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Medicaid growth is modest after expansion
Other headlines: Former charter school director pleads guilty to kickbacks; Court rules against Cleveland red-light cameras, again

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Former charter school director pleads guilty to kickbacks
  • Court rules against Cleveland red-light cameras, again
  • Lincoln Electric reports jump in profits
  • Racino growth cuts into casino payouts
  • Medicaid growth is modest after expansion 
    A new state report shows that more than 23,000 low-income Ohioans have enrolled in Medicaid under an expansion of the taxpayer-funded program.

    That's about 6 percent of the roughly 366,000 residents who the state projected would be newly eligible for coverage by the end of June 2015.

    Gov. John Kasich's administration moved forward with expanding Medicaid last fall under the federal health care law. Coverage took effect Jan. 1.

    The latest state figures do not include those who have applied to the program.

    The expansion allowed those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level to gain coverage. For a single adult, that's about $16,000 a year.

    Groups helping to sign people up for health insurance under the federal law say they expect Medicaid enrollment to climb.

    Former charter school director pleads guilty to kickbacks
    The former director of a Cleveland charter school has pleaded guilty to mishandling more than a million dollars in public funds.

    Romey Coles and four other administrators were indicted last year as part of an investigation into Lion of Judah Academy. The school closed last summer due to poor academic performance.

    Ohio Auditor David Yost says between 2007 and 2010 $1.3 million dollars in state contracts were funneled into kickbacks to Coles and the other administrators, one of whom is serving a two year sentence.

    In a plea deal, Coles pleaded guilty to one count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract.

    Court rules against Cleveland red-light cameras, again
    An appeals court has again ruled that Cleveland’s process for challenging red-light camera tickets violates state law.

    In two separate cases now, the appeals panel has said that the municipal court must hear the challenges, not a city clerk.

    The city had temporarily suspended its process, but restarted it this week. It says the appeals opinions are only advisory.

    Lincoln Electric reports jump in profits
    A Cleveland-based maker of welding equipment is reporting a jump in profits.

    Lincoln Electric says profits rose 45 percent in the last quarter and were up 16 percent for all of 2013 over the previous year.

    Lincoln reported overall sales of $2.9 billion in 2013.  That’s good news for employees of the company known for its generous profit sharing program.

    Racino growth cuts into casino payouts
    The growth of racetrack slots gambling in Ohio has led to declining casino revenue for local governments.

    Casino taxes are split seven ways, most going to counties and host cities. But as Ohio's racino industry expands to seven outlets this year, the public take for racinos goes only to education.

    The switch has made some local governments wary of allocating uncertain casino money for mandated expenses like courts and jails. Instead, they use the money for extra items like one-time projects.

    The overall casino tax pot is shrinking. Ohio is distributing $68 million, the local cut of taxes collected from casinos from October through December. That was 2.2 percent less than the last quarterly disbursement.

    On the racino side, the October-December take was $28.1 million, up 25 percent.






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