Karen Kasler (Ohio Public Radio)

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

After weeks of bad headlines, low poll numbers and disappointing fundraising, there’s a major shakeup rattling the campaign of the Democratic candidate for governor.


For 160 years, Ohio has had a public school system. Now, an appointed panel of lawmakers, former public officials and well-connected experts are examining how the Ohio constitution can resolve the debate over how to pay for it. The group is called the Constitutional Modernization Commission.  It could dramatically change language dealing with public education.

The state ended the first half of the two-year budget in the black – in a big way. State budget director Tim Keen says the fiscal year ended with an $800 million surplus:

"We were able to close the year with tax receipts coming in modestly above estimate, about one percent above estimate; and spending, led by Medicaid spending, below the appropriated levels."

The US Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was a win for those who objected to the federal health care law’s requirement that the company offer insurance that covers contraceptives for women – and that includes Ohio’s Attorney General.

Mike DeWine is an avowed opponent of the Affordable Care Act and wrote a brief that was signed by Republican Attorneys General from 19 other states. DeWine said though it was a narrow decision, it was a significant one:

Gov. John Kasich has signed the controversial bill freezing Ohio's alternative energy standards for two years – becoming the first state in the country to pull back on green energy mandates.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a big case on the red light and speed cameras that some 15 Ohio communities are using.

The issue is not whether setting up cameras to catch red light runners and speeders is legal. It’s about whether requiring appeals of traffic camera citations to be heard by administrative hearing officers instead of in municipal court is legal. That is how most cities across the country deal with appeals of traffic camera tickets.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

U.S. Senator Rob Portman said he thinks most Ohio veterans are getting good care, but he’s still concerned about the scandal over patient delays and falsified waiting lists at Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics across the country. Ohio’s Republican Senator toured a VA center in Columbus Friday, and said he got a good report on what’s happening there.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The first new memorial in decades on the Statehouse grounds is just a few weeks away from being completed.

Mark Urycki / WKSU

Gov. John Kasich gave his fourth State of the State speech last night in Medina, and as perhaps fitting for an election year, it was unlike any other he’s delivered.

At a little over an hour, it was John Kasich’s shortest State of the State. And it was certainly the most surprising – for one reason. And it wasn’t political. “I’m humbled to present the 2014 Ohio Courage Medals to Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight – three extraordinary women" said Kasich.

In Ohio on Friday, a hearing in federal court could decide whether that state will become the first to use a particular cocktail of deadly drugs to execute an inmate. It's the latest chapter in what's become a troubled history of capital punishment in that state.

While Texas is far and away the busiest state in the nation for executions, Ohio is just seven spots behind it. It has carried out 52 executions since 1999 and three so far this year, with another one scheduled in two weeks. And that one, the execution of Ronald Phillips, could use a new drug cocktail.