New Ohio Laws Expand Courts Jurisdiction, Deals with Addiction

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed several new bills into law Wednesday.

The new laws include the expansion of the jurisdiction of Ohio courts and stopping state officials from interfering with religious services. House Bill 272 prohibits “a public official from ordering the closure of all places of worship in a geographic area,” and stops public officials “from changing the time, place, or manner of conducting an election, except in certain circumstances.”

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State Board Meets Today to Decide if Ohio Secretary of State May Spend Up to $3M to Prepay Absentee Ballot Postage

A state board is meeting today to decide if Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose can spend up to $3 million to pay for absentee ballot postage for the November elections.

The Ohio Controlling Board will consider LaRose’s request today. Their agenda is here, and more information about LaRose’s request is here.

This appropriation of state funds will be used by the Ohio Secretary of State to pay the cost of returning absentee ballots on behalf of any Ohio voter who opts to use that manner of voting in the November 3, 2020 General Election. This will not expand Ohio’s existing absentee voting opportunities and will not permit universal vote by mail. There will still be in-person voting at polling locations on Election Day, November 3, 2020. 

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Ohio Speaker Names Committee to Repeal, Replace House Bill 6

House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, has named lawmakers to serve on a new committee tasked with repealing and replacing House Bill 6, a ratepayer-funded bailout of two Ohio nuclear plants that led to a federal corruption probe.

Democrats said they were prepared to take action when the House met on Tuesday.

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GOP Lawmakers Promote Potential Replacement for Householder

Ohio House lawmakers on Friday moved to address the power vacuum created by the arrest of current Republican Speaker Larry Householder amid a $60 million federal bribery probe.

The names of potential candidates to take the reins of the House of Representatives are spilling out — two days after federal officials arrested Householder and four associates over alleged bribes to shepherd an energy bill into law.

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Ohio Legislator’s Questions About the Rate of COVID-19 Infection in Minorities Draw Fury

A Republican lawmaker questioned during a meeting of the Ohio Senate Health Committee if “the colored population” is contracting coronavirus at disproportionate rates because they do not wash their hands “as well as other groups.”

The American Civil Liberties Union called for state Sen. Steve Huffman to step down from office Thursday following his comments that were made during a hearing for a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis.

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Ohio Voters Could Decide Constitutional Amendment to Help Cover the Cost of Unemployment Benefits

Ohio voters could decide a constitutional amendment to cover the cost of unemployment payouts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Joint Resolution 4, if passed, would allow voters to decide whether to issue the bonds “to repay any federal borrowing in support of Ohio’s unemployment compensation program,” Ohio Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Peterson, R-Washington Court House, said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing.

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Buckeye Institute Supports Businesses Being Immune to COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony Wednesday to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on the policies of Senate Bill 308, which would provide businesses and workers with immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

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Conservatives Say Obhof’s Canceling Session Before Acton Vote is ‘Betrayal’

Conservatives are using words like “betrayal” to describe Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof’s late-night move to kill a vote on a bill to curb Dr. Amy Acton’s unrestrained powers in shutting the state down, and suggests he had an ulterior motive.

The Senate will not act this week on Senate Bill One pulling back the Health Department director’s powers, meaning it will likely fail, Fox 19 Now reported. The Senate is only having committee meetings this week and will hold a session next week.

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Gov. DeWine Puts His Foot Down Against Ohio House Republicans Trying to Limit the State’s Health Department Powers

Gov. Mike DeWine took a stand Thursday against Ohio House Republicans who are trying to limit the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)’s powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, House Republicans on the House State and Local Government Committee (HSLGC) passed an amendment to a 2019 regulatory reform bill that would limit ODH’s orders to two weeks, The Ohio Star reported.

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State Rep. Grendell Drafts Bill to Force More Data Transparency from Dr. Amy Acton on COVID-19

State Rep. Diane Grendell (R- Geauga County) wants Ohio Health Department Director Dr. Amy Acton to be more forthcoming about COVID-19 statistics.

Grendell drafted the “Truth in COVID-19 Statistics” bill, the Record-Courier reported. She said the bill will be introduced in the House later this week, and she expects it to gain bipartisan support.

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Republican Lawmakers Grow Restless, Call for DeWine to Reopen Ohio

Some Ohio Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen the state.

The governor said Friday he would create a plan to gradually reopen the state, The Plain-Dealer said.

House Speaker Larry Householder convened a task force that will study how to reopen the economy. State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (R-OH-54) said Ohio needs to plan for controlling the disease for when segments of the economy reopen. He pointed out that some question whether 253 deaths as of Sunday justify the closures.

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‘You’re Getting a Paycheck, We’re Not,’ Protestors Say of DeWine, Acton

Approximately 150 people gathered outside the State Capitol in Columbus Monday to tell Gov. Mike DeWIne and Health Department Director Amy Action that it’s past time to reopen the state.

Tom Zawistowski, president of Ohio Tea Party group We the People Convention, estimated the attendance, in an interview with The Ohio Star. This was the second such protest since last Thursday.

Many of the protestors called out, “You’re getting a paycheck, we’re not,” Zawistowski said.

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Buckeye Institute Calls for Ending Regulations So Nurses Can Use Their Skills to Treat COVID-19 Patients

The Buckeye Institute says Ohio should end the collaborative supervision requirements that prevent advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) from offering the medical care they have been trained and licensed to provide.

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Allow Public Money to Follow Students to Their Chosen Education Provider, Researcher Tells Ohio Legislature

Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, testified Wednesday before Ohio legislators looking at solutions to the problems facing Ohio’s EdChoice program.

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Initiative Proposal Wants to Implement Term Limits on Ohio State Legislatures

  A group trying to alter the way term limits work in the Buckeye State filed petition paperwork with Attorney General Dave Yost Wednesday. A group called Ohioans for Legislative Term Limits (OLTL) wants to limit the number of years state elected officials can serve to 16. Currently, an amendment…

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Pending Ohio Legislature, Deregulation of Occupational Licenses Could Stimulate State’s Economy

As the Ohio Legislature studies ongoing reforms to occupational licensing, some say the move could give the state’s economy a much-needed boost while also reducing recidivism.

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Ohio Liberty Coalition Will Start Petition to Have Any Red Flag Law Placed on Ballot

The Ohio Liberty Coalition, a grassroots conservative organization, said it will start a petition to have any red flag law that passes the Ohio Legislature placed on the 2020 ballot for voters to decide on.

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Ban on Child Marriage Likely to Come Out of Ohio Legislature’s Lame-Duck Session

Ohio lawmakers have prioritized a list of bills they’d like to see hurried through the legislature in the lame-duck session that ends in December, and one of the most likely to pass is a ban on child marriage. With a list that includes abortion, gun laws and criminal-sentencing reform, one…

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Americans for Prosperity Announces Endorsements for Ohio State Legislature

Micah Derry

Americans for Prosperity-Ohio announced its endorsement Tuesday for six Ohio state legislative candidates based on their support for a free-market economy, low taxes and quality education. Andrew Brenner, Mike Rasor, Jim Trakas, Tim Barhorst, Todd Smith and Kristina Roegner all support “removing barriers to opportunity and improving the lives of Ohioans,” said…

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