Week in Review for Friday, Aug. 30, 2019
Friday, Aug. 30, 2019
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has dealt
another blow to Women's Med Center of Dayton (WMCD), effectively denying the
abortion clinic a variance to remain open without a written transfer agreement
with a local hospital. Dayton's last abortion clinic will remain open as it
continues to pursue its legal options, according to NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio.
Four entities were awarded $1 million each in
prize money as the Ohio Third Frontier and the Development Services Agency wrapped
up the state's Opioid Technology Challenge aimed at incentivizing new
developments to combat opioid addiction. Proposed by Gov. John Kasich in his
2017 "State of the State" speech, the prize-based challenge was a
three-phased competition. The winners of the challenge are Brave Technology
Coop (Vancouver, B.C., Canada; DynamiCare Health (Boston, MA); Prapela
(Concord, MA); and University Hospitals (UH) (Cleveland, OH).
Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday that it would be
a "serious mistake" to pass legislation allowing Attorney General
Dave Yost to take over any local government lawsuits against opioid
Proposed legislation suggested by Yost circulated
Tuesday and would give the attorney general's office exclusive authority to
bring a civil action on behalf of citizens of the state "based on a cause
of action that is related to a matter of statewide concern in the appropriate
court of common pleas that has jurisdiction over that cause of action."
EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC)
"Do something" is often
the chant in the wake of tragedies, like the recent mass shooting in Dayton,
but that something can often be a knee jerk reaction that fails to address the
real issue, according to Deer Park, OH, City Council member Charles Tassell.
"Do something is mob rule that our Founding Fathers were very much
against," Tassell said recently at the conservative American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC) annual conference in Austin, TX. He cautioned state
lawmakers about what their response should be to the recent mass shootings in
Dayton and El Paso, TX. Deer Park is 50 miles south of Dayton. Tassell believes
lawmakers should use a deliberative process to make sure their solutions address
the real problem and not create laws that neighbors can use to threaten each
The Electoral College was established as the system to select
the president to "create a basic requirement for geographic
diversity," Save Our States project director Trent England told state
lawmakers from across the county attending ALEC. Without it, states would
become irrelevant, he said. England was part of a panel discussion along with
former California lawmaker Ray Haynes, who also served as the national chairman
for ALEC in 2000, as they discussed the pros and cons of instead electing the
president by popular vote. Their session was entitled "National Popular
Vote Interstate Compact -- An Act of Federalism or the End of States as We Know
ARTS, SPORTS AND
Applications are now being accepted by the Ohio
Arts Council (OAC) for the 2020 Governor's Awards for the Arts in Ohio. These
awards showcase and celebrate Ohio artists, arts organizations, arts leaders
and patrons, and business supporters of the arts.
Attorney General Dave Yost
submitted a brief supporting the case of media outlets seeking the student
records of Connor Betts, the shooter who killed nine and injured 27 in Dayton
on Aug. 4. Multiple media outlets, including the Dayton Daily News,
WCPO, WHIO, New York Times, CNN and others have filed a lawsuit to
compel the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Local School District to release student
records that the district claims are restricted by the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
A pro-HB6 (Callender-Wilkin) group announced its
formation over the weekend and has started airing advertisements that it said
will raise awareness of the importance of saving Ohio's nuclear power plants
and keeping Ohio's energy grid out of foreign control. Ohioans for Energy
Security (OES) aired its first ad on Sunday on broadcast television, cable and
radio stations across the state. The ad focuses attention on what it said are
funding repeal efforts of HB6, which gives subsidies to Ohio's two nuclear
The office of Ohio Attorney General (AG) Dave Yost announced
Thursday that it has certified the revised summary of the proposed referendum
seeking to repeal energy subsidy law, HB6 (Callender-Wilkin), as a "fair
and truthful representation of the measure ...." The secretary of state must
still rule on the validity of the initial signatures before petitioners can
begin collecting the nearly 265,000 signatures from registered voters needed to
put the measure on the ballot. Those signatures must reach a threshold in at
least 44 of Ohio's 88 counties equal to or greater than 3 percent of the total
vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial
election. The deadline for submitting the signatures is Oct. 21, according to
the group supporting the repeal, Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts (OACB).
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does
not apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according
to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Ohio was among 15 states filing an amicus
brief in the following cases: Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, GA, Altitude Express Inc. v. Melissa Zarda and R.G.
& G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The first two cases claim discrimination based on sexual
orientation, while the third one claims discrimination based on gender
identity. However, according to Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), Yost is "on the wrong side of history"
by joining the amicus brief.
Three House Republicans from the Miami Valley Thursday
proposed the establishment of a $20 million statewide fund to help individuals
left homeless by natural disasters find both temporary and permanent housing by
incentivizing developers to rebuild in those areas most heavily affected. House
Speaker Pro Tem Jim Butler (R-Dayton) joined the co-sponsors of the proposed
legislation, Reps. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) and J. Todd Smith
(R-Germantown), at a press conference Thursday to explain the details of the
bill, which they said began to come together in the wake of multiple tornados
that ripped through their region on Memorial Day, leaving thousands of
structures damaged or destroyed.
Gov. Mike DeWine's administration announced Monday
the approval of assistance for two projects expected to create 215 new jobs and
retain 929 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit
Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought by JobsOhio and
its regional partners. The projects are expected to collectively result in more
than $9 million in new payroll and spur more than $28 million in investments
The Ohio Department of Education
(ODE) and Gov. Mike DeWine's office Friday launched a new website designed to
provide schools information and resources on meeting student wellness needs.
The website comes alongside the $675 million in Student Wellness and Success
funding included in HB166 (Oelslager), the biennial operating budget, allocated
to schools for use on mental health counseling, wraparound services, mentoring,
after-schools programs, etc.
At its Monday meeting the State Board of Education Dropout
Prevention and Recovery Schools Workgroup heard from Joint Education Oversight
Committee (JEOC) Executive Director Lauren Monowar-Jones regarding proposed
changes to dropout recovery school (DRS) report cards that would include five
indicators on which schools would be graded: achievement, growth, completion
rate, life readiness and climate/culture. It also heard a presentation from
Leah Amstutz, interim director of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Office
of Career Tech Education, regarding an information technology (IT) overhaul for
career technical schools to more easily allow students to receive college
credit for classes completed in high school.
The Columbus Board of Education at a special meeting Monday
morning voted unanimously to approve a three-year contract agreement with the
Columbus Education Association (CEA), the union representing the district's
4,000 teachers, nurses, counselors, social workers and other education
professionals. The agreement includes a decrease in class sizes, an increase in
the number of auxiliary personnel such as early childhood education teachers
and school nurses, and a three-percent salary increase each year, among other
Using funding from the Preschool Development Birth through
Five Grant that the state received in December 2018, the Ohio Department of Job
and Family Services (ODJFS), in conjunction with three other departments,
developed and has now released a self-assessment tool to help families discover
whether they are eligible for any of Ohio's early childhood services. Besides
ODJFS, the departments of education (ODE), developmental disabilities (DODD)
and health (ODH), designed and developed the Early Childhood Services
Eligibility Self-Assessment tool which will assist families to determine their
potential eligibility for all of Ohio's early childhood services.
A federal appeals court this week ruled that an elector in the
Electoral College is not required to vote for a state's popular vote winner in
the presidential race even if the state's law requires the elector to do so.
The 2-1 decision by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals is the
first time a court has said a so-called "faithless elector" is not
bound to vote for a president and vice president based on the state's vote.
A new settlement was announced Thursday by the American Civil
Liberties Union, the Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute (Ohio APRI), the
Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), Ohio resident Larry Harmon,
and Secretary of State Frank LaRose that will allow purged Ohio voters to cast
a provisional ballot up through 2022, including those who might lose their
registrations in the upcoming process next month. The announcement was made by
parties to the long-standing lawsuit that challenged the way Ohio cleans its
voter rolls by cancelling the registration of Ohio voters who don't cast a
ballot for two straight federal elections and do not respond to a notice sent
out by their local boards of elections. This settlement essentially concludes
With 2019 and 2020 representing the respective 100th anniversaries
of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, the League of Women
Voters of Ohio (LWV-Ohio) hosted a "commemoration" of the achievement
Wednesday, while highlighting how the amendment did not give voting rights to
all women due to racial disenfranchisement at the time. LWV-Ohio Executive
Director Jen Miller led a discussion with Oberlin College Emeritus Professor
Carol Lasser and Ohio State University Associate Professor Treva Lindsey,
following opening remarks by Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard).
Ohio's former Gov. John Kasich will be going to
New Hampshire next month, according to multiple media reports, though advisers
downplayed whether the trip will lead him to run for president in 2020. An
adviser to Kasich told the Washington Post that Kasich is going to
the state in September to "take a look at things" after experiencing
"an increase" in overtures this summer.
Nancy Larson, a retired social worker who lives
in Sylvania, has launched a campaign to seek the Democratic nomination for the
47th House District. The seat is currently held by Rep. Derek Merrin
(R-Monclova), who is expected to run for re-election.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Thursday announced
proposed updates to Obama Administration standards for the oil and natural gas
industry, saying they would "remove regulatory duplication and save the
industry millions of dollars in compliance costs each year" while
maintaining health and environmental regulations the agency considered
Reps. John Becker (R-Cincinnati) and
Doug Green (R-Mt. Orab) are among the six applicants for Sen. Joe Uecker's
(R-Loveland) seat, as is former Rep. Terry Johnson. Uecker, who is in his final
term in the Ohio Senate, announced earlier this month that he will resign Aug.
31 to take a job with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Other
applicants include Paul Hall of Williamsburg, owner of Paul Hall &
Associates, an insurance agency with offices in southern Ohio; Greg Simpson of
Milford, the owner of a transportation warehousing company; and David Uible,
the owner of Uible Management Group, a New Richmond company that acquires
distressed businesses to help turn them around.
Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said Wednesday he
anticipates wrapping up candidate interviews for Sen. Joe Uecker's (R-Loveland)
seat by next week, setting a caucus vote for Wednesday, Sept. 18 or even
Tuesday, Sept. 10, if the scheduled Senate voting session proceeds.
Rep. Haraz Ghanbari
(R-Perrysburg), the son of an Iranian immigrant, told Hannah News that
his appointment to the Ohio House is another way to serve the public just like
his nearly 18 years in the military and before that, in the Boy Scouts and as a
Former Govs. Bob Taft and Ted Strickland said this week that they
have contacted Gov. Mike DeWine's office to show their support for recently
announced gun legislation by DeWine, though Taft said that DeWine will have to
expend political capital if he hopes to get it passed. Taft and Strickland were
interviewed by NBC4's Colleen Marshall during the Columbus Metropolitan Club's
(CMC) annual meeting Wednesday evening, giving their thoughts on their careers
and the current political environment.
Appointments made during the week include the following:
- Michael R. Coury of Olmsted Falls (Cuyahoga
County) reappointed to the Board of Executives of Long-term Services and Supports
for a term beginning May 28, 2019 and ending May 27, 2022.
- Gregory S. Miller of Cincinnati (Hamilton
County), Mark J. Morley of Lewis Center (Delaware County) and Christopher P. Widman
of Tiffin (Seneca County) to the Board of Executives of Long-term Services and
Supports for terms beginning Aug. 27, 2019 and ending May 27, 2022.
- Matthew J. Blair, Jr. of Niles (Trumbull
County) to the State Lottery Commission for a term beginning Aug. 28, 2019 and ending
Aug. 1, 2021.
- Natasha D. Kaufman of Harrod (Auglaize County)
to the Ohio Elections Commission for a term beginning Aug. 28, 2019 and ending
Dec. 31, 2023.
- James V. Stewart of Albany (Meigs County)
reappointed to the Ohio Water Development Authority for a term beginning July
1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2027.
Seeking to prevent disqualified individuals from
obtaining firearms, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed further legislation Wednesday
that would require local law enforcement agencies and courts to enter certain
arrest warrants and protection orders into state and federal background check
systems within 48 hours of issuance. DeWine will pursue this requirement as
part of his work-in-progress "STRONG Ohio" legislative package, which
launched with a 17-point plan to deal with gun violence and mental health in
the wake of the Aug. 4 Dayton mass shooting.
While he has not had a discussion with the entire
Senate Republican Caucus on legislation to expand background checks, Senate
President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) told reporters Monday that he had
"substantial discussion" with senators in both caucuses about
so-called "red flag" laws that would allow a court to take away guns
from a person would could be a danger to him- or herself or others. Obhof said
he would not anticipate the Senate's passing any bill that allows a court to
seize a person's guns before they have a chance to go to court. He also said it
will be a "big deal to me" and other senators that red flag
legislation protect the right to counsel, protect the right to confront the
accuser and make sure things aren't happening at an ex parte hearing where
individuals doesn't get the chance to defend themselves.
House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and House
Democratic lawmakers Monday announced the launch of DoSomethingOhio.com, a website designed to provide
resources for constituents to contact their legislators and call for commonsense
gun reform in Ohio.
Ohio University (OU) has been awarded an Ohio Environmental
Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) recycling grant of nearly $130,000. Combined with
internal matching funds, the grant will allocate more than $160,000 toward a
12-month project to improve the collection and processing of organic waste on
campus, OU said.
The University of Akron (UA) Vice President of
Communication and Marketing Wayne Hill was recently named vice president and
chief of staff by incoming President Gary Miller and Interim President John
Green. Pending approval by the University of Akron Board of Trustees, Hill will
serve as adviser to Miller and Green. Miller assumes the presidency on Oct. 1.
The Ohio Supreme Court Monday announced new
amendments to the Rules of Superintendence to require American Sign Language
(ASL) interpreters and foreign language interpreters to undergo legal training.
The Ohio Supreme Court is weighing changes to
civil protection orders for stalking victims that would allow mediation in juvenile
delinquency, divorce and custody proceedings -- the latter already included in
Court rules -- but retain the ban on alternative dispute resolution in stalking
cases involving family or household members or victims of sexually oriented offenses.
Proposed rules follow an 18-month pilot program in 12 counties where stalking
mediation proved successful between feuding neighbors. The original proposal
also identified coworker disputes as a possible candidate for stalking
The Ohio Supreme Court unveiled a new classroom
program providing high school students and teachers free lesson plans on
real-world criminal and civil cases. The e-curriculum leads learners and
educators through an in-depth study of previous Court decisions with case
previews and opinion summaries written to high school Lexile reading levels. "Under
Advisement: Ohio Supreme Court Cases on Demand," created by the Supreme
Court's Civic Education Section, aligns with the 2018 Ohio Learning Standards
for High School American Government Curriculum.
The Ohio Mayors Alliance (OMA) Monday awarded
$200,000 to Ohio cities for their efforts to support a growing workforce and
make post-secondary enrollment a primary goal. Multiple Ohio mayors and their surrogates
gathered in Columbus to receive the awards, which are funded with support from the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and AT&T. Rae Ann Knopf from the Gates
Foundation spoke to the challenges that poverty creates for both students and
Individuals 21 and older would be legally allowed
to consume marijuana in the state of Ohio under legislation being developed by
Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland). The bill -- which is likely to be introduced
in October -- would link the legal age for the use of cannabis to the legal age
for the use of cigarettes, Brent told Hannah News in an interview.
As more states legalize the adult use of
marijuana, the Pew Charitable Trusts has found that many early adopters are
being relatively careful with their new source of tax revenue. "Given the
rapid growth in revenue from marijuana taxes, policymakers may be tempted to
use the additional cash to fund ongoing spending initiatives. But the hurdles
of forecasting recreational marijuana revenue will persist. Given how unpredictable the marijuana market is, states
should exercise caution in budget planning to ensure that the money strengthens,
rather than weakens, their long-term fiscal position," Pew said in its
newly-released report, "Forecasts Hazy for State Marijuana Revenue."
The state of Ohio is planning to add millions of milkweed and
nectar plants by 2035 in order to create a more suitable habitat for monarch
butterflies, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) announced Friday.
"Monarch butterflies are in trouble. The monarch population in the Eastern
U.S. has declined up to 90 percent in the last 20 years," ODNR said.
"In response, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODAg), the Ohio
Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the ODNR are helping monarchs by
adding ideal habitats across the state." Milkweed plants host breeding
monarchs, and nectar plants provide food.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR)
Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program has won the U.S. Department of the Interior's
(USDOI) Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation National Award for its work on the
Dessecker Mine Project in Tuscarawas County.
The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation (OLAF)
announced that Clark Kellogg, basketball commentator and former Ohio State University
three-year starter and Big 10 MVP, will deliver the keynote address at the
foundation's 25th anniversary celebration on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the National
Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost recently
announced a settlement with three officials from the Driven Foundation, a Columbus
nonprofit organization, accused of misusing charitable donations for personal
benefit. Roy Hall, Josselyn Timko and Sonya Edwards all used a company credit
card for expenditures unrelated to the charitable purpose of Driven. From
January 2016 through May 2018, and for unspecified reasons, Hall also used a
debit card and withdrew cash from another bank account linked to Driven.
In a recent interview with Ohio Association of Foodbanks Executive
Director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Hannah News posed the question, "How
many governors have you worked with?" Thinking for a moment, she replied,
"A lot," with a laugh.
A spokesman for the Ohio Democratic Party
Wednesday confirmed the party's plans to sell its Fulton Street headquarters in
January and said the party is currently exploring options on where it will
locate its new home. The party plans to sell the 13,300-square-foot building at
340 E. Fulton St. to Borror, an urban developer, for $2.7 million.
The Ohio Republican Party announced Wednesday
that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway will be the keynote speaker at the
party's state dinner held in Columbus next month. The event will be held on
Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Columbus Convention Center in downtown Columbus. It
begins at 4:30 p.m. with a photo reception, followed by the dinner and program
at 5:30 p.m.
A new Quinnipiac University Poll conducted nationwide finds a
majority of voters believe climate change is an emergency and that Congress
needs to do more to reduce gun violence. The poll found that 56 percent of
voters believe that climate change is an emergency, while 42 percent do not.
Eighty-four percent of Democrats believe it is an emergency, while 63 percent
of independents also believe it is an emergency, with 81 percent of Republicans
saying it is not an emergency. Voters ages 18 to 34 years old were more likely
to see it as an emergency, with 74 percent in the affirmative. Among gun
proposals: 93 percent support universal background checks; 82 percent support
requiring a license to purchase a gun; and 80 percent support "red
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Thursday announced that a body armor grant
program for local law enforcement will continue and expand, having successfully
awarded over $3.5 million in grants to over 400 agencies. As part of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Budget HB80
(Oelslager), an additional $3.5 million is being directed to the program.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Monday joined
other states in calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to urge
telecom companies to implement practices that would protect consumers from
illegal robocalls and caller ID spoofing. The comment letter to the FCC
followed an announcement this past week that 12 phone service providers have
already agreed to adopt many of the practices as part of an initiative with
Yost's office and 50 other attorneys general.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH)
is asking health care providers to report suspected cases of pulmonary
illnesses in patients who use e-cigarettes, following reports of six Ohioans
who experienced severe pulmonary illness after using the products. The U.S.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recently sent an alert to health care
providers about pulmonary illnesses linked to vaping in at least 16 states,
primarily among adolescents and young adults.
Over the objections of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) and
Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy (OPAE), the Public Utilities Commission of
Ohio (PUCO) has approved a 63 percent hike in Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio's
rate of return as part of fixed residential charges slated to rise $5 per month
by 2020 and up to $20 more in the next five years, affecting over a quarter
million households in 18 counties.
Former Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo has resurfaced
in a bid for the Ohio Consumers' Counsel Governing Board after the Republican
lost the Franklin County auditor's race last year to former state Rep. Michael
Stinziano (D-Columbus). Mingo joins two other board candidates nominated by
Attorney General Dave Yost and could go before the Senate Rules and Reference
Committee as soon as Tuesday, Sept. 10. Yost, subject to the advice and consent
of the Senate, announced his appointment of Mingo, labor official Mark Johnson
and family farmer Charles Newman to the OCC Governing Board on Aug. 9.
Drawing on Washington state's
experience with expanding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) coverage for
first responders, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of
Directors sent lawmakers a new cost estimate on instituting such a policy here
that lowers the projections of increased claims expenses compared to previous
analyses. Board members voted to send a cost estimate of $44 million for HB308
(Patton) to lawmakers, based on the recommendation of the board's Actuarial
Committee. The legislation and predecessor proposals would expand coverage to
apply to first responders seeking coverage for PTSD without an accompanying
physical injury. Under HB308, first responders could have up to one year of
benefits covered. The bureau previously estimated claims costs of about $183
million for PTSD coverage under 131-SB5 (Patton-Brown) and $98.4 million for 132-SB118
(LaRose). However, the agency cautioned that comparing the estimates on
different bills "can be problematic."
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) held its
annual Fallen Workers Memorial service on Thursday, Aug. 29 to honor the memory
of those who lost their lives as a result of a workplace injury or illness.
Story originally published in The Hannah Report on August 30, 2019. Copyright 2019 Hannah News Service, Inc.