Niraj Antani

a photo of a red light camera
MONTICELLO / SHUTTERSTOCK

While the new statewide gas tax went into effect Monday, there are more rules in the transportation budget, including restrictions on red light cameras, that go into effect Wednesday.

The new restriction deducts, dollar for dollar, from local government funds any amount raised by cities from red light camera fines.

Republican Rep. Niraj Antani supports the new restriction.

stock photo of graduates
SYDA / SHUTTERSTOCK

Some high schools throughout Ohio have decided not to name valedictorians at graduation. But one state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would require schools to name at least one valedictorian or salutatorian. 

State Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) is proposing a bill that would allow districts to determine the criteria, but require at least one valedictorian. He said it would create competition.

body cam picture
Skyward Kick Productions / Shutterstock.com

Among the bills Gov. John Kasich is still considering whether he’ll sign is one that will allow some video from body cameras worn by police agencies to be hidden from the public.  But the bill has a lot of support. 

Co-sponsor Rep. Niraj Antani (R) says there are exceptions when police body cameras are not subject to public records laws. Those include images of victims in some cases, such as sex crimes, and video of the interior of private businesses and homes in many situations.

photo of Statehouse parking garage
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A bill packed with a wish list of projects is moving to the Senate after passing through the House. The so-called “Christmas Tree” bill includes millions of dollars for different repairs and developments.

The Senate bill was crafted to help fund improvement projects along the Lake Erie shoreline. But amendments added by the House include $15 million for the new Columbus Crew soccer stadium and $2 million for upgrades and repairs to the Governor’s residence. 

photo of Cleveland Hopkins Airport
NICK CASTELE / WCPN

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, October 23:

A photo of Rep. Niraj Antani, Republican.
TWITTER / Niraj Antani

A Republican state representative plans to introduce a bill later this week that would change the rules under which lawmakers accept gifts and would ban subsidized international travel. This comes in the wake of the resignation of former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who has hired an attorney to deal with inquiries from the FBI. 

Photo of Niraj Antani
TWITTER

Amid the debate over whether teachers should be armed in schools, a Dayton-area lawmaker says he believes some students could carry weapons as well.

Conservative Republican Rep. Niraj Antani says this came about because of a question from his Democratic opponent on Twitter.

“This is my belief – that any law abiding person who is of age should be able to carry a firearm anywhere in a public place to protect themselves. And I also further believe that gun-free zones don’t work.”

The emergence of police body cameras has caused several communities to resolve their own questions about what is and is not public record. Lawmakers are introducing a bipartisan bill to provide a final answer.

The bill creates several exceptions to public records laws for body cameras, such as if the video shows inside a private home, private business, or shows the victim of a sex crime.

Niraj Antani
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

There have only been three laws that citizens or groups have convinced Ohio voters to approve on election day – Issue 2 would have been the fourth if it had passed. Now a southwestern Ohio state representative wants to change the process to bring laws or constitutional amendments to the ballot.

photo of Bill O'Neill
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Some political analysts think one Republican lawmaker’s plan to remove the only Democratic Justice on the Ohio Supreme Court could backfire.

Niraj Antani
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

As more Ohio cities purchase body cameras for their police departments, questions are being raised about whether material recorded on them should be available to the public. 

Republican State Rep. Niraj Antani says most footage recorded on police body cameras is subject to public records requests, but he thinks there should be some limitations.

“For the first time, we are going to have these videos entering private homes so I think this needs to be tackled before it gets out of control.”

Public universities in Ohio have mixed feelings about a bill that would grant voting power to their student trustees. But a lawmaker is proposing a compromise that he believes would gain their support. 

Republican Rep. Niraj Antani of the Dayton area says the new version of his bill would allow the universities to decide if student trustees should have voting power. The previous version made it mandatory.

“If universities aren’t in favor of the bill or at least neutral, some of my colleagues will not vote for it. So, this is a compromise in order to get the bill passed.”