Ohio Statehouse

Jo Ingles

Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would give most employees in Ohio up to 12 weeks of paid family leave each year.

Democratic State Representative Christie Kuhns recently had a baby. She says that made her realize how important paid family leave is. So she’s backing a bill that would have most employees, who are not already covered under a paid family leave policy, to pay into a state insurance program that would be operated much like the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user w1ld0n3

A bill that would make it illegal for pet owners to tie up their animals outside during extreme cold has been languishing in the Ohio legislature.

 

Vicki Deisner with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says while a bill to ban tethering of animals in extreme weather isn’t making headway, she says measures are moving at the local level.

 

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

State lawmakers went home for the holidays after approving bills creating regulations for ride sharing services, banning questions about criminal convictions on public sector job applications, and restoring a sales tax exemption for rare coins and bullion. But not included in the list is the controversial bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

Ohio kids playing soccer in 2012.
Wrightbrosfan / Flickr/Creative Commons

School districts around the state have been charging fees for kids in sports, music and theater programs and other activities for years. But some state officials are now raising questions about whether “pay to play” fees are playing fair. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Tuesday is the annual public holiday party at the Ohio Statehouse. The hundreds who are expected to attend will receive a different greeting this year.

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

Anti-abortion activists are pushing for two state proposals that would defund Planned Parenthood.

The House version of the proposal to take state funds from Planned Parenthood had its first hearing last week, where joint sponsor Bill Patmon of Cleveland said it ensures that state money won’t be used to perform elective abortions or that the state will contract with entities that do. 

“Planned Parenthood is not mentioned anywhere in this," he said. "If the shoe fits, however, please wear it.”

Charter Reform Needs Governor's Signature

Oct 8, 2015
User: thoth188 / Creative Commons

Lawmakers have passed House Bill 2. The comprehensive reform to the way charter schools are policed is headed to the governor’s desk for his final approval.

Lawmakers say HB 2 will increase accountability and transparency in the system. It stops what’s known as sponsor hopping. This is when a failing charter school tries to find a new sponsor when the original one pulls the plug. It also clamps down on scenarios that could create conflicts of interest between a school and its operator. And it implements more oversight in general by the Ohio Department of Education.

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

The first piece of legislation related to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry is making the rounds at the Ohio Statehouse.

It’s called the “Pastor Protection Act,” to ensure that clergy members aren’t forced to perform ceremonies that go against their religious beliefs. Sponsoring State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) says it will help supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage get along.

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

The state’s election chief is warning Ohio voters there may be confusion ahead in November, though no issues have officially made the fall ballot yet.

 

The ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization amendment could be on the ballot at the same time as a measure that would prohibit businesses from creating amendments that give them economic benefits - just like the amendment from ResponsibleOhio does. Secretary of State Jon Husted says if what’s being called “the anti-monopoly” amendment gets more votes, it will negate the marijuana initiative.

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

Senators are preparing to put together and unveil their version of the budget that was passed by the House last month, which featured key differences from the original spending plan from Gov. John Kasich. But finishing the budget on time might be difficult.

Republican Senate Finance Chair Scott Oelslager of Canton says once all proposed amendments to the $71.5 billion budget are turned in, it’ll be full steam ahead.

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