Buckeye Institute Sues Over Law Allowing Columbus to Collect Income Taxes From Commuters Despite Emergency Order Preventing Them from Working in the City

The Buckeye Institute said that it and three employees filed a lawsuit over the taxing of workers’ income in Columbus since they do not live in the city and were not allowed to work there during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home order.

The lawsuit, which is available here, was filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Franklin County.

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Dave Yost Seeks Public’s Input on Whether Google Uses ‘Deceptive Sales Practices’

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he wants the public to weigh in on the question of whether internet search engines should be “allowed to favor their own products and services in search results.”

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President Trump Endorses Christina Hagan in Her Bid to Unseat U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan in 13th Congressional District

President Donald Trump has set his sights on one of Ohio’s big races — former State Rep. Christina Hagan’s bid to defeat U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13).

Trump on Friday tweeted his support for Hagan.

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Ohio Republican Party Frays, Leadership Falters As 2020 Election Heats Up

  Is Jane Timken the leader the Ohio State Republican Party needs to help President Donald Trump win re-election when her party seems to be engaged in a civil war? The stakes are high in the Buckeye State. Trump and Biden are locked in a dead heat, according to a…

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State Reps Introduce Bill to Ban Police Use of Chokeholds in Ohio

Two Ohio Democrats introduced a bill Friday to criminalize the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers in Ohio.

“Chokeholds can cause serious injury or even death. The NYPD ban on chokeholds didn’t prevent the death of Eric Garner. We cannot leave this up to cities and individual departments any more. The state must act. We need greater law enforcement accountability in Ohio,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), who introduced the bill with Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron).

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Ohio Dem Accuses State House Republicans of Failing to Address ‘Hostile Work Environment’

An Ohio Democrat claimed last week that current House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and his two predecessors “ignored requests dating back several years” to address “a hostile work environment in the Ohio House.”

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DeWine Opines on ‘Fast Reopening’, Walks With His Dog in Exclusive Dispatch Interview

What’s a newspaper to do when given an exclusive interview with the governor during a pandemic that has ravaged the state’s economy and rioting that has ravaged the capital city? Would you push against answers that are not true?

If you’re The Columbus Dispatch, you allow Gov. Mike DeWine to talk about the “quick” reopening of the state, his walks with his dog Dolly and how he social distances with his grandkids.

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Citizens for Community Values Pushes Back Against Hit Piece in The Columbus Dispatch

Citizens for Community Values is pushing back against a “blatantly biased” story in The Columbus Dispatch newspaper attacking them for working with the state to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CCV says it is “Ohio’s Family Policy Council” and “We endeavor to create an Ohio where God’s blessings of life, family, and religious freedom are treasured, respected, and protected.”

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DeWine Signs Student Religious Liberties Act Into Law

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Student Religious Liberties Act into law Friday, a bill that protects prayer and religious expression in public schools.

“No student should have to hide their faith just because they enter a public school. The Student Religious Liberties Act is carefully crafted to ensure school administrators can’t unfairly penalize students of all faiths, or no faith,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, one of twelve groups that testified in support of the bill.

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Ohio GOP Central Committee Censures Former Chairman Matt Borges for Supporting Biden

Matt Borges has been censured by the Ohio Republican Central Committee for working to defeat President Donald Trump and ensure Joe Biden wins the election.

Borges is the former chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. However, he has been running the Right Side PAC to support Biden, The Plain Dealer reported. The party said they took the action as well due to an FEC violation and Borges’ continued criticism of Trump. They also stripped his “chairman emeritus” status. 

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Ohio Democrats Ask Gov. DeWine to Ban Police Use of Tear Gas

Ohio Democrats asked Gov. Mike DeWine to indefinitely ban the use of tear gas by all county, municipal, and township police departments in a letter sent last week.

According to the letter, law enforcement agencies across Ohio used tear gas, pepper spray, and mace on peaceful protesters during recent demonstrations.

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Ohio Dems Call for Banning Sale of Confederate Memorabilia at All Fairs

Ohio House Democrats unsuccessfully attempted last week to ban the sale, display, possession, or distribution of Confederate flags at county and independent fairs.

During a Thursday night debate on House Bill 665, a bill related to agricultural societies and public safety, Democrats introduced two amendments in an effort to crack down on Confederate memorabilia.

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Franklin County Democratic Party Tells Local FOP Lodge Its Candidates Do Not Want Police Endorsements

The Franklin County Democratic Party has decided that the local Fraternal Order of Police does not need to endorse any of its candidates.

Party Chairman Michael Sexton informed the FOP Capital City Lodge #9 of the decision in a letter, available on the Democratic chapter’s Facebook page here from a Friday post.

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Lorain County Commission Candidate Sues to Overturn Primary Results, Saying Thousands of Republican Voters Were Disenfranchised

A Lorain County commission candidate who lost his race is suing to have the results from Dr. Amy Acton’s delayed primary election set aside, citing about 90 violations of state election law and the Ohio Constitution.

The candidate, Gerald W. Phillips, filed the election contest complaint in the Court of Common Pleas for Lorain County. 

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Eight Bars, Restaurants Sue Acton, DeWine Over ‘Constitutionally Vague’ Restrictions

A lawsuit has been filed against Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Gov. Mike DeWine in Lake County Common Pleas Court over “constitutionally vague” restrictions on restaurants and bars, The News-Herald reported.

The case has been assigned to Lake County Common Pleas Court Judge John P. O’Donnell. The plaintiffs are eight bars and restaurants, all but one being located in Northeast Ohio.

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Ohio House Dems Call for Additional Security After Threats on Black Lawmakers

Ohio House Democrats called on Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) to publicly condemn the threats of violence made against their leader and provide “additional security measures” for lawmakers.

“As Speaker and in recognition of your leadership role in the Ohio House of Representatives, you are granted additional security while in the statehouse,” House Democrats said in a letter to Householder last week.

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Two Pennsylvania Men Charged After Driving to Cleveland to Riot

Two Pennsylvania men were arrested Friday for traveling to Cleveland, Ohio on May 30 to participate in riots in response to the death of George Floyd, whose alleged murder by a Minneapolis police officer sparked unrest across the nation. 

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Ohio Black Caucus Introduces Bill to Declare Racism ‘Public Health Crisis’

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus announced Friday that it plans to introduce legislation to declare racism a “public health crisis.”

“Our citizens of color have been subjected to the effects of racism since the founding of the State of Ohio in 1803. Since that time, Ohioans of color have endured unequal education, unsafe work conditions, inadequate health care services, subpar housing and an unjust criminal justice system, based on policies that were rooted in a belief that people of color are not worthy of the American Dream,” said a statement from the caucus sent to every member of the Ohio General Assembly.

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Black Cincinnati Councilman Calls Out Violent Protests: ‘This Is Cincinnati Police. This is Not Minneapolis Police’

WLWT captured Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor, who is black, on video delivering an emotional dressing down of the violent protesters in his city’s downtown.

The riots are in protest of the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

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Ohio Dems ‘Outraged’ by Gov. DeWine’s Plan to Address COVID-19 Racial Disparities: ‘Too Little, Too Late’

Ohio Democrats said they were “outraged” by Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal for addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s black population.

African Americans make up 14 percent of Ohio’s population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths.

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Foundation Says Breach of Unemployment Claimants’ Data Causes Loss of Public Trust in Ohio Government

With the data breach exposing the information of unemployed Ohioans, one foundation is saying that the government’s failure to address known flaws with the benefits system means the public has lost trust in the state.

Deloitte Consulting is handling pandemic unemployment assistance claims for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. At least 130,000 independent contractors who filed 1099 forms but have not yet received benefits had their information, including addresses and social security numbers exposed on the Deloitte system, WLWT reported.

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Ohio Judge Castigates DeWine, Acton Over Their ‘Oppressive’ Shutdown of Gyms

The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, working on behalf of 35 independent gyms, struck a significant win for their right to exist by persuading a court to rule against Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton’s “oppressive” shutdown of their businesses.

The Ohio Court of Common Pleas in Lake County on Wednesday handed down a decision that castigated DeWine and the health department director and granted a preliminary injunction to prevent the gym owners from being prosecuted for opening while awaiting a court trial. The ruling is available in its entirety here.

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Ohio Lifts Stay-at-Home Order, Issues Urgent Health Advisory Instead

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine lifted the state’s stay-at-home order on Tuesday, changing it instead to an “urgent health advisory.”

Saying that Ohio had been successful in flattening the curve and that the rates of infection are down, DeWine cut short the stay-at-home order, instead shifting it to “strong recommendations.”

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Ohio House Democrats Call for Statewide Mail-In Voting, Eliminating Application for Absentee Ballot

Ohio House Democrats want to mail a ballot to every voter in the state and skip the “confusing application step,” according to an election proposal put forward Friday.

“Our members have worked intensely over the last several months pushing for improvements in the primary election and now proposing needed fixes to ensure a fall election that goes much more smoothly than the primary,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) (pictured above) said in a statement.

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Ohio Health Czar Acton Extends Dining Provisions Until July 1, Gov. DeWine Assembles Restaurant Police Force to Threaten Removal of Liquor Licenses

Between Health Director Dr. Amy Acton sneaking in an extension of her dining orders until July 1 and Governor Mike DeWine assembling a restaurant police force, one may wonder if Ohio is really reopening.

Late last Thursday, following the final press conference of the week, Acton issued the “Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order,” which is available here. The order allowed outside restaurant dining as of last Friday. 

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Gov. DeWine Prepared to Pull Plug on Ohio’s Reopening as His Strict Guidelines Lead to Penalties for Restaurants

Gov. Mike DeWine said he is prepared to “pull back” on Ohio’s reopening.

The governor made the remark Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

”Candidly, we’ve worked with the attorney general … and we’re going to do what we have to do if these things in fact occur across Ohio.”

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Ohio Antibody Testing Traces History of Coronavirus to January

Dr. Amy Acton claims the Ohio Health Department found five cases in five counties where COVID-19 symptoms were experienced in January.

Acton mentioned serological antibody testing and hinted that contact tracers were involved in investigating the patients’ cases during a press conference Monday, WLWT reported.

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Law on Takeovers of Underperforming Schools

The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld a law that changed how the state intervenes with schools that consistently perform poorly. The court ruled on Wednesday in favor of the constitutionality of a law that shifts the operational control of a poorly-performing school from the elected school board to unelected CEOs hired by state-appointed academic distress commissions.

Youngstown, Ohio, argued that the law stripped school boards of its power, according to AP News. The court said the school boards are currently set up in a way that does not require school board to receive any specific power.

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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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Newspaper Builds Convoluted Case to Accuse Rep. Vitale of Being Anti-Semitic for Calling Health Department Director ‘Globalist’

Thinking local is racist, according to The Columbus Dispatch, which built a convoluted case to accuse Ohio Rep. Nino Vitale (R-OH-85) of being anti-semitic for using the dirty word “globalist.”

On May 1, the Urban-area Republican posted on Facebook:

While you were sleeping, UNELECTED Acton declared Ohio closed until May 29th.

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90 Percent of Ohio’s Economy Expected to Reopen This Week

An estimated 90 percent of Ohio’s economy will be reopened by the end of the week under Gov. Mike DeWine’s “Responsible Restart Ohio Plan.”

Since May 1, the healthcare industry has been able to perform all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay, such as routine check-ups, outpatient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests.

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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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Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Asks Employers To Report Employees Who Refuse to Come to Work

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has set up a page on their website where employers can report employees who refuse to return to work as businesses set to reopen in the state.

Under the latest “Stay Safe Ohio” order, medical care such as a dentist or doctor visit that does not require an overnight stay reopened on May 1. Manufacturing, construction and distribution, as well as “general office environments,” reopened on May 4. Retail and service businesses are set to reopen on May 12, with social distancing practices.

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Dozen Members of DeWine, Husted’s Economic Advisory Board Are Campaign Donors

Up until now, you mostly had to be connected to big business — and to Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov Jon Husted — to have a say in how businesses of all sizes are considered in Ohio’s snails-pace reopening.

On Friday, DeWine said the state would begin a phased reopening from the Chinese coronavirus shutdown, The Ohio Star reported. The governor said he is forming a pair of advisory groups tasked with developing best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops and salons.

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Gov. DeWine Encourages Ohioans to ‘Have a Little #SpiritWeekOhio Fun’ and ‘Stay in Your PJ’s All Day’

Nearly 1 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment since Gov. Mike DeWine shut the state down, and the governor has responded by calling for a “Spirit Week” to have “#SpiritWeekOhio fun” which includes wearing pajamas.

Six of the state’s most influential business organizations last week sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine last week urging him to reopen the economy as nearly one million Ohioans have now filed unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as The Ohio Star reported Monday. The letter was signed by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Business Roundtable, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Council on Retail Merchants, Ohio Farm Bureau, and NFIB-Ohio.

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Business Groups Paint Dim Picture of Ohio Economy, Urge DeWine to Reopen ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’

Six of the state’s most influential business organizations sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine last week urging him to reopen the economy as nearly one million Ohioans have now filed unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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State Rep. Vitale’s Facebook Campaign Account is Alive and Well, Despite Reports to the Contrary

State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) says reports of his Facebook campaign page’s demise are greatly exaggerated — it was down temporarily, but the social media giant was very cooperative in restoring it.

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Ohio’s Urbana University Closing Its Doors for Good

Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, say they will close their campus at the end of the semester in May due to the combination of challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and years of low enrollment.

The school’s CEO Dr. Christopher Washington took to Facebook Monday to discuss the closure personally.

“I don’t think anyone seen this coming as fast as it did . The calamity of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting our entire nation and in fact our whole world has caused tremendous disruption and uncertainty in higher education,” he said in a video he made in his home.

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Lockdown Prevents Akron Barber with Stage 4 Cancer from Reaching Her Doctor at World-Renowned Johns Hopkins Medicine

Ohio’s prolonged lockdown is literally a life-and-death matter for an Akron barber battling a rare form of cancer as she cannot reach world-renowned Johns Hopkins Medicine for treatment.

Peggy Reed is a barber with Stage 4 Squamous Cell cancer of the nasal cavity. Much of her medical story is told on her GoFundMe page here.

Reed missed her appointment at Johns Hopkins on March 26 to see a specialist. Ohio’s stay at home order means no out of state travel is allowed. Maryland also has a stay at home order.

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Despite Massive Outbreak, Just 0.3 Percent of Ohio Inmates with COVID-19 Have Died

Two Ohio prisons are now home to the largest known clusters of COVID-19 in the nation, but the mortality rate for inmates with the virus is below one percent.

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