Government/Politics

Political news

Karen Kasler

State lawmakers are expected to vote on a compromise that could stop a huge increase in the number of Ohio public school buildings where students will be eligible for private school vouchers starting this weekend. If a change is made, it has to happen before the EdChoice voucher program starts accepting applications on Saturday.

YuRi Photolife, Shutterstock.com

The deadline has passed for communities throughout the state to submit their requests for Ohio’s capital budget, which is expected sometime near the end of March when Gov. Mike DeWine will deliver his State of the State speech. Here are some of the items being requested by cities and counties. 

States around the country are preparing for the big census count that happens just once a decade. In Ohio, Census leaders discuss their plans to reach out to people most at risk of going uncounted.

Andy Chow

Parents of kids using private school vouchers are calling on lawmakers to reject a plan that would avoid a major influx in schools eligible for the EdChoice program.

Louis Roth

The latest numbers from state officials show that Ohio's unemployment rate didn't change at all last month.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services says the unemployment rate in Ohio stayed at 4.2% in December, same as November. And it's down from 4.6% in December 2018. 

Looking at the numbers over the year, the state says Ohio saw the addition of more than 27,000 jobs in 2019. 

Andy Chow

A Democratic lawmaker is calling attention to a report that she says raises red flags over college affordability. The report pointed out several in-state colleges and universities with a low enrollment of students from low-income and working class families.

Rep. Randi Clites (D-Ravenna) speaks about the copay assistance bill sponsored by Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield, left) and Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton). Clites’ 17 year old son has hemophilia.
Karen Kasler

Some Ohioans who rely on copay assistance programs to help with expensive medications are finding that their insurance companies are no longer allowing those payments to apply to their deductibles. Two lawmakers are hoping their bill will stop that.

Daniel Konik

A group known as Ohioans for Secure and Fair Elections has filed a petition with the Ohio Attorney General's Office to propose a voting-related constitutional amendment for this November's ballot.

Andy Chow

The group that was fighting to overturn Ohio's nuclear power plant bailout has dropped its case in court which means the plan for additional fees on electric bills to subsidize nuclear and coal will carry forward.

Crystal Brown, left, comforts her 15 year old daughter Josephine Brown-Walker as she talks about her EdChoice voucher, which allows her to attend a Christian high school in Columbus.
Karen Kasler

Lawmakers who’ve wanted to stop the impending explosion in the number of school buildings where students will be eligible for the state’s largest private school voucher program say there’s a deal in the works. But parents and students already in the EdChoice program want it to stay and expand.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor
Karen Kasler

Ohio's highest court has rejected a recommendation to allow judges throughout the state use “risk-assessment tools” to determine the amount of bail they require from defendants. 

Agenturfotografin

A bill to prevent doctors from using telemedicine to provide abortion-inducing drugs has been introduced. But backers of the bill don't know of any cases where that is happening in Ohio right now.

Keith Homan, Shutterstock.com

The common cold is…well….common. And the Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, that babies and older people can get after being around someone who appears to have a cold, is not new. But it’s the second leading cause of infant death. RSV cases, especially among babies, are increasing significantly.

Statehouse News Bureau

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says the new trade deal with China will level the playing field with the U.S., but he urges trade negotiators to be firm as they work on Phase Two.

Ron Corby

Anti-death penalty activists say they’re seeing movement on their cause from a group that’s long been viewed as supportive of capital punishment – conservative Republicans.

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at the annual Ohio MLK Commission commemoration at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus.
Twitter: @govmikedewine

There are many commemorations of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday across Ohio – including the largest in the country, the MLK breakfast in Columbus. Among those observances was a state sponsored event at a Columbus church.

A group of students in an elementary school classroom in Westerville.
Karen Kasler

The number of public school buildings where students will be eligible for the state’s largest private school voucher program will more than double in the coming school year. And that could blow huge holes in the budgets of 70 percent of Ohio’s school districts. Lawmakers who have said they want to change that are running out of time.

Dilok Klaisataporn/Shutterstock

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is blasting the White House's trade deal with China, calling it "much ado about nothing." While U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) calls the deal a "good first step."

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford)
Dan Konik

Two Republican Ohio House members want to introduce a bill soon that would eliminate the prevailing wage on construction projects. And that puts the GOP leader of that chamber in a spot.

Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), along with Gov. Mike DeWine and Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), stand at the dais in the Ohio House and wave at the 2019 State of the State speech.
Andy Chow

For the first time in eight years, Ohio’s governor will deliver two consecutive State of the State speeches at the state capitol.

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) with fellow Democratic House and Senate members.
Andy Chow

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) says her high-profile domestic violence bill is gaining momentum in the Ohio House. The bipartisan piece of legislation known as "Aisha's Law" looks to overhaul the way communities and law enforcement respond to reports of assault.

Joined by her family, Maureen Corcoran was sworn in as Director of the Ohio Department of Medicaid in January 2019.
Karen Kasler

The director of Ohio Medicaid says her agency is dealing with big problems and could face huge fines from the federal government if they’re not fixed. And she’s pointing to the administration of former Gov. John Kasich for creating and not handling those mistakes.

Andy Chow

Thousands of retirees will see changes to their health care benefits after the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) Board of Directors approved a new plan for the way members receive assistance.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson presents a mock-up of a check to Sonya Thesing, executive director of Huckleberry House, which works with teens and families in crisis from abuse, violence, poverty and homelessness. It is among 280 in Ohio getting money from HUD.
Karen Kasler

The U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development came to Columbus to announce new money to combat homelessness across the country – the day after a new report showed a slight increase in Ohio’s homeless population.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Gahanna, Ohio
Dan Konik

A pair of bills in the Ohio Legislature would change the way people register to vote, making it an automated process instead requiring them to fill out forms or go online. People could still opt out of the process in both. But the new bill in the House would do it differently than a Senate proposal.

Dan Konik

Weather and tariffs have created some tough conditions for Ohio farmers and agribusinesses. But they can get some relief through a state program that reduces the interest on the debt they incur for their operations. 

Deadly drug overdoses in Ohio fell nearly 22 percent in 2018, to the lowest number in three years. And overdose deaths dropped in every category of drugs except one.

Supporters of legal abortion at Ohio Statehouse
Sam Aberle

A Cincinnati abortion clinic that recently lost the variance it needs to operate thinks the problem is now resolved. 

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
Dan Konik

While lawmakers from both parties battle over politics, there is some movement on bipartisan efforts to fight the deadly drug fentanyl in Congress. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says his legislation to create sanctions on fentanyl will give federal officials the tools they need to crack down on opioid trafficking from other countries.

Security systems surround the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, where executions are performed. Condemned inmates live on Death Row at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution 35 miles away.
Daniel Konik

There hasn’t been a killer put to death in Ohio in 18 months. And the state’s last execution has likely taken place, according to the architect of Ohio’s 1981 death penalty law. But prosecutors say killing off capital punishment entirely would be a mistake.

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