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Ohio Senate

Ohio Statehouse
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  Senate Republicans in Ohio say they have been able to close a projected $1 billion state budget gap while preserving essential services and pumping more money into fighting the opiate crisis.

Senate President Larry Obhof and Finance Chairman Scott Oelslager outlined the Senate's version of the budget Monday. Senators said most savings were achieved through administrative streamlining and eliminating earmarks.

Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau

The leader of Democrats in the Ohio Senate is stepping down. He’ll be replaced with a familiar face. 

Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of the Youngstown area says he’s stepping down so he can devote the time necessary to run to be his party’s nominee for Governor in 2018. He’s among three announced Democratic candidates right now.

State Senate Democrats Pledge Fight For Health Care, Education

Jan 30, 2017
Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
User: Thoth188 / Flickr/Creative Commons

A group of lawmakers say it wants to tap into the energy behind the recent demonstrations and marches against the new federal agenda. 

Democrats in the Ohio Senate say they want to be the voice of the women and progressives who have been demonstrating against President Donald Trump.

Senate Democrats are pledging to push for legislation that protects health care and supports education.

An Ohio Senate panel is considering a bill that would give judges the option of suspending a driver's license for someone convicted of a drug charge instead of the suspension being mandatory.

Republican state Sen. Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati, says current law makes it difficult for hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio with suspended driver's licenses for drug convictions to find a job.

The legislation affects only drug convictions that don't involve driving. The bill is scheduled for another hearing in the Senate Government Oversight Committee on Tuesday.

Second Highest Ranking Leader In Ohio Senate Resigns

Jan 22, 2016
Ohio Senate

The second-in-command in the Ohio Senate announced he’s retiring at the end of the month.

Republican Senator Chris Widener of Springfield has served in the Ohio General Assembly for more than two decades. 

He got his start in the House before moving into the Senate and rising to rank of President Pro Tempore.

Widener was chair of the Senate Finance Committee and oversaw two budgets through his chamber.

Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
User: Thoth188 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The State Senate has released its version of Ohio's budget. The chamber plans to send $71.3 billion over two years, which is about one billion less than both the House and Gov. John Kasich's proposed spending plans. 

Senate President Keith Faber of Celina is happy with his caucus’ proposal – which he says has a smaller bottom line than the previous two budget plans. Tax cuts are the big feature in the proposal.  

“We are continuing today to build on our commitment to fund what matters and return to the taxpayers what’s not essential,” Faber said.

Gov. John Kasich’s budget director is sending a strong signal to the Ohio Senate that the budget plan passed by the House won’t work. Kasich wants some elements of his original budget put into the Senate’s version.

Kasich’s budget included income tax cuts that were offset with new taxes on tobacco, gas and oil drilling and increased or new sales taxes. The House removed those tax hikes but offered a smaller 6.3 percent income tax cut. Budget Director Tim Keen says the House took money set aside for unplanned Medicaid expenses and used revenue figures that are too rosy.

Ohio Senate Takes Up Charter Reform

Apr 6, 2015
State Senator Peggy Lehner heads the Senate Education Committee.
OhioHouseGOP / Flickr/Creative Commons

 Now that the Ohio House has passed a bill aimed at reforming charter schools, the Senate will take up the issue. The head of the Senate Education committee says she is deeply concerned about the number of poorly performing charters.

The House bill would stop charter sponsors from selling services to the schools they oversee; the Senate is expected to go further and lay out the duties and limits of both sponsors and the operating companies who manage the schools.  

The Ohio Senate has inserted language into a state transportation bill that would limit what cities can do to ensure contractors on their projects hire local residents. The Senate language would forbid any state or federal funds from going to public projects with local hiring goals.

It’s similar to language that was stripped from the House version of the bill last month after Akron officials traveled to Columbus to protest.

Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic calls state officials hypocrites.

Ohio's Strickland To Focus US Senate Bid On Opportunity

Feb 25, 2015
Former Ohio Governor, Ted Strickland
Wikimedia Commons

Ohio Democrat Ted Strickland says his run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Rob Portman will focus on expanding job and educational opportunities for average people.
 
The former governor announced the run, as expected, on Wednesday. His entry adds a formidable statewide name to what is expected to be one of the most watched and expensive of next year's Senate races.
 

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