Yost Agrees Six-Week Abortion Ban Unconstitutional, Other Provisions Not

Attorney General Dave Yost

A Hamilton County judge now must decide on parts of Ohio’s heartbeat law after Attorney General Dave Yost agreed the law banning nearly all abortions is unconstitutional.

In court filings, Yost said Ohio’s 2019 law that banned most abortions in the state was unconstitutional after voters guaranteed the right to an abortion in the state’s constitution in November.

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Democrats Want Investigation into DeWine, Husted

Ohio Democratic lawmakers want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted after news reports questioned the administration’s actions after the House Bill 6 scandal came to light.

At a Thursday news conference, State House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, said the suggestion is that the administration did nothing when possibly criminal activity came to light.

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Governor Mike DeWine Unveils New Crime Gun Intelligence Center in Columbus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) joined state, local, and federal leaders in Columbus on Tuesday to unveil the new Central Ohio Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC).

According to the press release, the center is located within the Ohio Department of Public Safety and operates in partnership with the Columbus Division of Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

This new centralized law enforcement

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U.S. Senator JD Vance Calls Norfolk Southern’s East Palestine Property Value Reimbursement Program a ‘Disaster’

On Monday, U.S. Senator JD Vance (R-OH) said that rail giant Norfolk Southern’s property value reimbursement program for the residents of East Palestine has so far been a “complete and total disaster.”

This follows Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw announcing in May that Norfolk Southern Railroad would set up a fund to compensate East Palestine homeowners for losses in property value due to the catastrophic February 3rd train derailment that spilled hazardous chemicals into the community.

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Officially Reconvenes Redistricting Commission

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine officially called for the Ohio Redistricting Commission to reconvene to begin the process of drawing new state legislative maps on September 13th, 2023.

The official notice states that, after DeWine reconvenes the commission, “the appointments of any appointed members of the commission will be entered into the record, the administration of the Oath of Office will occur, the roll will be called, the co-chairpersons will be formally entered into the record and the meeting will be turned over to the co-chairpersons.”

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Ohio Secretary of State Says Final Legislative Maps Need Approval by September 22nd

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says that the Ohio Redistricting Commission needs to begin the process of drawing new state legislative maps as soon as possible because any delay could potentially conflict with the statutory requirements of election administration if final maps aren’t approved by the end of next month.

On Wednesday, LaRose sent a letter to the members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission emphasizing the importance of expediting the completion of the new state legislative maps.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Meeting in Flux After Attorney General Says Only Governor May Reconvene Them

The first 2023 scheduled meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission is in flux after Attorney General Dave Yost sent a letter on Monday to the commission stating that only Governor Mike DeWine has the authority to reconvene them.

This follows the two co-chairs of the commission, State Representative Jeff LaRe (R-Fairfield County) and Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), announcing last week that the panel would meet on September 13th to start the process of drawing new state legislative maps.

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Ohio Attorney General Rejects Petition to Create Citizen-Led Redistricting Commission

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a petition Wednesday that tries to amend the state Constitution by creating a 15-member citizen-appointed panel to draw state legislative and congressional maps, claiming that the language lacks clarity and accuracy.

The amendment, submitted by the Ohio coalition known as Citizens not Politicians, aiming for the November 2024 presidential election, looks to repeal Articles XI and XIX of the Ohio Constitution and introduce Article XX to create a citizen-led redistricting commission and remove that power from the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

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Ohio Attorney General Rejects Fourth Petition to End Qualified Immunity for Government Employees

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a petition which aims to amend the state constitution by ending qualified immunity for state workers claiming that the language contains omissions and misstatements that would mislead a potential petition signer.

The amendment, submitted by The Ohio Coalition to End Qualified Immunity, aiming for the November 2024 presidential election, looks to add a Section 22 to Article I of the Ohio Constitution in order to end qualified immunity being used to protect state employees, including but not limited to law enforcement officers, against civil lawsuits.

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Ohio Appeals Court Upholds Preemption Firearms Laws

The Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals ruled to uphold state law on firearms uniformity overturning a ruling by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Stephen McIntosh who previously granted an injunction to the city of Columbus blocking the state of Ohio from enforcing “preemption” firearms laws.

According to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the court’s ruling is a win for the state of Ohio.

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Ohio Coalition Resubmits Petition to End Qualified Immunity for Government Employees

A group of Ohioans wants to try yet again to change the state’s Constitution to permit lawsuits against government employees.

The amendment, aiming for the November 2024 presidential election, looks to add a Section 22 to Article I of the Ohio Constitution in order to end qualified immunity being used to protect state employees, including but not limited to law enforcement officers, against civil lawsuits.

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Ohio Supreme Court Sets Date to Hear Arguments in ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban Case

The Ohio Supreme Court announced on Thursday it set a hearing date for oral arguments in a case challenging a Hamilton County judge’s decision to put Ohio’s Heartbeat abortion ban on hold.

Ohio’s highest court will hear 15-minute arguments from both sides on the case on September 27th, almost a year after Democratic Hamilton County Judge Christian Jenkins issued a preliminary injunction that put the Heartbeat Law on hold while he considers arguments in a lawsuit filed by pro-abortion activists.

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Ohio College Employees Could Be Held ‘Personally Liable’ for Violating Affirmative Action Ban: Attorney General

Ohio higher education employees “will face personal risk” if they violate the Supreme Court ban on considering race during admissions, state Attorney General Dave Yost wrote in a recent letter.

His office won’t be able to protect public colleges and universities if they act counter to the ruling, Yost wrote, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

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City of Columbus Continues Fight to Overturn Preliminary Injunction Halting Gun Control Laws

The City of Columbus is trying to implement its gun control laws while a lawsuit filed by The Buckeye Institute to protect the rights of Ohioans to keep and bear arms is being heard.

The city requests that the 10th District Court of Appeals overturns a ruling by a Delaware County judge to temporarily halt a state law that would make it difficult for municipalities to establish specific gun control measures.

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Chemistry Professor Testifies East Palestine Controlled Burn May Not Have Been Necessary

East Palestine Train Wreck

A chemistry professor testified during a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) fact-finding hearing that the controlled burn of vinyl chloride from the Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this year may not have been necessary.

Norfolk Southern officials says that the unified command made the decision to vent and burn the vinyl chloride, out of concern for polymerization, a molecular chemical reaction that may have caused the tanker cars to rise in temperature resulting in a disastrous explosion.

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Ohio National Guard Commander Awarded for Being a Role Model Despite Pushing Journalist in East Palestine

The two-star commander of the Ohio National Guard who made national headlines for pushing a journalist during an East Palestine news conference earlier this year has been given a leadership award for being “a role model for others.”

Major General John C. Harris Jr. received the Harry S. Hertz Leadership Award from the Baldrige Foundation on Wednesday for his role-model leadership “challenging, encouraging, and empowering others to achieve performance excellence.”

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Norfolk Southern to Spend over $25 Million to Revitalize East Palestine City Park

Norfolk Southern Railway announced that it intends to spend over $25 million to upgrade and revitalize East Palestine City Park as part of the railroad’s response to help make things right following the catastrophic train derailment earlier this year.

The announcement follows East Palestine City Council approving the proposed plans for the project on Monday night. Norfolk Southern will now develop a full master plan for the community park in the village’s center.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Requests Extension of Disaster Declaration for East Palestine Train Derailment

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine submitted a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting a second extension on the deadline for Ohio to request a major disaster declaration for damage resulting from the catastrophic East Palestine train derailment which occurred earlier this year.

The FEMA website states that a major disaster declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work.

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Attorney General Yost Secures $679.6 Million From Settlement to Help Fund Opioid Recovery in Ohio

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that he along with 21 other attorneys general have secured final approval of a combined $17.3 billion settlement to hold two drug makers and two pharmacies accountable for their roles in the opioid-addiction crisis and help fund opioid recovery efforts.

Under the settlement, Ohio expects to receive a total of $679.6 million from drug makers Teva and Allergan and pharmacies CVS and Walgreens over the next 15 years.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Recovers Donations from Sham Charity that Stole Thousands Intended for East Palestine Residents

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost reached a settlement with the sham charity, the Ohio Clean Water Fund, which stole thousands of dollars after pretending to raise money for East Palestine residents in the wake of the disastrous February 3rd train derailment.

Under the settlement, the sham charity must return over the $131,000 in pocketed donations so the money truly does benefit East Palestine residents.

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Ohio Senate Unanimously Passes Legislation to Prohibit Installing Tracking Devices Without Consent

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that generally prohibits the installation of an electronic tracking device on someone else’s property without the other person’s consent.

Senate Bill (SB) 100, sponsored by State Senators Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), aims to establish the use of tracking devices for menacing or stalking purposes as its own offense under Ohio law – a move that the bill’s sponsors say closes a loophole in current state statutes.

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Ohio Attorney General Rejects Petition to Amend State Constitution Ending Qualified Immunity

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a petition which aims to amend the state constitution by ending qualified immunity for state workers claiming that the language is vague, confusing, and contradictory.

The proposal called “Protecting Ohioans’ Constitutional Rights” aims to add a Section 22 to Article I of the Ohio Constitution in order to end qualified immunity being used to protect state employees, including but not limited to law enforcement officers, against civil lawsuits.

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Norfolk Southern Donates Historic East Palestine Train Depot to Village

Norfolk Southern Railway announced that it intends to renovate and donate its historic East Palestine train depot as part of the railroad’s response following the catastrophic train derailment earlier this year.

Norfolk Southern said it will restore and upgrade the exterior of the building. The railway giant will turn the interior into a blank space so the community may shape the future development of this property according to its own vision. To help the village continue to improve the facility, Norfolk Southern will donate $100,000.

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Norfolk Southern Opens New Family Assistance Center in East Palestine

 Norfolk Southern announced an additional initiative to support the community of East Palestine following the catastrophic train derailment that occurred earlier this year.

The railway giant signed a two-year lease agreement for a new, closer, and more permanent Family Assistance Center (FAC) that will replace the current center located at the Abundant Life Fellowship Church. The original FAC was set up within 24 hours of the incident on February 3rd.

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U.S. Marshals Recover 35 Missing Children in Ohio

The U.S. Marshals Service has announced that a multi-jurisdictional investigation has led them to the successful recovery of 35 missing children from Northern Ohio.

The Northern District of Ohio was one of sixteen selected regions to take part in this operation due to past success in carrying out such operations. Operation We Will Find You, a national missing child operation, centered around major metropolitan areas, such as Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and surrounding counties.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Defends August Special Election in New Response to Lawsuit

State officials expanded their legal defense on Monday in a new filing against a lawsuit that challenges the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 2, and an August special election to vote on.

The lawsuit filed by a Democratic-backed group, One Person One Vote, asserts that an August special election is illegal since statewide special elections were banned by the Ohio General Assembly in December due to their high costs and poor voter turnout.

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Ohio Ballot Board Adopts Ballot Language for Amendment to Increase Threshold for Initiative Petitions

The Ohio Ballot Board has adopted ballot language on a question that aims to alter the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments for a special election this August.

In a 3-2 vote the ballot board has voted to adopt the summary language of Issue 1, the amendment to mandate a 60 percent approval percentage for any future constitutional amendments, call for signatures from all 88 counties, and do away with the opportunity to “cure” petitions by collecting additional signatures if necessary.

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Norfolk Southern Commits to Compensating East Palestine Homeowners for Property Value Losses

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw has announced that Norfolk Southern Railroad will set up a fund to compensate East Palestine homeowners for losses in property value due to the catastrophic February 3rd train derailment that spilled hazardous chemicals into the community.

In a letter to U.S. Senators JD Vance (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Shaw said he would immediately launch the fund instead of waiting for litigation to end.

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City of Columbus Sues Ohio over Gun Control Legislation

The City of Columbus filed a lawsuit against Ohio, claiming that the state has exceeded its power by passing legislation making it difficult for municipalities to establish specific gun control measures.

The lawsuit, filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, follows an Ohio judge ruling which denied the city of Columbus’ request to allow them to enforce their new gun control laws, while the lawsuit filed by The Buckeye Institute to protect the rights of Ohioans to keep and bear arms is being heard.

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Democratic-Backed Group Files Lawsuit Against Special August Election for Ohio Constitutional Amendment Vote

A Democratic-backed group that opposes the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 2, and an August special election to vote on it has filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the resolution is unconstitutional and illegal.

The group One Person One Vote, and a coalition of three Ohio residents Jeniece Brock, Brent Edwards, and Christopher Tavenor, filed the lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court in response to the passage of a resolution, the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment, aimed at altering the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments on May 10th.

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Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Identifies First Case of Rainbow Fentanyl in the State

According to a press release from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation identified some confiscated drugs as “rainbow fentanyl” for the first time in the state.

The attorney general’s office said that the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office discovered the 1,025 candy-like, brightly colored tablets while conducting a narcotics trafficking investigation in the Columbus region.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Wins Preliminary Injunction Against ‘Sham’ Charity That Stole Thousands Intended for East Palestine Residents

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced on Wednesday that a preliminary injunction was issued against Michael Peppel and his sham charity, Ohio Clean Water Fund, who stole thousands of dollars after pretending to raise money for East Palestine residents in the wake of the disastrous February 3rd train derailment.

Yost claimed in his initial lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order that Peppel, a resident of Leetonia, and other individuals had pocketed at least $131,000 of the approximately $141,000 collected from more than 3,000 donors to allegedly help the community of East Palestine.

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Ohio Attorney General Announces State’s Expanded Access to Nation’s Most Detailed Gun Crime Database

On Monday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that expanded access to one of the nation’s most effective resources for investigating and averting serious gun crimes is now available to law enforcement officials in Ohio.

The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) is a database that contains digitized photos of spent cartridge cases recovered from crime scenes or fired from firearms that law enforcement took into custody. The database essentially serves as a massive library of ballistic “fingerprints” because every gun leaves its own distinctive microscopic imprint on the cartridge cases it ejects.

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Bipartisan Ohio State Lawmakers Re-Introduce Bill to Prohibit Installing Tracking Devices Without Consent

A Bipartisan group of Ohio Lawmakers has re-introduced a bill to generally prohibit the installation of an electronic tracking device on someone else’s property without the other person’s consent.

Senate Bill (SB) 100, sponsored by State Senators Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), aims to establish the use of tracking devices for menacing or stalking purposes as its own offense under Ohio law – a move that the bill’s sponsors say closes a loophole in current state statutes.

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Norfolk Southern Reports Initial $387 Million in Costs Expected for East Palestine Derailment

Norfolk Southern announced on Wednesday that it expects the costs associated with February’s East Palestine, Ohio train derailment to amount to $387 million. The company anticipates the sum to rise over time, which doesn’t represent the final amount the railroad’s insurance providers will pay out.

The $387 million estimate includes the $30.9 million the railroad promised to assist locals and the residents of East Palestine in recovering from the incident, cleanup costs, community support, restoration payments, legal and advising fees, and an early estimate of claims and settlements.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Files Amicus Brief Supporting State’s Authority to Remove Local Prosecutors Who Fail to Enforce Laws

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus brief on Wednesday with the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit urging it to affirm states’ authority to remove local prosecutors who refuse to put the law ahead of their personal politics.

Yost claimed in a news release that states have a right to defend their constitutions against local prosecutors who, by pledging not to enforce laws they dislike, essentially wield veto power over lawfully enacted legislation.

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Ohio Attorney General Says Cigna Group’s New Transparency Efforts Will Not Stop His Lawsuit Against Them

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said this week that a move by the Cigna Group, the parent company of Express Scripts, touting their further advancement of transparency and affordability for consumers and clients will not stop his lawsuit against them.

The Cigna Group announced on Thursday several actions to further evolve its pharmacy benefit management (PBM) model including driving down costs for consumers, offering clients a new level of transparency, and enhancing disclosures and clarity.

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Eight Toledo Financial Managers Indicted for Defrauding $72 Million from over 200 Clients

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield announced on Tuesday that the managers of a Lucas County investment firm have been indicted on multiple felony charges in a decade-long scheme to defraud at least 200 clients out of $72 million.

Eight managers from Northwest Capital were charged with 204 felony counts in all, most of which were related to misleading and defrauding investors of tens of millions of dollars.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Sues ‘Sham’ Charity for Stealing Thousands Intended for East Palestine Residents

According to a new lawsuit filed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in the Columbiana County Court of Common Pleas, a sham charity stole thousands of dollars after pretending to raise money for East Palestine residents in the wake of the disastrous February 3rd train derailment.

Yost announced on Tuesday that he is suing Mike Peppel, a resident of Leetonia, for allegedly running a fraudulent charity fund that he promoted to help East Palestine. The February 3rd Norfolk Southern train derailment due to an overheated wheel bearing, which resulted in the release of poisonous chemicals into the environment, drastically changed the lives of locals.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Files Amicus Brief Pushing Back on Federal Education Overreach

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus brief on Thursday with the United States Supreme Court pushing back on federal education overreach.

Yost claimed that the most recent plan by the United States Secretary of Education to eliminate billions of dollars of student debt “is nothing more than an egregious power grab that tramples all over the separation-of-powers doctrine.”

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Accepts Petition to Amend State Constitution Raising Minimum Wage

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost accepted a petition on Wednesday which aims to amend a portion of the Ohio Constitution and raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The proposal called “Raise the Wage Ohio Amendment” aims to amend Article II, Section 34a of Ohio’s Constitution in order to raise the minimum wage to $12.75 per hour beginning January 1st, 2025 and then in equal yearly increments until it gets to $15 per hour on January 1st, 2026.

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