Karen Kasler (Ohio Public Radio)

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.

Karen Kasler

There were more than 41,000 domestic violence related arrests in Ohio last year. Though that number is down from 2011, advocates say they need more help from lawmakers to lower that stat even further. But they say a bill on teen dating violence passed a few years ago is helping.

The gamble that internet cafe backers have taken to try to stop a law effectively banning those establishments may not pay off. The supporters of those cafes, also called sweepstakes parlors, launched a petition drive to stop the law and put it before voters. But early estimates show that they may not have the 231,000 signatures they need to get the law onto next year’s ballot. Secretary of State Jon Husted said his office will know next week.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The only thing that’s left for the state budget is a signature from Governor John Kasich.  A signing ceremony is scheduled for Sunday night.

Though the budget that passed the House and Senate is markedly different than the one he proposed in February, Gov. John Kasich says he’s happy with it. But he says the phased in income tax cuts of 8.5%, 9% and 10%, and the 50% tax cut for small businesses, along with the increase of the state sales tax to 5.75% aren’t enough.
 

The Big Story

Jun 21, 2013

This week we present two stories from the Statehouse New Bureau.

Ohio lawmakers are close to a new State Tax Reform Plan.  Jo Ingles reports:

A new bill that would ban indoor tanning for anyone under the age of 18  even if they have parental consent - is being considered.  Karen Kassler has more:

Governor John Kasich speaks one-on-one with Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kassler about his proposed state budget which is not being well-received in the statehouse.


Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

As Democrats from across the state gathered in Columbus for their annual Legacy Dinner, they were still absorbing the news that Youngstown area Congressman Tim Ryan will not be running for governor next year.

Among the disappointed was state Rep. Bob Hagan.

“I think he could have won," he said. "I think it’s going to be a tough campaign – we needed someone that can shout and can scream and get people up on their feet and I think he can do that. On the other hand, I’m disappointed because, in a selfish way, I was going to run for Congress myself in his seat.”

Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kassler was invited to view the Ohio Department of Agriculture's new Exotic Animals Facility in Reynoldsburg, near Columbus.  She has this report:


Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The continuing controversy over a Facebook posting by the president of the State Board of Education was the first order of business at Monday’s board meeting.

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