Government/Politics

Political news

Gregory Lott is being held on death row at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution for the 1986 murder of John McGrath.
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

The state parole board is recommending Gov. Mike DeWine commute an East Cleveland killer’s death sentence to life in prison without parole.

The observation tower at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, which is one of only four prisons not in quarantine for COVID-19. It's a maximum security facility and inmates are housed in cells.
Daniel Konik

23 percent of all confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio are prison workers or inmates, and 31 inmates and workers have died. Ohio is the first state to do mass testing at three prisons. But the union representing prison workers says those facilities are still dangerous.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio is taking the first step in slowly reopening businesses, beginning with health care procedures and work at dentists’ and veterinarians’ offices. Gov. Mike DeWine says companies following strict safety measures is not only in the best interest of public health but for the future of their business.

BreizhAtao, Shutterstock.com

Brick and mortar retail stores throughout Ohio that have been considered non-essential are set to open on May 12th. But the newly expanded stay-at-home order is allowing some to start up tomorrow. 

Ohio House

Several industries are preparing to reopen in Ohio over the course of the next two weeks, including health practices, manufacturing plants, and other offices. But the state's first phase of reopening excludes daycares, which lawmakers say poses a serious problem.

Anna Jurkovska, shutterstock.com

Dentists can resume office procedures on Friday, after being shut down last month to preserve personal protective equipment for health care workers fighting COVID-19. But some dental employees say they have serious reservations about whether there will be enough PPE to protect them as they see patients.

Protestors marched at the Statehouse on April 20, many carrying signs saying businesses should be able to reopen.
Karen Kasler

Gov. Mike DeWine has extended the stay-at-home order expiring May 1 to 11:59pm on May 29. But hospitals can start performing some non-emergency procedures Friday, and dentists and veterinarians can get back to work as well. But some businesses say they plan to open their doors as well.

Voter enters Franklin County Voting Center
Dan Konik

Just under a quarter of Ohio’s registered voters actually cast ballots in the primary election which ended earlier this week. Low turnout was expected after the original March 17th in person Election Day was canceled because of coronavirus concerns, and absentee voting by mail was extended until this past Tuesday. And there are now calls for change to make it easier to vote this fall.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is facing criticism for his reversal on face masks, the state is no longer mandating customers wear face coverings when they go to stores. And while it's been downgraded to a recommendation, DeWine says he's confident people will wear masks.

Kiselev Andrey Valerevich, shutterstock.com

The state has now added deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes to its coronavirus tracking website – confirming that nearly 300 people have died of the disease in those facilities.

A worker at the Franklin County Board of Elections waits for voters to drop off their ballots on the last day of the extended primary.
Daniel Konik

Ohio’s first all-mail-in primary is done, after absentee voting was extended following the closure of polling places just before in person voting was supposed to happen on March 17.

House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Republican Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) announce cameras in all House committee rooms in March 2019.
Andy Chow

As Ohio moves closer to allowing certain businesses to reopen after coronavirus closings, Republican and Democratic state lawmakers are raising concerns about his plan and promoting their own ideas.

Voters enter Franklin County polling place
Dan Konik

Today is the last day to cast a ballot in Ohio’s 2020 presidential primary. In person voting on March 17 was postponed and absentee voting was extended.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has reversed his position on mandating face masks for customers. He says the state is still "strongly recommending" that everyone cover their face when they go out in public.

maridav, Shutterstock.com

Dine in service at Ohio’s restaurants is not among the business that will resume in a few days. Restaurants are asking Gov. Mike DeWine to allow them to open mid-May.

Ohio Channel screenshot/@GovMikeDeWine on Twitter

After almost five full weeks of a stay-at-home order that closed down thousands of businesses in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine has unveiled his plans to allow some of those enterprises to open up again on Friday.

Darwin Brandis, shutterstock.com

Mass testing in three Ohio prisons has turned up 3,853 coronavirus cases among inmates and 379 prison workers, showing how fast the virus can spread in congregate settings. Now the state’s long term care providers are hoping for the same thing in more than a thousand nursing homes, assisted living communities and other facilities.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new agreement that will dramatically increase Ohio's capacity for coronavirus testing. DeWine says testing and tracing will play a major role as Ohio’s businesses start opening in the next phase of fighting COVID-19.

Republican leadership in the Ohio House set up a bipartisan task force this month that hopes to work with Gov. Mike DeWine on ways to jump start the economy after the coronavirus shutdowns. Around 500 business owners have asked to speak to the panel, which has already heard some sad stories and some outrageous ideas.

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

Ohio’s self-employed, independent contractors and part time workers who haven’t qualified for unemployment benefits can now start pre-registering for pandemic unemployment assistance, though they won’t see money for a few weeks.

Andy Chow

If you're still waiting on an absentee primary ballot to arrive in the mail, election officials say you're not alone. Secretary of State Frank LaRose says he's been fielding reports from around Ohio that the postal system is taking longer than usual to deliver the mail, including absentee ballots.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state is preparing to roll out more details on what the first phase of reopening businesses will look like and Gov. Mike DeWine says essential businesses that have remained open through the Stay At Home order should also prepare for higher standards.

Country Gate Productions, shutterstock.com

Nearly a million Ohioans - 964,556 people - have filed for unemployment in the last five weeks, more than the combined total in the last two years.  But more are coming as thousands of Ohioans who are self-employed or independent contractors have been waiting to file for unemployment under new federal rules.

Then-Gov. John Kasich (standing, left) smiles as his budget director Tim Keen (right) finishes the first depost into the state's rainy day fund in July 2013. Kasich has notably said the fund had $.89 in it when he took office in 2011.
Karen Kasler

The financial impact of Ohio’s shutdowns for coronavirus is enormous. And the billions of dollars that have been set aside by the state over the last seven years may not be enough to cover it all.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state is easing up its elective surgeries ban by asking doctors to reassess procedures that have been delayed.

Statehouse News Bureau

The state has paid out $858 million dollars to nearly 350,000 Ohioans who’ve lost their jobs in the last five weeks. And more claims are expected to come in from people who normally can’t file for jobless benefits but will be able to under a federal aid bill.

Urbana University website

A small private liberal arts university in Ohio that’s been in operation since 1850 is closing its doors at the end of spring semester. 

children studying online
Melanie Farkas

So much of what’s happening now in Ohio and for the foreseeable future is online, and that’s exposing some serious problems in broadband service across Ohio. Here's what state leaders are doing to help now and in the future.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Two former Ohio governors are joining forces to help ramp up the state's ability to test for COVID-19. Gov. Mike DeWine says the bipartisan duo of Dick Celeste (D-Ohio) and Bob Taft (R-Ohio) can maximize testing capability in Ohio.

Suwin/shutterstock.com

The state has taken down its list of COVID-19 cases in long term care facilities on its website, which came after an order that required those facilities to report positive cases to families within 24 hours. But Gov. Mike DeWine says the change is only temporary.

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