Ohio Legislature Approves Bill to Secure Biden’s Spot on the November Ballot

Joe Biden Ohio

The Ohio legislature on Friday approved legislation to ensure that President Joe Biden will appear on the state’s general election ballot this November.

“I don’t think anybody on this side of the aisle really feels like they’re going to be voting for President Biden, but at the same time, Ohioans deserve a choice in this election, and that’s what we’re seeking to give them today,” GOP state Sen. Rob McColley said, according to NBC News.

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Ohio House Sends Biden Ballot, Foreign Campaign Money Bills to Senate

Joe Biden Ohio

The Ohio House approved in special session Thursday what it said was a compromise between House and Senate Republicans that would prohibit foreign contributions to any political campaign and create a legislative fix to allow President Joe Biden on the November ballot.

The two bills come despite the Democratic National Committee saying Tuesday it would hold a roll call vote ahead of the planned late-August convention to officially nominate Biden and beat Ohio’s Aug. 7 deadline to make the general election.

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Ohio Governor Calls Special Session to Pass Measure Allowing Biden on November Ballot

Joe Biden and Mike DeWine

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said Thursday that he is calling a special session of the General Assembly to pass legislation next week to ensure President Biden is on the November ballot for the general election.

“Ohio is running out of time to get Joe Biden, the sitting President of the United States, on the ballot this fall. Failing to do so is simply unacceptable. This is ridiculous. This is (an) absurd situation,” DeWine said, according to the Associated Press.

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Ohio Governor Signs Bill Requiring Schools to Implement Official Policy Limiting Use of Cellphones by Students

Cellphones students

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 250 on Wednesday, requiring schools to implement official policy governing students’ use of cellphones during school hours.

The bill aims to “minimize student use of cellphones in K-12 schools” by requiring school districts to create a policy that reduces cellphone-related distractions in classroom settings.

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Intel Issues First Ohio Progress Report on $1.5 Billion Facilities

Intel’s first required progress report shows a $1.5 billion expenditure and another $3 billion committed to what Ohio officials call the largest single private-sector investment in state history.

The report, submitted to the Ohio Department of Development, is part of $2 billion in incentives for the two planned microchip manufacturing facilities in Licking County, including taxpayer-funded grants and tax incentives.

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Sen. JD Vance Says East Palestine Ohio ‘May Have Been Poisoned to Facilitate the Rapid Movement of Freight’ After NTSB Chair Confirms 2023 Controlled Chemical Explosion Was ‘Unnecessary’

JD Vance

U.S. Senator JD Vance (R-OH) questioned National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy on the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine last year during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing entitled, “National Transportation Safety Board Investigations Report” on Wednesday.

On February 3, 2023, 50 train carriages, 10 of which were carrying hazardous materials, derailed in East Palestine. Hundreds of residents evacuated as a result of a controlled burn of noxious vinyl chloride that Norfolk Southern carried out on February 6 to stop an explosion.

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Judge Blocks Ohio’s Social Media Parental Notification Act from Being Enforced

Kids on Phone

Chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Algenon L. Marbley granted NetChoice’s request for a preliminary injunction that stops the state’s Social Media Parental Notification Act from being enforced on Monday.

Last month, NetChoice sued Ohio to block the Social Media Parental Notification Act from taking effect.

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Ohio Spending $150 Million to Develop Affordable Housing

The state of Ohio wants local governments to buy, rehabilitate, or build residential properties to improve affordable access.

The state will give local landbanks $100 million over the next 16 months to create housing for income-eligible Ohioans. It is also establishing another $50 million in nonrefundable tax credits to landbanks and developers for rehabs and new construction when the property is sold.

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Ohio State Troopers Out in Force Looking for Distracted Drivers

Drivers should see more Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers throughout the state this weekend with an eye on cellphone usage as strict enforcement of the state’s distracted driving law began this week.

As the warning period ends and law enforcement can begin stopping drivers for cellphone use and issuing fines of at least $150, Gov. Mike DeWine calls the new state law a lifesaver.

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Judge Blocks Ohio’s Attempt to Strip Power from Board of Education

An Ohio judge issued a temporary restraining order Thursday to block a proposed law that would change who gets to write statewide education standards, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Republican Ohio Sen. Andrew Brenner and other Republicans want powers transferred from the state school board to a single cabinet appointee because of ideological fights over culture war issues and bureaucratic gridlock in the Ohio school board, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The Ohio school board filed a lawsuit Tuesday arguing the proposed plan to give control over statewide school standards to the governor’s office is unconstitutional, which prompted Democratic Judge Karen Held Phipps to block the proposed law as it moves through the courts.

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Norfolk Southern CEO Tells Pennsylvania Senate Panel State Authorities Were ‘Aligned’ on Vent-and-Burn

Norfolk Southern Corp. Chief Executive Officer Alan Shaw told Pennsylvania lawmakers on Monday that the response to February’s Ohio train derailment “worked” and that state officials thoroughly backed it. 

Shaw’s appearance before the state Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee came about as a result of a subpoena earlier this month after the rail-company executive initially declined to speak to the panel. Senators also subpoenaed the corporation’s internal communications related to the wreck, some of which committee Chair Doug Mastriano (R-Gettysburg) said have been turned over and others of which he says he still awaits. 

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East Palestine Area Residents Living Under Cloud of Uncertainty Since Train Derailment

Don Hauenstein is a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran who spent a dozen years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He told The Ohio Star he’s never seen anything like the cloud of hazardous materials that hit his hometown nearly a month ago after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed. 

Worse, the retired East Palestine, Ohio, resident said he and many of his fellow community members believe their government isn’t telling the truth about the dangers that exist.

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Ohio Senators Ask Federal Agencies to Monitor Health of East Palestine Residents over Long Term

U.S. Senators J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) this week sent a letter to heads of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) urging long-term health monitoring of East Palestine, Ohio residents. 

Vance and Brown asked EPA Administrator Michael Regan and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to guarantee baseline medical testing for those living near the site of the February 3 train derailment. The rail company Norfolk Southern followed the incident with what the company termed a “controlled burn” of five cars containing vinyl chloride. 

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PA Gov. Shapiro Blasts ‘Corporate Greed and Incompetence’ of Norfolk Southern at Site of East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment, OH Gov. DeWine and EPA Administrator Michael Regan Also Speak

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro traveled to East Palestine, Ohio on Tuesday to participate in a joint news conference with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and EPA Administrator Michael Regan regarding ongoing concerns surrounding the recent derailment of a Norfolk Southern train.

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Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro Was for the Controlled Burn of the Derailed Train Before He Was Against It

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro’s opposition to Norfolk Southern Corp.’s handling of its East Palestine, Ohio train derailment contrasts strongly with his initial satisfaction with the controlled vent and burn of the rail vehicle’s toxic cargo.

The 53-car train with some cars carrying vinyl chloride derailed on February 3 in the village of about 5,000 residents one-quarter mile west of Beaver County in Pennsylvania. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the train went off the rail as a result of a defective axle. 

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Pennsylvania Governor Blasts Norfolk Southern for ‘Vent and Burn’ Plan In Aftermath of Train Derailment

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is blasting Norfolk Southern Corp. for its handling of a Feb. 3 train derailment that spewed Hazardous chemicals in in East Palestine, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania state line. 

In a letter to Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw, Shapiro excoriates the railway for acting unilaterally, failing to establish a Unified Command, and creating confusion that resulted in a general lack of awareness for first responders and emergency management of Norfolk Southern’s response. 

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Ohio Governor and EPA Provide Update on Train Derailment in East Palestine

Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio held a press conference on Tuesday to provide an update on the train that derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, along the Ohio Pennsylvania border on Feb. 3, and the controlled burn that has turned into a Hazmat situation.

The decision to do this controlled explosion he said was basically made between bad options that they had. They believed that one of these cars was going to explode. Addressing the environmental concerns, DeWine said that the Ohio and U.S. Environmental are working to slow the flow of contaminated water.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Asks for Family and Education Policy Changes in State of the State Address

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine proposed major expansions of various social programs in his 2023 State of the State address to legislators in Columbus on Tuesday.

The Republican governor called on lawmakers to enact a variety of new policies to aid families through the budget for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025. Those requests include allowing parents who adopted children from private agencies to access Medicaid coverage and expanding a home-visit program providing health assistance to expectant mothers. 

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Leftists Sue Ohio Secretary of State Over New Voter ID Law

Attorneys for the Elias Law Group announced over the weekend they are representing several left-leaning institutions seeking to nix Ohio’s new law requiring voters to show photo identification to participate in an election. 

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans and the Union Veterans Council are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R). The firm working the case is headed by Marc Elias who has handled cases for Democrats in the 2020 presidential contest and numerous other national elections. 

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Newly Signed Ohio Bill Expands Afterschool Enrichment Accounts

A $6 billion spending bill that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed on Friday expands a program assisting parents and guardians with supplemental education purchases.

The ACE Educational Savings Account program previously bestowed a $500 credit on families seeking to purchase enrichment materials or services to help their children get past the learning setbacks caused by the COVID-19 school shutdowns. The new legislation raises the credit to $1,000. 

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