received federal approval.

A sign on a closed barbershop in Westerville. Hair stylists are among the workers who have been waiting to apply for benefits.
Karen Kasler

This morning brought long-awaited news for the self-employed, independent contractors and 1099 workers in Ohio – the system to pay them jobless benefits is live.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

After saying last week that an announcement on reopening child care centers would be coming Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine said today he wasn't ready to bring forward a date or plans on that quite yet.

A closed sign in a store near downtown Columbus
Karen Kasler

The Ohio Department Job and Family Services has paid more than $2 billion in unemployment claims to nearly 560,000 Ohioans since mid-March. But that’s only half of the 1.1 million claims that have been filed.

Andy Chow

The latest round of state budget cuts to offset the economic impact of COVID-19 has caused many departments to reevaluate their programs, this includes the H2Ohio fund which sets money aside to keep Lake Erie, and other water sources, clean.

An empty hallway at a middle school in Westerville
Karen Kasler

Ohio’s more than 600 public school districts are taking $300 million in cuts as the state deals with a deficit of more than three quarters of a billion dollars. While that’s a reduction of just under 4% to K-12 education overall, school leaders say it’s a tough hit at the local level.

Andriiii, Shutterstock.com

Non-essential businesses that were closed during the past month due to COVID-19 are now starting to reopen. But some worry that’s happening too quickly without proper safeguards.

Vicki Warnecke, Olentangy Apparel
Dan Konik

Ohio’s retail businesses that were shut down as non-essential are being allowed to open Tuesday. And by the end of next week, many restaurants, bars and hair salons will also reopen. 

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has announced reopening dates for salons, barbershops, and restaurants. The new requirements for the industries rely on creating physical space between people and personal responsibilities.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signs an extension of the state's Stay At Home Order on April 2, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed again that he would veto a bill that passed the House yesterday that seeks to limit the power he and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have to issue new public health orders.

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

The state budget is a sea of red, as income and sales tax collections are less than half of what was predicted for this month. There is one specific area of the budget that is showing big increases, but it’s not what state officials want to see.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) gestures during a socially-distanced gaggle with reporters after House session.
Karen Kasler

Republicans in the Ohio House have approved a bill that would limit the power and length of public health orders on coronavirus that their fellow Republican, Gov. Mike DeWine, has been issuing through Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. The bill reflects a split in the GOP on how to restart the economy that could carry over into the future.

Office of Budget and Management director Kimberly Murnieks gestures during the news conference rolling out the FY 20-21 budget in March. Standing alongside are Gov. Mike DeWine (left) and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
Karen Kasler

Ohio's budget report shows revenues came in below estimates for the sales tax, auto tax, and personal income tax.

A closed sign on a store in Westerville
Karen Kasler

The state is in the process of reopening businesses, but leaders are calling on people to continue practicing social distancing. That includes Ohio's U.S. Senators who stress the importance of taking the coronavirus seriously as mitigation orders are lifted.

A voter walks into the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus to cast a provisional ballot on April 28, the last day of the extended March 17 primary.
Daniel Konik

Ohio’s secretary of state says an election day with in-person voting is still the plan for this fall, but he’s suggesting some changes in case concerns about coronavirus keep voters away.  A key voting rights group agrees, but wants to go further.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is proposing $775 million in budget cuts to offset the state's economic woes. The cuts are in response to a drop in revenue which was predicted when Ohio shut down non-essential businesses and ordered people to stay at home.

A nearly empty parking lot at a shopping area on the northeast side of Columbus in April 2020.
Daniel Konik

The state has paid out more than $1.7 billion to over a half a million jobless Ohioans in the last seven weeks. And while 85 percent of claims have either been paid or denied, there are still reports of people having trouble filing claims via the web or over the phone.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio is ramping up its ability to test for COVID-19, which means a big increase in testing by the end of May. Gov. Mike DeWine is now announcing new protocols to follow since testing won't be as limited as it once was.

A group of doctors, medical professionals and their supporters held a demonstration at the Statehouse Sunday, a day after protestors showed up outside the home of Dr. Amy Acton. Some were said to have been armed.
Daniel Konik

Manufacturing, construction and distribution companies can reopen today, with employees wearing masks and observing cleaning and social distancing rules. State lawmakers are also coming back to work this week, and one has proposed a bill to open the state immediately while shutting down the authority of the governor and his health director.

Cows on the DeBruin family farm
Jo Ingles

Ohio is among the top states for several agricultural crops and for food production and processing. But while farming is considered an essential business under the various shutdown orders, it's a tough time for those who run the state's 76,000 farms.

A closed sign on a store in Westerville
Karen Kasler

Construction, distribution and manufacturing operations can restart Monday in Ohio, and retail shops can open May 12 – though Gov. Mike DeWine’s latest order allows them to do curbside pickup, delivery and appointments now. But more than a million Ohioans have filed for unemployment, and the state is struggling with how it will pay them.

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