Merle Grace Kearns, a former Clark County commissioner and a 15-year state legislator, passed away over the weekend at the age of 76. The veteran Republican lawmaker had gained respect from both sides of the political aisle during her career.
Kearns spent time as the director of the Ohio Department of Aging and was a member of the Ohio House, representing the 72nd district and served as Majority Leader in the 126th General Assembly.
Prior to serving in the Ohio House, Kearns was a member of the Ohio Senate from 1991 to 2000, representing the 10th Senate District.
A measure to overhaul Ohio’s energy policies is on its way to the House after the state Senate held a vote very early Thursday morning. The bill would freeze the state’s efficiency and renewable standards for two years.
The standards, which have been in place since 2008, require utilities to achieve a certain amount of energy efficiency and use a certain amount of renewable sources by 2025.
One of the leaders of Ohio’s Green Party says his group is collateral damage in a fight between Statehouse Republicans and the Libertarian Party. Green Party Co Chair Bob Fitrakis says a newly passed bill in the Ohio Senate hurts his group.
The Ohio Senate has produced a bill outlining some of the changes it is making to the proposed two year state budget. Ohio Senators have removed from the state budget a proposal forcing universities to offer in state tuition to out of state students who request the documents necessary to vote in Ohio. The Senate bill also removes spider monkeys from the list of exotic animals to be regulated by the state. But Governor Kasich’s plan to expand Medicaid expansion, which was removed in the house version of the budget, hasn’t been added back into the senate plan.
A proposal in the Ohio Senate prompting concern from some public officials would make more meetings among government officials public and provide more details on government talks behind closed doors.
The proposal would expand the types of discussions subject to the law and require more information stated publicly in motions to hold closed-door sessions under Ohio's Open Meetings Act. It also would expand fees and expenses that may be recovered for violations of the act.