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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Senator Rob Portman Calls for Bipartisan Solution to Border Crisis

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), the Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, called on President Biden to work for a bipartisan solution to the border crisis.

The lawmaker pointed to new April numbers released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), showing an increase in encounters from the previous month.

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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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Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose Calls on Federal Government to Address Inflation

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose called on the federal government to address record inflation that is impacting small businesses across the state.

According to LaRose, his office received only 15,488 new business filings in April 2022—a dramatic decline from previous months. In March, he got 20 percent more applications.

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DeWine Announces New Round of Funding to Increase Development

Governor Mike DeWine on Wednesday announced a new round of funding for development projects throughout the state of Ohio.

$100 million will be awarded to the Transformational Mixed-Used Development Program, which gives tax credits for the cost of construction during major mixed-use developments. 

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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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Students Walk Out in Protest After Ohio School District Cancels ‘Diversity Day’

Students at an Ohio high school Wednesday walked out of class in protest of the local school board’s cancellation of “Diversity Day.”

Students at Turpin and Anderson High Schools, part of the Forest Hills School District, participated in the protest, according to footage from multiple news outlets. 

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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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Ryan Faces Backlash from Democrats over Anti-China Ad

A congressman running for U.S. Senate in Ohio is facing friendly fire from his own party over an April ad that Democrats say is fueling anti-Asian hatred. 

“Tim Ryan should know better. His ‘us versus China’ ad promotes hatred of Asian Americans,” says a headline in Monday’s Akron Beacon Journal. 

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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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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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Vance Reacts to Ryan’s Vote to Send $40 Billion to Ukraine

Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee Thursday raised against a bill that will send $40 billion to Ukraine, citing problems that the United States has domestically. 

“I don’t think we should be spending any more money, unless it’s on America’s problems here at home,” J.D. Vance said Thursday. “I would make any additional aid for the Ukrainians conditional on sending money to the American southern border, on actually trying to fix this terrible shortage of baby formula and hospital supplies.”

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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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J.D. Vance Blasts Tim Ryan over Silence Amid Harassment of Supreme Court Justices

J.D. Vance, the Republican nominee to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate, blasted his Democratic counterpart over his silence on the harassment of members of the Supreme Court by pro-abortion groups.

Since the leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court that signaled the group supports overturning Roe v. Wade, protesters have flocked the homes of the Justices.

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Tennessee, Ohio Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

Tennessee Star

Gas prices in Tennessee have once again hit all-time highs, as the Biden administration struggles to control rising prices at the pump and elsewhere. 

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price per gallon of gas in Tennessee reached $4.12, the highest ever recorded Tuesday. A year ago, a gallon of gas in the state averaged $2.71. 

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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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Portman Slams Biden After President Blames Republicans for Record Inflation

A U.S. Senator from Ohio Tuesday slammed President Joe Biden for record gas prices and sky-high inflation after Biden blamed Republicans, despite the fact that Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House. 

“The Biden admin & its policies are responsible for the soaring inflation we see today. Inflation has risen every single month since [Biden] took office. The admin’s reckless spending policies combined with increased regulation have caused the worst inflation in 40 years,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said. 

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Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland

The pope has named a new auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Cleveland.

“Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Michael G. Woost as auxiliary bishop of Cleveland,” according to the Diocese. “Bishop-elect Woost is a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland and currently serves as a member of the faculty of Saint Mary Seminary. In addition, he was recently appointed as the interim director of the diocesan Office for Worship. Bishop-elect Woost will be ordained to the episcopate during Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Thursday, August 4, 2022.”

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Ohio Sending Approximately 2,000 Pieces of Personal Protective Gear to Ukraine

Various Ohio law enforcement agencies are donating roughly 2,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to forces in Ukraine.

According to a release from Governor Mike DeWine, more than two dozen state and local law enforcement agencies supplied donations to the effort.

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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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Whaley, Ryan Skip Biden Visit to Cincinnati

Two of the most high-profile politicians in Ohio were absent for President Joe Biden’s Friday visit to United Performance Metals in the Cincinnati area. 

According to WHIO’s John Bedell, both Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) were absent from the event. 

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J.D. Vance to Speak at Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally

Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance will speak at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a release from Trump’s Save America PAC.

The rally, which will take place on Friday, is located in Western Pennsylvania and will include multiple candidates that Trump endorsed, like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Rep. Alex Mooney.

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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 Attorney General Silent After Texas, Others Leave NAAG

After the top attorneys in Texas, Montana and Missouri announced that they would be leaving the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Ohio appears poised to remain part of the group.

“The attorneys general of Texas, Missouri and Montana have decided to withdraw our states’ membership from NAAG,” said a letter penned by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

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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 Right to Life Reacts to Supreme Court Abortion Case Leak

Ohio Right to Life Tuesday reacted after a leaked draft of an opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal at the federal level, was published in German-owned Politico. 

Mary Parker, the Director of Legislative Affairs at Ohio Right to Life, emphasized that if the leaked opinion holds, abortion will not be made illegal, but decisions about whether abortion should be legal will be left up to individual states.

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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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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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Vance Campaign Confident, Others Say Race Is ‘Wide Open’ Before Primary Election

With the deadline to vote in Ohio’s primary races approaching Tuesday night, the top candidates in the hotly-contested Republican U.S. Senate battle have varying views on what the outcome of the race will be. 

“We’re spending the day before the election with voters at town halls all across Ohio, leaving no stone unturned. JD is in a strong position, and we are confident JD will be the Republican nominee,” said Taylor Van Kirk, a spokesperson for candidate J.D. Vance. 

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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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Leading Republican Candidates in U.S. Senate Race Make Final Pitch to Voters Across Ohio

The leading candidates in the race for the Republican nomination to represent Ohio in the U.S. Senate are making their final pitch to voters as the election draws close.

J.D. Vance, Josh Mandel, Mike Gibbons, and Matt Dolan are attempting to sell voters on their message to face Democrat Tim Ryan after Tuesday’s election.

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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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Trump Jr. Blasts Mandel as ‘RINO Fraud’ After Book Exposes Political ‘Double-Speak’

According to a new book, former Ohio State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel admitted that his campaign talking points were meant to placate the supporters of former President Donald Trump, all while telling establishment Republicans in Washington that he did believe not his own messaging.

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Whistleblower Sarah Chambers’ Attorney Laura Mills: Joe Blystone Has Trust Issues

The lawyer representing Sarah Chambers in the defamation lawsuit filed by Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone against Chambers after his former co-campaign manager gave the Ohio Elections Commission a 51-page compendium of campaign finance violations she witnessed told The Ohio Star Chambers intends to defend herself with the facts.

“She obviously had concerns of about how he was handling his campaign finance, which we’ve all learned a lot more since that initial filing because there have been others that have filed,” said Laura Mills, who joined Chambers’ legal team as a litigator after the defamation suit was filed.

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The Ohio Star Podcast for April 28, 2022: Mandel v. Vance TV Ads, Blystone’s Trust Issues

Neil W. McCabe, the host of The Ohio Star Podcast, and the national political editor of The Star News Network, a constellation of 11 state-based news sites, which include The Ohio Star, had two guests on this episode.

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Senator Josh Hawley, Charlie Kirk to Join J.D. Vance on Campaign Trail in Final Days of Ohio Senate Race

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk will join J.D. Vance on the campaign trail in the final days of the U.S. Senate primary contest in Ohio.

According to a release from the Vance campaign, the duo will make appearances across the state as a part of Vance’s “No BS Town Hall Tour” on Sunday and Monday.

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Mandel Backer Club for Growth Releases Ad Attacking Trump for Past Endorsements

In a surprising turn of events, backers of former Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, currently running in a crowded and hotly-contested primary for U.S. Senate, released an ad bashing former President Donald Trump.

The Club for Growth, which has endorsed Mandel, released an ad questioning endorsements made by the former president, including that of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), just two weeks after Trump endorsed Mandel’s opponent J.D. Vance in the primary battle.

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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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New Poll: U.S. Senate Candidate J.D. Vance Becomes Front Runner in Ohio Race

The latest poll of Ohio Republican voters shows bestselling author J.D. Vance rising above the pack and became the frontrunner in the race for the U.S. Senate.

The survey, conducted by Fox News, details Vance has been boosted by the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

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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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We the People Convention Endorses John Adams for Ohio Secretary of State

We the People Convention, an Ohio-based nonprofit that advocates for limited constitutional governance, endorsed former state Rep. John Adams for Ohio Secretary of State.

Adams is running in the GOP primary against incumbent Frank LaRose, who recently gained the endorsement of former President Donald Trump.

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Nan Whaley Announces Coalition of Mayors Who Have Endorsed Her Campaign

A gubernatorial candidate and her running mate have formed a coalition of more than 40 Ohio mayors who are supporting their bid Governor and Lieutenant Governor. 

“Today [Cheryl Stevens] & I are proud to announce a new coalition supporting our #OHGov campaign – Mayors for Whaley-Stephens! As two former mayors, Cheryl and I can’t wait to work with local leaders across Ohio to ensure each community has its own chance at economic success,” former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley announced on Twitter. 

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Ohio Governor DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Husted Opt to Skip Trump Rally

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted opted to skip a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump on Saturday in Delaware County.

Trump used the event to boost candidates he has endorsed for office, including J.D. Vance for U.S. Senate, Mike Carey for Congress, and Frank LaRose for Secretary of State, ahead of the May 3 GOP primary.

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Trump Touts Vance to Voter Base in Ohio

Former President Donald Trump announced his endorsement of J.D. Vance Saturday during a Save America rally at Delaware County Fairgrounds, a location known for the annual Little Brown Jug—one of the two most coveted races in the country for Standardbred horses.

Likewise, a Trump endorsement is one of the most coveted validations among the two ruling political parties.

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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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