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Jo Ingles (Ohio Public Radio)

Jo Ingles is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s. Through the years, she’s worked in both radio and television as a reporter and production assistant. She’s assisted in the production of a presidential debate for ABC Television news, reported for a major commercial radio station in Louisville, and then came back to her native Ohio to begin working at the WOSU Stations in Columbus Ohio in 1989 to begin a long resume of work in public radio.

After working for more than a decade as a general assignment reporter at WOSU-AM, Jo was hired by the Ohio Public Radio/TV News Bureau where she’s worked for the past 11 years. She’s covered everything from tax hikes to Supreme Court proceedings to educational policies. Jo lives in southern Delaware county with her husband Roger and two children.

New Ohio House Speaker, Ryan Smith.
http://ohiohousegop.blogspot.com/

After two months at an impasse, the Ohio House has a new leader. 

In an unprecedented process, Republican Finance Chair Ryan Smith was elected speaker after 11 rounds of voting on the House floor. Under Ohio law, a speaker must have a majority to win until the 11th round. Smith ended up with 44 votes.

“You know I wasn’t sure if we’d go through 11 rounds of voting to get the plurality but I knew if we did, I’d get there,” the new speaker said.

Minority leader Fred Strahorn commanded most of the votes from Democrats throughout the process. He ended up with 27 votes.

Advocates for Planned Parenthood rally at Ohio Statehouse in 2016
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

A federal appeals court has unanimously upheld a decision that says a Planned Parenthood defunding law backed by Ohio lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich is unconstitutional.

The law has been on hold since abortion rights advocates filed a lawsuit two years ago. It would allow the Ohio Department of Health to strip $1.5 million in tax funding from Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers say the measure simply steers federal funds intended for women’s health care away from providers that also offer abortions.

Dan Konik

Gov. John Kasich gave his final State of the State speech last night, at Otterbein University in his hometown of Westerville. He didn’t unveil any new programs but he did talk about values.

Kasich’s State of the State speech was political potpourri. He didn’t talk about any one subject for more than a few minutes. He quoted philosophers and theologians from Plato to Martin Luther. He talked about secular humanism and religion and its role in his life. He was reflective.

food in grocery store
MASAHIRO IHARA / Flickr Creative Commons

Under President Trump’s newly proposed budget, about 80 percent of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients could lose about half of the credit that is currently put on their EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards, and would receive a box of food from the government instead. 

The director of the organization that represents the state’s food banks says it would destroy the safety net for low-income Ohioans and punish them instead.

Ohio statehouse
thoth188 / Flickr Creative Commons

Closed-door negotiations over a new way to draw Ohio’s Congressional map have broken down. Ohio lawmakers and representatives from citizens’ groups left the Statehouse late Wednesday night without coming to an agreement.

The two sides have been trying to amend a redistricting plan GOP lawmakers want in a way that would be acceptable to citizens’ groups that are pushing their own reform for the fall ballot.

But shortly after 10 p.m.  Wednesday, Catherine Turcer from Common Cause Ohio said changes had not been enough to accomplish her groups’ basic goals.

Ohio statehouse
thoth188 / Flickr Creative Commons

Two of the more conservative Republican lawmakers at the Statehouse want to put six different issues before voters that would make Ohio a so-called “right to work” state and eliminate prevailing wage.

Reps. John Becker, of Union Township in Clermont County, and Craig Riedel, of Defiance, say their bill would allow voters to decide whether Ohio should be a so-called "right-to-work" state for public and private sector employees and would put limits on unions to collect dues and spend money on political ads.

Jo Ingles

Supporters of a redistricting plan that might be on the November ballot are critical of a bill being considered by Ohio lawmakers that would let them retain control over the process of drawing Congressional district lines. 

The Ohio NAACP, Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio have been gathering signatures to put a proposed redistricting plan before voters this fall. The League’s Ann Henkener says the lawmaker’s plan would not stop the gerrymandering now allowed.  

“The whole idea of it passing is not something my brain can comprehend,” she said.

Graduation
Ricky Romero / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study shows the graduation rates of Ohio’s traditional public schools are much better than those of charter schools.

The study shows even when excluding dropout-recovery schools, the four-year graduation rate of charter schools in Ohio is just under 45 percent, faring worse than public schools in Ohio’s six largest cities. Schools in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Akron and Toledo graduated 73 percent of their students.

David Givens
Dan Konik

When opioid addicts try to put their lives back together, it is often difficult to get the housing, jobs, continuing treatment and personal connections they need to stay clean and be successful. As part of Ohio Public Radio’s series on the opioid crisis, Jo Ingles reports on what is being done to help drug abusers get on the right track.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray is announcing he’ll step down from that post before the end of the month. That’s thought by many to signal that he’s running for Governor.

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