Ohio Closer to Requiring Medical Pricing Transparency

A concurrence from the House of Representatives is all that stands in the way of reinforcing Ohio hospital requirements to provide transparency in pricing.

Both the Senate and House passed slightly different versions of House Bill 49, which requires hospitals to comply with the federal price transparency law. This includes maintaining and making a public list of standard charges for services a patient can schedule in advance.

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Ohio Lawmaker Wants State to Return Denied Land to Randolph Freedpeople

Dontavius Jarrells

An Ohio lawmaker is looking for support to return land in western Ohio to formerly enslaved people denied to them during the Civil War.

In a letter to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and other state agencies and elected officials, Rep. Dontavius Jarrells, D-Columbus, wants the governor to support exploring all options to address what Jarrells calls the historical injustice faced by the Randolph Freedpeople.

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Ohio Commits $30 Million for Affordable Housing

Housing Construction

Nearly $30 million in taxpayer-funded grants are going to 17 Ohio local organizations to grow access to affordable housing across the state.

The money is the first round of the state’s new Welcome Home Ohio program, which is expected to spend $100 million over two years to help landbanks buy, rehabilitate or build residential properties for income-eligible people.

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Biden’s Ohio Ballot Blunder to be Resolved in Special Session Starting Tuesday

President Joe Biden and supporters

Ohio lawmakers will return to Columbus on Tuesday, attempting to pass legislation securing President Joe Biden’s name on the November ballot.

Gov. Mike DeWine called for a special session late Thursday. In a brief press conference, the Republican governor was perturbed, saying it was “ridiculous” that legislation hadn’t passed earlier.

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LaRose Joins Investigation into Ohio’s Teacher Retirement System

Frank LaRose

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is joining the investigation of the State Teachers Retirement System.

Shortly after Attorney General Dave Yost launched a wide-sweeping investigation into the $90 billion fund for 500,000 current and former teachers, LaRose said his Public Integrity Unit is stepping up its look into potential campaign finance violations.

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Ohio Schools Likely to Have to Develop Cellphone Policies

Kids on phones in class

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will have to settle for school districts establishing respective cellphone policies rather than the state limiting use for students during the school day.

In his State of the State address last month, DeWine called on lawmakers to establish statewide cellphone restrictions. Instead, the legislature passed a bill that would require districts to come up with policies.

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Ohio Lawmakers Act on DeWine’s Call to Ban Cell Phones in Classroom

Kids on Phone in Class

Gov. Mike DeWine’s push to ban cell phones in Ohio classrooms is meeting resistance from Republicans and Democrats.

In last week’s State of the State address, DeWine called cell phones a major distraction in state schools and asked lawmakers to develop legislation that would eliminate the usage in most classroom settings.

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Ohio’s Tornado-Ravaged Counties Await Federal Disaster Declaration

Ohio Gov Mike DeWine surveys tornado damage

State and federal officials are awaiting President Joe Biden’s disaster declaration to help recovery from tornadoes and severe storms that impacted 11 counties in mid-March.

Gov. Mike DeWine, along with Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican Sen. J.D. Vance, wrote asking for a FEMA presidential disaster declaration to open federal aid for those impacted not already reimbursed by other government programs or private insurance.

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New Ohio Law Enforcement Certifications Established

Mike DeWine

Law enforcement agencies in Ohio can now be certified in the state’s new standards for professional excellence by meeting nearly three dozen standards established to entrust public confidence, accountability and integrity.

Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed an executive order for the new Law Enforcement Accreditation Program established by the Ohio Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board.

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Ohio Commits $120 Million for Transportation Projects

Road Construction

Ohio plans to spread more than $120 million of taxpayer money over 13 counties for road projects, with $15 million spent to expand bus rapid transit in Columbus.

The new construction funding list from the Transportation Review Advisory Council includes $21 million for new construction, $35.5 million in additional construction, $33.4 million in new money for preliminary engineering, and another $28.4 million for more funding for development projects.

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Democrats Want Investigation into DeWine, Husted

Ohio Democratic lawmakers want the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted after news reports questioned the administration’s actions after the House Bill 6 scandal came to light.

At a Thursday news conference, State House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, said the suggestion is that the administration did nothing when possibly criminal activity came to light.

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Ohio Communities to Share $100 Million for Transportation Needs

Road near Charm, Ohio

Nearly 400 transit programs across the state will share more than $100 million in taxpayer funds for various projects to support public transportation.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced $106 million for 383 different projects through seven grant programs focusing on workforce mobility, senior citizens, special needs transportation, rural transit and busing.

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Ohio Appalachian Region Getting $85 Million Assistance for Innovation Centers

Gov. Mike DeWine

Ohio plans to funnel $85 million in federal taxpayer dollars to its Appalachian region to develop new community innovation centers to help with education, behavioral health care and jobs.

The money is available for K-12 school districts, joint vocational school districts, regional councils of government or other political subdivisions in the state’s 32-county Appalachian region.

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NCAA President Asks for College ‘Proposition Bets’ Ban in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the NCAA want to stop gamblers from placing bets on individual performances in college games – called “proposition bets” (prop bets) – hoping it will stop online threats and harassment.

In a letter to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, NCAA President Charlie Baker asked for collegiate prop bets to be removed from the legal bets that can be placed in the state. That move triggered a public comment period for operators to comment on rule changes before a change can occur.

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Ohio Attorney General, Lawmakers Call for Executions to Continue

Dave Yost

In the wake of Alabama carrying out a death sentence with the use of nitrogen gas, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and some lawmakers want to kick start the state’s death penalty that has been stalled since 2019.

At a news conference Tuesday, Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, said nitrogen has been made available following the Alabama execution and plans to introduce legislation to make it available in Ohio.

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Unmasking DeWine: Ohio Journalist Jack Windsor Dissects Shocking Veto and Its Potential Ripple Effect on 2024 Senate Race

Ohio journalist and entrepreneur Jack Windsor joined host Michael Patrick Leahy on Monday’s episode of The Tennessee Star Report to discuss the connections and divides behind the shocking decision by Governor Mike DeWine to veto measure that would prohibit genital mutilation of children and transgender males competing in girls’ sports.

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H2Ohio Water Conservation Program Now Will Include Large Rivers

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine plans to include the health of the state’s large rivers in the ongoing H2Ohio program aimed at water efforts.

Since 2019, H2Ohio has predominantly worked on water infrastructure in low-income areas, wetland creation and reducing algal blooms. Now the program will expand to research PFAS contamination, remove eroding dams, conserve forest buffers and more.

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Ohio Spending More Money to Clean Brownfield Sites

Ohio plans to give another $175 million in taxpayer money to communities around the state to clean up contaminated properties and get them ready for use again.

The new money adds to the $350 million the state handed out for 313 projects in 83 counties earlier this year. Gov. Mike DeWine says it gives sites a second chance at life.

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Ohio Legislation Would Stop Mandatory Electric Vehicle Buys

Electric Cars Charging

As the push continues to transition to electric vehicles around Ohio and the country, state lawmakers want consumers to have a choice.

Senate passage and a signature from Gov. Mike DeWine are all that’s needed to stop the state from signing on to or taking steps to mandate emissions standards through emergency protocols established in the Clean Air Act of 1970.

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Ohio Moves Ahead with Removing Power from State School Board

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine planned to move ahead Monday afternoon with moving control of the state’s education system from the school board to his office.

In July, DeWine signed the state’s two-year budget, which included legislation to transfer the duties of the majority-elected state board to the new cabinet-level Ohio Department of Education and Workforce.

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Policy Group Calls for Ohio’s New State-Based Immigration Policy to Fill Jobs

Gov. Mike DeWine praised a plan by a Columbus-based policy group that calls for a state-based immigration policy to allow Ohio to attract legal immigrants to fill a growing need in the high-tech labor force.

The Buckeye Institute recently released a report on how a state-based visa program could impact what it called urgent problems in the high-tech job market. That followed the group’s plan to upskill and reskill Ohio workers to meet labor shortages.

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Texas, Michigan Officials Say They Weren’t Warned Before Receiving Contaminated Ohio Soil, Water

Officials in Texas and Michigan said they were not informed before their states received shipments of contaminated water and soil from East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailed with toxic chemicals and caused a public health and environmental crisis earlier this month.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Responds to Senator Vance’s Video, Confirms Creek ‘Very Near’ East Palestine Derailment is ‘Severely Contaminated’

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine responded on Friday to a viral video tweeted by U.S. Senator JD Vance (R-OH) that showed a “chemical rainbow” in a creek near the location of a railway crash two weeks ago that released harmful chemicals into the environment in East Palestine, Ohio.

“I know that there’s been some video played on TV circulating of visible contamination in one of the local waterways. A section of Sulfur Run that is very near the crash site remains severely contaminated. We knew this. We know this. It’s going to take a while to remediate this,” DeWine said at a press conference where he gave an update on local environmental testing and cleanup operations.

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Woke ESG Management Fund BlackRock Owns 6 Percent of Norfolk Southern, Whose Train Derailed in Ohio

BlackRock owns more than 6 percent of Norfolk Southern Railway, the huge railway company whose train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio on February 3, causing what many are describing as an ecological and health disaster for residents of Ohio and nearby Pennsylvania. Fintel.io reports that as of February 16, 2023, BlackRock owns 6.8 percent of Norfolk Southern Railway.

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Ohio Students Closer to Getting Religious Accomodations

Ohio colleges and universities could soon be required to develop a policy that would provide religious accommodations for students following the General Assembly’s passage of bipartisan legislation.

The Testing Your Faith Act, which now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine, also prohibits institutions of higher learning from imposing academic penalties on students due to an absence under the policy.

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Ohioans Can View What’s on the Ballot Before Going to the Polls

With only a week left until the midterm election and early voting well underway Ohioans can access, review, and mark their selections on a sample ballot prior to election day.

The November 8th election is a midterm, so a number of federal, state, and local candidates will be on the ballot as well as two important statewide issues.

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Ohio Religious Schools, Nonprofits to Share $6 Million for Security

Safety and security at religious institutions, chartered nonpublic schools, licensed preschools and nonprofit organizations throughout Ohio will share $6 million in grant funding, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

The money, included in the state’s operating budget signed into law in July and administered by the Ohio Safety and Security Grant Program, is part of more than $12 million given to state schools and institutions since 2019 to help with safety and security.

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Ohio’s Fetal Heartbeat Law Stopped for Another 14 Days

Ohio officials are expected to return to court in Hamilton County for a hearing Oct. 7 after a judge extended a ban on the state’s fetal heartbeat bill for another 14 days.

The decision continues to allow abortions in the state through 20 weeks, pausing a state law that stopped most abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks. The law, signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in April 2019, went into effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year.

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Ohio Pushing More Money into Jail Renovations, Buildings

Ohio plans to spend an additional $51 million to renovate and build jails across the state in an effort, Gov. Mike DeWine says, to create environments that reduce recidivism.

The money comes on top of $45 million the state handed out a year ago to six local jails for major construction projects. Also, another $5 million went to smaller projects at six other sites.

“Our continued investment in Ohio’s local jails is a public safety investment that benefits everyone involved,” DeWine said. “This funding will go a long way toward creating safer and more secure jails for Ohio’s communities.”

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Ohio Pushing More Money into Jail Renovations, Buildings

Ohio plans to spend an additional $51 million to renovate and build jails across the state in an effort, Gov. Mike DeWine says, to create environments that reduce recidivism.

The money comes on top of $45 million the state handed out a year ago to six local jails for major construction projects. Also, another $5 million went to smaller projects at six other sites.

“Our continued investment in Ohio’s local jails is a public safety investment that benefits everyone involved,” DeWine said. “This funding will go a long way toward creating safer and more secure jails for Ohio’s communities.”

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Ohio to Spend $2 Million on Disabled College Students

Ohio plans to spend more than $2 million to help Ohio college students with disabilities, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

The money, which is part of the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities College2Careers program, will be divided into $1,000 grants that may be used for tuition or other educational expenses during the 2022-2023 school year. Students must be participating in OOD services to be eligible.

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Ohio, Kentucky Officials Again Ask for Funding for Brent Spence Bridge Project

Ohio and Kentucky made a second request to a second federal grant program to cover the $1.66 billion needed to replace an Ohio River bridge that connects the two states at Cincinnati.

The second ask follows a May request for the 8-mile Brent Spence Bridge Corridor project from the Western Hills Viaduct in the Cincinnati area of Ohio to Dixie Highway in Kentucky. The May request is still pending.

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Ohio to Spend Nearly $50 Million on School Safety

More than 1,000 Ohio schools in 81 of 88 counties will share $47 million in the state’s push to promote school safety, part of a response to a shooting at a Texas elementary school in May.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday grants of up to $50,000 will be used to cover expenses for security cameras, public address systems, automatic door locks, visitor badging systems, and exterior lighting. 

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Ohio Announces Seven New Economic Development Projects

Seven new industry projects are expected to create nearly 700 new jobs and retain more than 3,000 across Ohio, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.

The projects, which the state says are expected to result in more than $39 million in new payroll out of $51.8 million in new investments, all received approval from the Ohio Tax Credit Authority for incentives.

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Project Updated for Kentucky, Ohio Traffic Across Brent Spence Bridge

The governors of Kentucky and Ohio announced an update on Friday to the proposed Brent Spence Bridge corridor project designed to improve interstate traffic between Cincinnati and its Northern Kentucky suburbs.

Those changes are not expected to impact the cost or timeline of the project, which has been on the wishlist of both states for years.

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Linking Ohio Courts, Law Enforcement Will Protect Public: Gov. DeWine

Law enforcement agencies and courts throughout Ohio can now be part of a new statewide criminal justice database that Gov. Mike DeWine believes will lead to better public protection and help stop the illegal purchase of firearms.

DeWine said Ohio’s new eWarrants system, which he officially announced the launch of late Wednesday, should improve the accuracy of state and federal background checks and streamline the process to fire warrants and protection orders.

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Reduced Training to Arm Ohio Teachers Becomes Law

Ohio school boards can put armed teachers in classrooms with one day of training, rather than the previously required month, after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill in response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision.

The court’s ruling mandated teachers complete the state’s 700 hours of basic peace officer education before legally being required to carry a fireman in a school. House Bill 99 dictates a maximum of 24 hours of training, but local boards can require more.

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Ohio GOP Gov. DeWine Signs Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry Gun After 24 Hours of Training

Ohio GOP Gov. Mike DeWine signed a bill Monday making it easier for teachers to carry guns in schools, capping the required training to no more than 24 hours.

Teachers and other school employees previously were required to complete the same basic training as law enforcement, which took over 700 hours.

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DeWine Pushes Biden on Solar Panel Tariffs for Ohio Manufacturers

Ohio solar manufacturers want to be on equal footing with foreign competition, and Gov. Mike DeWine is pushing President Joe Biden not to give other countries an “unfair advantage” over American businesses.

In a letter to Biden, DeWine called a decision this week to ban new tariffs for two years on solar panels imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam a mistake and nod to China.

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Renacci Blasts Husted for Taking Bank Board Position

Former businessman, congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci blasted Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor in a press release after it was reported Monday that Lt. Gov. John Husted took a paid position on the board of Heartland BancCorp. 

“Ohio taxpayers are struggling everyday to make ends meet. With rising food prices and costs increasing at the gasoline pumps this move by a public official is unacceptable, a conflict of interest, but even worse unethical,” Renacci said. “No legal opinion can make any Ohioan believe that there are not conflicts between the sitting Lt. Governor and him being paid to be on a community bank board in Ohio. As a Board Member on several public companies and once on a bank board this should never be allowed to occur. Maybe the Lt. Governor can also fill one of the positions on the First Energy board?  This is why Republicans have lost faith in their Republican leadership. We deserve better.”

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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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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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DeWine: New Campaign Ad Targets Biden Administration, Cites Wins for Ohioans

Ohio’s Governor, who is in the midst of a heated battle for reelection, Tuesday released an ad targeting the Biden Administration’s economic policies. 

“There’s Joe Biden’s way,” the ad says. “Higher taxes. Wasteful spending. And with Biden’s inflation everything costs you more.” 

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Ohio Overtime Changes, Online Marketplace Bills Signed into Law

Ohio businesses will not have to pay employees overtime for some tasks, and high-volume online marketplace sellers will have to be identified after Gov. Mike DeWine signed two bills into law.

Senate Bill 47, which spent more than a year in the General Assembly, was one of the laws created with DeWine’s signature. Its changes to overtime pay requirements were a result of adjustments to employee workdays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also followed changes to federal overtime rules.

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