Ohio

The way Ohio cares for its developmentally disabled residents is slowly changing. There's a push to move people from institutional care into more community-based settings. A new report highlights just how difficult it will be to make that change.

Roughly 45,000 disabled Ohioans are waiting for special funding to get the services they need, according to a report from the nonprofit Center for Community Solutions.

Educators Focus On 'Brain Based' Curriculum For Kids In Poverty

Mar 27, 2015
Mark Urycki / StateImpact Ohio

In January, an analysis of federal data found that for the first time in at least 50 years more than half of the public school children in America are living in poverty. In Ohio, the number is only 39 percent, but it still concerns school officials here who know that poor kids come to school carrying extra burdens. In recent years education officials have been looking to brain research for answers. 

Educators call them “stressed” kids and brain research predicts that children under stress will have a more difficult time learning and behaving.  

Both Democrats and Republicans have launched major voter turnout efforts in advance of the November 2014 election.  vote election voters
elycefeliz / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some Democratic state lawmakers say they might vote against the proposed transportation budget because of a provision that could restrict voting rights. The plan would make it more difficult for some college students to vote in Ohio.

casino, gambling
Adam Tinworth

Ohioans have more gaming options now that the state has casinos and video lottery terminals at race tracks. But the charitable groups that rely on bingo to support their missions say expanded gambling is making it more difficult to raise funds these days.

The Children's Toy Fund organization provides terminally-ill children with toys and has depended on charitable bingo for decades. But Jason Bogavitch, a spokesman for the group, says it is getting harder to make enough on the games anymore to make ends meet.

In December, Ohio lawmakers passed a new redistricting process to put on the Ohio ballot this fall. But that plan doesn’t affect all redistricting, only legislative districts. Democratic State Rep. Mike Curtin has come up with a similar redistricting plan for congressional districts too.

“The 16 congressional districts in Ohio are even more badly hyper gerrymandered than our state legislative districts. They are all absurdly drawn districts. Everyone acknowledges that. And yet we are not dealing with it,” he said. 

Group Asking Kasich To Focus On College Student Debt

Feb 26, 2015

In his State of the State address, Gov. John Kasich made another big push for his budget plan, which includes policies directed at higher education. But at least one group says the plan doesn’t do enough for college students.

Kasich’s budget plan includes a cap and freeze on tuition increases. But the group “Young Invincibles” believes that will only shift more of the burden onto the students in the long run.

A new set of evaluation rules for the state’s school counselors is included in Governor John Kasich’s proposed operating budget. And the Ohio School Counselors Association, or OSCA, supports the idea.

State and federal lawmakers are considering requiring childproof containers for liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.
American Herald

The numbers of medical crises involving liquid nicotine refills used in e-cigarettes are rising dramatically and there are efforts underway to crack down on their packaging.

Public health experts say liquid nicotine poisoning calls have increased 40 times in the last three years, and that includes the first known death, of a toddler in New York in December. State Sen. Shannon Jones of Springboro in southwest Ohio says these refills should have child-proof packaging. 

State testing under the new Common Core standards starts next week and school officials are expecting very low scores.

The effect the results could have on teachers, students and districts is unclear.  

The panel of state lawmakers looking over the budget had questions during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday about Medicaid, including about a proposal to require almost 100,000 Ohioans making above the federal poverty level to pay premiums. 

State Medicaid Director John McCarthy said the premiums will be $20 a month, which he said will teach recipients about monthly payments when they make enough money to buy insurance on the federal marketplace. 

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