Government/Politics

Political news

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state is cancelling all in-person education at K-12 schools for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. The move to finish the school year with remote education was announced by Gov. Mike DeWine with two reasons in mind.

A sign displayed in the front window of a Hobby Lobby craft store in Columbus. The store reopened after the stay at home order was issued, but closed after a cease-and-desist letter from Attorney General Dave Yost on April 2.
Karen Kasler

UPDATE: Chief Judge Algenon Marbley ruled that Hartman's rights aren't being violated because the order applies to all non-essential businesses, and rejected her request for a temporary restraining order on the state's stay at home order. A hearing is set for May 11.

A libertarian group is joining in with a Columbus bridal shop in filing a lawsuit in federal court against Ohio’s stay at home order, saying the state must hold hearings for businesses that have been shut down.

The latest model from the Ohio Department of Health, showing a peak of around 1,600 cases on April 19.
Ohio Department of Health

Ohio’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 spiked to 11,292 Sunday – fueled in part by mass testing at three prisons. But the head of the institute that’s has been working with the state on modeling says this weekend may have been an important one in the fight against coronavirus.

The Marion Correctional Institute, in a photo from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Ohio DRC

There were 11,292 cases of COVID-19 cases as of Sunday – and nearly a quarter of those are either inmates or staff at Ohio prisons.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

158,678 Ohioans filed for unemployment this week - bringing the four-week total to 855,197 and driving the jobless rate for March up by a third to 5.5%, from 4.1%. And now Gov. Mike DeWine is laying out more details of what is expected to be a slow and methodical reopening of businesses in Ohio.

Screenshot of task force meeting
Ohio Channel

The task force of state lawmakers meeting virtually to consider how businesses in Ohio should reopen following the COVID19 has been hearing testimony from leaders of companies and trade associations. But some on that bipartisan panel are concerned there’s a lack of diversity among those participating.

Dan Konik

A voting rights organization says there are potentially a lot fewer voters who will cast ballots this year compared to the presidential primary four years ago. The group looked at totals so far for the March 17 primary that has been extended to April 28.

The exterior of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, which is not under quarantine right now.
Daniel Konik

489 inmates and 184 staff in Ohio’s prisons have tested positive for COVID-19. More than 32,000 inmates in 20 of Ohio’s 28 prisons are under full quarantine. And now the head of the union representing those workers is too.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is fighting a war on two fronts, one against against the coronavirus and the other against a struggling economy. He says with that in mind, the state will go into a new phase of the COVID-19 response on May 1 with a plan to slowly reopen businesses.

Dan Konik

The Ohio National Guard’s Military Reserve soldiers have been helping out at food banks, but they are also collecting and distributing personal protective equipment to people who need it. 

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

Gov. Mike DeWine says the plan to restart Ohio’s economy begins on May 1, when the stay at home order expires. But one of the experts involved in the modeling that Ohio is using to create its pandemic policy says it’ll be a slow process. 

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state is preparing to release the new unemployment numbers Thursday as the agency that processes jobless claims continues to experience challenges. But leaders say a new round of improvements is coming.

Doug Steele (left) and his son Matthew enjoy a visit at the Cincinnati facility where Doug lives.
Matthew Steele

UPDATE: The state is now listing 811 cases of COVID-19 at 106 nursing homes in 31 counties.

Nine percent of the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio are in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living communities – and some residents and staff are among the dead. The state says it will shed light on more information about that, but some data will stay hidden.

Online meeting of the task force
Ohiochannel.org

Small business leaders throughout the state are telling a House panel looking at how to lift Ohio’s Stay Home order they need to allow businesses to open now. 

Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran testifies before the House Finance Committee in April 2019.
Ohio Channel

Ohio is asking for permission from the federal government to fast-track some rules and exceptions in Medicaid related to the COVID-19 crisis. The state is asking for a pair of waivers that many other states are already using.

Natalie Zinardi, Shutterstock.com

The state has filed a lawsuit against a Cleveland-area man for hoarding personal protective equipment that is sorely needed by health care workers fighting coronavirus. 

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

State officials are warning people that the process of loosening Stay At Home restrictions will be slow and gradual. They add that when businesses to start to reopen, the state hopes to have a system in place to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Daniel Konik

The Ohio Supreme Court has sided with a coalition that’s pushing a voting rights amendment for this fall’s ballot. The justices rejected a decision made by majority Republicans on the state ballot board to split the amendment into four parts.

Andy Dean Photography, Shutterstock.com

Most Ohioans will soon be getting a stimulus check as part of a federal aid bill signed into law last month. Banks and creditors might see this as an opportunity to collect. But, Ohio’s law enforcement chief is putting them on notice that they can’t touch that money.

Auditory Keith Faber (R-Ohio) unveils new rating system on local government compliance of Ohio's Sunshine Laws.
Andy Chow

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber is telling local governments to take a close look at their finances and to prepare for things to get worse before they get better.

A sanitizer station set up at a Fairfield County nursing home a few days before visitors were banned on March 13 because of coronavirus concerns.
Karen Kasler

Gov. Mike DeWine has announced a new public health order requiring nursing homes to notify the public about cases of COVID-19 at their facilities.

Car washes in Ohio are allowed to stay open if they operate under certain rules.
Karen Kasler

The panel set up to settle disputes over what are essential businesses that can operate during the state’s stay at home order has delivered its first set of rulings.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Part of Ohio's response to COVID-19 is planning how to begin allowing businesses to reopen after the Stay At Home order is set to expire on May 1. As Gov. Mike DeWine has been discussing how those plans look in Ohio, President Donald Trump suggests the decision comes from the White House.

Sakhorn, Shutterstock.com

Ohio has its first inmate death due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Mike DeWine says an inmate at the Pickaway Correctional Institution has passed away. Last week, a corrections officer at the Marion Correctional Institution died from the illness.

Karen Kasler

Ohio’s stay at home order expires on May 1, and Gov. Mike DeWine has said a plan is in the works to restart the economy after that. But with numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths growing gradually and not soaring, the pressure is mounting for businesses to reopen sooner.

Social distancing and the stay-at-home order have caused a lot of people to change their plans. But some tenacious Ohioans aren’t letting the pandemic get in their way. And they are getting creative about finding alternatives.  

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The Ohio Department of Health is now tracing probable cases of COVID-19 in the state through a detailed case definition that the department says will help them study the spread of the virus.

Lane V. Erickson/SHUTTERSTOCK

The federal government is in the process of sending out checks to most Americans as part of the stimulus package responding to the economic fallout of the coronavirus. U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) talk about some of the next steps they'd like to see from Congress.

Economic concerns from coronavirus have led the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to move up dividend checks that it expected to pay to employers this fall, and will now send them out by the end of this month.

The sign in front of St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus reminds parishoners the church is closed for in-person services.
Karen Kasler

This month is a special one for people of many faiths, and not being able to gather has been a concern for those who find fellowship to be comforting, and even necessary in tough times. So faith leaders are finding unique ways to reach out to their congregations.

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