Ohio Bill Would Let Campaign Funds Pay for Childcare

Tina Maharath is a single mom who, like other single moms, balances her time between her job as an Ohio state senator (D-3) and being a parent. After attending a conference on women in government, she learned that other states have allowed campaign funds to pay for childcare.

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Ohio Bill Prohibiting Eminent Domain for Bike Trails to be Amended

An Ohio bill that would prohibit the use of eminent domain to build bike trails and other recreational paths has stalled in committee and will likely be amended.

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First Classical Charter School Opens in Toledo

On August 14, the Northwest Ohio Classical Academy (NOCA) opened in Toledo for the 2019-20 school year. It is the culmination of five years of effort on behalf of a group of parents who were not satisfied with the current school options available to them.

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A Look at Toledo’s Pickett Academy

  Near the downtown area of Toledo, Ohio, in one of the poorest areas of the city, sits Pickett Academy. It’s a pretty elementary school, new in 2012, for about 250 kids in grades kindergarten through 8th. It’s got all the latest technology and modern amenities, but it hides a not…

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Ohio Begins First Review of Occupational Licenses

Ohio requires a Super-Tough Person Competition License and a Commercial Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operator License. But occupational licenses like these could be on the chopping block now that the Ohio General Assembly is beginning its first mandated review of all the requirements.

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Ohio Lawmakers Rush to Introduce Gun Bills Following Mass Shootings

Following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton on August 3 and 4, Ohio lawmakers rushed to introduce eight gun bills aimed at regulating sales of firearms, including universal background checks and red flag laws.

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Like Slaves and Women, Lake Erie Should Have Rights, Plaintiffs Say

In the latest lawsuit over the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, three Toledoans argue the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas should “stand on the right side of history” and “support a democratically-enacted law that would give citizens the tools to enforce meaningful protections for Lake Erie.”

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SEIU Using Online Ads to Support Ohio’s Reagan Tokes Act

“Ohio’s Parole officers are committed to their duty of protecting the public,” the words scroll across the screen. “But Ohio’s system is broken – with extreme breaches due to under-staffing and the lack of active GPS tracking of violent offenders.”

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Higher Property Taxes May Be Barrier to Homeownership in Ohio

Numerous studies have shown that owning a home is financially beneficial to the owner and socially beneficial to the owner and the community. This is why so many politicians, government agencies and non-profit entities promote home ownership as a way to build wealth, move out of poverty and stabilize neighborhoods.

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Ohio Budget Bill Aims to Invalidate Lake Erie Bill of Rights

  A provision in the recently passed Ohio budget could negate the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) and end the ability of citizens to file lawsuits on behalf of ecosystems. In February, voters in Toledo passed a citizen-led initiative to grant the Lake Erie Ecosystem, Lake Erie, and the Lake…

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Governor DeWine Vetoes Transparency Language for Property Tax Levies

  State Rep. Derek Merrin (R-47) got a surprise this week when his bill to update the requirements for ballot language on property tax levies was added to the state’s budget bill. But his excitement was short-lived when Gov. Mike DeWine used his line-item veto authority to nix the idea.…

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Ohio Bill Aims for Transparency on Property Tax Levies

  In November 2018, the Sylvania School District placed a property tax levy on the ballot. Information shared in the media and other advertisements said the 0.9 mill levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $2.63 per month. But the ballot language read: “An additional tax for…

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Ohio’s New African Immigrants Commission Focusing on 2020 Census

  Ohio’s New African Immigrants Commission (NAIC) is turning its attention to the 2020 census to ensure new immigrants from the African sub-Saharan region are counted. As an update to the Sunset Review Committee, Ibrahima Sow, one of the 11 appointed members of the commission, said NAIC is heavily invested in…

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Ohio House Approves Criteria to Ease College Transfers, Grant Associate Degrees

  The Ohio House passed a bill to make transferring colleges easier, but not without first adding more details on the criteria for doing so. Substitute House Bill 9 also adds provisions for determining if students who have left school without a bachelor’s degree are eligible for an associate’s degree…

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Business Groups Oppose Ohio Bill Allowing Anonymous Wage Discrimination Complaints

  Should employees in Ohio be able to make anonymous complaints about wage discrimination? Two members of the House believe so, but the lack of details over how such complaints would be handled may doom their current legislation. House Bill 221 is co-sponsored by Representatives Janine Boyd (D-9) and Erica…

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Ohio House Bill Aims to Streamline College Transfers, Help Students Graduate On Time

  A new bill in the Ohio House aims to make it easier for college students to transfer schools and graduate on time. State Reps. Don Jones (R-95) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-14) are sponsors of House Bill 9, the Higher Education Degree Attainment Reform bill. They say it contains common…

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Ohio Bill Allowing Plastic Bags Runs Into ‘Home Rule’ Issue

  The issue of home rule was center stage Wednesday as a House committee debated a ban on taxing plastic bags and containers. House Bill 242 would create a state-wide law allowing the use of “auxiliary containers” and prohibiting any local government from imposing a tax, fee or charge on…

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Ohio Seeks to Regulate Peer-to-Peer Car-Sharing

  A new bill introduced in the Ohio Senate would impose regulations on the growing peer-to-peer car-sharing industry in the state. Senate Bill 161 is sponsored by State Sens. Jay Hottinger (R-31) and Matt Dolan (R-24).  It was introduced Monday and referred to the Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee where it…

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Ohio House Approves PTSD, Citizenship Question in Workers’ Compensation Budget Bill

  The Ohio House passed a $645 million Bureau of Workers’ Compensation budget Wednesday, including new coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder for first responders and a citizenship question for claimants. The two-year budget passed by a vote of 56 to 38, after adding an amendment to require citizenship information on the…

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Commentary: Time to ‘STOP’ the Infuriating Robocalls

  The phone rings – again. The area code is the same as mine, but I don’t recognize the number.  I don’t answer. About a minute later, there is part of an automated message on my voice mail.  “If you’d like to speak to a representative, press one,” it says.…

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The ‘Other’ Work of the Ohio General Assembly

  Should Dunkleosteus terrelli be Ohio’s official fossil fish? Should the sugar cookie be the official cookie of the state? What about the Monarch Butterfly?  Should it become the official butterfly for Ohio? The Ohio Senate believes the answer to the first question is yes. Senate Bill 123 was unanimously passed…

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State Senator Calls for Study on African Americans in Ohio

  An Ohio senator is calling for a study that examines the “progress and challenges of African Americans in Ohio.” State Senator Sandra Williams (D-21) introduced Senate Bill 71, which would create and fund a 30-member committee to examine the contributions of, and issues facing, African Americans in the state.…

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Ohio Lawmakers Urged to Eliminate ‘Redundant’ and Costly Motor Vehicle Repair Board

  Since The Buckeye Institute first started publishing its Piglet Book in 2005, it’s recommended eliminating Ohio’s Motor Vehicle Repair Board. The Buckeye Institute, an independent think tank whose mission is to advance free-market public policy, issues a regular Piglet Book that analyzes “Ohio’s proposed biennial budget and offers savings for…

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New House Bills Seek More Limits on Ohio Traffic Cameras

  The use of photo-enforcement devices – also known as traffic cameras – has a contentious history in Ohio. Cities first started using them in 1999 when the Toledo City Council passed an ordinance authorizing their use. They made it a civil violation with a fine, but no points on…

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Ohio Bill Would End ‘Right of First Refusal’ for Schools of Choice

  For nearly eight years, charter and community schools in Ohio have had an advantage: first dibs on any public school property that was for sale. It’s a process called a right of first refusal. House Bill 43 will eliminate that advantage. Right now, if a school district wants to sell…

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The Ohio Department of Education Asks Sunset Review to Eliminate Four Committees

  The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is asking the Sunset Review Committee to eliminate four of its committees. The committees, which reviewed the state’s academic standards for English language arts, math, science and social studies, completed their work in 2016. As a result, they are no longer needed. “These…

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