Political news

There were 21 bills that state lawmakers managed to the governor's desk for his signature. However, there are many other bills that received a lot of attention this year but are still waiting in the wings for 2020.

Gov. DeWine talks to reporters about distracted drivers
Jo Ingles

There has been an increase in the number of deaths on Ohio's roads due to distracted driving. At least 51 more people have died already this year. That's why the Ohio Highway Patrol will be stepping up enforcement efforts on the state’s roads this holiday season.

Dan Konik

21 bills were signed into law in Ohio in 2019, including the new $69-billion two-year budget, a controversial energy bill that reduced or eliminated clean energy standards and an abortion bill that was put on hold by a federal court before it could take effect.

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder talks to reporters
Dan Konik

The leader of the Ohio House says lawmakers are in a quandary when it comes to the death penalty. 

Desks and chairs in an elementary school classroom
Karen Kasler

A lawmaker who backed the expansion of the state’s largest voucher program says it’s creating problems – with a 400 percent increase in the number of public school buildings where students will be eligible for private school vouchers by next school year. 

Ten of the candidates who filed for the Ohio primary appeared at the Democratic debate at Otterbein University in October.
Andy Chow

Wednesday was the filing deadline for Ohio’s 2020 primary ballot. Fourteen candidates have filed for the Democratic primary, and there will also be a Republican challenger to President Donald Trump on that ballot.

Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

The Senate had a last-minute change of heart on a bill, SB165, that would've created more hurdles for people to access resources through food stamps. The bill to require Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cards to include a photo ID was tabled until the new year.

A hallway in Westerville South High School, one of the schools on the list of buildings where students are eligible for EdChoice vouchers starting in the 2020-21 school year.
Karen Kasler

A Democratic lawmakers and longtime critic of private school vouchers says she’s not convinced there’s time to do a short-term fix to a huge expansion of the state’s largest voucher program.

Doubletree Studio/Shutterstock

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is proposing a bill that would track nationwide data on evictions and pump more money into an emergency assistance fund that would help tenants cover their rent.

(from right to left) Sen. Sean O'Brien (D-Bazetta) and Sen. Michael Rullie (R-Salem) introduce bill to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles.
Andy Chow

A bipartisan bill in the Senate would offer incentives for electric vehicles by creating a $500 sales tax credit for purchase of an EV for personal use and higher tax credits for commercial use.

Freshmen in a classroom in Licking Heights High School work on an assignment.
Andy Chow

Critics are giving low marks to a study of the state’s school report cards put out by a group of lawmakers.  But one big change could come from it.

Andy Chow

A state senator is calling on Ohio lawmakers to limit how much property taxes can increase annually to 3%.

Karen Kasler

New rules on the state’s largest voucher program have meant a 400 percent increase in the number of public schools where students qualify for private school vouchers. 


In the next five years, more than a quarter of Ohioans will be over the age of 60. And that’s a concern for first responders, as they’re more likely than ever to encounter a person with dementia. The symptoms of that condition can be misunderstood.  Now there's a new bill to deal with that. 

Lutsenko Oleksandr/SHUTTERSTOCK

The group that’s hoping to ask voters to expand background checks on gun sales through a potential ballot issue says they're now pushing their initiative by a year. 

Gov. Mike DeWine (center), surrounded by anti-abortion activists and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (right), talks to reporters after signing the "Heartbeat Bill" six-week abortion ban in April 2019.
Karen Kasler

One of the first big pieces of legislation Gov. Mike DeWine signed was an abortion ban. But he said it’s only part of an overall agenda he’s pushing.

Erin Reed, Ohio Board of Pharmacy's Director
Jo Ingles

Nearly 75,000 Ohioans have registered with the state to receive medical marijuana. Of those, just over 51,000 have actually purchased the product. Those involved with the program propose some changes they say will improve it for everyone.


Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says the plan to change drug sentencing laws is one of the most important pieces of legislation they'll have during this two-year session.

Gov. Mike DeWine, in a sit-down interview at the Governor's Residence.
Daniel Konik

In his first year as governor, Mike DeWine seemed to get along well with state lawmakers – including those who’d had a fractured relationship with his predecessor, John Kasich. But there were some disagreements.

Karen Kasler

Local communities wouldn’t be able to ban single use plastic bags under a bill the Ohio House has passed – mostly along party lines – and sent on to the Senate.

Dan Konik

The state attorney general and several county prosecutors will be reviewing cases of potential voter fraud where people are accused of casting a vote in a different state then casting another in Ohio during the 2018 election.

The nativity display at Ohio Statehouse
Jo Ingles

A small nativity, complete with a figure representing newborn Jesus, is on display at the Ohio Statehouse right now. And the private group and lawmakers who want it there say it’s perfectly constitutional.

Mike DeWine, then the Republican candidate for governor, spoke alongside his wife Fran at the Ohio Republican Party state dinner in 2018. Donald Trump was the headlining speaker.
Karen Kasler

Gov. Mike DeWine is still not talking about how he feels about impeachment proceedings against his fellow Republican, President Donald Trump.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R, Ohio)
Statehouse News Bureau

Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says progress is being made in Washington D.C. while two articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump are being brought forward in the Democratic dominated U.S. House.


Ohio leaders are touting a new program at Columbus State Community College which they believe will spur workforce development all around Ohio.

Speaker Larry Householder and Minority Leader Emilia Sykes discuss what happened in 2019 on “The State of Ohio” this weekend.
Daniel Konik

A constitutional amendment backed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to set up a way to distribute opioid settlement money through a statewide foundation won’t go before voters in March. 


Federal law mandates insurers treat mental health services like they would physical health care. But the sponsors of a new bill in the Ohio Legislature say that’s not happening. 

Former Gov. John Kasich talks to the audience assembled for the unveiling of his official portrait at the Statehouse.
Karen Kasler

John Kasich was back at the Statehouse for his first event since leaving the governor’s office in January – the unveiling of his official portrait.

A hallway is decorated with classroom projects at a public elementary school in Westerville.
Karen Kasler

Ohio’s public schools could lose millions of dollars to private schools through an expansion of the state’s biggest voucher program.

Andy Chow

Ohio lawmakers are proposing a bill that would eliminate an insurance provision known as "step therapy" for people diagnosed with Stage IV cancer.