Poll: Families Cancel Vacations, Summer Camp Because of Inflation

A majority of surveyed American families are worried about inflation and are changing their summer vacation plans because of it, according to newly released polling data.

The poll, from Echelon Insights, found that “75% of parents say they are concerned about the rising cost of everyday purchases like food or gas.”

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Ohio Supreme Court Tosses Redistricting Maps – Again

Calling the actions of Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission a “stunning rebuke of the rule of law,” the Ohio Supreme Court rejected for a fifth time a set of Ohio House and Senate district maps.

The decision came three days before a deadline set by federal judges, who said they would implement maps ruled unconstitutional if no new legal maps were created.

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Ohio House Passes Resolution Calling for Only Citizens to Vote

Ohio voters moved a step closer to deciding if noncitizens can vote in local elections after the House on Wednesday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would put the issue on the November ballot.

Supporters said House Joint Resolution 4 would close a loophole that could allow noncitizens to vote on local candidates and tax issues in cities and villages. If it passes the Senate, it could appear before voters in November.

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House Passes Bill Allowing Ohio Election Officials Limited Connection to Private Groups

Confusion for some Ohio boards of election forced a new bill that walks back at least part of a law stopping election officials from working with nongovernmental entities.

The Ohio General Assembly tacked the legislation onto its budget last year. Despite assurances from lawmakers and Secretary of State Frank LaRose the ban would not create an issue for local election officials, Attorney General Dave Yost issued an opinion in January that said the new law criminalizes partnerships with private groups, but most routine work is OK.

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Ohio Bill Would Protect Students’ Faith

Professors at Ohio colleges and universities could be required to accommodate students’ religious beliefs and practices if a bill recently passed by the House becomes law.

The “Testing Your Faith Act,” according to co-sponsor Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, would eliminate the potential of having to choose between academic standing and religion for students at colleges and universities.

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Gas Prices Hit Record High Every Day for Past Two Weeks

Gas prices have soared to new heights this month with the price of unleaded regular gas hitting a record high every day for the past two weeks. With Memorial Day weekend approaching, motorists face steep costs if they plan to travel.

According to AAA, the national average regular unleaded gas price Tuesday came in at $4.60, a record high. Diesel gasoline is at $5.55 per gallon, just below the record set last week.

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Ohio’s Record Run of Business Startups Stops

Ohio’s record run of business startups ended in April, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose blamed rising inflation for discouraging entrepreneurs from creating new business.

LaRose on Thursday also called on leaders in Washington to put politics aside and work to bring rising costs under control.

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DeWine Critical of Ohio State’s Tuition Hike

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called Ohio State University’s decision to raise tuition unwise as inflation continues to rise around the country.

OSU’s board voted earlier this week to impose a 4.6% increase for incoming in-state freshmen and to guarantee that rate for the next four years. It amounts to a $549 annual jump from the current tuition rate.

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IRS Under Fire over Wasted Billions of Dollars and Millions in Backlogs

Lawmakers continued to raise concerns about the Internal Revenue Service at a Congressional hearing this week as the agency deals with billions in misspent dollars, hefty processing backlogs, and complaints over poor customer service.

Lawmakers lobbed questions at the tax-collecting agency during the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing.

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Ohio Landlords May Not be Responsible for Tenants’ Unpaid Utility Bills

Ohio landlords moved a step closer to staying off the hook for tenants’ large unpaid utility bills after the House passed a bill Wednesday over objections from municipalities and utility organizations.

The bipartisan bill, House Bill 422, came as a way to change a longtime process in the state that holds people who have not contracted for service liable for unpaid debts.

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Justice Thomas: ‘We Are in Danger of Destroying the Institutions Required for a Free Society’

It’s been two weeks and there’s still no word on who leaked the U.S. Supreme Court draft brief indicating that the court was set to overturn Roe V. Wade and returning the issue of abortion back to the states.

At a recent event in Dallas, Texas, hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution, and the Manhattan Institute, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke about the leak and his concern for the rule of law and credibility of the court.

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Lawmaker Wants Ohio Voters to Decide Recreational Marijuana Use This Year

One lawmaker is continuing his push to allow Ohio voters to decide in November to legalize the recreational use of marijuana after a lawsuit settlement pushed a potential ballot initiative to 2023.

A citizens group working for a vote this year reached a settlement with state officials recently that will put the measure on the ballot next year. Also, the state agreed to accept more than 140,000 signatures the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already collected.

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Majority of Americans Say They Are ‘Falling Behind’ Rising Cost of Living

The majority of Americans feel they cannot keep up with the cost of living as inflation and the price of goods continue to rise, according to new polling data.

A poll from NBC News asked Americans, “Do you think that your family’s income is … going up faster than the cost of living, staying about even with the cost of living, or falling behind the cost of living?”

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Kentucky, Ohio Officials Start to Identify Contractors for $2 Billion Brent Spence Bridge Project

Transportation officials in Kentucky and Ohio continue to work in concert on a new Ohio River bridge connecting Cincinnati with Northern Kentucky, and they hope construction on the more than $2 billion megaproject could start by the end of next year.

Besides building a companion bridge to the existing Brent Spence Bridge, officials in both states want to widen the interstate highways connected by the bridges. A 5-mile stretch in Kentucky and a 1-mile stretch in Ohio each would get one new lane in each direction across a 6-mile stretch.

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Buyers Need 40 Percent More Income to Buy a Home in Top Metro Areas: Report

Demand for homes in certain areas of the country has caused supply to dwindle, prices to skyrocket and buyers needing nearly 50% more income than they would have last year to even enter top markets, according to a report by the real estate brokerage firm, Redfin.

“Housing is significantly less affordable than it was a year ago because the surge in housing costs has far outpaced the increase in wages, meaning many Americans are now priced out of homeownership,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said.

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CBP’s Air and Marine Operations Interdicted 62 Tons of Drugs in First Three Months of Year

Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations interdicted 62 tons (124,000 pounds) of illicit drugs in the first three months of this year, CBP reports, working with international, federal, state and local partners.

“Collaboration keeps us all safer,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said of their efforts. “CBP AMO works with U.S. and international partners to stem the flow of illicit narcotics. Through the end of March, AMO has contributed to the seizure of over 124,000 lbs of narcotics by partner agencies.”

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‘Shocking Discovery:’ Biden Knows Drug Cartels Control, Profit from Illegal Immigration, DHS Memo Shows

Crowd of immigrants

Border patrol agents are preparing for “a possible increase in migrant activity due to an increase in large group activity” as a result of Biden administration immigration policies, an internal Department of Homeland Security document released by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says.

It specifically sites suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico Policy, and terminating the public health authority, Title 42, as contributing to an influx of people coming to the U.S. southern border from Central and South America through Mexico.

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Short-Term Rental Bill Moves Forward in Ohio House

Ohio homeowners who want to get into the Arbnb business got a boost recently when a bill that would limit local restrictions moved out of a house committee.

Committee approval came over objections from several local government entities, the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

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Businesses Fail to Find Workers, and Experts Say Federal Policies Have Made It Worse

A new labor market survey found that a majority of employers, particularly restaurants, still cannot find enough workers.

The new report from Alignable said that 83% of restaurants can’t find enough workers. Overall, the report found that “63% of all small business employers can’t find the help they need, after a year of an ongoing labor shortage.”

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Ohio Legislation to Add Public Safety, More Cash Bail Passes Committee

A push to have Ohio judges consider public safety when setting bail took a step forward when the House Criminal Justice Committee advanced legislation supported by prosecutor and business groups across the state.

House Bill 607 adds the risk of public safety into bail consideration in direct response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision in Debuse v. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety.

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Biden Administration Cancels New Oil Leases as Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

President Joe Biden canceled three pending oil and gas drilling leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico this week as gas prices hit record highs.

Biden has taken heavy fire for blocking new leases and pipelines as energy costs have surged but has defended his record. This latest development intensified that criticism.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Republicans Argue for Previously Tossed Maps

Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission want the state’s Supreme Court to put legal challenges to proposed district maps on hold until after the November general election.

The commission majority wants to use state legislative district maps already ruled unconstitutional to hold an Aug. 2 primary and the general election. It wants the court not to order the commission to draw new maps until after November.

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Inflation Slowed in April, but Prices Continued Their Steady Increase

Inflation continued its steady rise in April, when the Consumer Price Index increased 8.3% over last year, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For the month, the CPI rose 0.3%. That’s down from the 1.2% spike in March, but higher than analysts expected. The 8.3% increase over last year remains near 40-year highs, the bureau reported.

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Ohio Senator Proposes Eliminating State Income Tax

Ohioans would no longer pay state income tax and the state would become the 10th without it if a bill recently filed in the Senate becomes law.

Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, introduced a plan to lower the tax rate in each bracket by 10% a year over the next 10 years, eventually eliminating the state income tax completely.

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States That Legalized Marijuana Are Bringing in More Tax Revenue on Marijuana Sales than Alcohol

A majority of the states that legalized recreational marijuana for recreational use are collecting more tax revenue from pot sales than alcohol sales.

The first two states to legalize pot are profiting the most, Colorado and Washington. Across the country, the total revenue for taxes on weed amounted to nearly $3 billion, according to a report on “sin taxes” by The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

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Democratic State Attorneys General Ask Biden to Fully Forgive All Student Loan Debt

Joe Biden

Seven state attorneys general, and an eighth from Puerto Rico, have called upon President Joe Biden to fully cancel federal student debt estimated at more than $1.6 trillion.

The U.S. Education Department reports more than 43 million borrowers on average owe $37,000 in student loan debt. The USED already has forgiven $17 billion in student loan debt held by 725,000 borrowers since the beginning of the Biden administration.

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Democratic Governor’s Group Pledges $75 Million to Reelect Seven Governors

The Democratic Governors Association on Wednesday pledged $75 million for ad buys on behalf of reelection efforts for seven Democrat incumbent governors.

Tony Evers’ reelection campaign gained $21 million in Wisconsin. The group is also promising to spend $2.5 million to reelect New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham; $4.5 million to reelect Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz; $5 million to reelect Colorado Gov. Jared Polis; $5 million to reelect Maine Gov. Janet Mills; $10 million to reelect Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak; and $23 million to reelect Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sends Previous Tossed Out Maps Back to Court

Groups that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the third set of Ohio state legislative redistricting maps will likely challenge again after the Ohio Redistricting Commission resubmitted the previously thrown out maps.

The commission voted 4-3 late Thursday to send back its third attempt at Senate and House districts, even though the court had already ruled they unfairly favored Republicans. The Ohio Supreme Court had set a 9 a.m. Friday deadline for maps to be submitted.

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Ohio Drunk-Driving Bill Could Give Support for Victims’ Minor Children

An Ohio lawmaker believes drivers convicted in a DUI crash should have to pay child support to minor children who have a parent killed in the accident.

Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chesterland, said she plans to introduce a bill that requires DUI drivers convicted of either vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide to pay support to any minor children who lose a parent until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school.

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Ohio Bill Would Be Impacted If Roe v. Wade Overturned

An Ohio bill that would penalize doctors who perform abortions and came under fire after its sponsor’s comments regarding rape drew more attention Tuesday following the leak of a draft of a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision.

House Bill 598 would ban doctors from performing medication or surgical abortions in Ohio, making it a fourth-degree felony. There is no exception for rape or incest. Doctors could, however, defend charges if an abortion was performed to save the life of the mother and specific steps were followed.

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Ohio Proposes $500 Million Investment Plan for Appalachia

Communities throughout Ohio’s Appalachian region could receive millions of dollars earmarked to revitalize downtowns and help rebuild economies if funding comes through for a $500 million plan from Gov. Mike DeWine.

The three-part proposal is expected to focus on revitalizing historic downtown districts, improving community health and rebuilding the local work force, according to a news release from the governor.

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JD Vance Wins GOP Senate Primary, Mike DeWine Wins GOP Gubernatorial Primary

In what was called the first big test of former President Donald Trump’s political influence, J.D. Vance rode his late endorsement to a U.S. Senate primary win in Ohio on Tuesday.

Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, received the former president’s endorsement in late April and was the projected winner by The Associated Press over a large field that included businessman Mike Gibbons, State Sen. Matt Dolan, former State Treasurer Josh Mandel and former head of the state GOP Jane Timken.

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Biden: Women Have a ‘Fundamental’ Right to an Abortion

President Joe Biden on Tuesday called a woman’s right to abortion “fundamental” after a draft of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion leaked to Politico indicates a majority of justices will rule to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” Biden said in a statement. “Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned.”

The 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established abortion as a constitutional right.

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Missing NFL Bets Could Be Costly for Ohio Sports Gaming

Ohio could lose as much as $130 million a week if it continues to hold to a Jan. 1 launch date for legalized sports betting and miss the majority of the NFL season, an industry-leading group said.

PlayOhio, part of the PlayUSA Network, estimates the state’s handle could reach between $8-10 billion over the first 12 months and almost $1 billion in gross gaming revenue. It also estimates, partly because of the state’s two NFL teams, gambling operations could bring in as much as $130 million per week in NFL-specific betting volume.

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Florida U.S. Rep. Gaetz Blasts DHS Sec. Mayorkas at Congressional Hearing

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz blasted Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas at a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing on border security.

In his line of questioning, Gaetz asked Mayorkas about the removal process of 1.2 million people who are in the U.S. illegally who’ve been given deportation orders by judges and haven’t been removed.

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Bail Reform in Ohio Becoming More of an Issue

A recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling focusing on considerations a judge weighs when setting bail has led to activity in the Ohio Statehouse.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost expressed so much concern about the court’s 4-3 decision in DuBose vs. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety, that he recently announced his support for a proposed constitutional amendment regarding bail reform.

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Six Governors Hit Taxpayers with $90,000 Bill for U.N. Climate Conference Travel

Gov. Jay Inslee brought his wife to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, sticking Washington taxpayers with the bill, which included more than $12,510.08 for business class airfare for the couple, something no other governor did at taxpayer expense.

Inslee led a delegation of subnational governments to the conference. The total travel tab for Washington taxpayers cost $25,955.32, more than any other U.S. state examined by The Center Square. The higher cost was due in part to the governor’s decision to fly with his wife in business class while other governors who attended at taxpayer expense flew in less expensive seats.

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Minnesota House and Senate Pass $25 Million Broadband Expansion Bill

It will cost Minnesota taxpayers $25 million in fiscal year 2023 to expand high-speed broadband access across the state if the governor signs a bill both legislative houses passed this week.

HF 4366, an omnibus agriculture and housing bill, includes increasing availability of grant funding for broadband from 50% to 75% of the total cost of a project, or up to $10 million, rather than a $5 million limit. Under the bill, the Office of Broadband Development must report to broadband policy and finance committees’ leaders by the end of 2022 how the bill changes the number and amounts of grants awarded.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets Meeting Two Days Before Deadline

Robert Cupp and Vernon Sykes

More than two weeks after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a fourth attempt at establishing Ohio legislative districts, the Ohio Redistricting Commission scheduled a meeting.

That meeting will come two days before the court’s deadline to submit a new set of maps.

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Law Enforcement: Border Patrol Agents Have Lost Operational Control, Awareness at Border

While Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claims the southern border is secure and he has a plan in place for increased surges, those in law enforcement say the opposite is true. Not only have Border Patrol agents lost operational control of the border, they’ve also lost operational awareness and have no idea who is coming through, current and former Border Patrol agents told The Center Square.

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Ohio Policy Group Critical of Government-Owned Broadband Networks

Two Ohio counties plan to use more than $60 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to develop broadband networks, a move a policy group believes could eventually be costly to taxpayers.

The Buckeye Institute cautioned communities against starting or expanding government-owned broadband networks that would likely lead to eventual expenses for upgrades, maintenance and service after federal money is gone.

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Wisconsin 2020 Election Investigation to Continue

Robin Vos

The investigation into Wisconsin’s 2020 election won’t end until lawmakers are certain about the legal authority to issue subpoenas by the state’s special investigator.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Tuesday issued a statement explaining why he is extending former Supreme Court Justice Mike Gableman’s special investigation once again.

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Lawmakers Want Ohio’s State Vehicle Fleet to Transition to Electric

When the state of Ohio buys new vehicles, 25% of those would be electric in less than three years if a bill introduced in the Ohio House becomes law.

State Reps. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, want all new vehicles for state’s fleet of 12,405 to be completely electric by Jan. 1, 2030.

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in ‘Remain in Mexico’ Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a major immigration case, one of several key legal battles working their way through the federal judicial system as illegal immigration soars.

In Biden v. Texas, the attorneys general of Missouri and Texas sued after the Biden administration ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

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Doors Locked at Ohio Redistricting Commission Meeting Room

Democrats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission invited the five Republican members to a commission meeting Monday morning after contacting members several times over the past week asking for the group to reconvene.

When House Minority leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, and Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, showed up to the committee meeting room at the Ohio Statehouse, the doors were locked and no Republican showed up.

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Record Number of Hispanic Republicans Are Running for State House in Border State

A record number of Hispanics in New Mexico are running for state House seats as members of the Republican Party, Axios reported Tuesday.

The state, which has the highest percentage of Hispanics in the country, has 18 Hispanic Republicans campaigning to be elected to the Democrat-controlled state House of Representatives, Axios reported. The candidates are largely running competitive districts, both urban and rural.

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Columbus Challenges Ohio’s ‘Conscience Clause’ with Lawsuit

Ohio’s largest city filed suit Wednesday to stop a new law that allows medical providers to deny treatment based on their beliefs.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein filed the suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on behalf of the city of Columbus, challenging the law, known as the “Conscience Clause,” that protects individuals and health care payers who deny care or payment for any service they feel violates their conscience.

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Federal Court Imposes May 28 Deadline on Ohio Redistricting Commission

A federal court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission until May 28 to draw state legislative redistricting maps that meet a court order, or it will implement a previously rejected map so the state can hold an Aug. 2 primary.

The three-judge panel, voting 2-1, said it would impose the commission’s third set of maps because the state had started preparing to use those maps before they were declared unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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‘Detransitioners’ Come Out Against Sex Change Procedures and Gender Ideology

Young women who regretted undergoing sex changes in their adolescent years spoke about their experiences and the adults who allowed them to transition in a Tuesday Substack article by Suzy Weiss.

The women, sometimes referred to as “detransitioners,” were given extreme biomedical interventions ranging from hormones and puberty blockers to double mastectomies in adolescence to relieve their gender dysphoria, according to the article. Several blamed the adults in their lives for failing them.

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