Government/Politics

Political news

Ohio Statehouse
Dan Konik

Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a law that allows students in public schools to express their religious beliefs.

Hand prints in red paint were left on the west columns and stairs at the Ohio Statehouse as part of a protest on June 18.
Karen Kasler

Some state leaders are angry over damage at the Ohio Statehouse after protests in Columbus – and one has suggested the state consider a form of secession from the capital city.

Members of the Ohio National Guard's 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of Columbus package food at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective in March.
Dan Konik

The Ohio National Guard will soon have to end its pandemic-related missions, including its first assignment in the coronavirus crisis – helping Ohio’s 12 food banks with the huge job of getting food to increasing numbers of people who need it.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state health department is reporting the highest daily increase in total COVID-19 cases in Ohio since April. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says they're seeing what he calls a "worrisome" increase among a certain demographic.

Piet van Lier, Policy Matters Ohio
Jo Ingles

Two bills under consideration in the Ohio Legislature would change sentencing for low-level drug crimes to intervention over incarceration. A new study from a liberal leaning think tank shows passing those bills would improve the health of many Ohioans – especially now.

Joe Biden campaigned in Columbus before Ohio's pandemic shutdowns. Donald Trump frequently campaigned in Ohio in 2016, including at John Glenn Interntional Airport.
Dan Konik/Andy Chow

A new Quinnipiac poll of registered voters shows Ohio may be a swing state once again. The race between President Trump and likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden is a virtual dead heat with a little over four months to go before the November election.

A sign posted at the city limits in Lancaster in southeastern central Ohio.
Karen Kasler

The Ohio Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Toledo can no longer send appeals of traffic camera tickets to a city-paid administrative hearing officer. The attorney who won the case says it could shut down traffic camera programs in any city with a similar process.

Evgeny Atamanenko, Shutterstock.com

Nine dance studios are suing the state of Ohio over mandated shutdowns and limitations imposed on their businesses. 

Democrats talk about issues on Zoom
Jo Ingles

Democrats in the Ohio House say lawmakers need to deal with some important business this summer instead of taking time off. 

A neon sign over a bar in Columbus.
Karen Kasler

A bill that would allow bars and restaurants to use parking lots, green space and even streets for social distancing for customers is now being considered by the Senate. But there’s a provision in the bill that didn’t get much attention till it was on the floor – a plan to extend the hours that bars can stay open.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says it is imperative for the state to ward off a spike of COVID-19 as the economy begins to reopen, one way of accomplishing that, according to DeWine, is to increase coronavirus testing.

Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus)
Jo Ingles

A bill that would have allowed an extension of benefits to unemployed Ohioans who are at risk or have medical conditions that could be deadly if they contract COVID-19 has been in the works at the Statehouse. But the sponsor of that legislation says it is not necessary now that Gov. Mike DeWine has issued an executive order.

Ohio Constitution
Karen Kasler

Ohio’s constitution bans slavery except for one reason. And at least one Black lawmaker wants that exception stripped from the state’s governing document.

Andy Chow

Most schools say they plan to restart learning in two months but a coalition of school administrators and teachers from the state's largest city school districts say they're waiting on a slew of decisions from Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Education ranging from funding to operations.

Joe Hendrickson, Shutterstock.com

Summertime is prime time for amusement parks, zoos and other venues. But the months of shutdown and the limits on operations – plus safety concerns from consumers – are all having a big impact on communities that rely on tourism dollars.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) watches as Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) speaks at a press conference in April 2019.
Andy Chow

The fund that the state uses to pay jobless benefits is now broke – which was predicted even before the pandemic. And now state leaders are struggling with how to pay back the money being borrowed to keep those unemployment checks coming.

Wikimedia

The FDA has revoked permission for hydroxychloroquine to be used as a treatment for COVID-19, after the drug had been publicly touted by President Donald Trump. That leaves the state of Ohio with a stockpile of the drug amounting to millions of pills.

People Image Studio, Shutterstock.com

The Ohio Senate is being asked to consider a bill passed along party lines in the House that requires new reporting standards for COVID19. 

Protestors marched from the Statehouse to Columbus Police Headquarters on May 31.
Karen Kasler

The state’s largest law enforcement organization says it’s cautiously on board with a lot of ideas being pushed out at the local, state and federal levels on police reforms.

Aleksander Krsmanovic, shutterstock.com

The state of Ohio has not been denying anyone jobless benefits for COVID-19 related reasons, such as concerns about contracting coronavirus on the job or being ordered to quarantine. But that is changing for people who can’t find child care.

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

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the state as a whole has seen a steady trend in decreasing cases of COVID-19, but he’s warning of possible trouble in southwest Ohio which is not following that trend.

A voter signs a petition for a signature gatherer working in Columbus last year.
Andy Chow

A group that wanted to put voter reforms such as guaranteed 28 days of early voting, same day registration and voting and automatic registration at the BMV on the fall ballot has dropped its effort. 

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is proposing changes to the law enforcement process when it comes to recruitment, training, and oversight in response to the anti-racism protests. But other state leaders say the proposals continue to ignore what they see as the root problem of policing.

Ohio Republican Party Chair Matt Borges looks up at a video while on the floor at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016. Borges expressed reservations about Trump, but voted for him.
Karen Kasler

The former head of the Ohio Republican Party is spearheading an effort to get Democrat Joe Biden elected president.

Lottery tickets on display in a gas station convenience store in Columbus.
Karen Kasler

State lawmakers are still considering how to regulate sports gambling in Ohio. But one Republican state senator says sports betting isn’t going to help bring in a lot more money for the state, so he wants more action from a state agency already in the gambling game.

A poll worker helps a voter to a machine at Franklin County's early voting center in Columbus on Sunday, March 15. In-person voting for the March 17 primary was cancelled the next day and the mail-in deadline was extended to April 28.
Karen Kasler

Voter turnout in Ohio has been around 70 percent in presidential election years, and elections officials think turnout will be high this year as well. But with lingering concerns related to the pandemic, they say it’s going to be important to get as many Ohioans as possible to vote early this November. 

Chompoo Suriyo/Shutterstock

As doctors around the country have expressed concerns that people are avoiding hospitals due to the pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is urging Ohioans to continue seeking care for other ailments outside of the coronavirus. 

Dan Konik

The fund by which Ohio pays jobless benefits is officially broke, and the state has asked to borrow more than $3 billion so payments can keep going out to unemployed workers.

TORWAISTUDIO, shutterstock.com

Reports of child abuse in Ohio are down dramatically, but those working in the field say they’re concerned that the real incidents of child abuse are actually on the rise. Advocates are preparing for a surge of new reports that could come from child care providers, camps and eventually schools as those facilities all open up.

Shutterstock

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in favor of anti-discrimination protections for LGTBQ people in the workplace. Advocates in Ohio are celebrating the ruling but say there's still more work to be done.

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