Morning Headlines: State Lawmakers to be Sworn-In; Thousands of Ohio Workers Caught Up in Shutdown

Jan 11, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, January 11:

  • New state lawmakers to be sworn-in this weekend;
  • Ohio Republican lawmaker opposes Trump using Pentagon money for wall;
  • More than 6,500 Ohio workers furloughed in partial government shutdown;
  • Univeristy of Akron hires firm to help law students pass the bar exam;
  • DeWine appoints top college and university official;
  • Gov. Kasich reminisces before he leaves office;

New state lawmakers to be sworn-in this weekend
The swearing-in of Ohio's next state treasurer kicks off a long weekend of inaugural events for new statewide officeholders. All five of the state's executive offices opened up this year as a result of term limits with Republicans maintaining control of all five. State Rep. Robert Sprague has the first inaugural of the group, a swearing-in in Findlay this evening. He replaces Republican Josh Mandel. State Sen. Frank LaRose will be sworn in as secretary of state at tomorrow in Akron. State Rep. Keith Faber takes his oath as Ohio's next auditor that same day in Celina. They succeed Republicans Jon Husted and Dave Yost, respectively. Yost and Husted will be sworn in Monday as attorney general and lieutenant governor, respectively, in addition to Gov.-elect Mike DeWine.

Ohio Republican lawmaker opposes Trump using Pentagon money for wall
President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he may use Pentagon dollars to build a border wall is not sitting well with at least one Ohio Republican. The Columbus Dispatch reports Representative Mike Turner of Dayton is warning the Trump administration not to divert military construction funds to the border project. Turner said Congress last year appropriated $61 million to expand intelligence gathering operations at Wright-Patterson Air Force base, and he and other lawmakers oppose using that money for border measures. Meanwhile a spokesperson for Republican Sen. Rob Portman said he’s working with other GOP Senators to find a solution to the impasse. Portman believes there still is room for compromise between the White House and Congress despite stalled talks between Trump and House leaders.

More than 6,500 Ohio workers furloughed in partial government shutdown
Ohio ranks among the top 20 states with the most furloughed government workers according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Nearly 6,500 federal workers in Ohio will not receive paychecks tomorrow due to the ongoing government shutdown. NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland accounts for more than 1,500 of those employees. In Cincinnati 2,500 IRS workers are affected by the shutdown. In total around 800,000 federal employees remain unpaid nationwide.

University of Akron hires firm to help law students pass the bar exam
The University of Akron has hired a firm to help boost bar exam scores for its law students. The Beacon Journal reports UA is contracting a Texas-based company called Barbri to be the exclusive provider for bar preparation courses for its students. Last summer UA placed among the bottom of Ohio's law schools in the percentage of students who passed the bar exam their first time. Last February UA students placed fourth out of Ohio’s nine law schools. The school said it wants to help its law students pass the bar exam the first time they take it.

DeWine appoints top college and university official
Ohio Gov.-elect Mike DeWine has appointed a veteran lawmaker to oversee the state's public colleges and universities among other new picks for his cabinet as he prepares to take office next week. DeWine nominated Republican state Sen. Randy Gardner of Bowling Green as chancellor of the Department of Higher Education. He also announced nominations for the departments overseeing insurance, job and family services, transportation and aging, as well as the post leading the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, among others.

Gov. Kasich reminisces before he leaves office
Gov. John Kasich used his final gathering with top advisers to celebrate accomplishments, lament defeats, recall challenges and share a few laughs. Kasich granted the Associated Press exclusive access to this week’s four-hour Cabinet meeting. Twenty-two agency heads, his chief of staff and a spiritual adviser joined Kasich around a conference table at the statehouse along with key aides. They discussed Kasich’s fights for Medicaid expansion and dangerous-animal legislation. Kasich shared firsthand accounts of handling a school shooting, a city water crisis, and Ebola scare.