Government & Politics

Political news

Ohio’s state budget office estimates $2.5 billion in spending will have to be cut to balance the budget for the fiscal year that starts in July.  And that means Ohio’s more than 51,000 state workers will take some hits.

photo of Sen. Rob Portman
/ U.S. SENATE

Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says Ohio will not likely need the military force President Trump is threatening to deploy to quell violence in some states.

Portman says the National Guard is doing a sufficient job of keeping the peace in Ohio.

"I would want to see us continue to rely on local law enforcement and those who are trained to deal with these kinds of situations, you know our Ohio National Guard," Portman said. 

Portman says he can’t speak for what type of action might be needed in other states. He says now is the time for calm and for dialogue.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine provides the latest information regarding the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch the press conference live here: 

Note: If you are not seeing today's briefing, please refresh your browser.

The leader of minority Democrats in the Ohio House says it’s time to take recommendations and reports on community policing off the shelf and put them in action. 

Updated at 9:31 p.m. ET

Escalating his rhetoric during a period of roiling national crises, President Trump on Monday threatened to deploy the U.S. military to cities or states that don't take "necessary" actions to halt violent protests, saying the armed forces will "quickly solve the problem for them."

Trump's Rose Garden remarks came as just across the street, law enforcement officers deployed tear gas and shot rubber bullets to forcefully disperse peaceful protesters. Washington, D.C., had set a curfew Monday of 7 p.m. ET.

COVID-19 Restaurant Closed
MARK AREHART / WKSU

A bill to grant essential businesses and health care workers immunity from pandemic-related lawsuits has quickly and overwhelmingly passed the Ohio House. The measure, which was introduced just last month, now moves on to the Senate.

Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) says the bill expands immunity protection to health care workers and facilities, first responders and essential businesses. And she says it will offer stability to businesses that are afraid to open.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday expressed “sorrow and disgust” at the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, saying the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck while he cried out for breath violated “every principle of human decency.”

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

The United States is rescinding a number of special considerations for Hong Kong in retaliation for what Washington calls a naked power grab by China's central government.

President Trump announced a suite of changes Friday in what had been billed as a press conference but which turned out to be an on-camera statement, after which he took no questions.

A protest against police brutality in downtown Columbus turned violent on Thursday night. Protestors broke windows at the Ohio Statehouse and nearby businesses after a clash with Columbus Police officers. 

Around 400 people gathered at Broad and High streets to demonstrate over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. 

UPDATE: Gov. Mike DeWine will hold a press conference to speak about "the events yesterday and this morning at the Ohio Statehouse and downtown Columbus" at 2pm Friday. It'll air live on the Ohio Channel.

A protest that started at an intersection near the Ohio Statehouse spilled over onto the grounds last night, resulting in damage to the 159-year old building - which has been the site of many demonstrations and public events over the years.

Joe Biden
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Like just about everything else these days, political campaigning has had to rely on virtual connections. This week, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) held an organizing call to rally support in Ohio for Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Photo of Sherrod Brown at the Press Club
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Sen. Sherrod Brown wants to hold President Donald Trump to comments he made recently on a Toledo radio show. Trump acknowledged his election was due in part to promises made about American manufacturing jobs and said Americans should make the products we use.

Brown says his American Cars, American Jobs Act would support that effort. He wrote the President last week asking him to support the bill, which would incentivize the domestic production of cars. Brown says Trump’s support is integral. 

A Democratic state lawmaker is angry that an Ohio House colleague is claiming a bill she’s proposed would do things it wouldn’t do.

The woman in charge of the state agency that administers the unemployment system was on the hot seat yesterday as a panel of state lawmakers questioned her about inefficiencies in the system. 

An investigation is ongoing into threats targeting two sitting Democratic state lawmakers, a well-known senator from Akron who’s served in both chambers and his daughter, who leads the minority in the Ohio House. And some state leaders are speaking out.

Ohio leaders are condemning threats of violence made against Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and her father, state Sen. Vernon Sykes, last weekend.

The only fraud being perpetrated in the 2020 presidential election so far is the unmitigated nonsense being tweeted out on a nearly daily basis by the president of the United States.

COVID-19 closed down the March primary election, and lawmakers extended the absentee ballot deadline to late April.  Voter rights groups are asking state lawmakers to reform voting laws now, to avoid confusion before the November election. But they are not necessarily on the same page when it comes to which reforms should be made. 

As Ohio opens for business again, many workers have qualms about returning to their jobs. Some Democrats are proposing a bill they say will protect those workers.

A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to a group that’s trying to put changes to voting laws on this fall’s ballot. A federal court stayed a lower court ruling that gave the group more time and allowed for electronic signatures.

photo desks and chairs
/ STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented economic concerns for state government. In early May, the governor ordered state departments to cut spending by $775 million through the end of June. Cuts to education funding could affect the state’s charter schools.

photo of people voting
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is co-sponsoring a bill to provide federal funding for this November’s election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The VoteSafe Act would provide $5 billion in federal funds. Half would be used by states to make it easier for them to offer absentee and early in-person voting.

The other half would be used to expand accessibility to disabled, rural, and Native American voters, and offering things like curbside voting.

Ohio National Guard members have been performing a variety of duties during the COVID19 pandemic. But the roles of members are changing a bit as time progresses.

Courts across the country are facing a daunting task as they look to restart jury trials.

A recent attempt to hold a trial in Ashland County during April and early May showed how easily a trial can go wrong. On April 28, the first day of jury selection, the defendant, Seth Whited, began either having a panic attack or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 while in the courtroom.

The Ohio Senate unanimously rejected an Ohio House measure that would've scaled back the power of state public health orders. Senators blasted the House amendment, saying it undermined health experts and created too many unintended consequences.

Pages