$500 Million Heading to Ohio’s Appalachian Region

Ohioans in the state’s Appalachian region can expect a half billion-dollar investment after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill that dedicates federal funds to infrastructure, health care and work force development.

The $500 million, which is on top of more than $645 million sent to the region since 2019, is twice as much as this year’s entire Appalachian Regional Commission budget. The commission covers 13 states.

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Ohio’s Capital Budget Riddled with Incentives, Pork Projects

Working late into the night this week, the Ohio General Assembly passed its traditional capital budget, spending billions on statewide initiatives, business and industry incentives and pet projects for lawmakers.

House Bill 687 included money for state parks and the incentives for Intel’s planned $20 billion investment in two chip-making plants in central Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine called the bill an historic investment.

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Ohio Legislature Approves Plan to Spend More Than $4 Billion in Federal COVID Relief

The Ohio General Assembly has given the go-ahead to spend more than $4 billion of federal COVID-19 relief money despite calls from Democrats for Gov. Mike DeWine to veto parts of the plan.

DeWine praised the passage of House Bill 169, calling the funds critical to the state’s ongoing recovery from the pandemic.

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Ohio Legislature Looks to Expand Telehealth Services

The Ohio General Assembly moved closer to permanently expanding access to telehealth for Ohioans after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the option nearly two years ago.

The Ohio House is expected to concur with House Bill 122, which passed the Senate on Wednesday, creating policies that policy groups and health care associations have pushed for since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Ohio Businesses in Line for Easier City Income Tax Filing Process

Bill Roemer

Filing municipal income taxes for businesses might get a little easier if a bill passed unanimously by the Ohio General Assembly gets Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature.

State Rep. Bill Roemer, R-Richfield, said House Bill 228 will reduce unnecessary state and municipality paperwork for Ohio businesses and simplify the tax filing process.

“The way we currently file municipal net profits taxes in Ohio places an unneeded burden on business owners,” Roemer said. “The last thing businesses need is another hoop to jump through. This bill streamlines the filing process so business owners can get back to creating jobs and contributing to their communities. I am very pleased that both the House and Senate have unanimously agreed to send this bill to Governor DeWine.”

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Critical Race Theory Debate Heating Up in Ohio General Assembly

Ohio State House

School districts, teachers unions, student groups and parents lined up at the Ohio House to testify against two bills that would stop schools from teaching what sponsors called “divisive concepts” in the classroom.

The House State and Local Government Committee heard more than three hours of testimony Wednesday during the third hearing for both House Bill 322 and House Bill 327. Each prohibits teaching concepts that are part of the nationwide critical race theory movement critics say purports the U.S. is a fundamentally racist country.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Says He Would Mandate Masks in Schools, Lawmakers Won’t Let Him

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he wants to impose a new mask mandate but feared a fight with the General Assembly after legislation that limited his authority to enact public health orders became law.

DeWine spoke Tuesday about the growing number of COVID-19 cases throughout the state at the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association. That group, made up of the six children’s hospitals, has spent the past two weeks pleading for vaccines and masks in schools.

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Drive to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in Ohio Begins as Ballot Panel Approves Petition

The Ohio Ballot Board has approved an initiative petition drive seeking to legalize marijuana for adults 21 years old and older, clearing the way for supporters to collect signatures for presentation to the Ohio General Assembly later this year.

The five-member panel certified the proposed “Act to Control and Regulate Adult-Use Cannabis” in a 5-0 votes as meeting the one-law standard for proposed ballot measures.

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Vaccine Protests Begin in Ohio as House Bill 248 Gets Testimony, ‘Pause’

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – About 400 or more protesters lined the Third Street stretch of Capitol Square downtown Tuesday morning as a Ohio House of Representatives committee prepared to hear more testimony on the proposed Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act that seeks to ban businesses from mandating workers to get…

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DeWine Stresses Vaccine, Informed Choice v. COVID-19 Strain Even as Some Businesses Press Masks, Social Distancing

Gov. Mike DeWine and vaccines

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) has stepped up his calls for unvaccinated Ohioans to get a COVID-19 shot amid the rising threat presented by the Delta strain that has quickly spread throughout the state since May.

He said individuals must decide for themselves what precautions to take given what he said is the growing danger Delta presents.

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Ohio Legislation Seeks to Change Local Income Tax Structure

Legislation in the Ohio General Assembly seeks to change the state’s 60-year-old income tax structure that allows municipalities to tax workers even if they don’t physically work in the city taxing them.

The bill, HB 754 and its companion SB 352, would modify income tax withholding rules for COVID-19-related work-from-home employees, taxing those Ohio workers where they live, rather than where they work.

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Ohio House Dems Call for Additional Security After Threats on Black Lawmakers

Ohio House Democrats called on Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) to publicly condemn the threats of violence made against their leader and provide “additional security measures” for lawmakers.

“As Speaker and in recognition of your leadership role in the Ohio House of Representatives, you are granted additional security while in the statehouse,” House Democrats said in a letter to Householder last week.

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The ‘Other’ Work of the Ohio General Assembly

  Should Dunkleosteus terrelli be Ohio’s official fossil fish? Should the sugar cookie be the official cookie of the state? What about the Monarch Butterfly?  Should it become the official butterfly for Ohio? The Ohio Senate believes the answer to the first question is yes. Senate Bill 123 was unanimously passed…

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Heartbeat Bill Set to Become Law in Ohio After Emotional Day at the Statehouse

One of the most divisive and talked-about bills in Ohio’s history is officially on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk and is expected to be signed into law at any moment. After months of debate and numerous committee hearings, the heartbeat bill passed the Ohio House Wednesday afternoon in…

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Buckeye Institute Annual Report Identifies $2.5 Billion in Savings for Ohio Taxpayers

The Buckeye Institute released its annual Piglet Booklet Wednesday, which identifies wasteful government spending across state agencies that could save Ohio taxpayers $2.5 billion. “In this year’s Piglet Booklet, The Buckeye Institute identified at least $2.5 billion that policymakers can save Ohioans. And with the increase in the gas tax,…

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Ohio House Democrats Introduce ‘Equal Pay Act’ to End ‘Pay Discrimination’

Ohio House Democrats unveiled their plans to close the gender wage gap with an “Ohio Equal Pay Act” Tuesday, which marked the annual “Equal Pay Day” in America. Reps. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) and Randi Clites (D-Ravenna) discussed their bill at a press conference alongside several of their Democratic colleagues. “Ohio’s…

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Ohio Republicans Look to Crack Down on Sanctuary Ordinances After Dayton Public Schools Declares Itself a ‘Sanctuary District’

Two Republican state representatives in Ohio introduced a bill Tuesday to ban sanctuary ordinances after the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education voted to become a “sanctuary school district” last week. House Bill 169 was introduced by Reps. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Candice Keller (R-Middletown), who said in a joint…

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Ohio Legislators Applauded for Addressing ‘Seriously Flawed’ School Funding Formula, But Questions Still Remain

After 15 months, a bipartisan workgroup unveiled its Fair School Funding Plan to overhaul Ohio’s school-funding formula, but some still had questions about how it will accomplish what Ohioans need. Reps. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) spearheaded the workgroup along with superintendents and educators from across the state,…

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Ohio House Democrats Question ‘Fiscal Stability’ of Republican Governor’s $69 Billion Budget Proposal

Ohio House Democrats are raising concerns over the “fiscal stability” of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s $69 billion budget proposal released Friday. House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) said that while her caucus was “encouraged by the governor’s commitment to supporting Democratic policies of investing in families, maintaining access to…

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Bipartisan Bill Would End Ohio’s ‘Disastrous’ Academic Distress Commissions

A bipartisan bill that would overturn state takeovers of low performing local schools is set to be introduced in the Ohio General Assembly next week. Under House Bill (HB) 70, a 2015 legislation, the state superintendent of public schools is required to intervene via “Academic Distress Commissions” for “each school…

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Gun Rights Bill Kasich Vetoed is Law in Every Other State

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) vetoed the Ohio General Assembly’s gun-rights legislation Wednesday, even though the bill was removed of most of its substantial provisions before passage. As The Ohio Star reported last week, House Bill 228 was stripped of its “stand your ground” measure, which would free gun owners from…

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