Ohio Statehouse

A new bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would allow Ohioans to carry concealed guns without required training or a permit. But the bill is being met with resistance.

Jim Irvine, with the Buckeye Firearms Association, says the state should do what some others have done: scrap the permit requirement for handguns.

casino, gambling
Adam Tinworth

Some state lawmakers say casino revenue hasn’t been as high as originally promised a few years ago when Ohio voters approved those casinos. So the lawmakers say they will introduce a bill that would rein in a tax break those casinos have been receiving.

Republican State Senator Bill Coley has a message for casino owners who he says have broken promises made to voters.

Lawmakers Consider Timing For Term Limit Ballot Question

Mar 18, 2015

Ohioans could have the chance to vote on a measure that allows them to keep state lawmakers in office longer. The idea of extending term limits has its supporters, but there’s still a debate over when it should head to the ballot.

Some fear the term limit issue could drag down another issue already set for this fall’s ballot—redistricting reform. However others, such as Republican Senator Frank LaRose of the Akron area, believe the two issues could appear like both sides of the same coin.

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.

User: eJourna / flickr

Ohio lawmakers are currently considering a measure that would fast track fracking on public lands. But there’s debate over whether it would allow drilling activity in state parks.

The bill would allow drillers who are working on private property that’s separated by state lands to drill through those lands. Republican Rep. Al Landis of Dover says the drilling would be thousands of feet underground, because a commission would have to allow drilling on the surface in state parks. 

The state’s tax commissioner took some heat from lawmakers looking over the budget. Lawmakers say they’re hearing complaints from some tax refund filers who are being required to take an identity quiz. 

During questioning before the House Finance Committee, tax commissioner Joe Testa says the state spent $6 million to stop thousands of fake income tax refund requests filed in many states by people who are stealing massive amounts of social security numbers. 

A photograph of Justin Back, signed in memorial by friends and community members, hangs in the home of Sandy and Mark Case.
Jerry Kenney/WYSO

A bill known as “Justin’s Law” will be introduced to the Ohio legislature soon.  The bill would allow for stiffer penalties for adults and juveniles convicted of aggravated murder.

About a year a ago, two 19-year-old men broke into the Warren County home of 18-year-old Justin Back. They stole some minor possessions and murdered Back.    

New Ohio House Speaker Selecting Leaders

Jan 8, 2015
Republican State Rep. Ryan Smith has been selected as the new House Finance and Appropriations Committee chair.
ohiohouse.gov

The new Ohio House Speaker is announcing appointments to big leadership roles. Republican Rep. Ryan Smith is the newly-selected chairman of what’s considered to be one of the top House committees.

Smith, of southeast Ohio, will serve his second full term in the House as chair of the finance and appropriations committee.

He says he sees himself as a fair and pragmatic leader. Smith and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger represent a wave of newer elected officials assuming bigger roles in the General Assembly.

Ohio statehouse
thoth188

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.

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