Expert: Ohio’s December Jobless Report Shows Concerning Signs

Unemployment line

Ohio’s latest jobless numbers show signs of concern despite a falling unemployment rate, according to an independent think tank.

Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, said the December jobs report showed weakness and signs of unease.

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Ohio REALTORS® Bans ‘Hate Speech’ by All Members

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) banned all “hate speech” by its members – not just in members’ professional capacity, but in every aspect of their lives. The policy changes were approved by the NAR Board of Directors during a meeting on November 13.

The policy on hate speech encompasses an array of broad issues: “harassing speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” Collectively, these speech-related issues fall under what the NAR terms “public trust,” which also includes misappropriation of client or customer funds, or property and fraud that causes significant economic harm.

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Ohio State Senate President Matt Huffman Announces Committees for 134th General Assembly

Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) announced last week through a released statement the upper chamber’s committee structure and leadership for the 134th General Assembly.

“Every new General Assembly crafts new committees to more closely reflect the pressing issues of the time,” Huffman said in the press release. “I believe it is important to allow Senators to more closely focus on those challenges through fewer committees, giving them more time to research and develop a more expert level of understanding on the issues.”

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Rejects Utility Commission Candidates

  COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine wrote a letter to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) Nominating Commission Wednesday telling them to offer new candidates for the vacancy left by the resignation of former PUCO Chairman Samuel Randazzo. DeWine rejected the slate of four finalists screened by…

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Governor DeWine Extends Ohio Curfew Indefinitely: The Way Out of This Is the Vaccine

Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that the temporary curfew he imposed in Ohio the day before would be extended past Saturday, and he gave little indication when or if the curfew would be lifted at all.

Word of the extension came at the end of DeWine’s press briefing as a response to the first question asked by media.

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Ohio Secretary of State LaRose Deactivates 97,795 Voter Registrations

  Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Wednesday that 97,795 voters were removed from the rolls after Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections identified the abandoned registrations as part of the maintenance process required by Ohio and federal law. “Getting rid of bad voter data from the voter rolls…

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COVID Hospital Utilization Fall but Concerns over Virus Mutations Fuel Ongoing Guidelines

Inpatient hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases dropped again on Tuesday – brining the overall decrease to 30 percent over the past month, according to the state COVID website.  Despite acknowledging the dip during the Tuesday press briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) shied away from calling it a trend.

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Most Ohio University Economists Say Opening Schools Will Provide Economic Boost

With Ohio moving closer to vaccinating school employees with the goal of getting more students back in the classroom, state economists say a return to school statewide should provide a boost to the economy.

But, back to school won’t mean a quick economic fix, the experts say.

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Three Weeks After Christmas, Ohio COVID Hospitalizations Trend Down

January 15 marked three weeks since Christmas – two from New Year’s celebrations. Statewide hospitalizations have trended downward since Christmas and deaths more so, according to the Ohio COVID dashboard.

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Ohio A.G. Yost Takes Aim at Another Provision of House Bill 6, Potential Energy Rate Hikes

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took another swing Thursday at stopping provisions from controversial nuclear bailout House Bill 6 from impacting the state’s energy customers.

Late last year, Yost sued to stop ratepayer fees from being implemented that would have provided $150 million in money to Energy Harbor. Thursday, he filed a motion to stop FirstEnergy from executing another rate hike allowed in the legislation.

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Gov. DeWine Quintuples Number of Ohio National Guard Troops Sent to D.C. for Presidential Inauguration

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) authorized 1,000 active Ohio National Guard (ONG) members Friday to assist federal authorities in Washington, D.C.  Earlier in the week DeWine signed an executive order to activate ONG troops – estimating 200 would go to America’s capital city.

“The activation of additional Guard members follows a request from the U.S. National Guard Bureau Thursday evening for extra support,” read a statement released by the Governor’s communications team.

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Ohio Congressman Anthony Gonzalez Discusses Why He Voted to Impeach President Trump

A Buckeye football legend known for “The Catch” against rival Michigan, dropped the ball according to Trump Republicans when he and nine other GOP representatives voted with 222 Democrats in the U.S. House to approve a second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump.

Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16) released a statement on Wednesday explaining his support of a Democrat initiated impeachment – a single article alleging incitement of insurrection.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Says the Capitol Will be Closed for Four Days Next Week for the Inauguration

Gov. Mike DeWine held a briefing Thursday morning where he announced the Ohio Statehouse and government buildings in Columbus will be closed between January 17 and January 20. Next Wednesday, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president.

Also, the governor signed a proclamation mobilizing hundreds of Ohio National Guard members to be utilized as needed in Columbus and around Ohio. To assist federal authorities in D.C. DeWine, ordered 580 ONG members active earlier in the week.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Signs Two Bills – One Regulating Motor Scooters, Second Modifying Workplace Laws

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed two bills on Tuesday – one establishing requirements for low-speed electronic scooters, the second modifying employment laws.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Activates 580 Members of Ohio National Guard to Keep Peace in D.C. and Columbus

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an executive order Tuesday to activate for duty 580 members of the Ohio National Guard (ONG).

During the COVID press conference, DeWine said he talked with Major General John C. Harris and based on that communication anticipates that 380 of the activated guard will remain in Ohio, while 200 will be sent to Washington, D.C to assist in the January 20 Presidential Inauguration.

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Ohio Businesses No Longer Need Voter Approval for Sunday Alcohol Sales

Ohio businesses no longer have to ask voters to be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays. Now, they only need the General Assembly’s permission.

Thanks to a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, businesses can get the ok from the state legislature for Sunday sales, and Friday and Saturday alcohol sales can continue until 4 a.m. the next day with a specific liquor permit.

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Governor DeWine Signs Multiple Acts into Ohio Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) endorsed 31 legislative acts last week which now become part of Ohio law.  The list of the bills below comes directly from press releases issued by the Governor’s office.

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Ohio Investigative Unit Stakeout and Issue Summons to Six Ohio Bars and Restaurants Saturday Night

Saturday night the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) cited six establishments around the state for violating Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders relating to safe dining and staying home after 10:00 p.m.

Citation cases will now go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission – potential penalties include fine, temporary closure, liquor permit suspension and/or revocation.

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Reviews 2020 Progress to End Human Trafficking

  Attorney General Yost outlined the progress his office made during 2020 – reviewing arrests, rescues, prosecutions as well as the education and legislation efforts designed to achieve the goal “where no one is bought or sold in Ohio.” One statewide anti-human trafficking effort – Autumn Hope –netted 109 rescues…

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New Ohio Website Makes Electronic Filing of Campaign Finance Reports More Transparent

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced he fulfilled his pledge to bring more transparency to the Secretary of State’s office.

Unanimously passed at the end of 2020,  Senate Bill 107 (SB107) is an act to “allow certain entities to file campaign finance statements electronically, to require the Secretary of State to make the information in those electronic statements available online.”

The online repository “enhances transparency by allowing campaign finance reports for local candidates and committees to be filed electronically with county boards of elections,” the press release stated.

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Jim Renacci Holds Town Hall Meeting to ‘Plan Ohio’s Future’

Former United States Representative from Ohio’s 16th congressional district, Jim Renacci, held a special town hall meeting on Thursday to “plan Ohio’s future.”

“I want to talk about yesterday,” began Renacci.  “As someone who served in the House, and even though I wasn’t there yesterday, it is a moment I will never forget.”  The former congressman continued by saying people who broke the law weren’t Trump people, Biden supporters, Democrats or Republicans, they were “criminals who broke the law and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

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Ohio Governor DeWine Delivers Update on State Response to COVID

Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.

The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session.

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Gov. DeWine Signs Five Ohio Legislative Acts into Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a video conference ceremony on Wednesday where he signed five Ohio legislative acts into law.  

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Ohio Republican Senator Does Not Support Group That Plans to Challenge Election Results

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman said Monday he will vote to certify the president elections when Congress meets in joint session Wednesday, saying he does not support a group of Republican senators who plan to challenge the results.

The group of 11 senators it will reject electors from disputed states and has called for a commission to hold an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns from those states. They also want the disputed states to hold a special legislative session to certify votes in a manner consistent with the findings of the commission’s audit.

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Ohio Secretary LaRose Releases Results County Post-Election Audits

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) announced Tuesday that county post-election audits are complete.

“In yet another example of unprecedented transparency, LaRose has provided the results of county post-election audits online for the first time,” wrote Maggie Sheehan, the secretary of state’s press secretary, in a statement.

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Ohio Legislature Set to Begin New Year Under Even Stronger Republican Majority

The 2020 General Election added one additional Republican to the Ohio Senate and three additional Republicans to the Ohio House of Representatives.

Republicans now hold a 25-8 majority in the Senate and outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the House.

That increase in Republican lawmakers may spell hope for conservative Ohioans who are still hoping for legislation – for example, Senate Bill 311 – that restricts Governor Mike Dewine’s 11-month restriction reign ranging from the Arnold Classic to the requiring people be in a residence by 10:00 p.m.

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DeWine Backs Down on Stand-Your-Ground Opposition, Signs Ohio Gun Bill into Law

Today, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 175 despite hubbub he may veto the act.

“I have always believed that it is vital that law-abiding citizens have the right to legally protect themselves when confronted with a life-threatening situation. While campaigning for Governor, I expressed my support for removing the ambiguity in Ohio’s self-defense law, and Senate Bill 175 accomplishes this goal. That is why I have signed this bill today.”

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Ohio Speaker Cupp Ignores Rep Keller Request to Take Up House Gun Bill, Instead House Opts for Senate Version of Stand-Your-Ground

Former Ohio State Representative Candice Keller (R-Middletown) attempted to bring two pieces of legislation to the House floor for consideration and vote at the end of a marathon session but was virtually ignored by Ohio Speaker of the House Bob Cupp (R-Shawnee Twp.).

The session began at 11:15 a.m. on December 17 and ran past 1:30 a.m., around the time Representative Keller moved to suspend Ohio House of Representatives Rule 66 – which requires a bill to be placed on the House Calendar at least 24-hours in advance of consideration, unless voted upon by a majority of the House otherwise.

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Federal Court Preliminarily Sides with Nine Ohio Christian Schools Claiming Toledo-Lucas Co. Health Dept Resolution Unconstitutional

The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a request made by nine Ohio parochial schools to stop a resolution issued by the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health that shut down in-person learning in the plaintiff schools.

The court issued a temporary order halting the health department from enforcing the resolution in the schools based on the likelihood the order violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Issues Executive Order and Signs Several Bills Including One Bill Requiring Fetal Remains Be Buried or Cremated

This week Governor DeWine added several new laws to the books and required the state to pony up money for grandparents and extended family members raising their related children.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Announces Health Dept Curfew Order Which Contains Several Exceptions

Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud signed the Director’s Second Amended Order that All Persons Stay at Home During Specified Hours Unless Engaged in Work or Essential Activity.

Sources inside the state government told The Star in November that the original curfew order came as a reaction to significant backlash from Ohioans as information leaked that Governor DeWine was going to push for another shutdown.
One source said, “people in the room when the decision was made agreed that a curfew wouldn’t do anything significant,” but would be an acceptable compromise the DeWine team would accept.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Rescinds Quarantine Guidance for Classrooms and Schools, Not Sports and Extracurriculars

During a COVID briefing on Wednesday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine rescinded the State of Ohio guidance suggesting students quarantine after being in close contact with other COVID-positive students in school and the classroom.

“Today we are changing our guidance,” said DeWine, who continued “I know that there’s been a great deal of pain – students not being able to do things because they are in quarantine. I fully understand that and I’m sorry that happened, but we had to follow the CDC guidance.”

The Governor said the decision was based on an evaluation of Ohio students, a CDC report involving students in Mississippi, and priority the Governor has given to teachers and staff to receive the COVID vaccine.

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Ohio AG Yost Files Brief in Favor of Religious Schools, Says Health Department Orders Unconstitutional

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals backing three Ohio Christian Schools and a community organization who brought a lawsuit against the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.  The department issued an order barring in-person learning for all students in grades 7-12 from December 4 to January 11.

Monclova Christian Academy, Emmanuel Christian, St John’s Jesuit and Citizens for Community Values (CCV) are the plaintiffs.    The Court demanded a response from Toledo-Lucas County Health Department on Tuesday, December 29.

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Fewer COVID Patients in Hospitals, ICUs and on Vents in Almost Every Region in Ohio

  Governor DeWine or Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff spend a portion of press briefings discussing the issue of hospital capacity, often warning Ohioans that if cases continue to climb, hospitals around the state will be overrun and care for other non-COVID patients may be crowded out. Consequently, The…

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Education Funding Reform Key to Curbing Ohio’s Inequality, Survey Says

by J.D. Davidson   A comprehensive educational funding reform effort pushed by the Ohio General Assembly into the next legislative session would substantially reduce what economists called inequality throughout the state. Scioto Analysis, a Central Ohio-based economic and public policy analysis firm specializing in tax and budget policy at the…

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Ohio Moves Up School Employees for Vaccines to Get Students Back in Classrooms

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to offer vaccines to all schools in the state that want it by mid-January in an effort to get children back to in-person learning in districts that want to return.

At his regular news conference Wednesday, DeWine announced new phases of vaccine distribution that included adults in school districts, those 64 years old and older, along with those with severe medical conditions.

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Obhof Backs Down from Early Threat to Override Veto on SB311 but Bill May Not Be Dead

It was Tuesday, December 22, the day many in favor of a veto override on Senate Bill 311 (SB311) believed to be the last day for the Ohio Senate to consider and vote on the bill that would restore power to the legislature and check the authority of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and its director to quarantine and isolate healthy people.

A group assembled atop the steps leading into the Senate Chamber.  Senate President Larry Obhof (R-22) stepped into the space between doors just outside the entrance to the Senate Chamber and was peppered with shouts. “Get 311 on the floor!”  “Hold the override vote Obhof!”

The Senate President looked at the citizens and repeated the talking point Ohioans had heard from the Senate for over a week – “the House doesn’t have the votes.”

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Ohio General Assembly Passes Legislation to Protect Against Surprise Health Care Bills

The Ohio General Assembly made history Tuesday and took a step to reduce health care costs for Ohioans. All that’s left is a signature from Gov. Mike DeWine.

When the Ohio Senate voted to support Substitute House Bill 388, which passed the Ohio House in May, it put into motion what would be a prohibition on surprise or balance billing. If DeWine signs the bill, Ohio will become the first state in the nation to ban such practices.

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