Government/Politics

Political news

The parking lot at a shopping center in Gahanna east of Columbus has been nearly empty since the stay-at-home order on March 23.
Daniel Konik

More than 226,000 people – over a quarter of a million Ohioans – filed for unemployment in just the last week. Nearly 700,000 Ohioans have filed in the last three weeks. And a task force of state representatives met this week and will meet again Monday to talk about when to open up Ohio’s economy again.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

A few dozen protesters marched around the Ohio Statehouse calling on Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen businesses in the state while DeWine counters that the latest studies show social distancing is working and "saving lives."

A stack of Ohio's newest "I Voted" stickers sit in a basket at the Franklin County Board of Elections office in Columbus.
Karen Kasler

Ohio officials say the state's vote-by-mail process is safe and not corrupt, in contrast to President Donald Trump's recent comments during a press briefing and on Twitter.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state is seeing a steady increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases and a steeper rise in the number of deaths. However, medical researchers are putting out models showing the potential peak of coronavirus is getting lower.

Jag_cz, Shutterstock.com

Ohio restaurants have not been able to serve mixed drinks and straight liquors since the state order that closed dine-in services took effect last month. Now, the state is making a change to its rules that will allow restaurants to serve those drinks along with take-out meals. 

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The Ohio Hospital Association has sent out its guidelines for allocating scarce resources, detailing what medical staff should do if they don't have the equipment they need to treat patients with COVID-19.

A bed at the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, where six inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.
Daniel Konik

There are reports of deaths in a federal prison in Ohio that are suspected to be COVID-19 related. And fourteen inmates and nearly 30 staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 in three Ohio state prisons. The state has now identified more prisoners who could be released from those state facilities.

Oral arguments for Tuesday's first case before the Ohio Supreme Court, as seen from a video monitor in the Statehouse News Bureau's office at the Statehouse.
Karen Kasler

The Ohio Supreme Court had a historic session on Tuesday – oral arguments were conducted remotely.

Karen Kasler

Bars and restaurants in Ohio closed on March 15, and the stay at home order took effect March 23. And the state is now starting to feel the financial effects of those and other restrictions imposed to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is authorizing the Ohio National Guard to go help a federal prison located in the state. He's also considering the possibility of more release recommendations for Ohio's prisons.

A chart showing COVID-19 cases and deaths by race and ethnicity, as provided by the Ohio Department of Health.
Ohio Department of Health

Ohio’s coronavirus tracking website is now showing a breakdown of COVID-19 cases and deaths by race and ethnicity. But the state health director is cautioning that this information is incomplete.

Elvira Koneva, Shutterstock.com

A panel of three federal court judges won’t get involved in a dispute over abortion and the state’s coronavirus order regarding elective surgery – which keeps facilities that perform abortions open for now. 

Dr. Amy Acton, Oho Dept. of Health
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio's top health leader say Ohioans should to wear homemade and non-medical grade masks when they go out in public.But wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can’t get coronavirus.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

Some Ohio breweries have switched from producing alcohol to making hand sanitizer. Other companies are making or recycling medical grade masks needed by doctors and nurses on the front lines, and some have donated medical supplies. But state leaders are not just relying on the state’s businesses to meet those demands.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine is asking county judges to hold hearings for the possible release of inmates who are pregnant, recently gave birth, or over the age of 60 with little time left in their sentence.

Columbus area food bank
Karen Kasler

Leaders of Ohio’s foodbanks say they are overwhelmed by the demand on their services right now. They’re urging the federal government to increase food stamp benefits by 15% and asking Ohio’s leaders to kick in $25 million dollars to help pay for emergency services. 

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says the state could be looking at issuing protocols for all hospital staff in order to help preserve personal protection equipment or PPE.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the extension of the Stay At Home order saying the continued practice of social distancing and the closure of non-essential businesses gives medical staff the time they need to fight coronavirus.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services agency office in downtown Columbus houses one of the largest state agencies.
Karen Kasler

Over 468,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks – that’s nearly a third more than the total number filed last year.  The coronavirus restrictions have been a huge blow to workers who lost their jobs, and the fallout has created a tremendous strain on the system that’s set up to help them.

Sign on door of Columbus area Hobby Lobby Tuesday
Karen Kasler

Hobby Lobby stores in Ohio are closed now after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent the company a cease and desist letter. The company had claimed it was operating as an essential business. But as Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, that company isn't the only one that is being questioned about why they are operating as an essential business.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has signed an executive order requesting commercial lenders to press pause on collecting payments from businesses.

A stack of Ohio's newest "I Voted" stickers sit in a basket at the Franklin County Board of Elections office in Columbus.
Karen Kasler

Ohio lawmakers created the new vote-by-mail timeline after in-person voting on Election Day was canceled over coronavirus concerns but voter rights advocates fear the deadline of April 28 still does not give people enough time to cast a ballot.

Dr. Amy Acton points to a graph on a chart showing Ohio's levels of most needed medical equipment, such as masks, gowns and thermometers at a press conference on March 30, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio has gotten all that it’s likely to get from the National Strategic Stockpile of medical supplies – a plane dropped off gowns, gloves, coveralls, face shields, surgical masks and N-95 masks in Columbus Tuesday. But the state says it’s not enough for now or through the surge of COVID-19 patients that is expected in the near future.

Ohio Attorney General David Yost
Jo Ingles

Earlier this week, a federal judge temporarily ruled Ohio cannot force abortion clinics to close under the coronavirus order banning elective, non-essential surgery. Now,  the state is considering its next move.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state will start tracking ventilators through a new database as part of the ongoing effort to build up capacity for the projected peak of coronavirus in Ohio.

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

Backers of a planned fall ballot issue seeking to raise the minimum wage in Ohio to $13 by 2025 have filed a lawsuit, saying Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus restrictions have halted their effort.  The group says it wants more time and lowered requirements.

Fabrika Simf, Shutterstock.com

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the state from using the coronavirus order that bans elective, non-essential surgeries to stop the six clinics in Ohio that offer surgical abortions from performing those procedures.

Ohio Atty General Dave Yost
Jo Ingles

More than a week ago, the state Board of Pharmacy created new limitations for prescribing drugs commonly used to treat lupus, malaria and autoimmune diseases. Now, Ohio’s Attorney General says there is evidence some doctors might be hoarding them and potentially selling them as coronavirus therapies. 

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at his daily coronavirus press conference on March 30, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has extended his order to close all Ohio K-12 schools from April 3 through May 1. And he's hinting that another extension is possible.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) speaks to reporters after session on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Karen Kasler

The ACLU of Ohio has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Ohio claiming the new absentee voting extension is "cumbersome."

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