Karen Kasler (Ohio Public Radio)

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

  Once again, an increase in the state’s tax on oil and natural gas drillers will not be a part of the budget.

But Republican lawmakers are talking up what they say is a new step forward for the discussion – a method that’s has been used time and again in state government.

It looked like it was going to be a big deal.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

  Two state lawmakers are banding together to present something they are suggesting is an encore to the state’s film industry tax credit, which has brought $119 million to Ohio in its first two years.

Giving a 25 percent tax credit to musicians, producers and others in Ohio is a key way to create a major number of jobs with a minor investment, says Republican Sarah LaTourette of northeast Ohio.

And her co-sponsor, Democrat Rep. Kent Smith of Euclid, says the OhioSounds tax credit is similar to ones in Louisiana and New York.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

Tax cuts are the big feature in the Ohio Senate’s newly proposed two year budget, along with more than a billion in new funding for higher education and K-12 schools.

President Keith Faber says the proposed Republican Senate budget is smaller than the plans proposed by Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio House. But he says his chamber’s plan has one key goal.

“We are continuing today to build on our commitment to fund what matters and return to the taxpayers what’s not essential,” Faber says.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Two Ohio lawmakers are backing a package of bills they say will help crack down on drug overdoses – especially involving heroin, which state stats show is responsible for nearly half of all overdose deaths.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

The largest provider of mental health services in Ohio has become the state’s prison system. And the state is hoping to work with advocates in the mental health community to figure out how to deal with that.

Gary Mohr started in the prison system in 1976. He’s now its director. And Mohr says in those almost 40 years, the growth in the number of inmates coming into the system with mental health issues has shocked him.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

After spending time in the key presidential primary state of New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich took more questions about his possible presidential campaign on national TV this weekend.

It comes amid increasing signs that he is serious about running.

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday - where 16 years ago Kasich announced he’d formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 1999 – Kasich said he still hadn’t decided, but was weighing his options with two main thoughts in mind.

As Ohio House leaders put forward a budget that they say will help people out of poverty, the directors of the state’s job and family services agencies say they have some answers as to why people need public assistance.

Substance abuse problems, lack of transportation and high school diplomas are the issues that people on welfare or public assistance face.

That’s the conclusion of a survey done by a task force with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors Association.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Six of the nine Ohioans who were exonerated after being sentenced to death want state lawmakers to consider changes to capital punishment in Ohio.

Joe D’Ambrosio spent 22 years on death row for a Cleveland murder he didn’t commit.

“If it can happen to me, it can happen to you, or your children, or your grandchildren,” D’Ambrosio said.

He and five other exonerated former death row inmates want state lawmakers to seriously consider the 57 recommendations made by an Ohio Supreme Court task force on capital punishment last year.

The controversial bill that would ban abortion after the first detectable fetal heartbeat passed the Ohio House, largely on a party line vote. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the emotion was no surprise, but one revelation was.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

A new law now allows access to birth records to 400,000 adoptees from around the world who were born in Ohio between 1964 and 1996. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler met a few who traveled from 14 states to gather in Columbus last night, to prepare to be first in line at the Ohio Department of Health on the first day of the new law.