Matt Huffman

EdChoice Voucher Debate Continues

Dec 19, 2019
a photo of Matt Huffman
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A lawmaker who backed the expansion of the state’s largest voucher program said it’s creating problems – with a 400% increase in the number of public school buildings where students will be eligible for private school vouchers by next school year.

He’s joining the calls to make changes before the EdChoice program starts accepting applications in a few weeks.

State Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said the EdChoice expansion has created unintended consequences.

“There are a lot of schools on this list that shouldn't be on the list.”

a photo of Matt Huffman
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A federal program that could provide $5 billion dollars to private schools across the country hasn’t received the ok from Congress yet.

But that’s not stopping at least one state senator from introducing a bill to draw down those dollars when and if the program is approved.

photo of Sen. Matt Huffman
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The federal government has given Ohio the okay to require non-disabled Medicaid expansion recipients to work 20 hours a week unless they’re caregiving, in job training or college or over 50. One state lawmaker is disappointed, because he wanted that age limit to be higher.

The Lordstown GM plant across the road from the TJX site
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, Feb. 27:

Photo of Huffman proposing changes
KAREN KASLER / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

A national group that says Ohio’s payday lending rates are the highest in the nation came out strongly against possible changes to a bill that would crack down on the industry. Lawmakers are suggesting a vote on the bill could come this week.

Photo of Huffman proposing changes
KAREN KASLER / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

Some major proposed changes are coming to a bill that passed the Ohio House overwhelmingly earlier this month cracking down on the payday lending industry. Borrowers here pay an average of 591 percent annual interest, the highest in the nation. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports while one Republican senator is hoping for a compromise, supporters of Houses-passed crackdown are furious.

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The only statewide issue on the May primary ballot nearly didn’t make it – though it’s been talked about for decades. The long history of the complicated Issue 1, which some activists call a historic effort to change the way the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts is created.

FLICKR

School districts around the state were forced to change their standardized testing schedules because of a system malfunction. Ohio’s testing vendor, AIR, told the state that students were not able to log-in and access their tests. One lawmaker says this is an example of a bigger issue he’s concerned about.

Photo of Perales
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Another state representative is being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

Republican Rep. Rick Perales is being accused of an inappropriate relationship with constituent Jocelyn Smith, who says Perales choked and kissed her against her will three years ago. Smith is now running against Perales in the primary.

A photo of the Senate committee.
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The debate over how to draw Ohio’s Congressional districts continues at the Statehouse as lawmakers and leaders of a coalition of citizens groups talk behind closed doors. The GOP lawmakers want to put their redistricting plan, which lacks any Democratic support, on the May ballot. And if they do, the coalition, which wants to put its own issue before voters this fall, is promising a fight. 

Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

An Ohio Senate committee is set to consider a plan Tuesday devised by legislative leaders to change the way Ohio’s Congressional district map is drawn. Some key lawmakers have been behind closed doors trying to hammer out an agreement with minority Democrats to get enough of their buy-in to make passage viable.                        

Democrats are opposed to the plan offered by Republicans in the Senate, because they say it would still allow gerrymandering.

photo of Matt Huffman
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

GOP lawmakers are moving ahead with a proposal to change the way the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts is drawn. But the outline of a new proposal has caused a rift between several groups.

Republicans and Democrats in the Ohio Legislature have both said that they want to revamp congressional redistricting. Critics say the current system doesn’t have any guardrails to stop gerrymandering.

Matt Huffman
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A Republican state senator wants to roll back almost a hundred requirements on school districts. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they range from mandates on school personnel to directives for students in classrooms.

Reps. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and Matt Huffman (R-Lima)
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Republican state legislative leaders say they’re putting together a bipartisan group to come up with a new way to draw Congressional districts.

Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports this comes as a citizens’ group frustrated with inaction on the issue is planning its own proposal to present to voters.

photo of Sen. Matt Huffman
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A state senator is proposing a bill that would give local government officials more control over what they pay construction workers on government projects. Critics say it will end up cutting wages for those workers.

Republican state Sen. Matt Huffman of Lima wants the state to stop mandating that government-funded projects use what's called prevailing wage, a uniform wage for trade and labor groups.

photo of empty desk
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A lawmaker wants to change the eligibility rules for people who want to get scholarships from the state to send their kids to certain private schools. The plan is meant to provide more access for the middle class.

Republican Senator Matt Huffman of Lima wants to take the state’s various private school voucher programs and combine them into one system. Right now, vouchers go to children in so-called failing school districts, among other considerations.