picture of Householder

It’s been a long road back to the head of the Ohio House for Larry Householder. The former speaker became the new speaker in a controversial vote, and he’s the first person in almost sixty years to become speaker a second time. He’s being described as a masterful politician with a combination of a down-home charm and calculating shrewdness.

“I’m deeply honored to be the leader of this house, the People’s House.”

That’s from the speech Larry Householder gave on January 3, 2001 – just after he was unanimously elected speaker.

Photo of Emilia Sykes

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Jan. 18:

A photo of solar panels

State regulators are holding hearings on what could be the largest solar farm in the state. Supporters say the argument is based on proving the state needs these renewable projects. 

AEP is touting its solar farm project in Highland County as a way to create thousands of jobs in Appalachia and ramp up renewable energy in Ohio.

The hearing is intended to determine if there’s a “need” for a new generation plant, which state law requires. 

a photo of medical marijuana

Four medical marijuana dispensaries opened yesterday to sell the first products to Ohioans. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports on how business went on the first day.

Karen Kasler

News that there’s no money for new road construction projects in the transportation budget coming next month has state lawmakers considering how to fix that. And one Republican leader isn’t ruling out a hike in the gas tax. 

ODOT’s construction budget has come from bonds taken out against the Ohio Turnpike, but that revenue stream is drying up, leaving ODOT with an estimated $700 million less than it had five years ago. So Senate President Larry Obhof says all options are on the table, including an increase in the 28-cent a gallon gas tax.