Government & Politics

Political news

The only fraud being perpetrated in the 2020 presidential election so far is the unmitigated nonsense being tweeted out on a nearly daily basis by the president of the United States.

COVID-19 closed down the March primary election, and lawmakers extended the absentee ballot deadline to late April.  Voter rights groups are asking state lawmakers to reform voting laws now, to avoid confusion before the November election. But they are not necessarily on the same page when it comes to which reforms should be made. 

As Ohio opens for business again, many workers have qualms about returning to their jobs. Some Democrats are proposing a bill they say will protect those workers.

A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to a group that’s trying to put changes to voting laws on this fall’s ballot. A federal court stayed a lower court ruling that gave the group more time and allowed for electronic signatures.

photo desks and chairs
/ STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented economic concerns for state government. In early May, the governor ordered state departments to cut spending by $775 million through the end of June. Cuts to education funding could affect the state’s charter schools.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine provides the latest information regarding the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Watch the press conference live here: 

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photo of people voting
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) is co-sponsoring a bill to provide federal funding for this November’s election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The VoteSafe Act would provide $5 billion in federal funds. Half would be used by states to make it easier for them to offer absentee and early in-person voting.

The other half would be used to expand accessibility to disabled, rural, and Native American voters, and offering things like curbside voting.

Ohio National Guard members have been performing a variety of duties during the COVID19 pandemic. But the roles of members are changing a bit as time progresses.

Courts across the country are facing a daunting task as they look to restart jury trials.

A recent attempt to hold a trial in Ashland County during April and early May showed how easily a trial can go wrong. On April 28, the first day of jury selection, the defendant, Seth Whited, began either having a panic attack or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 while in the courtroom.

The Ohio Senate unanimously rejected an Ohio House measure that would've scaled back the power of state public health orders. Senators blasted the House amendment, saying it undermined health experts and created too many unintended consequences.

With a state budget deficit of three quarters of a billion dollars and just two months left in the fiscal year, Gov. Mike DeWine ordered huge cuts to schools, Medicaid and other areas. He says he’s considering other options going forward, but he has ruled out one possibility.

Deloitte, a consulting company contracted by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), is investigating a data breach in the system launched last week to pay benefits to 1099 and self-employed workers. A mass message was sent to applicants letting them know that their personal information was left unconcealed for a period of time.

Cuyahoga County election officials are considering changes in preparation for the November general election, but much is unknown until the secretary of state issues instructions.

According to Tony Perlatti, director of the county’s board of elections, they are expecting at this point to hold in-person voting on Election Day in November with six-foot spacing between voting booths.

A group that’s trying to put changes to voting laws on this fall’s ballot has more time to collect petition signatures. And a federal court is also allowing the group to collect them electronically.


Updated at 12:37 p.m. ET

The Senate Banking Committee took its first look at spending under the massive CARES Act, which Congress approved in March to provide assistance to individuals, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were pressed by senators about their stewardship of specific aspects of the approximately $2 trillion relief package at Tuesday's remote hearing.

It was a big weekend for the bars and restaurants that reopened outdoor patios. Many chose not to open, and most of those that did observed social distancing. But pictures of some that didn’t were widely circulated on social media.

Many Democratic state lawmakers were upset Wednesday when they discovered an earlier seating plan that allowed social distancing in the Ohio House chamber had been scrapped in favor of one allowing all legislators inside the chamber. Now, one of those minority lawmakers has filed a complaint with the Franklin County Health Department.

Ohio ranks second in a list of states with the most puppy mills, even after a law that was supposed to crack down on them. 

handcuffing a suspect
AKRON POLICE DEPARTMENT

Despite the global pandemic, the Akron Police Academy has continued training its first class of recruits since 2008. Akron’s academy became a casualty of the Great Recession.

The slowdown of the economy because of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on traffic and transit. And even though the state’s gas tax that funds road construction went up by 10.5 cents a gallon last July, the Ohio Department of Transportation is bracing for a big hit. 

The Ohio Department Job and Family Services has paid more than $2 billion in unemployment claims to nearly 560,000 Ohioans since mid-March. But that’s only half of the 1.1 million claims that have been filed.

The state budget is a sea of red, as income and sales tax collections are less than half of what was predicted for this month. There is one specific area of the budget that is showing big increases, but it’s not what state officials want to see.

Republicans in the Ohio House have approved a bill that would limit the power and length of public health orders on coronavirus that their fellow Republican, Gov. Mike DeWine, has been issuing through Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. The bill reflects a split in the GOP on how to restart the economy that could carry over into the future.

Ten days before Ohio’s rescheduled primary election, Selina Pagán and other volunteers drove through neighborhoods on Cleveland’s West Side to hand out vote-by-mail applications from a safe distance.

They called it La Caravana de la Democracia. It was the group’s “shot in the dark” to help Spanish-speaking voters after the coronavirus pushed the election from polling places to the postal system.

photo of recycling bin
WKSU

Cleveland officials announced last week that the city’s recycling program is on-hold – and the councilman who represents the downtown area wants to know why.

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