Ohio Statehouse

A photo of Matt Dolan
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Senate’s budget plan adds more money to the fund that helps children who are dealing with severe mental and developmental issues. But the changes include a policy shift that helps parents maintain custody of their children in the process.

The Senate heard the testimony of several parents who were forced to give up their kids to get state-paid treatment.

Senate Finance Chair Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said their budget will change the rules to avoid child custody relinquishment.

an ad for foster parents
/ OHIO DJFS FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION WEBSITE

The Ohio House has unanimously passed a bill to offer some flexibility in state training requirements for people who want to become foster parents. This comes as the system struggles with more kids than ever and not enough foster homes.

A photo of House Speaker Larry Householder.
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Senate will begin official hearings on the extensive energy bill that would redirect the state’s attention away from renewables and subsidize nuclear and coal instead.

As a lead-up to hearings, state senators heard testimony from researchers and industry experts. 

The bill, which would bail out nuclear power and get rid of wind and solar mandates, has already passed the House. 

A photo of Shawn Rohlin holding daughter Madeline
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Democratic lawmakers are trying to pass a bill that would require health insurance companies provide coverage for children’s hearing aids. Parents are discovering the tool that can help their children learn and develop is treated as a cosmetic device.

Nadia Greenhalgh-Stanley couldn’t believe it when she discovered her daughter Madeline’s hearing aids weren’t covered by their insurance company because they were considered cosmetic.

Photo of execution bed.
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The House has overwhelmingly passed a bill banning execution of people found to have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or other severe mental illnesses when they committed murder. It still has to go to the Senate, but it’s a win for a group that’s been pushing for this for years.

A photo of Senator Bill Coley
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A state senator is touting a new program that helps connect young people with employers. And it also pays for college. Lawmakers say this can play a critical role in college affordability and workforce development.

Miami University’s Hamilton Campus is partnering with local employers. Together they will take in 50 students who can pursue any major they want while working part-time for one of the companies.

In turn the companies will pay a wage, pay tuition, and provide supportive housing.

gun and bullets
KIATTIPONG / SHUTTERSTOCK

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Feb. 18:

TY GREENLEES / DAYTON DAILY NEWS

Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration is preparing to roll out his first proposed budget, which will likely include several big agenda items. But DeWine says there won’t be too many surprises.

As his cabinet works to craft a budget plan, Gov. Mike DeWine has already set into motion several major initiatives, such as supporting early childhood programs and addressing the drug epidemic.

DeWine Administration Is Taking Shape

Jan 10, 2019
A photo of Governor Mike DeWine.
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Governor-Elect Mike DeWine has nominated leaders for 14 more state departments under his administration. The Senate gets the final say. Many of them have decades of experience in the field their agencies will deal with.

Longtime Republican state Sen. Randy Gardner will be chancellor of higher education.

Lori Criss will be director of the Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services. She’s been working with behavioral health providers for 20 years. 

Ohio Statehouse
Statehouse News Bureau

In between campaigning and legislating, state lawmakers also found themselves in the middle of some high profile drama and scandal in 2018.  

News that the Speaker of the Ohio House might be under investigation by the FBI for international travel with payday lenders broke in early April. Within a week, Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) resigned, though he said in a statement his actions have been both ethical and lawful. Speaker Pro Tem Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) said Rosenberger put the state and the chamber ahead of himself.

photo of John Kasich, Larry Obhof
DAN KONIK / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

As this session of the Ohio General Assembly winds to a close, leaders are looking back at their accomplishments but also at what didn’t get done.

More than 150 bills were signed into law in the past two years.

But Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) says there’s one big thing left on the table that stands out.

“Unemployment compensation is one that I think we need to do. We can’t keep kicking the road down on that," Obhof said. 

Photo of the Ohio Statehouse
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A controversial bill that bans abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected is on its way to Gov. John Kasich. The Ohio House passed the bill overnight with changes made by the Senate by a margin of 53 votes to 32.

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. 

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Governor-elect Mike DeWine is giving a few hints about his inauguration next month. 

DeWine first wanted to run for governor nearly three decades ago. So he’s had a long time to think about what he wants.

“My goal is to be sworn in in the Capitol in the Rotunda. I was sworn in there the two times for Attorney General, and I would hope to be sworn in in the Capitol when I become governor of the state,” DeWine said.

photo of Ohio Statehouse cupola
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

It’ll be a busy day at the Statehouse with the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” abortion ban among the proposed legislation on the agenda. Lawmakers are hoping to be done by mid-December with all they’re going to do in this legislative session.

Senators are getting their first look at the six-week abortion ban in an afternoon hearing. Opponents of the Heartbeat Bill plan a rally outside the Statehouse.

Shapiro testifying
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A bill that backers say would protect all free speech at public universities was on the agenda for state lawmakers’ first day back at work after the election. And its Republican sponsors got a boost from a national and controversial figure.

photo of chronic pain patients protests
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Last year, Ohio changed its rules for prescribing opioids, restricting amounts of, and circumstances under which, doctors can prescribe those narcotics. The new rules have an exemption for people who are in hospice type care for diseases like cancer. Many patients who suffer from chronic pain say the new rules are leaving them without pain relief, resulting in unintended consequences.

The 9/11 display in the past.
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Every year since 2002, the Statehouse puts out a flag memorial on the lawn to remember victims of September 11, 2001. Organizers are getting ready for this year’s display, and volunteers are being invited to help put out the flags.

Statehouse spokesman Luke Stedke said the annual display consists of 2,977 small flags on the capitol grounds – one for each of the people who perished in the terrorist attacks 17 years ago.

photo of Ohio State Fair
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, September 10:

  • Second victim dies following 2017  Ohio State Fair ride accident;
  • Chippewa Lake under algae bloom advisory;
  • Heavy rainfall causes closures, cancellations;
  • Officials continue to investigate Cincinnati shooter's motive;
  • State medical marijuana program officially misses Sept. 8 deadline;
  • Ohio Statehouse to hold annual ghostly celebration;

Second victim dies following 2017  Ohio State Fair ride accident

Rep. Sykes Seeks Kasich's Help in Civil Rights Complaint

Aug 23, 2018
photo of Rep. Emilia Sykes
OHIO HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

State Rep. Emilia Sykes is asking for Gov. John Kasich’s help.  She filed complaints with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission six weeks ago, in which she detailed her experiences of unfair treatment at security checkpoints at the Statehouse. Sykes, who is African-American, says she is being targeted because of her race and gender. The complaint is against four entities, including the Ohio House of Representatives and the Department of Public Safety. To avoid an investigation, Sykes has asked for mediation.

photo of money
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

When state agencies collect fines and penalties, they often keep that money in their own coffers. A new bill at the Statehouse would change that.

The bill would require state agencies to deposit all fines, penalties and late fees into the state’s general operating fund instead of directing those dollars into their own coffers.

The sponsor of the bill said agencies that depend on those dollars for operation would have a method of being able to get them back, if the money is proven to be necessary. 

photo of Gov. John Kasich
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state’s budget office is forecasting a surplus at the end of this fiscal year. Gov. John Kasich says he wants to take that extra money and adjust withholdings, resulting in more money in Ohioans’ paychecks.

The plan is a spinoff of a tax cut the Ohio Legislature passed three years ago. That 6.3-percent cut is reflected in the annual tax refund, but Kasich wants people to see that money sooner.

photo of Emilia Sykes
OHIO HOUSE

An internal review of Ohio Statehouse security found no unprofessional conduct or bias during interactions with an African American state lawmaker who was trying to enter the building. But she says the report glosses over the bigger issue.

photo of sports betting bill language
OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Some lawmakers are looking for a way to bring legal sports betting to Ohio. The move is in reaction to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows states administer gambling on sports.

Sports betting is no longer federally banned, but states still need to create their own laws around the issue.

A bipartisan effort at the Statehouse would get the ball rolling with several meetings to gather input from any interested parties.

WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 13: 

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