Ohio General Assembly

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.

Former Ohio House Speaker hired to help charter school company

Mar 3, 2015
Andy Chow/Ohio Public Radio

The Ohio House is considering a list of reforms aimed at cracking down on bad charter schools and the companies that manage them. One for-profit charter company is getting help from the recently retired Speaker of the Ohio House.

Charter school advocates speaking at the University of Colorado over the weekend took aim at several underperforming charters in Ohio.  Part of the reason was because of the poor performance of the management company that runs the under-performing online school Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT. 

Jo Ingles/Ohio Public Radio

Some new bills at the Statehouse would make abortion illegal at earlier stages of pregnancy than the existing law, which bans abortion after around 24 weeks.

And one would also take more money away from Planned Parenthood.

Ohio Right to Life is backing six bills that the group says would reduce the number of abortions in Ohio.  One of those is legislation that would make abortion illegal at 20 weeks into a pregnancy. Republican Representative Kristina Roegner will sponsor that bill in the Ohio House.

Ohio House, Senate hold opening day ceremonies

Jan 6, 2015
Andy Chow/Ohio Public Radio

Opening day for the new Ohio General Assembly Monday played out more like a ceremony than a typical House and Senate session. All the members --new and returning—were sworn-in.

The House held the official vote for its leadership teams which included new House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger—a Republican from Clarksville in Clinton County.

Rosenberger said legislatures in the past have worked on workforce development and creating employment for Ohioans—now he’d like to focus on what he calls “mobility.:

2015 has all the elements of an exciting year in the state capitol.

2015 is a budget year, and that potentially means battles over priorities. And Gov. John Kasich knows it.

“As executive, I’ve got to tell you, I don’t care if I have to break some china. But that’s not the best way to do things,” Kasich said. “The best way to do things is to get cooperation out of the people you work with.”

Raising the tax on oil and gas drillers has been a major issue in Ohio. But just when it seemed like policymakers were poised to take a big step towards a change, other issues got in the way.

Going back-and-forth on the severance tax seems to be a new annual tradition between Gov. John Kasich’s administration and the oil and gas industry. Legislators from the House and Senate are also in the mix—falling into both camps.

Bills that didn't pass the Ohio General Assembly in 2014

Dec 24, 2014

It’s been a productive year for Ohio lawmakers, who passed bills dealing with redistricting, budget revisions and red light cameras. But many bills that got a lot of attention with the end of the two-year General Assembly didn’t pass.

Bills that passed the Ohio General Assembly in 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Maybe the legislation needed more time for review or didn’t have quite enough support. Whatever the reason—this was the year those bills finally made it past state lawmakers.

The most recent example is the reform to Ohio’s redistricting process. For the past decade, critics of the process have said it creates maps that are aggressively gerrymandered, which is what happens when lawmakers redraw voting districts to benefit their political party.

The Constitutional Modernization Commission had looked at various options for improving redistricting, a process that’s generally blamed for creating legislative and congressional districts that favor one party over another. 

The panel was very close to bringing a plan forward.  But now, two new bills have surfaced. Republican Representative Matt Huffman is the sponsor of these new plans.

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