Government & Politics

Political news

a photo of State Senator Kristina Roegner of Hudson

Finding a job can be a major factor for someone looking to move to a new state. In Ohio, lawmakers believe recognizing occupational licenses from other states could make Ohio seem more appealing. 

There are hundreds of professions in Ohio that require a license. Critics in the Statehouse say these can sometimes become a governmental permission slip.

State Senator Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) says professionals already had to go through the training to get those licenses in other states.

The country is witnessing one of only a handful of times in its history that Congress has gone through with public hearings on whether to impeach a president. And yet, the overwhelming majority of Americans across parties say nothing they hear in the inquiry will change their minds on impeachment, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Updated at 8:40 p.m ET

Two witnesses called by Republicans in the House impeachment inquiry testified Tuesday, indicating they had reservations over the content of President Trump's July 25th phone call with the president of Ukraine, and his desire to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Updated on Nov. 19 at 12:35 p.m. ET

The Democratic-led House of Representatives is pursuing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Here is the key information you need in order to understand an increasingly complicated affair.

Read the latest news about the inquiry; listen to our special broadcast coverage.

Ohio Supreme Court

The fate of Ohio's new energy law could be up to the state's Supreme Court with parties arguing over two potential cases. One group is asking for more time to hold a referendum on the nuclear bailout law, and another case argues that the bill cannot be subject to a referendum in the first place. 

Updated on November 18 at 4:30 p.m. ET

The House impeachment inquiry begins its second week of public hearings with the Intelligence Committee scheduled to hear testimony from nine more witnesses over three days.

a photo of protestors

A new bill that would ban abortion in Ohio has been introduced by Statehouse Republicans.  A similar bill calling for a total ban was introduced last year but didn’t pass. So why is this bill being introduced now?

A photo of someone signing the petition.

The group pushing for expanded background checks through a citizens initiative is attempting to collect enough signatures by the end of the year. Organizers say they have volunteers in dozens of counties around the state to gather support for stronger rules.

Ohioans for Gun Safety’s Dennis Willard says they are gaining volunteers and says the plan has even received support from gun owners. He notes that other states with universal background checks have seen improvement.

phot of books on philosophy sit on a shelf in the Kent State Bookstore, Kent State University. Kent, Ohio. Thursday, Nov. 15, 2019

State lawmakers are looking at a proposal to eliminate sales taxes on college textbooks. Efforts to remove those taxes have not gone anywhere before but the lawmakers sponsoring it hope this time will be different.

Republican Representative Niraj Antani and Democratic Representative Bride Rose Sweeney don’t agree on much politically, but they say college students in Ohio often struggle to pay for textbooks. 

“College textbooks are a necessary educational item,” said Antani. “It adds up substantially,” Sweeney said.


Editor's Note:  This story was originally published on December 20, 2017

Ohio’s 4th Congressional District isn’t the longest in the state. Nor the most convoluted. Nor does it have the most disenfranchised voters. But it has the distinction of being near the top in all three categories -- and of being home to one of the most liberal communities in the country represented by one of the most conservative members of Congress. In the third part of our series “Gerrymandering: Shading the lines,” WKSU’s M.L. Schultze travels the 4th – a study of contrasts from south to north.

Householder and Obhof
Karen Kasler

One of the Ohio House’s top agenda items known as priority bills was passed in the Senate on Wednesday, but Speaker Larry Householder says he’s still frustrated with the pace of legislation moving from his chamber through to the other one. 

Householder says there’s not tension with fellow Republican leaders in the Senate, but frustration. He says the budget included many Senate priorities with the understanding that Senators would move on House priority bills.

“If there’s a problem, we need to work it out. If there’s not a problem, let’s start passing some bills.”

photo of lawmakers' press conference

There are more than 7,000 diseases that are considered “rare” – meaning that fewer than 200,000 people have them. But 10 percent of Americans have one of those “rare” diseases, including 1.1 million Ohioans. But now two lawmakers have come up with on a proposal that seeks to help them.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine told Congress on Friday she was recalled after a smear campaign led by President Trump's allies — and Trump criticized her on Twitter even as she testified live on television.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch appeared at Democrats' second open impeachment hearing to discuss her career and the circumstances under which her posting to Kyiv was prematurely halted earlier this year.

photo of DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine has released details of his plan to improve water quality in Ohio, starting with preventing toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie. DeWine says the program will start in the Maumee River watershed near Toledo but he wants to eventually broaden it to the rest of the state. 


Cleveland’s police headquarters will move from Downtown to a new campus along the under-construction Opportunity Corridor road project in the Kinsman neighborhood.

The Thursday announcement at a city council safety committee meeting offered clarity to the headquarters search for the first time since September 2018, when the city abruptly backed out of plans to use’s building at 1801 Superior Ave.

“It will be the largest project that the city has done in decades,” interim Chief of Staff Sharon Dumas told council.

photo of route 8 crash

Winter weather led to a major pile-up on route 8 in Hudson Tuesday. A state transportation department spokesman says a snow squall reduced visibility and led to the crash.

Matt Bruning says there’s little road crews can do in those instances. One thing he says that has been successful in Lake County is varying the speed limit in certain conditions. ODOT cut the speed limit to 30 mph on a section of I-90 during the storm Tuesday.

President Trump is hosting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the White House. The meeting comes after Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to lead an offensive in the area and which drew bipartisan criticism. Trump and Erdogan are holding a joint press conference. Watch it live.

The House Intelligence Committee opens public hearings Wednesday into the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Testimony is expected today from deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, George Kent and Ukraine diplomat William Taylor.   

Watch live coverage of the testimony:

a photo of pharmacists

Ohio law permits pharmacists to give the overdose drug Naloxone without a prescription to people who deal with opioid addicts. But one state lawmaker said many pharmacists are not doing that.

State Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) is sponsoring a bill that would require the State Board of Pharmacy to educate pharmacists about the current Ohio law that allows people to get Naloxone without a prescription. She said a recent newspaper survey showed many pharmacies are not following that law.

a photo of Portman and Trump

The House begins public impeachment inquiry hearings Wednesday. It’s the latest step in a possible move towards impeachment of President Trump by the House. Meanwhile, many in the Republican-controlled Senate, including Rob Portman (R-OH), are waiting to see what new information comes out.

a photo of representative Howse standing with Planned Parenthood activists

State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) is one of five lawmakers from states that have or are considering abortion restrictions who are going to El Salvador to experience what life is like in a country that has an abortion ban.

The progressive State Innovation Exchange is sending Howse, along with lawmakers from Florida, Alabama, Arizona and Georgia, to El Salvador. The group’s Eme Crawford said the lawmakers will talk to ten women who have been sent to prison for violating that country’s strict abortion ban.

a photo of a a patient in a nursing home

Summit county leaders have laid out a road map to try to ensure better care for people in nursing homes. County Council president Jeff Wilhite proposed creating the nursing homes and facilities task force after a Copley facility was flagged earlier this year by the federal government as one of the worst in the country. Fairlawn Rehab & Nursing Center on Ridgewood Rd. has since closed.

Hearings before the House Intelligence Committee continue Tuesday, November 19th. WKSU will bring you NPR's live coverage of the hearings on our main broadcast channel.  You'll be able to listen to our regular programming on our all-news channel. 

We have a number of ways you can tune in:

A stock photo of stethoscope and chart.

The state is starting the process that will eventually require thousands of Ohioans in Medicaid expansion to work 20 hours a week or lose their benefits, after getting permission from the federal government earlier this year. But advocates for Medicaid expansion still have big concerns about how this will work and how many people will be kicked out of the program.

Ohio Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran said no one’s just going to get a letter saying they’ve lost their health care through Medicaid expansion.

Updated on Nov. 13 at 8:49 a.m. ET

Public impeachment hearings begin Wednesday, and the first round of witnesses includes three career public servants who have testified behind closed doors that President Trump did link military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine with a promise to investigate one of the president's domestic political opponents.