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The Ohio Statehouse

Redistricting Commission Adopts District Maps That Appear To Retain Republican Supermajority

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Redistricting Commission has adopted an official proposal for the new state House and Senate district maps. Now leaders will go to different parts of the state to hear public comment on the maps that were drawn by the Republican caucuses. The majority caucuses in the House and Senate… Read More

A person pulls a gun out of a bag

Democrats, NAACP Sue Over Ohio Stand-Your-Ground Gun Bill

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Democratic lawmakers, the NAACP and a grassroots organizing group have sued the attorney general of Ohio saying the last-minute approval of a “stand-your-ground” gun bill is unconstitutional. The provision was added to a bill that had near-unanimous support in the final days of the Legislature’s two-year session in December. The bill introduced… Read More

A sign outside of the Nelsonville voter precinct lets people know where they can vote.

Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets Two Meetings In One Day, Republicans Will Propose Maps

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Majority caucus leaders in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate have been working behind the scenes on a new state legislative district map for the 99 seats in the Ohio House and 33 seats in the Ohio Senate. Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said he’s looked over the maps with… Read More

Gov. Mike DeWine gives a coronavirus update from his home on August 20, 2020.

Ohio Opens $250M Grant Program For Broadband Expansion Projects

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The state is now accepting submissions for broadband expansion projects to reach regions of Ohio that don’t have reliable access to the internet. The millions of dollars in broadband expansion money was approved in the FY22-23 state budget. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) has said connecting people to reliable internet… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse in Spring

Lawmakers Wrestle with Impact Policies Have on Criminal Justice System

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AKRON, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — When it comes to reforming Ohio’s criminal justice system, changing the laws tends to start at the state-level. But while lawmakers look at shifting sentencing from prison to treatment, there’s also an urge by officials to increase penalties, resulting in what can be a contrasting approach to reform. Ray… Read More

In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y.

Health Committee Reconvening Early For Bill Banning Vaccine Mandates

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Some members of the Ohio House will be returning to the Statehouse earlier than expected to continue hearings on a bill, HB248, that would ban vaccine mandates for most entities. Republican leadership in the House granted approval for the health committee to reconvene at the request of committee chair… Read More

A mask up sign on a trash can on Court Street in Athens

Many Ohio Businesses Won’t Likely Require Masks To Deal With Delta Strain Of COVID

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Now that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised all Americans, vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors to prevent spread of the highly-contagious Delta variant, what will Ohio businesses and government do? In a written statement, the Ohio Department of Health reiterated Gov. Mike DeWine’s earlier comment that… Read More

Sam Randazzo, now-former PUCO chair, testifies in the House Select Committee on Energy Policy and Oversight

Lawmaker Disputes DeWine’s Claim That Randazzo’s FirstEnergy Ties Were Clear

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — FirstEnergy said it paid a bribe of more than $4 million dollars to Sam Randazzo before he became chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says he didn’t know about the bribe until late 2020, but insists that Randazzo’s past work with FirstEnergy was common… Read More

A leaf from a cannabis plant

Group Wants Ohio Lawmakers To Legalize Marijuana Or They’ll Take It To Voters

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A group hoping to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Ohio has changed its legalization plan. It’s now looking at passing a state law rather than a constitutional amendment. The plan gives lawmakers four months from when the proposal is submitted to pass it as is, or the group can circulate more… Read More

Prison Bars

Is There Finally Some Agreement On The Need For Bail Reform In Ohio?

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKSU) — In the early 1980s, Robin Turner got caught up in the world of drugs. She was arrested and incarcerated pending trial until her brother helped her post bond. “I lost my housing. I had to pack up and move and move back in with my mom,” she said. Today, she is… Read More

FILE - This undated photo provided by the Ohio Governor's Office shows Sam Randazzo, of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

DeWine Learned Of FirstEnergy Payment To Former PUCO Chair Before He Resigned

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine has made his first public comments since last week’s plea deal from FirstEnergy in the federal corruption case involving the nuclear power plant bailout law known as House Bill 6. DeWine was asked what he knew about the connection between the Akron-based utility and the person he appointed to… Read More

Cory and Shari Foltz, parents of Stone Foltz, a BGSU student who died as a result of hazing, July 26, 2021

Public Colleges Have New Principles To Prevent Hazing On Campuses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio has a new law that stiffens penalties for people convicted of hazing at the state’s college campuses. Now, the public colleges themselves are taking actions to prevent hazing. The Inter-University Council, which represents Ohio’s public universities, has what it says is a zero-tolerance approach to hazing. It includes, among other things, automatic… Read More

Remnants of the COVID-19 Pandemic are seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

New Bill Would Ban Or Limit Mask Mandates In Ohio’s Schools And Businesses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio’s COVID-19 rates are on an upward trend, and less than half of the state’s residents have been vaccinated. Still, some lawmakers want to make sure Ohioans who don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t want to wear masks won’t feel compelled to do so. The latest bill would keep schools… Read More

A leaf from a cannabis plant

Democrats Sponsor Bill To Legalize, Regulate And Tax Marijuana In Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Two Democrats are introducing a bill in the Ohio House that would legalize marijuana for personal use beyond the medical use already allowed in law now. It’s the first bill that would set up a structure for the state to regulate and tax it. Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) said his… Read More

A technician from the Findlay College of Pharmacy fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Reynoldsburg, February 2021.

DeWine Signs Bill Banning Schools, Colleges From Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine Under Emergency Use

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COLUMBUS (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) has signed a bill into law that prohibits public K-12 schools, colleges, and universities from requiring people to get a vaccine if that vaccine does not have “full approval” by the Food and Drug Administration. This applies to the COVID-19 vaccine, which has been approved by the FDA through… Read More

Early voters at the Athens County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020

New Bill Would Repeal Election Changes Made In New Budget

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COLUMBUS (Statehouse News Bureau) — There’s an effort underway to repeal provisions in the new two-year state budget that non-profit groups say will prevent them from educating Ohioans about the voting process. Gov. Mike DeWine and Sec. of State Frank LaRose, both Republicans, said they don’t think the language in the budget will prevent public-private collaboration on… Read More

A display of fireworks in a store in central Ohio

Bill To Legalize Fireworks In Ohio Implodes As DeWine Vetoes It

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COLUMBUS (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine has vetoed a bill that was passed by a large majority of legislators that would have allowed Ohioans to set off the big fireworks they can legally purchase here in Ohio. The bill would have allowed Ohioans who now must promise to take fireworks out of state to… Read More

Quicken Loans Arena, now Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, during 2016 NBA Finals

Sports Betting Awaits Ohio Lawmakers After Summer Break

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COLUMBUS (Statehouse News Bureau) — With the budget bill signed into law, legislators are looking ahead for the next big issues to be tackled after summer break. Among the conversations that’ll take place between now and when lawmakers return will be the future of sports betting in Ohio. While approaching the June 30 budget deadline, the… Read More

David DeVillers

Ohio On The Hunt To Recover $465M In Unemployment Fraud

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COLUMBUS (Statehouse News Bureau) — After nearly a year of dealing with massive fraud, Ohio is launching a multi-agency operation to search for the people who bilked the state out of hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment claims. Leaders say the probe will likely find scammers within Ohio and around the world. David DeVillers, former… Read More

Unemployment Office sign

Unemployed Ohioans Want Representation On State Unemployment Panel

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Late last month, Ohio ended the extra $300 unemployment benefit that had been coming from the federal government, saying it would encourage Ohioans to get back to work quicker. Advocates for unemployed and low-income Ohioans disagree, saying that decision is shortsighted and hurts families. The Executive Director of the… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse building

‘Collin’s Law’ Signed To Stiffen Hazing Penalties In Ohio

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tougher criminal penalties for hazing in Ohio will take effect this fall, nearly three years after the death of the college student for whom the law is named. Gov. Mike DeWine signed “Collin’s Law” on Tuesday. It’s named for Collin Wiant, an Ohio University student who died in 2018. Momentum for… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse in Spring

DeWine Signs Ohio’s New Two-Year Budget With 14 Vetoes

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Nearly two hours past the midnight deadline, Gov. Mike DeWine put out a statement saying he signed the two-year, $75 billion state budget – while striking out 14 items. Most of the vetoes were technical and specific, but others were more notable. (Read DeWine’s full veto statement here.) DeWine struck the… Read More

Gov. DeWine signs Name, Image & Likeness Executive Order

DeWine Signs Order To Allow Name, Image & Likeness When Ohio Legislature Failed To Pass Bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — After a bill that would allow college athletes in Ohio to profit from their name, image or likeness became ensnared in Statehouse politics last week, Governor DeWine has taken the issue in his own hands by signing an executive order. Ohio State University lobbied hard for the bill that would allow… Read More

The Athens High School entrance on Johnson Road.

Free Speech Provisions In School Bill Draw Opposition From ACLU

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A bill in the state Legislature is looking to strengthen free speech protections at schools throughout Ohio. But it is opposed by one of the nation’s leading champions of free speech. The provisions are tucked into Senate Bill 135, a larger omnibus bill that deals with educational issues at both the grade… Read More

Ohio Statehouse

Two-Year Ohio Budget Passes, Heads To Governor Just Over A Day Before Deadline

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOUB) — With a little over a day till the deadline on Wednesday, the new two-year $75 billion state budget is on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine after overwhelmingly bipartisan votes in the House and Senate late Monday evening. A surprise surplus of $3 billion more than budget forecasters predicted led to a compromise… Read More