Andy Chow

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.

Andy gained his in-depth knowledge of Statehouse issues while working for Hannah News Service, an online-based news and research publication. He also participated in the Legislative Service Commission’s Fellowship program as a production assistant for “The Ohio Channel.”

Andy earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting at Otterbein University and took part in the Washington Semester program through American University in Washington, D.C.

Lawmakers are pushing a bill that would overhaul the state education system in order to give most of the control over to the governor’s office. This is something Gov. John Kasich has wanted for a while now.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear both sides of the high-profile argument between the state education department and the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow on Tuesday. ECOT, which was the state’s largest online charter school before it closed, claims the state wrongfully clawed back millions of dollars it was paid to educate students. But the state says ECOT did not verify student participation. A former staff member is claiming teachers and students have become the victims of the ECOT fallout.

The Ohio Republican Party has voted to endorse Attorney General Mike DeWine as their gubernatorial candidate. DeWine’s running against Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor, who had very strong words for how the endorsement process went down. 

Among the surprise names that came up in the filings for governor was that of Cleveland doctor Jon Heavey. He embraces the idea of being a political outsider and Heavey’s sudden campaign is bringing some big dollars to the race.

A deal has been reached to reform the way Ohio’s Congressional district map is drawn, after weeks of difficult negotiations between Republicans, Democrats, and a citizens group that wanted to put its own plan on the fall ballot. Under the new plan, the map drawing power stays with state lawmakers, but with new rules. 

Lawmakers are trying to decide whether the state should step in and save struggling power plants that might be on the brink of closing. As the legislature’s top leaders gathered for a forum they were asked what’s next for these so-called bailout proposals.

Wholesale drug distribution companies will have to revamp their recordkeeping to keep up with new state reporting standards. Ohio’s pharmacy board plans to roll out an enhanced monitoring system to weed out suspicious activities, in hopes of cracking down on opioid addiction.

The bill to change the way money is put into the fund the state uses to pay benefits to unemployed workers is taking another step forward this week. The controversial bill still has yet to pick up support from labor or business groups.

The bill to protect LGBTQ people from housing and employment discrimination is expected to take a big step as a committee prepares to hear from a major supporter - the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The bill also seems to be getting support from the top House leader.

The Ohio Supreme Court is all Republican now that Gov. John Kasich has appointed a new justice. This comes a day before the effective date of the resignation of embattled sitting justice Bill O’Neill who stepped down to run for the Democratic nomination for governor. 

The group pushing for payday lending reform is taking their fight outside of the Statehouse and to Ohio voters. Advocates hope to put an issue on the ballot that caps interest rates.

Supporters of the now closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow say the past few days have been devastating for students, families, and teachers. The online charter school closed because its sponsor voted to drop them. But there are school and state officials who are holding out hope.

Thousands of students are either starting in a new school or still looking for a place to take classes after the closure of the state’s largest online charter school. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is still fighting the state’s claw back of $60 million and blames the state Department of Education for its fate. But one vocal critic says ECOT only has itself to blame.

An estimated 12,000 students must figure out where to go now that the state’s largest online charter school has closed. Marred by budget problems and alleged failure to comply with regulations, ECOT’s sponsor decided to back out. And the sponsor and the school met in a Franklin County courtroom to figure out what happens to the school’s funds and records. 

Clean energy issues have been a sparkplug for debate at the Statehouse for years now, with opposition mostly coming from Republicans and Democrats supporting incentives for the industry. A clean energy group has new data that they say can change the debate during campaign season.

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