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Ohio AG supports religious schools in suit to reopen districts

Ohio AG supports religious schools in suit to reopen districts

In a case in which religious schools are suing a local health department to allow them to reopen, the Ohio Attorney General has written in support of the schools.The suit was filed by Monclova Christian Academy, St. John’s Jesuit High School & Academy, Emmanuel Christian School and the religious lobby group Citizens for Community Values.They argue that a  passed by the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department on Nov. 25 closing school for grades 7-12 disproportionately affects them, in violation of the rights they are allowed in the U.S. Constitution’s clause protecting freedom of...

Dec 30
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Ohio AG files brief in support of school districts letting employees go armed

Ohio AG files brief in support of school districts letting employees go armed

Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost this week put his support behind a Butler County school district’s policy to arm school personnel.“This case presents the question whether school districts may allow non-security employees to carry firearms on school grounds,” Yost wrote in a brief to the court. “The answer is yes.”Yost filed the brief as an interested party in the case of Gabbard v. Madison Local School District Board of Education, a case in which parents at the school sued to keep the school from implementing such a policy.The attorney general, who is the chief legal officer for the state...

September 11, 2020
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Ohio House Dems seek rainy day funds for eviction protections

Ohio House Dems seek rainy day funds for eviction protections

The coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the local economy continues, and two state representatives are trying to tap into the state’s rainy day fund for an “eviction crisis response.”In a bill introduced on Monday, $270 million would be used for immediate, one-time rent relief, according to the sponsors, state Rep. David Leland, D-Columbus; and state Rep. Juanita Brent, D-Cleveland.Helping Ohioans stay on their feet amid significant business closures and cuts, job losses and statewide economic losses is something with which the state should be charged, Leland said.“When you think of what...

August 4, 2020
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Ohio cities desperate for federal funding to save jobs, local economies

Ohio cities desperate for federal funding to save jobs, local economies

City officials from across the state say federal funding is the only way their previously thriving municipalities can survive the pandemic and its accompanying recession.City mayors and city council members are trying to push U.S. Sen. Rob Portman to support funding through the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), saying the deficits caused by COVID-19 revenue losses go far beyond the initial purse of money they received with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.Of the $1.2 billion earmarked for the state in CARES Act funds,...

July 20, 2020
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Broadband legislation to be introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

Broadband legislation to be introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio

One of Ohio’s U.S. Senators is a cosponsor on legislation to allow broadband access to those laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (D) plan to introduce the “Emergency Broadband Connections Act” to create a $50 credit meant for monthly internet service, and require service providers to provide service at reduced prices.The proposed legislation would also trigger eligibility for the benefit based on qualification for the National School Lunch Program, federal Pell Grants, or the Lifeline program.The announcement about the...

July 1, 2020
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Ohio lawmaker: If schools don’t open this fall, “real chaos” will ensue

Ohio lawmaker: If schools don’t open this fall, “real chaos” will ensue

In arguing that schools should be able to reopen on their own terms in the fall, a Republican legislator said the state health director shouldn’t be a part of that decision.State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, to the Senate Education Committee that would give authority to local school districts — public, private and home-schooled — on deciding when they would reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, and the precautions put in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19.The bill would also prohibit “other public officials” from closing the schools.“I think if the schools don’t by and large open up this...

June 15, 2020
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Dem lawmaker introduces tax amnesty bill for Ohio businesses, taxpayers

Dem lawmaker introduces tax amnesty bill for Ohio businesses, taxpayers

The impact of coronavirus-related economic losses will not fully be realized until much later, according to state officials, but one lawmaker said he’s trying to hold off some of the losses in the form of delinquent taxes.State Rep. Thomas West, D-Canton, is leading an effort to get a temporary through the end of the year.“When (the state starts) to ramp up, we know our sales tax collections and a lot of the revenues that the state would normally get will be down,” West told the Capital Journal.As a member of the Ohio House Economic Recovery Task Force, West said he thought they would be...

April 23, 2020
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Ohio bill to raise drug trafficking penalties now also lowers health order violation penalties

Ohio bill to raise drug trafficking penalties now also lowers health order violation penalties

A bill originally written to enhance drug trafficking laws around Ohio’s rehab centers now also lowers the consequences for violating pandemic health orders.The amendment to Senate Bill 55 joined the bill in a 58-35 vote on Wednesday that went along party lines. While the bulk of the bill raises the severity of the crime for those convicted of trafficking in drugs within 1,000 feet of a rehabilitation center from a fourth-degree felony to a third-degree felony, the amendment takes away any prison time related to a violation of health orders specifically related to the coronavirus...

May 8, 2020
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Bill allowing ‘affirmative defense’ for employers in harassment cases moves on for full House vote

Bill allowing ‘affirmative defense’ for employers in harassment cases moves on for full House vote

A bill that would give businesses an “affirmative defense” in sexual harassment cases has passed through committee, headed for a full vote by the Ohio House. was introduced in October. Its sponsors, state Rep. Jon Cross, R-Kenton, and state Rep. George F. Lang, R-West Chester, said the bill would allow “timely, fair, and efficient resolution of claims for both employers and employees.”That includes allowing employers to avoid litigation if there is proof the company had a policy to discourage harassment, and the employee filing the claim didn’t use the policies and procedures.The bill has...

May 15, 2020
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As demonstrators protest George Floyd’s death, Ohio legislators seek to make racism public health crisis

As demonstrators protest George Floyd’s death, Ohio legislators seek to make racism public health crisis

After a night of demonstrations related to the Minnesota death of George Floyd, Ohio legislators condemned the police actions that led to the man’s death, and called for racism to be declared a public health crisis.Thursday night street protests occurred in downtown Columbus calling for nationwide action, as police used tear gas and riot gear to force crowds to disperse. Multiple windows in the Ohio Statehouse were broken, along with some other buildings around Capitol Square.As Ohio’s General Assembly continued work on Friday, the Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) called on the state to...

May 29, 2020
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