Ohio Legislature

Ohio’s Renewable Energy Backpedaling

Nov 9, 2015
Duke Energy / Flickr Creative Commons

The State of Ohio has had a good plan for encouraging renewable energy and energy efficiency.  But now the State legislature is threatening to roll back this future-oriented plan.  Commentator and University of Dayton professor Bob Brecha explains.

Advocates For Reducing Prison Population Challenge Ohio Legislature

Oct 8, 2015

Advocates who want to decrease the prison population in Ohio say reforming the criminal justice system is just one step—first, they’ll have to put an end to an influx of new bills that include prison time.

Businesses that cause problems in neighborhoods could be shut down a little more easily under a proposed change to the state’s nuisance law.

Columbus resident Kenneth Gilbert is the president of his neighborhood association. He says an after-hours club in his neighborhood was dangerous and caused problems for residents.

“There were murders, there were drugs, there was prostitution, and we were told by the Popeyes there that they had to lock their doors because people were shooting up in the restrooms,” Gilbert says.

A new bill is being introduced at the Ohio Statehouse that would allow officiants to refuse to marry same sex couples in Ohio.

House Republican Ron Maag is the sponsor of a bill that would allow ministers and clergy members to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies that oppose their religious beliefs. But right now, that wouldn’t happen anyway since gay marriage is not legal in Ohio anyway.

Office of Governor John Kasich

Today’s the day Gov. John Kasich unveils his third budget, which is expected to include $500 million in tax cuts plus benefits to lower-income Ohioans. But he has yet to talk about how he’ll pay for those.

Kasich wants to cut taxes on many small businesses and increase some tax benefits for lower-income Ohioans. And he’ll likely pay for those plans with a proposal to hike the tax on oil and natural gas drillers. But Kasich also suggested in December that he’ll take another swing at an increase in the tobacco tax.

The Ohio Controlling Board approved funding to expand Medicaid in a 5-2 vote Monday afternoon.

That means beginning this January, over 300,000 Ohioans could become newly eligible for the state-run health insurance program, and around 275,000 are expected to get covered in 2014. The expansion extends state Medicaid programs to cover all adults making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or a little less than $16,000 for an individual.

Ohio Governor John Kasich announced last week he’ll circumvent the legislature to try to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, state legislators are considering two separate Medicaid reform bills—and health care providers have their fingers crossed.

A newspaper analysis finds an increase in the number of gun-related bills brought forth by the Ohio Legislature.

The report by the Cincinnati Enquirer says lawmakers have introduced 19 firearm-related bills since taking office in January, 11 of them expanding gun owners' rights.

The paper says in a story Thursday that that's five more than the 14 firearm-related bills introduced in 2011 and 2012.

Some Ohio doctors and medical clinic managers say if the Ohio legislature passes some anti-abortion bills now under consideration, it’s very possible there will be a shortage of doctors and medical facilities to serve the needs of Ohio women. And they warn more Ohio women will die due to complications from pregnancies.

A group of Democratic lawmakers in Ohio say domestic-violence deaths can be prevented by taking guns away from people served with restraining orders.

Legislation introduced by Rep. Bob Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat, would require those subject to domestic-violence protection orders to temporarily give up their weapons to law enforcement within 24 hours of being served.

The bill would also give defendants the option to sell their weapons to a licensed federal dealer instead of handing them over.