Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: Ohio Has Seen Decrease in Domestic Opioid Production and Distribution

Thursday, the Republican National Committee hosted a Zoom press call with Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and congressional nominee Max Miller (OH-07) to discuss border security, the fentanyl crisis, and crime.

In speaking with Tricia McLaughlin Communications Director for Governor Mike DeWine and Husted, “The domestic supply of opioids from over prescribing pharma companies both production and distribution have largely ceased.”

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Dramatic Increase in Attendance for Off-Campus Religious Instruction in Central Ohio

Religious release time programs increase in popularity as optional classes during the school day.

Pastor Claude Davis of New Life Church in Whitehall, the facilitator of a released time program, said that their program drastically jumped from a mere 18 students on the first day to 269 students in attendance last year.

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Seven Midwest States Enter Hydrogen Coalition

Seven Midwest states entered a coalition to pursue clean hydrogen development as an alternative to gas and diesel fuel.

The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin signed onto the Midwest Hydrogen Coalition. The coalition will accelerate clean hydrogen development, from production and supply chain to distribution in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries.

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Parent-Teacher Tensions Run High over Lack of Mental Health Transparency from Mentor School Educators

Mentor Schools is withholding mental health information about transgender or transitioning students from parents.

An Ohio school board meeting on Tuesday, September 13th raised concern in parents over an e-mail which went out to teachers in the district informing them that they are not required to inform parents if a student, 11 years old or older, who is transgender or transitioning asks to use a different name or pronoun.

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Packed House Shows for Renacci’s Kick Off to Pro-MAGA Forum Series in Medina

Former Ohio Republican congressman and current Chairman of American Greatness PAC Jim Renacci held his first in a series of pro-MAGA (Make America Great Again) forums at the Thirsty Cowboy in Medina, Ohio.

“Last night, 11 conservatives from different niches talked about uniting the conservative base and forwarding MAGA policies. I think it’s the start of something great. American Greatness can be achieved,” Renacci posted on Facebook following the meeting.

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Concerned Parents Flood Hillard City School Board Meeting over Staff-Worn LGBTQ ‘I’m Here’ Badges

Hilliard City Schools met for a board meeting on Monday to discuss a policy regarding release time for religious instruction. However, the meeting was flooded with concerned parents over new LGBTQ “I’m Here” badges worn by classroom faculty and adult staff at the schools.

These badges were implemented at the beginning of the school year and were distributed by the teachers union National Education Association (NEA) and its local affiliate, Hilliard Education Association (HEA), according to Lisa Chaffee, director of Ohio Parents Rights and Education.

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Questions Remain About Government Incentives as Intel Breaks Ground in Ohio

Although dirt began moving weeks ago at Intel’s massive $20 billion chip manufacturing site in central Ohio, local, state and federal officials, along with President Biden, praised Intel’s decision and the government incentives offered to lure the chip giant at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.

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Ohio Secretary of State Supports Voter Fraud Prosecution for Four More People Who Allegedly Voted Twice

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has referred four additional people for prosecution after his office found evidence that appears to show they voted in two states.

His office partnered with officials in Iowa, Missouri, Nevada and Oregon to find individuals who allegedly voted in another state, then cast an illegal second ballot in Ohio in the 2020 election, LaRose announced Wednesday.

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Commentary: Ohio Jobs Head for Right-to-Work States

As workers across the country look forward to a long Labor Day weekend, we feel compelled to alert policymakers of a robust movement of manufacturing and other jobs and opportunities from Ohio to Michigan and Indiana, our home states.

We have examined the employment impact of state right-to-work laws at the county level. Right-to-work laws simply say that no worker need be compelled to join or financially support a union. These laws allow for greater worker freedom, and evidence shows that they are a powerful economic development tool. Our study found mostly positive impacts for states with such protections and an unambiguously negative impact on the Buckeye State, which lacks a right-to-work law.

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Ohio Already Reaping Millions from Sports Gambling

Sports betting will open in Ohio on Jan. 1, and the state could realize revenues of more than $30 million from fees this year.

Nonrefundable application fees of $9.6 million have already been received according to a report from PlayOhio. Once an application is approved, the vendor must pay a license fee to begin taking bets, then pay an annual fee to continue the license. Licenses are good for five years, at which time the fee structure begins again.

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Another Poll Shows JD Vance Leading in Ohio U.S. Senate Race

A new poll released by the Trafalgar Group shows Ohio Republican U.S. Senate nominee JD Vance with a 4.6 percent lead over Democrat nominee Tim Ryan.

The poll was conducted from August 16 through August 19 and contained the responses of 1087 likely general election voters with a margin of error of 2.9 percent and a confidence rating of 95 percent.

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Ohio’s COVID-19 Federal Funeral Expense Funds More than Doubles Since January 1

The federal government handed out more than twice as much money in COVID-19 funeral reimbursements to Ohioans over the past seven months than it did from the beginning of the program in 2020 until January.

As of Aug. 1, FEMA has given more than $2.7 billion to fulfill 420,000 applications for help with funeral costs for pandemic-related deaths since Jan. 20, 2020. In Ohio, 18,860 of those have shared more than $122.2 million.

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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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Ohio Takes Lead in Class Action Lawsuit Against Facebook

The Ohio Employees Retirement System will lead the effort in a class action lawsuit that seeks to recover millions of dollars from Facebook and force the company to reform its internal practices.

A federal judge in the U.S. District Court of Northern California on Wednesday chose Ohio to be lead plaintiff in the securities case Attorney General Dave Yost originally filed in November 2021, according to a release from Yost.

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Ohio Bill Would Make Accommodations for Pregnant Employees Law

Ohio employers would have to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees and would be encouraged to talk with pregnant employees about how to ensure their health and safety if a recently introduced bill becomes law.

The legislation, like bills filed in 30 other states, continues moves made by Statehouse Democrats in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned abortion rights.

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Report: Ohio Among Nation’s Worst in Unemployment Recovery

Ohio was just one of four states that saw unemployment claims rise the last week of June compared to a year ago, according to a recently released report from WalletHub.

And, Ohio is the next-to-last state to recover from unemployment during the same week compared to a year ago, the report from the personal finance website showed.

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Jim Renacci: I Will Lead the American Greatness Fund to Make Sure ‘the MAGA Movement Continues’

Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor of The Star News Network, interviewed former Republican Ohio congressman Jim Renacci about his new position leading the American Greatness Fund. Renacci said he was joining the fund so that he could help revive the MAGA movement, and create scorecards to hold politicians accountable to the voters.

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Ohio Bill Would Protect Students’ Faith

Professors at Ohio colleges and universities could be required to accommodate students’ religious beliefs and practices if a bill recently passed by the House becomes law.

The “Testing Your Faith Act,” according to co-sponsor Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, would eliminate the potential of having to choose between academic standing and religion for students at colleges and universities.

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Lawmaker Wants Ohio Voters to Decide Recreational Marijuana Use This Year

One lawmaker is continuing his push to allow Ohio voters to decide in November to legalize the recreational use of marijuana after a lawsuit settlement pushed a potential ballot initiative to 2023.

A citizens group working for a vote this year reached a settlement with state officials recently that will put the measure on the ballot next year. Also, the state agreed to accept more than 140,000 signatures the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has already collected.

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Short-Term Rental Bill Moves Forward in Ohio House

Ohio homeowners who want to get into the Arbnb business got a boost recently when a bill that would limit local restrictions moved out of a house committee.

Committee approval came over objections from several local government entities, the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association and the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Republicans Argue for Previously Tossed Maps

Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission want the state’s Supreme Court to put legal challenges to proposed district maps on hold until after the November general election.

The commission majority wants to use state legislative district maps already ruled unconstitutional to hold an Aug. 2 primary and the general election. It wants the court not to order the commission to draw new maps until after November.

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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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Bail Reform in Ohio Becoming More of an Issue

A recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling focusing on considerations a judge weighs when setting bail has led to activity in the Ohio Statehouse.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost expressed so much concern about the court’s 4-3 decision in DuBose vs. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety, that he recently announced his support for a proposed constitutional amendment regarding bail reform.

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Lawmakers Want Ohio’s State Vehicle Fleet to Transition to Electric

When the state of Ohio buys new vehicles, 25% of those would be electric in less than three years if a bill introduced in the Ohio House becomes law.

State Reps. Kent Smith, D-Euclid, and Casey Weinstein, D-Hudson, want all new vehicles for state’s fleet of 12,405 to be completely electric by Jan. 1, 2030.

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Probable Cause Found in Blystone Financial-Reporting Probe; Election Commission Books Expedited Hearing One Day Before Election

Joe Blystone

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) found probable cause to further investigate and decide two complaints filed against Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone’s campaign and booked a full-panel hearing for May 2, one day before the primary election.

Thursday, a Probable Cause panel comprised of commissioners D. Michael Crites (R), Charleta B. Tavares (D) and Ernest C. Knight (I) voted unanimously on an expedited investigation into cases that allege the Canal Winchester farmer and restauranteur improperly reported campaign contributions and expenditures and spent campaign funds for personal use.

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Ohio Unemployment Rate Dips, Remains Above National Average

Ohio added more than twice as many private-sector jobs in March than it did in February, and the state’s unemployment rate fell slightly, according to recently released figures by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Overall, the state’s unemployment rate for March of 4.1% was down slightly from February’s 4.2% but higher than the national average of 3.6%. Also, Ohio’s labor participation rate rose to 61.7% from 61.6%, below the national average of 62.4%.

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Ohio Supreme Court Throws Out Fourth Set of State Legislative Maps

The Ohio Supreme Court struck down a fourth set of state legislative district maps Thursday, ordering the Ohio Redistricting Commission to develop and adopt an entirely new set of maps by May 6.

The ruling declared the fourth set of maps invalid in its entirety. The new plan must be filed with Secretary of State Frank LaRose by 9 a.m. May 6 and filed with the court by noon the same day.

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Ohio Bill Aims at Protecting Free Speech for Students, Professors

Ohio college students and professors would be able to speak more freely without fear of punishment if a wide-ranging post-secondary education bill passed by the General Assembly gets Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature.

The legislation also addresses student financial aid, workforce development and offers a second-chance voucher system that would provide a pathway for people to return to school and earn a degree.

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Bill Would Force Ohio Long-Term Care Facilities to Allow Visitors During Pandemics

Ohio nursing home residents are a step closer to having visitors during the next pandemic or state of emergency after the General Assembly passed a bill that requires long-term care facilities to create a visitation plan to allow compassionate caregivers to enter facilities.

Substitute House Bill 120 outlines criteria for compassionate care visitations in long-term care facilities under CMS guidance during any future epidemic, pandemic and state of emergency.   

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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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Ohio Lawmaker Wants State Supreme Court to Pay for Second Primary

An Ohio lawmaker wants the Ohio Supreme Court to pay the potential $20 million price tag for a second primary election after it ruled three times legislative redistricting maps were unconstitutional.

Rep. Ron Ferguson, R-Jefferson, plans to introduce legislation to pull second primary election costs from the court’s budget, saying the Ohio Redistricting Commission worked in a bipartisan manner to develop new districts.

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OH-9 Incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur Facing Uphill Battle for Re-election

OH-9 incumbent Democrat U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur is facing an uphill battle in her campaign for reelection.

Prior to redistricting, Ohio’s Ninth Congressional district was considered a safe seat for the current Democrat occupant. Nate Silver’s fivethirtyeight gave OH-9 a partisan rating of D+16. It now gives the district a R+6 rating.

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Always Right with Bob Frantz: Blue Collar Candidate Jonah Schulz Plans to Continue the America First Movement

Thursday morning on Always Right with Bob Frantz, weekday mornings on AM 1420 The Answer, host Frantz welcomed America First congressional candidate Jonah Schulz to the show to discuss why he’s running and the need for an end to establishment Republicans.

Frantz: Let’s welcome to the program now, Jonah Schulz. It’s been a little bit since we have talked to the candidate for Congress. I won’t say which district because I still don’t know what district he’s going to be running in, but he’s still running for Congress. And he joins us now on 1420 The Answer. Hi, Jonah. Good morning.

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Ohio Bill Would Require High-Volume Marketplace Sellers to Be Identified

Ohioans browsing and buying on online marketplaces would get more information about sellers if a bill aimed at organized retail crime is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

House Bill 272, which would require high-volume, third-party online sellers to disclose pieces of identifying information that could protect consumers, recently passed the Senate and is headed to DeWine’s desk.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Gov. DeWine Declares the State of Ohio Strong; Dems Disappointed in Speech

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday the state of the state is strong but challenged the General Assembly to do more for mental health, addiction issues, state parks, children, highway safety, law enforcement and violent crime.

DeWine also asked lawmakers to invest more for economic development, addiction treatment and downtown redevelopment in the state’s 32-county Appalachian region.

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Bill Would Expand Medical Marijuana Program in Ohio

Ohioans suffering from migraines, arthritis or other medical conditions could be eligible for medical marijuana if a bill in the Ohio House to expand conditions eligible for treatment becomes law.

The legislation also would create the Division of Marijuana Control within the Department of Commerce to oversee the state’s medical marijuana program, rather than the State Pharmacy Board that currently controls it.

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Report: Ohio’s Tax Rate One of the Worst in the Nation

A new report ranks Ohio with one of the worst overall tax rates in the country as the tax filing deadline approaches.

The report, released by the personal finance website WalletHub, was teamed with the group’s annual taxpayer survey, which showed more than 70% of Americans believe more tax relief is necessary because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Report: Ohio’s Sports Betting Law a Model for the Nation

The sports betting areas inside the casinos are like trading floors.

An industry group that tracks sports betting laws and revenue from gaming across the nation called Ohio’s new sports gambling law the best in the country.

PlayOhio, part of the PlayUSA Network, believes the state’s patience and collaborative approach to produce its sports gaming law set the bar high for state’s still debating gaming options. The group’s opinions are outline in a new market analysis recently published.

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Military Voting for Ohio’s May 3 Primary Remains Uncertain After Department of Defense Denies Waiver

The U.S. Department of Defense’s refusal to allow Ohio a waiver could jeopardize military voting in the state’s upcoming May 3 primary, state Democrats said.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose, however, has sent proposed legislation to the General Assembly he believes would sidestep any issues as the state continues to wait on Ohio Supreme Court approval of state and congressional district maps.

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State Senator Wants Ohio to Be Leader in Electric Vehicle Market

A northeast Ohio state senator believes moving the state more rapidly into the electric vehicle industry is the way to restore the state’s once booming auto industry.

Sen. Michael Rulli, R-Salem, wants the state to take advantage of billions of dollars in investments planned by the auto industry in the electric vehicle market over the next three years by offering incentives to convert traditional plants and create a high-tech workforce.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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Petition to Ban Ohio Vaccination Mandates Turned Away for Third Time

Another attempt by a grassroots group to create an Ohio law that would ban vaccination mandates was turned away by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Yost rejected the summary of a petition for the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act, a proposed statue that would require the state to protect the privacy and freedom of Ohioans to abstain from vaccinations or gene therapy without being discriminated against.

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The Ohio Star Podcast: Interview with Jim Renacci, Peter D’Abrosca on Marjorie Taylor Greene Endorsing J.D. Vance, Meet Corey Gibson

In the latest episode of The Ohio Star Podcast, Neil W. McCabe, the national political editor for The Star News Network, hosts The Ohio Star Podcast. In this episode, Neil interviews TSSN reporter Peter D’Abrosca talks about his story on Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R.-Ga.) endorsing Senate hopeful J.D. Vance and his inactions with the Food and Drug Administration withdrawing approval of COVID-19 antibody drugs.

Also: former congressman Jim Renacci talks about the new poll of 800 Republican Primary Voters conducted Jan. 11 through Jan. 13 his campaign just released.

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