Ohio Senate

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.

Freeze On State Energy Standards Closer To Passage

May 8, 2014

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.

The Ohio house passed its version of the state budget last week, stripping Governor Kasich's proposal to expand medicaid and proposing an across-the-board income tax cut. Now the Senate makes its changes. Bill Cohen and Jo Ingles join Emily McCord to talk about their plans.

The leader of the Ohio Senate says he could have chosen his words more carefully when arguing that the federal government has put the state in a difficult position as it decides whether to expand Medicaid.

Senate President Keith Faber said Monday it was "probably inartful" of him to liken the choice to the government loading a revolver, pointing it at states and saying "do this or else." 

Faber, a Celina Republican, had described Medicaid expansion as an ultimatum to the Lima News in an article posted online Saturday. 

An Ohio Senate committee plans to hold hearings on school safety matters beginning next week with a meeting focused on prevention and mental health.

The panel was created this year to address school security and prevention of violent acts in public spaces. It comes after last year's deadly shootings at a Chardon high school and elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

The first hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday. Other hearings focusing on security, school infrastructure and law enforcement response are scheduled for March.

OHIO SENATE RACE -- Incumbent Brown Defeats Mandel

Nov 7, 2012

In the Ohio race, incumbent Sherrod Brown defeated Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel.

Former Dayton Daily News editor Ellen Belcher says when Mandel decided to run against Brown, not many people gave him a chance - but when money started pouring in, the tide started turning.

"Its been up and down and there were moments when people thought Sherrod Brown could actually lose this. I think this is one of those times where those who think that money can't buy an election are proven right," says Belcher.

There's a lot of activity at the Ohio Statehouse this week. Some of it involves students from the Ohio College Access Network and the Ohio Student Education Policy Institute (OSEPI).  They are testifying before the Senate Finance Committee - presenting their recommendations regarding Ohio education policy. Senator Chris Widener says it's the second year the group has appeared before Widener’s committee.

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