Governor DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Husted Announce Ohio Administrative Code Regulatory Reform

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted have unveiled a new strategy to streamline the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) by focusing on redundant clauses, out-of-date portions, and pointless mandates.

The strategy, which DeWine is launching with the aid of the Ohio Common Sense Initiative (CSI), makes recommendations for the removal of portions of the OAC using modern AI technologies that it identifies as unnecessary.

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Ohio Awards Multi-Million Dollar Grant to Ensure Kindergarten Readiness

Ohio will soon receive an influx of federal funding intended to improve kindergarten readiness.

According to a statement from Governor Mike DeWine’s Office, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will receive a total of $48 million over three years to support and increase access to quality early childhood care and education as part of the Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families.

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Ohio Lawmakers File Bill to Overhaul the State’s Medical Marijuana Program

Two Republican state lawmakers in Ohio have introduced a bill to change the state’s medical marijuana regulations, which would allow more people to use cannabis for medicinal purposes and establish a new state agency to manage the program.

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Cincinnati Ohio School Administrators Admit to Deceiving Parents and Teaching Critical Race Theory in Classrooms

Despite Republican State Senator Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula) re-introducing the Parental Education Freedom Act to empower parents to be the primary decision-makers regarding where and what type of education their children receive, an undercover investigation has revealed that school administrators in Cincinnati, Ohio have admitted to covertly indoctrinating students with Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the classrooms. As part of Accuracy in Media’s investigation, numerous school administrators admitted that teachers are sneakily and covertly introducing CRT to their students unbeknownst to their parents and that they don’t plan to stop even if lawmakers pass legislation prohibiting this.

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Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bill to Localize State Agency Licensure Appeals

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would transfer the conflict over state licenses that have been suspended or repealed to local county courts as opposed to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Senate Bill (SB) 21 sponsored by state Senators Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) would provide legal challenges to licenses issued by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the State Medical Board, the State Chiropractic Board, the Board of Nursing, and the Liquor Control Commission to take place in the county where that person or company is based.

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Republican State Senator Matt Dolan Announces Run for U.S. Senate

Republican State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) has announced he’s running for U.S. Senate against Ohio Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in 2024.

“I am unapologetically committed to putting the needs of Ohio first and delivering results as our next U.S. Senator. With the courage of my convictions, clarity of purpose, and a resolute focus on the challenges and opportunities facing our beloved state, I am ready to lead,” Dolan said in a statement.

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Ohio Attorney General Briefly Retires to Seek Pension

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s decision to briefly “retire” prior to taking the oath for a second term in the same position has renewed discussion among public officials over pension “double dipping.”

The practice of retiring in order to trigger the collection of a pension while simultaneously drawing a public paycheck is legal.

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Ohio State Senator Introduces Legislation to Allow Lawful Production of Homemade Liquor

If a new bill presented by an eastern Ohio Senator were to become law, Ohioans could lawfully produce as much as 200 gallons of homemade liquor a year without a government permit as long as they don’t sell it.

The first set of measures from the current legislative session, which started earlier this month, was introduced by the Ohio Senate on Thursday. Senate Bill (SB) 13 sponsored by state Senator Frank Hoagland (R-Mingo Junction) allowing for the distilling, serving, and shipping of homemade liquor without a permit was one of them.

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Ohio House Republicans Re-Introduce Proposal to Increase Threshold for Citizen-Led Ballot Initiatives

Following a closed-door meeting at the Ohio Statehouse held by State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova), a group of over thirty lawmakers filed a new version of their proposal to increase the threshold for citizen-led ballot initiatives.

47 Republicans who adhered to the Republican caucus’s decision to abstain from voting for state Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) for speaker of the house, were invited by Merrin to a meeting on Wednesday. The meeting included discussing house rules, redistricting, and progressing the proposed constitutional amendment to require support from at least 60 percent of voters rather than a simple majority to pass future proposed amendments that was introduced last legislative session.

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Marijuana Legalization Petition for Ohio Legislature Resubmitted by Secretary of State for Four-Month Review

An activist-led petition for marijuana legalization in Ohio has been formally resubmitted to the legislature by the Ohio Secretary of State, giving legislators four months to evaluate the change. Advocates may then gather more signatures to get the issue on the November ballot if legislators do not take action.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Secretary of State Frank LaRose stated that he had fulfilled his duty to introduce the reform proposal to the legislature on the first day of the new session and to begin the four-month timeframe for lawmakers to consider it.

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State Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Overhaul Ohio Education System and Board of Education

Ohio Senate Republicans are making another attempt to overhaul the state education system and the Board of Education by introducing a bill Wednesday afternoon that reconsiders a proposition that fell short of approval last month.

The 2,000-page bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1, sponsored by state Senator Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), would “restructure” the Ohio Department of Education, create a new administrative division under the governor’s office, and reduce the duties of the State Board of Education. This was the first introduced bill of 2023.

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Existing Ohio Law Protecting Unborn Babies Blocks FDA Approval of Pharmacy Distribution of Abortion Pills

The “Abortion Pill,” also known as RU-486, could previously only be prescribed by medical professionals in the United States. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has officially authorized pharmacy distribution of RU-486, but an Ohio law passed in 2004 forbids pharmacies from distributing these harmful pills.

The drug, commonly known as Mifepristone, has recently received FDA approval, and retailers like Walgreens and CVS across the U.S. have already declared they will stock it. In Ohio however, only doctors with specific training and certification can offer, sell, dispense, or administer the drugs.

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Ohio Governor Signs Five Executive Orders Following Oath of Office Including TikTok Ban from State Devices

Following the signing of five new executive orders by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Sunday night, TikTok is now prohibited on all state-owned or leased devices.

Just moments after taking the formal oath of office for his second term, Governor Mike DeWine issued five executive orders.

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Governor Signs Election Integrity and Voter ID Requirements into Law as Left Cries Foul

The state of Ohio is facing a lawsuit over a recent law that requires voters to show picture identification at the polls and shorten the time allotted for mail-in ballots.

House Bill (HB) 458 is a piece of legislation that Governor Mike DeWine signed on Friday that will drastically alter the state’s election laws, including the requirement for a photo ID. Additionally, the legislation limits the number of ballot drop boxes that voters can use and substitutes a four-day deadline for the previous law’s 10-day deadline for mail-in ballot delivery.

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Ohio Sports Betting Companies Fined $150K After ‘Repeated Violations’

Mere days after Governor Mike DeWine cited concerns with Ohio’s new sports betting setup, the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) issued three more warnings for infractions on Thursday.

According to the OCCC, BetMGM, LLC (BetMGM); American Wagering, Inc. (Caesars), and Crown OH Gaming, LLC (DraftKings) violated state law and administrative rules regarding advertising.

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Ohio Governor Vetoes Flavored Tobacco Ban Bill, Leaving Local Governments in Charge

Governor Mike DeWine vetoed a bill on Thursday, that would prohibit local governments in Ohio from enacting any laws regarding tobacco or vaping products that are more strict than state law.

DeWine scheduled a press conference with health authorities to discuss the legislation rather than just vetoing it, calling youth smoking an “epidemic” made worse by commercially available flavored tobacco products.

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Governor DeWine Says Sports Betting Operations Have Already Crossed the Line in Ohio

A mere two days since the legalization of sports betting in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine is already questioning the legality of some companies’ practices.

In his first remarks on the matter since the state’s legalized sports betting on Sunday, DeWine said he had taken a personal interest in upholding state laws governing gambling organizations’ advertising.

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Ohio Governor Appoints Rhonda Burggraf to Marion County Family Court

Governor Mike DeWine appointed Republican Magistrate Rhonda Burggraf as judge of Marion County Family Court.

Burggraf, of LaRue, Ohio, is replacing Judge Robert Fragale, who retired from the court last month, ending his 40-year career in the legal profession, 30 of which he served as a Marion County judge. Burggraf will assume office on January 9th alongside fellow family court Judge Larry N. Heiser. Burggraf must run for election in 2024 to retain the seat.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Indicates Four Priorities for New Term Including Expanding Job-Training Programs

Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine has occupied political office for the better part of 50 years starting his political career as a county prosecutor and moving up to become an Ohio state legislator, congressman, lieutenant governor, senator, and now state governor.

DeWine prepares to be sworn in for his second and final four-year term as governor of Ohio on January 9th.

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Governor Mike DeWine Signs 19 Bills into Ohio Law

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed 19 bills into law on Monday, the start of the new legislative session, that lawmakers approved during the lame duck session last year.

On December 22nd, DeWine’s office received a raft of 24 bills. He signed 18 of those 24 into law.

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Ohio Self-Serve Betting Machines to Be First in Nation

Beginning on January 1st, 2023, sports betting will be legal in Ohio. Betting will be legal to take place through smartphone applications, at casinos, racinos, sports stadiums, and other retail sportsbook facilities. However, Ohio will also be the first state in the nation to offer over 1,000 self-service betting machines in bars, restaurants, grocery, and convenience stores around the state.

Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 29, which legalized sports betting in Ohio, authorizing the move and giving oversight to the Casino Control Commission.

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Ohio Governor Dispatches ODOT to Aid New York in Deadly Weather Disaster

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that he dispatched support from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to aid in emergency snow removal efforts in the state of New York following an “epic, once-in-a-lifetime” weather disaster responsible for killing over two dozen people.

A convoy of 28 ODOT workers, 12 tandem dump trucks, two utility mechanic trucks, and four crew cab pick-up trucks departed from Ashtabula Wednesday morning for a six-day deployment. The ODOT crew consists of highway technicians, mechanics, and managers from District 4 (Akron), District 11 (New Philadelphia), and District 12 (Cleveland).

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Ohio GOP Vice Chairman Announces Candidacy to Lead Party

Summit County Republican Party Chairman and statewide party Vice-Chair Bryan Williams officially announced his candidacy for chairman of the Ohio Republican Party on Wednesday in a letter to state central committee (SCC) members.

The Ohio Republican Party’s central committee is meeting on January 6th to consider selecting a replacement for current Chairman Bob Paduchik who announced after the November 8th general election that he would not be seeking another term.

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Ohio Governor Signs Bills Approved During Lame-Duck into Law

As the year ends, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is reviewing the legislation approved throughout the lame-duck session and deciding to either veto or sign it into law.

Before the holiday break, DeWine signed two bills into law Senate Bill (SB) 210 and House Bill (HB) 223.

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Governor DeWine Nominates Anne Vogel for Director of the Ohio EPA

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that he is nominating Republican Anne Vogel to become the next director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA). If the Ohio Senate confirms the nomination, Vogel will replace current director Laurie Stevenson who announced her retirement at the end of this year.

The Ohio EPA protects the environment and public health by enforcing environmental laws. According to DeWine, Vogel has the right experience for the job, and due to their history working together, she understands his priorities for the state.

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Hamilton County GOP to Fill Vacant Prosecutor Seat

Now that Governor Mike DeWine appointed Republican Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to fill a vacancy on the Ohio Supreme Court (OSC), his former long-time position as prosecutor will become vacant on January 7th, 2023, when he is sworn into the OSC.

Throughout his tenure, Deters has gained a reputation in a crucial office for being a “tough on crime” prosecutor, believing in strict punishments for violent crime, including the death penalty, bail reform boundaries, and policing in general.

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Ohio Lawmakers Approve Over 30 Bills During Culmination of Legislative Session

During the legislature’s overnight culminating session, Ohio lawmakers approved over 30 pieces of legislation that now head to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for approval. If DeWine does nothing the legislation will take effect without his signature. However, he has ten days, with the exception of Sundays, following the acquisition of the bills to approve or veto the legislation if he so chooses.

On December 22nd, DeWine’s office received a raft of 24 bills. The deadline for DeWine to take action on those bills to either sign or veto is January 3rd.

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From an Official State Cookie to a New Ohio License Plate Design for ‘Weirdos:’ The Lighter Side of Legislation in 2022

Lawmakers have proposed numerous pieces of important legislation that impact individuals throughout Ohio, such as major criminal justice reform, an overhaul of the state education system, and changes in Ohio’s voting laws; however, for every major policy proposal, is an obscure one that tends to go overlooked.

House Bill (HB) 379 sponsored by state Representative Phillip Robinson Jr. (D-Solon) pitched a new “Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland” license plate which supports an organization that helps cat owners and their feline companions.

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Governor DeWine Signs Executive Order Authorizing the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to Ban the Sale and Use of Tianeptine

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Executive Order 2022-17-D on Thursday, to suspend the normal rule making process to allow the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy to classify all products containing tianeptine, as a Schedule I controlled substance.

According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) tianeptine is an antidepressant drug that is not approved by the United States for medical use. The FDA has warned that many companies are illegally marketing and selling products containing tianeptine to the public with unproven beneficial claims (i.e., dietary supplement, treatment for anxiety, depression, or opioid disorder). Effective December 22, 2022, no one may sell or pocess any product containing tianeptine in the state of Ohio.

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Gov. DeWine Appoints Hamilton County Prosecutor to Ohio Supreme Court

Governor Mike DeWine has appointed Republican Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to fill a vacancy on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Deters will fill the seat that Justice Sharon Kennedy is vacating at the end of the year to replace Maureen O’Connor as Chief Justice. O’Connor is stepping down at the end of the year due to Ohio’s age limit for judges. One may not run for a seat on any Ohio court if one is more than 70 years of age. This limit often forces the retirement of long-time justices.

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Ohio Senate Passes Legislation to Transport Injured Police Dogs by Ambulance

A Republican-backed bill that will authorize emergency medical personnel to transport injured police dogs by ambulance heads to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for signature.

House Bill (HB) 392 sponsored by state Representatives Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) and Kevin Miller (R-Newark) expands the ability of a medical professional to allow for life-saving transportation of a K-9 to a veterinarian center for treatment. 

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Ohio Bill to Codify Solicitor General’s Office Proceeds to Governor

A Republican-supported bill to codify the Tenth Amendment Center in the Ohio Solicitor General’s Office heads to Governor Mike DeWine’s office for signature.

House Bill (HB) 506 sponsored by state Representatives Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) and Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) creates a Tenth Amendment center to “actively monitor federal executive orders, federal statutes, and federal regulations for potential abuse or overreach, including assertion of power inconsistent with the United States Constitution.”

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Ohio Elections Officials Say That Photo ID Requirements for Voters Are Unnecessary

As Governor Mike DeWine considers whether to sign a Republican-sponsored bill that aims to require a photo ID for nearly all Ohio voters, elections officials are questioning the necessity of the major voting reform.

House Bill (HB) 294 sponsored by state Representatives Bill Seitz (R- Green Township) and Sharon Ray (R-Wadsworth) would require voters to show a photo ID in order to vote and would issue a free photo ID to any Ohioan who wants one who does not have a drivers license.

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Richland County Juvenile Court Judge to Meet with Ohio Governor’s Legal Counsel to Discuss Vacant Supreme Court Seat

Richland County Juvenile Court Judge Steve McKinley will meet Wednesday with Governor Mike DeWine’s chief legal counsel to discuss a vacancy on the Ohio Supreme Court.

According to McKinley, as an Ohio Supreme Court justice, he would define the state constitution “reasonably and in accordance with our tradition … protecting individual rights and the separation of powers.”

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Ohio Legislature Passes Law Requiring Sexual Abuse Prevention Education in Schools with the Restriction That Materials Cannot Promote Abortion

Ohio lawmakers passed a Bipartisan bill that requires schools to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention education with the caveat that provided materials must not promote abortion.

House Bill (HB) 105 sponsored by state Representatives P.Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) and Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) known as Erin’s Law, was inserted into Senate Bill (SB) 288, a criminal justice bill sponsored by state Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) on December 15th.

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources Spends $3.5 Million on Body Cameras for Wildlife Officers

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that natural resources and wildlife officers with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will now be outfitted with body cameras.

Officers of the ODNR must uphold all state legislation and laws within their areas of responsibility as certified peace officers. Last year DeWine ordered ODNR to begin outfitting its officers with body cameras. The agency used $3.5 million in funding from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to buy the new cameras.

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Ohio Lawmakers Pass Bill Revising Ohio’s Unemployment Compensation System to Stop Fraud

Ohio lawmakers gave final approval Thursday, on a Republican-backed bill that aims to cut down on unemployment fraud by revising and updating the state’s unemployment compensation system.

Senate Bill (SB) 302, sponsored by State Senators Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) and Bob Hackett (R-London), looks to tighten the rules for verifying the identity of applicants for unemployment benefits in the state.

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Ohio Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Cities from Banning Flavored Tobacco Sales

The Columbus City Council unanimously voted on Monday to ban the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products within city limits. Under 48 hours later, the Ohio Senate approved a bill that would make Columbus City Council’s ban illegal.

House Bill (HB) 513, sponsored by state Representatives Jon Cross (R-Kenton ) and Bill Roemer (R-Richfield), passed in the Ohio Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 23-8. The legislation includes an amendment known as a “preemption law, prohibiting local governments in Ohio from enacting any laws regarding tobacco or vaping products that are more strict than state law.”

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Lawmakers Look to Ban Gas Chambers for Pets and Increase Animal Cruelty Penalties in Ohio

A bipartisan bill in the Ohio House aims to classify the crime of animal cruelty as an act of violence and increase the penalties in animal abuse cases.

Senate Bill (SB) 164, sponsored by State Senators Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights), would enhance Goddard’s Law that was passed in 2016, classifying serious physical harm of a pet as a fifth-degree felony.

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The Ohio Department of Public Safety to Start Armed School Staff Essential Training Next Year

Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that the Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) has finished setting the required training known as the Armed School Staff Essential Training (ASSET) Curriculum.

The OSSC developed the curriculum to meet the requirements of House Bill (HB) 99 sponsored by state Representative Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) which gives Ohio school boards and governing bodies the option to arm staff members.

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Ohio Senate Bill’s Provisions Aim to Protect Families from Fertility Fraud

Ohioans may soon get protections from fertility fraud after the Senate passed a major criminal justice reform bill.

A 27-2 bipartisan vote sent Senate Bill (SB) 288 sponsored by State Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) to the House where lawmakers will consider it further prior to sending it to Governor Mike DeWine for final approval.

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Ohio Supreme Court Justice Seat to Be Filled by End of Year

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine plans to fill the seat on the Ohio Supreme Court by announcing his appointment by the end of the year.

DeWine said it’s critical for the new justice to be named by the end of the year so that they can start right away.

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Ohio State Senate Passes Bill Expanding Drilling on State Land

Within 24 hours of presenting the idea, Ohio Senate Republicans passed legislation on Wednesday that aims to expand the ability to drill for oil and gas on state-owned lands.

A 2011 state law gave state agencies the power, if they choose, to lease out state lands for oil and gas exploration and production. However, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission has been slow to approve any projects. Former Governor John Kasich signed that bill into law but didn’t appoint anyone to the commission for years. Under Governor Mike DeWine, the commission has met more often but has not approved leases.

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Lawmakers Amend the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ to Accept Birth Certificates

Ohio lawmakers amended a bill Tuesday that stops biological men and boys from high school and middle school from participating in women and girls’ sports. The amendment removed a provision that could have required students to undergo “internal and external” exams to verify their sex.

Instead, House Bill (HB) 151, The Save Women’s Sports Act, sponsored by State Representative Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) (pictured above), now would require an athlete whose biological gender is disputed to present a birth certificate under the amendment adopted by the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee.

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Ohio House Passes Bill Protecting Firearms Rights During Declared Emergencies

Republicans in the Ohio House passed a bill Thursday, on a 55 to 22 vote, that will prevent state and local governments from closing gun stores, stopping processing background checks, or confiscating firearms without cause during declared states of emergency.

Senate Bill (SB) 185, sponsored by State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), aims to prevent state and local governments and elected or appointed officials from infringing on Second Amendments rights during declared emergencies. This would include required gun registrations, seizing weapons, banning the sale of ammunition, limiting the operating hours at shooting ranges, or prohibiting otherwise lawful hunting.

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Alex Triantafilou Announces Bid for Chairman of Ohio Republican Party

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman, Alex Triantafilou, officially announced his candidacy for Chairman of the Ohio Republican Party following the announcement that current Chairman, Bob Paduchik will not be seeking another term.

“Our party faces a huge challenge in 2024. Defeating Sherrod Brown and Joe Biden will require a unified and organized state party. I look forward to traveling throughout Ohio to share my vision for our party with Republican leaders in every corner of Ohio,” Triantafilou said on social media.

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Ohio Governor Awards $4.8 Million in Grant Funding to Rape Crisis Centers

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday that rape crisis centers and sexual assault survivor programs in Ohio will receive $4.8 million in grant funding.

Twenty-five rape crisis centers and survivor service providers from 24 Ohio counties received grant funding.

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Ohio Mayors, Cities, and Planning Agencies Support Reconnecting the State Through Passenger Rail

In a display of support of passenger rail service in Ohio, a bi-partisan alliance of Ohio mayors in partnership with several of Ohio’s regional planning agencies, have formally requested the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to include a list of Ohio rail lines in its Corridor Identification Program (CAP).

According to FRA, the CAP, established earlier this year, institutes a pipeline of projects ready for funding, allowing them to be implemented faster and with greater coordination. The Corridor ID Program is anticipated to help expand intercity passenger rail service beyond the Northeast Corridor.

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Ohio Governor DeWine Awards Another Round of Violent Crime Reduction Grants

Governor Mike DeWine announced that 24 local law enforcement agencies will receive a total of $11.7 million to help prevent and investigate incidents of violent crime including domestic violence, gun violence, and human trafficking.

The grants represent the 10th round of the Ohio Violent Crime Reduction Grant Program. Since the initiation of the program last year, Governor DeWine has awarded close to $70 million to 146 Ohio law enforcement agencies. Approximately $100 million will be awarded to local law enforcement agencies as part of the grant program in total.

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Law Enforcement Cautions Ohioans to Prepare for Uptick in Theft for the Holidays

With the holiday season, fast approaching members of local law enforcement are cautioning Ohioans about increased holiday theft and how to keep themselves and their property safe while shopping in stores or online.

Ohio law enforcement agencies state that they see an uptick in theft reports towards the end of the year.

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