Lawmaker Wants Ohio Voters to Decide Recreational Marijuana Use This Year

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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Kentucky, Ohio Officials Start to Identify Contractors for $2 Billion Brent Spence Bridge Project

Kentucky, Ohio Officials Start to Identify Contractors for $2 Billion Brent Spence Bridge Project

Transportation officials in Kentucky and Ohio continue to work in concert on a new Ohio River bridge connecting Cincinnati with Northern Kentucky, and they hope construction on the more than $2 billion megaproject could start by the end of next year.

Besides building a companion bridge to the existing Brent Spence Bridge, officials in both states want to widen the interstate highways connected by the bridges. A 5-mile stretch in Kentucky and a 1-mile stretch in Ohio each would get one new lane in each direction across a 6-mile stretch.

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Ryan Faces Backlash from Democrats over Anti-China Ad

Ryan Faces Backlash from Democrats over Anti-China Ad

A congressman running for U.S. Senate in Ohio is facing friendly fire from his own party over an April ad that Democrats say is fueling anti-Asian hatred. 

“Tim Ryan should know better. His ‘us versus China’ ad promotes hatred of Asian Americans,” says a headline in Monday’s Akron Beacon Journal. 

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Short-Term Rental Bill Moves Forward in Ohio House

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 Legislation to Add Public Safety, More Cash Bail Passes Committee

Ohio Legislation to Add Public Safety, More Cash Bail Passes Committee

A push to have Ohio judges consider public safety when setting bail took a step forward when the House Criminal Justice Committee advanced legislation supported by prosecutor and business groups across the state.

House Bill 607 adds the risk of public safety into bail consideration in direct response to an Ohio Supreme Court decision in Debuse v. McGuffey, a ruling that upheld an appellate court’s decision permitting the reduction of a murder suspect’s bail without considering community safety.

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Vance Reacts to Ryan’s Vote to Send $40 Billion to Ukraine

Vance Reacts to Ryan’s Vote to Send $40 Billion to Ukraine

Ohio’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee Thursday raised against a bill that will send $40 billion to Ukraine, citing problems that the United States has domestically. 

“I don’t think we should be spending any more money, unless it’s on America’s problems here at home,” J.D. Vance said Thursday. “I would make any additional aid for the Ukrainians conditional on sending money to the American southern border, on actually trying to fix this terrible shortage of baby formula and hospital supplies.”

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Republicans Argue for Previously Tossed Maps

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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Portman Slams Biden After President Blames Republicans for Record Inflation

Portman Slams Biden After President Blames Republicans for Record Inflation

A U.S. Senator from Ohio Tuesday slammed President Joe Biden for record gas prices and sky-high inflation after Biden blamed Republicans, despite the fact that Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House. 

“The Biden admin & its policies are responsible for the soaring inflation we see today. Inflation has risen every single month since [Biden] took office. The admin’s reckless spending policies combined with increased regulation have caused the worst inflation in 40 years,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said. 

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Tennessee, Ohio Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

Tennessee, Ohio Gas Prices Hit Record Highs

Gas prices in Tennessee have once again hit all-time highs, as the Biden administration struggles to control rising prices at the pump and elsewhere. 

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the average price per gallon of gas in Tennessee reached $4.12, the highest ever recorded Tuesday. A year ago, a gallon of gas in the state averaged $2.71. 

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Ohio Senator Proposes Eliminating State Income Tax

Ohio Senator Proposes Eliminating State Income Tax

Ohioans would no longer pay state income tax and the state would become the 10th without it if a bill recently filed in the Senate becomes law.

Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, introduced a plan to lower the tax rate in each bracket by 10% a year over the next 10 years, eventually eliminating the state income tax completely.

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Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland

The pope has named a new auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Cleveland.

“Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Michael G. Woost as auxiliary bishop of Cleveland,” according to the Diocese. “Bishop-elect Woost is a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland and currently serves as a member of the faculty of Saint Mary Seminary. In addition, he was recently appointed as the interim director of the diocesan Office for Worship. Bishop-elect Woost will be ordained to the episcopate during Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on Thursday, August 4, 2022.”

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Ohio Gas Prices Inch Toward Record Highs

Ohio Gas Prices Inch Toward Record Highs

Gas prices in Ohio are inching toward record highs, dramatically impacting residents of the state.

According to the latest numbers from the American Automobile Association, the average price of gas in the state is $4.092 per gallon. The current record in the state is $4.159, which was achieved in 2011.

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Ohio Redistricting Commission Sends Previous Tossed Out Maps Back to Court

Groups that successfully challenged the constitutionality of the third set of Ohio state legislative redistricting maps will likely challenge again after the Ohio Redistricting Commission resubmitted the previously thrown out maps.

The commission voted 4-3 late Thursday to send back its third attempt at Senate and House districts, even though the court had already ruled they unfairly favored Republicans. The Ohio Supreme Court had set a 9 a.m. Friday deadline for maps to be submitted.

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Whaley, Ryan Skip Biden Visit to Cincinnati

Two of the most high-profile politicians in Ohio were absent for President Joe Biden’s Friday visit to United Performance Metals in the Cincinnati area. 

According to WHIO’s John Bedell, both Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) were absent from the event. 

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Ohio Attorney General Silent After Texas, Others Leave NAAG

After the top attorneys in Texas, Montana and Missouri announced that they would be leaving the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Ohio appears poised to remain part of the group.

“The attorneys general of Texas, Missouri and Montana have decided to withdraw our states’ membership from NAAG,” said a letter penned by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R).

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J.D. Vance to Speak at Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally

Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance will speak at a rally hosted by former President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, according to a release from Trump’s Save America PAC.

The rally, which will take place on Friday, is located in Western Pennsylvania and will include multiple candidates that Trump endorsed, like Dr. Mehmet Oz and Rep. Alex Mooney.

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Ohio Drunk-Driving Bill Could Give Support for Victims’ Minor Children

An Ohio lawmaker believes drivers convicted in a DUI crash should have to pay child support to minor children who have a parent killed in the accident.

Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chesterland, said she plans to introduce a bill that requires DUI drivers convicted of either vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide to pay support to any minor children who lose a parent until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school.

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Ohio Bill Would Be Impacted If Roe v. Wade Overturned

An Ohio bill that would penalize doctors who perform abortions and came under fire after its sponsor’s comments regarding rape drew more attention Tuesday following the leak of a draft of a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision.

House Bill 598 would ban doctors from performing medication or surgical abortions in Ohio, making it a fourth-degree felony. There is no exception for rape or incest. Doctors could, however, defend charges if an abortion was performed to save the life of the mother and specific steps were followed.

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Ohio Right to Life Reacts to Supreme Court Abortion Case Leak

Ohio Right to Life Tuesday reacted after a leaked draft of an opinion that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the infamous Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal at the federal level, was published in German-owned Politico. 

Mary Parker, the Director of Legislative Affairs at Ohio Right to Life, emphasized that if the leaked opinion holds, abortion will not be made illegal, but decisions about whether abortion should be legal will be left up to individual states.

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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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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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Vance Campaign Confident, Others Say Race Is ‘Wide Open’ Before Primary Election

With the deadline to vote in Ohio’s primary races approaching Tuesday night, the top candidates in the hotly-contested Republican U.S. Senate battle have varying views on what the outcome of the race will be. 

“We’re spending the day before the election with voters at town halls all across Ohio, leaving no stone unturned. JD is in a strong position, and we are confident JD will be the Republican nominee,” said Taylor Van Kirk, a spokesperson for candidate J.D. Vance. 

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Missing NFL Bets Could Be Costly for Ohio Sports Gaming

Ohio could lose as much as $130 million a week if it continues to hold to a Jan. 1 launch date for legalized sports betting and miss the majority of the NFL season, an industry-leading group said.

PlayOhio, part of the PlayUSA Network, estimates the state’s handle could reach between $8-10 billion over the first 12 months and almost $1 billion in gross gaming revenue. It also estimates, partly because of the state’s two NFL teams, gambling operations could bring in as much as $130 million per week in NFL-specific betting volume.

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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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