Ohio Senate Passes Emergency Legislation Meant to Help Ohioans During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed emergency legislation aimed at helping Ohioans deal with the coronavirus.

House Bill 197 dealt with a plethora of issues including the state’s primary voting, education, taxes and unemployment benefits.

The Ohio House of Representatives will vote on this bill later today.

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Dark Money Group Promoting DeWine’s Gun Control Platform Has Connections to Governor

A recent report found that a dark money group promoting Gov. Mike DeWine’s gun control platform has connections to the governor himself.

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New Senate Bills Provide Greater Restrictions on Physicians Providing Abortions

Two anti-abortion bills in the Ohio Senate have cleared the Health Committee, making way for closer restrictions on abortion pill reverse treatment and rights of abortion survivors. Both could get a vote by the full Senate as early as Wednesday.

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Ohio Democratic House Sends Letter to Speaker Complaining LGBTQ Members are Not ‘Protected Class’ in House Employee Handbook

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) sent a formal letter of complaint to Speaker Larry Householder this week expressing “disappointment and concern” that LGBTQ employees are not listed as a “protected class” in the House of Representatives’ Employee Handbook.

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Former State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson Recommended by Senate Republicans to Fill Vacant 14th District Seat, Could Face Primary Challenge

Senate President Larry Obhof announced Wednesday the recommendation of former State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson to fill the vacant 14th Senate District seat. Johnson served in the Ohio House from 2011 to 2018. He was forced to leave because of term limits. One of the other five aspiring appointees told The Ohio Star he is considering a primary challenge. More are possible.

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Ohio Senate Updates High School Graduation Requirements, Denies State School Board Push for ‘Social Emotional Learning’ and ‘Culminating Student Experience’ Provisions

When the biennial budget passed on July 17th, it contained an Ohio Senate provision that changed the high school graduation requirements. The State Board of Education (SBE) had been pushing a different version.

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Ohio’s ‘Nuclear Bailout’ Bill Stuck in Legislative Limbo

  COLUMBUS, Ohio — First Energy gave the Ohio Legislature until June 30 to pass House Bill 6, which opponents called a bailout. Failure to pass it by the company’s imposed deadline would result in the shutdown of at least one of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, the company warned. The…

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Ohio’s Republican Legislature Passes Massive Budget Increase

  COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate overwhelmingly passed House Bill 166 on Wednesday. Arriving at the final version of the biennial budget had been a source of contention between the two chambers, resulting in a 17-day extension. But the hatchet was buried and…

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State Board of Education vs. the State Senate on the Issue of Graduation Requirements

  The State Board of Education has been working on revamping graduation requirements, but their plan differs from one currently under consideration in the State Senate. In November 2018, the Board approved Resolution 15 to adopt the recommendations of the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee for High School Graduation Requirements. Those necessities…

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Ohio Budget Process Stalls, House and Senate Vote to Extend

  The Ohio House of Representatives met for a short, Sunday evening session to approve two bills and reject Senate amendments to a third. They were operating under a June 30 deadline for passage of the biennial budget, House Bill 166, and the budget for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation…

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Ohio Senate Unanimously Passes Biennial Spending Bill

  The Ohio Senate unanimously passed its budget plan Thursday in a vote of 33-0. All nine of the state’s Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill. The Senate and House of Representatives now have until June 30 to agree on a budget and finalize a biennial spending bill. A…

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Ohio Senate’s Budget Outspends House’s Budget by $205 Million, Expert Says

  Greg Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, is taking his message of sustainability to the Ohio Senate Finance Committee, which is currently hearing testimony on its version of the state’s biennial budget. As The Ohio Star previously reported, Lawson has been urging lawmakers all session to avoid…

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State Senator Says Cutting Tax Breaks for Small Businesses Would Be ‘a Mistake’ for Ohio

  State Sen. Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati) said it would be “a mistake” for the Ohio Senate to support a decrease to the tax breaks small businesses receive in the state. “There are a range of issues with the House budget that concern us in the Senate. The first would be…

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Anti-Smoking Groups Actually Testified Against DeWine’s Proposal to Raise Minimum Age to 21

  Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has called for raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, a proposal that’s included in Ohio’s biennial budget bill. But anti-smoking groups in the state have actually testified against the proposal. These groups believe that the proposal would mostly punish youth…

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Ohio Senate Asked to Reconsider $550 Million Increase in Spending on Education

  The Ohio Senate Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education was asked to reconsider spending an additional $550 million on public education in the state’s biennial budget, House Bill 166. Testifying before the committee Wednesday, Greg Lawson, a senior research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, pointed out that “Ohio’s…

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Ohio Senate Passes Bill Requiring State Agencies to Cut Regulations By 30 Percent

  The Ohio Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require every state agency to cut its rules and regulations by 30 percent over three years in order to encourage economic growth. Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Sens. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), requires that state agencies…

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Ohio State Rep Introduces Bill in Response to 9-Year-Old’s Drag Performance

State Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) has introduced a bill that he says would close a “loophole in child exploitation laws” after a 9-year-old boy performed in drag at a bar just outside of Columbus. Jacob Measley, who performs under the name “Miss Mae Hem,” sparked outrage online in December after…

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Heartbeat Bill Set to Become Law in Ohio After Emotional Day at the Statehouse

One of the most divisive and talked-about bills in Ohio’s history is officially on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk and is expected to be signed into law at any moment. After months of debate and numerous committee hearings, the heartbeat bill passed the Ohio House Wednesday afternoon in…

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Ohio Lawmakers Look to Institute $10,000 Fines for Violations of Heartbeat Bill, Use Money Collected for Adoption Efforts

Ohio House Republicans added substantial new provisions to their version of the “heartbeat bill” that have the potential to make one of the state’s most controversial pieces of legislation even more divisive. While the Senate already passed its version of the bill last month, it is still making its way…

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Communities Brace for Diesel Tax Increases After DeWine Signs Gas Tax Into Law

Tennessee Star

In one of his first major acts in office, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) signed into law the state’s first gas tax increase since 2005. The issue has been the focal point of his first few months in office, and negotiations with House and Senate Republicans have not been easy. But…

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Gas Prices Spike as Ohio Legislature Approves Gas Tax Hike

The American Automobile Association (AAA) announced Monday that only three months into 2019, the nation’s average gas price has spiked by almost 45 cents. Ohio prices increased as well, but by slightly less than the national average. While Ohioans may be relieved, experts are predicting that these price increases are expected…

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Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Outlaw Practice of Dumping Aborted Fetal Remains in Public Landfills

The Ohio Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require abortion providers in the state to either cremate or bury the fetal remains from an abortion rather than sending them to public landfills, which is the current practice. Senate Bill 27 was sponsored by State Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township)…

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Lake Erie Improvements Bill Turned Into a 90-Page Spending Package with $2 Million in Renovations to the Ohio Governor’s Residence

The Ohio Governor’s Residence in Bexley is set to receive $2 million in renovations on the taxpayer’s dime after the funding was tossed into a catch-all bill passed at the last minute of 2018. Senate Bill 51 was initially introduced in the Ohio Senate in February 2017 as a piece…

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DeWine Sends ODOT Director to Senate to Lobby for 18-Cent Gas Tax

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Workforce Committee began hearing testimonies Monday on Gov. Mike DeWine’s demand for an 18-cent gas-tax increase. The chairman of that committee, Sen. Rob McColley (R-01) (pictured, left), however, made it clear that he and his fellow Senate Republicans oppose the 18-cent…

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Strict Occupational Licensing Requirements Hurt Ohio’s Minority Communities

Multiple bills before the Ohio legislature could cut down on the state’s occupational “over-licensing” problem that some experts argue adversely affects women and minorities. Battleground State News previously reported on Senate Bill 255, which would unshackle workers from the state’s burdensome licensing requirements. A second bill, House Bill 189, focuses…

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