Ohio A.G. Yost Takes Aim at Another Provision of House Bill 6, Potential Energy Rate Hikes

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost took another swing Thursday at stopping provisions from controversial nuclear bailout House Bill 6 from impacting the state’s energy customers.

Late last year, Yost sued to stop ratepayer fees from being implemented that would have provided $150 million in money to Energy Harbor. Thursday, he filed a motion to stop FirstEnergy from executing another rate hike allowed in the legislation.

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Ohio Republican Senator Does Not Support Group That Plans to Challenge Election Results

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman said Monday he will vote to certify the president elections when Congress meets in joint session Wednesday, saying he does not support a group of Republican senators who plan to challenge the results.

The group of 11 senators it will reject electors from disputed states and has called for a commission to hold an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns from those states. They also want the disputed states to hold a special legislative session to certify votes in a manner consistent with the findings of the commission’s audit.

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Ohio Legislature Set to Begin New Year Under Even Stronger Republican Majority

The 2020 General Election added one additional Republican to the Ohio Senate and three additional Republicans to the Ohio House of Representatives.

Republicans now hold a 25-8 majority in the Senate and outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the House.

That increase in Republican lawmakers may spell hope for conservative Ohioans who are still hoping for legislation – for example, Senate Bill 311 – that restricts Governor Mike Dewine’s 11-month restriction reign ranging from the Arnold Classic to the requiring people be in a residence by 10:00 p.m.

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Ohio General Assembly Passes Legislation to Protect Against Surprise Health Care Bills

The Ohio General Assembly made history Tuesday and took a step to reduce health care costs for Ohioans. All that’s left is a signature from Gov. Mike DeWine.

When the Ohio Senate voted to support Substitute House Bill 388, which passed the Ohio House in May, it put into motion what would be a prohibition on surprise or balance billing. If DeWine signs the bill, Ohio will become the first state in the nation to ban such practices.

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Ohio Sees Spike in Drug Overdose Deaths as Pandemic Rages

Nineteen counties in Ohio have exceeded or equaled records for the most overdoses in a year as the nation continues to see a spike in drug overdoses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harm Reduction Ohio, a drug policy advocacy group which says it is the largest distributor of naloxone in the state, says the biggest increases in death caused by overdoses have occurred in central and east Ohio.

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Ohio Attorney General Warns Against COVID-19 Vaccination Scams

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is warning residents to watch out for scams related to the coronavirus vaccine distribution that began this week.

Yost has said scammers could potentially impersonate distributors or other health officials to mine for personal information such as a Social Security number with promise of putting them on a list to get vaccinated.

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Former State Rep Nina Turner Announces Ohio Congressional Bid

Former state representative and Sen. Bernie Sanders ally Nina Turner officially announced her bid to succeed Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge Tuesday.

Turner, a native Ohioan who has held multiple elected offices in her home state, developed a national profile after backing Sanders during his first presidential bid. Fudge was recently nominated to serve as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, and if confirmed by the Senate she will vacate her Cleveland-based congressional seat.

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First Vaccines Arrive in Ohio, Gov. DeWine Announces

Vaccines for the novel coronavirus have arrived and are being administered in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday.

The vaccine was first delivered to the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, where it was administered to healthcare workers. It was also delivered to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Each hospital received 975 doses.

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Gov. DeWine Hints at Extended Coronavirus Curfew

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Monday press conference that the curfew currently placed on the state will need to be extended, although he did not reveal more details. 

DeWine imposed a 21-day curfew on Ohio from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. running from November 19 to December 10. The curfew was meant as a “slow down” aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus and applied to retail and indoor seating at restaurants. The curfew exempted businesses like restaurants operating on take-out only, pharmacies and grocery stores.

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ODJFS Announces Return of Job-Search Requirement for Unemployment Benefits

Ohio residents applying for unemployment benefits after December 6 will be required to meet work-search requirements, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced on Wednesday.

Although the work-search requirement has been in effect “for decades,” it had been waived starting March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the department said.  Individuals who are quarantined or isolated by “order of a medical professional, local health authority or employer” are exempted from the requirement.

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Ohio Bill to Increase Access to School Choice Vouchers

The Ohio Senate has passed legislation which increases access to tuition vouchers through Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program, as well as changes the guidelines for eligible schools.

Ohio’s EdChoice Program allows students from eligible public schools to attend certain private schools and awards up to $4,650 for grades K-8 and $6,000 for grades 9-12, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

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Ohio AG Yost Files Suspension Proceedings Against Cincinnati Councilman Sittenfeld

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost initiated suspension proceedings against Cincinnati City Councilman P.J. Sittenfeld on Monday amid allegations of corruption.

Sittenfeld has been accused of accepting $40,000 in bribes and was charged with two counts each of honest services wire fraud, bribery and attempted extortion, NBC News reported.

Sittenfeld has denied the claims, saying that he is “innocent” and that the allegations are “simply not true.”

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Ohio AG Dave Yost Files Lawsuit Against Car Dealership Accused of Failing to Provide Car Titles

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a lawsuit against a used car dealership in the state for failing to provide titles to buyers, according to a statement released by the attorney general’s office on Friday. The lawsuit seeks reimbursement for a state fund used to help used car buyers resolve title problems.

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Ohio Gov. DeWine Imposes 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Curfew Beginning Thursday

Ohio will see a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. starting on Thursday in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to an announcement from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday.

The curfew will run for 21 days and apply to retail and indoor seating for restaurants, according to Fox8. It does not apply to restaurants open for takeout or delivery, pharmacies or grocery stores. It also does not apply to those who are seeking medical care, have an emergency or those who need to be at work.

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DeWine Says He Does Not Want Second Lockdown, Calls for ‘Slow Down’

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a press conference on Monday that he is not planning to impose a second full lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, instead calling for a “slow down” in the state.

Ohio is currently seeing thousands of new cases of COVID-19 each day, with nearly 8,000 new cases added on Monday, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project.

“Instead of shutting down, we have to slow down,” DeWine said at a conference from the Tri-State Airport in West Virginia, according to Fox8. “We have to slow down in our individual lives and our decisions in what we are doing.”

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Ohio Launching a New Unit to Ensure Mask Compliance as State Sees Record Number of Cases

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is doubling down on a mask mandate, and the state is launching a new unit to make sure businesses comply with the requirement.

The move comes as Ohio faces a record number of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions because of COVID-19. Roughly 3,000 Ohioans are hospitalized, including more than 700 people in the ICU, and during the first week of November, 104 Ohioans with the virus died.

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Court Ruling Allows Ohio Small Businesses to File Single Local Tax Return

An Ohio Supreme Court ruling should help small business owners cut through government bureaucracy and save time and money, according to a Central Ohio think tank.

The ruling, which could allow small businesses to file a single local income tax return, is a step in the right direction for small businesses throughout the state, according Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute.

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New Ohio School Funding Plan Goes Before Legislature

Calling the way Ohio funds public schools unpredictable, confusing and inadequate, Ohio lawmakers want to overhaul the system with a formula that could mean a $1.99 billion increase in funding. Changes could come sooner rather than later.

State Sens. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, and Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, introduced a bill Thursday that teams with a current house bill. It would change how the state determines the cost of educating a student, along with how the state decides how much a local district should contribute to that cost.

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Ohio Commission Wants Independent Audit of FirstEnergy

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio again took aim at the company at the heart of the state’s controversial nuclear bailout bill.

The PUCO initiated an audit of FirstEnergy’s compliance with corporate separation laws and regulations. Already, the commission is investigating the company’s Ohio distribution utilities’ political and charitable spending.

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DeWine Names New Chief Medical Officer, Director of Health Department

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced several new additions to the Ohio Department of Health on Twitter on Thursday, citing the pandemic as the reason for the new appointees.

DeWine named Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff as the Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health. Vanderhoff had previously served as senior vice president and chief medical officer for OhioHealth, a healthcare outreach for the United Methodist Church, since December 2008.

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Jordan Easily Wins Reelection as Ohio Becomes Interesting Player in Race for the White House

Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, easily won re-election to Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District in an election that had few surprises statewide.

However, as the night wore on, Ohio’s presidential outcome became more interesting nationwide as the race for the state’s 18 electoral votes continued to tighten between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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President Trump Takes Bellwether Ohio Again

Republican President Donald Trump has again won Ohio, a traditional bellwether for the nation.

Democrat Joe Biden mounted a vigorous challenge to Trump for the state’s 18 electoral votes, but fell short. Meanwhile, the state’s U.S. House incumbents again swept to victory in districts drawn for their elective safety.

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Two Plead Guilty to Racketeering in Ohio’s Nuclear Bailout Scandal

A key strategist for the former Ohio speaker of the house pleaded guilty in federal court as part of what the U.S. government calls a racketeering conspiracy involving a billion-dollar nuclear bailout.

Jeffrey Longstreth, 44, was a longtime campaign and political strategist for State Rep. Larry Householder, R-Glenford, the former House speaker who faces bribery and racketeering charges. Juan Cespedes, 41 of Columbus, a lobbyist the U.S. attorney says was hired by an energy company to funnel money to Householder’s enterprise, also pleaded guilty.

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Ohio Governor Says Guard Will be Ready If Asked on Election Day

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did not hesitate when asked if the Ohio National Guard would be used on election day to help keep the peace. Troops will provide support, although DeWine hopes a need doesn’t arise.

Speaking this week at a news conference to announce $5 billion of help for businesses across the state during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, DeWine said guard troops could be used in the same roles as during summer protests in some cities, as support for local law enforcement.

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Ohio House Introduces Bill to Bring Back Bar Hours

Ohio representatives introduced a bill on Tuesday seeking to reinstate normal business hours for bars and restaurants with liquor licenses in order to boost business.

The bill would remove the sanctions placed on Ohio bars, which currently bans alcohol sales past 10 p.m. and consumption past 11 p.m. Regulations would instead return to the Ohio Revised Code, which allows sales until 2:30 p.m. It also waives any disciplinary action taken against a bar or restaurant for breaking the restricted hours on or after July 31, when it went into effect.

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Ohio Per Capita Spending on Law Enforcement Among Lowest in the Nation

As calls for police reform and defunding police departments across the nation continue, a new report shows Ohio ranks in the bottom half of spending compared to the rest of the country.

MoneyGeek, a personal finance technology company, analyzed the $200 billion spent on policing and corrections by state and local governments.

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Grassroots Volunteers Rally Voters in Swing State of Ohio

Something changed in Yana Duke this year. She came to the U.S. as a youth from Ukraine, had never been involved in politics before. But during the 2020 campaign season, she felt she had to do something.

“What I’m afraid is coming to this country is what I’m running away from,” she said. “I’m really worried about socialism.”

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Ohio Announces Pandemic Grants, Governor Denounces Threats

Small businesses, bars and restaurants, low-income renters, arts groups, and colleges and universities are among those eligible for $429 million in federal pandemic dollars being released by the state next week, Gov. Mike DeWine and his fellow Republican legislative leaders announced Friday.

The aid package, which the governor has promised for several weeks, is scheduled to go before a bipartisan state legislative spending panel Monday. Its passage is assured with the backing of House Speaker Bob Cupp and Senate President Larry Obhof, who joined the governor at Friday’s virtual news conference.

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Judge Dismisses All Charges Against Investigative Journalist Millie Weaver

Charges against former InfoWars correspondent Millicent “Millennial Millie” Weaver were dropped on Wednesday, Weaver announced on her Twitter.

Weaver, 29, was originally arrested in August on charges of robbery, a second-degree felony, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, obstructing justice, a fifth-degree felony and domestic violence, according to the indictment filed on July 20 in Portage County Court of Common Pleas, News 5 Cleveland reported.

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