Ohio Statehouse

Ohio statehouse
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Ohio lawmakers have finally come to a bipartisan agreement on redistricting that many are calling historic. The process of drawing lines for legislative districts has been controversial in the past, but an agreement passed in the Senate Friday will be sold to Ohioans as a way to make that process more fair.

“This is the most significant bi-partisan activity that I have been involved in in my time here in the House and the general assembly,” said Democratic State Representative Vernon Sykes, who’s leaving after 26 years in the statehouse.

West Carrollton city officials are considering a tax levy to help pay for an in-house emergency dispatch center.
City of West Carrollton website

The city of West Carrollton is considering changes to its dispatching service. Officials are concerned the city is getting priced out of offering an in-house emergency call center.

If the city wants to run its own operation next year, officials are expecting it’ll cost around $800,000. City Manager Brad Townsend says that isn’t feasible without residents paying a little extra. Voters could be asked to approve a levy in May at the earliest.

City of Springfield

  A tax reform bill passed in the Ohio statehouse Wednesday has lots of city and town leaders riled up. The bill, HB 5, set out to reform local income taxes by adding some uniform regulations, including changing the system for companies that work in multiple municipalities. Right now, municipal income taxes are a patchwork, with different policies in over 600 municipalities around the state.

The Las Vegas strip has an open alcohol policy, which is what Ohio legislators hope could become possible in some cities here.
Spreng Ben / Flickr/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Senate has passed a bill to allow people to carry alcoholic beverages outside as they visit restaurants and bars in certain designated areas.

The proposal would allow cities with populations of more than 35,000 to create entertainment districts, where Ohio's open container law wouldn't apply. Patrons with a beer or alcoholic drink from one of the district's establishments could carry it with them outside as they visit other district businesses. The size of the municipal entertainment districts could not exceed a half mile.

Backers of the controversial measure called the "heartbeat bill" being considered in the Ohio House are trying a new strategy to get Ohio lawmakers to pass it during the lame duck session. The bill would make abortion illegal at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Dayton's officials are coming up against some unknowns in the budget process for next year.
Derek Jensen

The City of Dayton is starting its budget process for next year. Officials will be dipping into savings again to balance the spending plan.

 

It will cost about $160 million to run Dayton in 2015. That money comes from a variety of sources: income taxes, property taxes and casino revenue. But this year the city will also use $2.5 million in reserves.

Lucas County Choppers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A legislative panel reviewing Ohio's renewable energy law while state mandates are on a two-year hiatus is kicking off with testimony from the state's top utility regulator.

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Tom Johnson addresses the Energy Mandates Study Committee Monday.

The panel was created in May to part of a bill delaying enforcement of state mandates for alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind.

A child receives immunization for polio
United States Agency for International Development

A pair of bills to require nearly all kids in day care centers to be fully immunized are expected to move quickly in the lame duck session of the state legislature. 

The measures require parents to vaccinate their preschool age kids if they want to enroll them in one of the 4,100 licensed day care centers in Ohio. Republican Shannon Jones of Springboro sponsored the Senate version of the bill, and admits supporters have battled some misinformation about vaccines.

Chris Redfern, the chair of Ohio's Democratic Party, lost his seat in the Ohio House of Representatives Tuesday and announced his resignation as party chair.
Sarah Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Republicans how have a record number elected seats in the Ohio House, winning at least 65 districts. The GOP has held 60 seats in the current General Assembly. Since a constitutional amendment established the 99-member House in 1967, the most seats the party had won was 64.

Common Core Debate Hits Pause As Leaders Push In New Directions

Sep 8, 2014

More than a hundred people have participated in the argument over a repeal of Ohio’s current education standards called the Common Core. Now at least one leader would like to see the debate take a slight change in course.

The Common Core was created by a group of education experts from around the country, including Ohio. The state adopted the standards in 2010, and school districts implemented them starting this year, with full implementation and testing set to roll out in the 2014-2015 school year currently udnerway.

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