Schools

Legislators Confident In School Funding Overhaul Staying In State Budget

20 May , 2021  

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal

Two state legislators, including the chair of the Senate Primary & Secondary Education Committee, say a newly proposed funding formula is still alive in Ohio’s biennial budget.

State Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Delaware, assured a recent Central Ohio virtual town hall including local educational representatives that despite the fact that the majority of the funding formula introduced during the last General Assembly died at the end of the year, the biennial budget brings with it the formula that lessens the weight of property taxes, and expands eligibility for private school voucher programs.

“I believe in this budget there will be a school funding formula in it,” Brenner said. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Ohio’s Professional Sports Teams Want In On Legalized Sports Betting

22 Apr , 2021  

By Tyler Buchanan, Ohio Capital Journal

Ohio’s professional sports teams are in favor of legalized sports gambling and want in on the action.

A coalition of eight pro teams (plus the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin) announced support for a legislative effort to legalize sports gambling in the state.

A group of lawmakers spent the early months of 2021 hearing testimony from these teams and many other industry experts in preparation of drafting a legalization proposal. A bill is expected to be introduced soon.

Momentum is leaning toward legalization. States across the country have legalized sports gambling in recent years as a way to boost revenues. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Bipartisan Bill Would Allow Expungement Of Ohioans’ Eviction Records

18 Apr , 2021  

By Tyler Buchanan, Ohio Capital Journal

When a tenant faces eviction, the filing can stay with them for years — potentially impacting their ability to find stable housing again.

A bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Stephanie Kunze, R-Hilliard, and Hearcel Craig, D-Columbus (both pictured above), proposes to allow eviction records to be expunged under certain circumstances.

A tenant would be able to request to have their eviction records expunged. A judge could authorize expungement if they feel the record “is no longer a reasonable predictor of future tenant behavior” and if expunging it would be in the “interests of justice.” More…

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Life in Delaware County

House GOP Spending Plan Includes 2% Personal Income Tax Cut

16 Apr , 2021  

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS Associated Press

Ohioans would receive a 2% personal income tax cut and the state would fund schools in a more equitable fashion under the latest version of the state budget introduced Tuesday by House Republicans.

The 2% cut would amount to $380 million in reduced taxes over two years beginning July 1, and is on top of $120 million in reduced taxes brought on by recently passed legislation that aligns Ohio tax code with federal law, according to majority GOP lawmakers.

The budget also provides previously announced $155 million in grants to help industries negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Details Emerge On Proposed Bill To Restrict ‘Vaccine Passports’ In Ohio

13 Apr , 2021  

By Tyler Buchanan, Ohio Capital Journal

Republican-sponsored legislation will seek to prohibit the Ohio government from instituting a “vaccine passport” program, but the drafted proposal does not appear to restrict private businesses from doing so.

Rep. Al Cutrona, R-Canfield, is soon introducing this bill in the Ohio House of Representatives. It has already received support from fellow Republican lawmakers.

The term “vaccine passport” refers to showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination that could allow entry into a given place or public event. The vaccine is optional in Ohio, and Gov. Mike DeWine has given no indication the state government will develop a vaccine passport program here. More…

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Life in Delaware County, Schools

Bill Allowing Ohio Schools More Time For Spring Tests Passes

18 Mar , 2021  

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After a year of learning upended by the pandemic, Ohio students would have extra time to take state-mandated tests under an emergency measure passed unanimously Wednesday by the Ohio House.

The GOP-controlled Senate approved some final changes to the school measure before sending it back to the House where it passed in a rare 92-to-0 vote days before the testing windows begin.

“I support any flexibility we can give to schools as we continue to address the pandemic’s impact on the students and families they serve,” Democratic Sen. Teresa Fedor said in a statement after the bill’s passage. More…

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Life in Delaware County

YouTube Removes Ohio Committee Video, Citing Misinformation

20 Feb , 2021  

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Legislative testimony made Wednesday in support of a GOP-backed effort to limit public health orders made by Ohio’s governor was removed from YouTube after the service deemed it contained COVID-19 misinformation.

The Google-owned platform said it removed content that was uploaded this week to The Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom channel for violating the company’s terms of services.

The video showed Thomas Renz, an attorney for Ohio Stands Up, a citizen group, make the opening testimony during a House committee hearing on a bill that would allow lawmakers to vote down public health orders during the pandemic. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Bill To Limit DeWine’s Health Orders Passes In Ohio Senate

18 Feb , 2021  

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A small committee of legislators could overrule the Ohio governor’s health orders under a bill the state Senate approved Wednesday that marks the latest effort by GOP lawmakers to restrict fellow Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A Senate bill introduced last month by lawmakers would establish “checks and balances” on DeWine’s ability to issue and keep in place executive action during an emergency, including the current coronavirus pandemic.

“As I stated before, this bill is not meant to be, in any way, an indictment of the policies that have been put in place by the administration over the course of the last 11 months,” bill co-sponsor Sen. Rob McColley said on the Senate floor. “But rather is a response.” More…

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Business

Here Are The Proposals To Raise The Minimum Wage For Ohio Workers

1 Feb , 2021  

By Tyler Buchanan, Ohio Capital Journal

There are multiple efforts underway to raise the minimum wage for Ohio workers to $15 an hour.

The plans differ slightly on the timeline to reach that goal, but Democrats in the Ohio Statehouse, in Congress and in the White House are simultaneously pushing for an increase they say is necessary to benefit low-income Americans.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees, but states are allowed to set theirs higher. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Fate Of Tainted Nuclear Bailout Left Unclear At Year’s End

23 Dec , 2020  

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press

The fate of the tainted legislation looming over the Ohio Statehouse since July remains unknown as the Legislature convenes Tuesday for a final day of sessions.

For months, Lawmakers have been unable to find common ground on how to address the $1 billion nuclear bailout law at the center of a $60 million bribery probe.

The inaction by the House and Senate forced the hand of Franklin County Judge Chris Brown, who granted a preliminary injunction Monday that blocked the subsidies from the law that were set to be added to every electric bill in the state starting Jan. 1. More…

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Schools

Westerville Schools Officials Testify About School Funding

27 Nov , 2020  

Westerville City Schools Treasurer Nicole Marshall and Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg presented testimony before the Ohio House Finance Committee earlier this month in support of the Fair School Funding plan, a new school funding formula that would reduce the state’s overreliance on local taxpayers to pay for public education and provide a more equitable state model for funding schools.

“My taxpayers are tired of our school funding system being broken,” Marshall said in her testimony in support of Substitute House Bill 305 and the Senate’s companion bill, Senate Bill 376. “They deserve better. My students deserve better. School treasurers and CFOs should not be the only people that understand how school funding is calculated.”

In her address to lawmakers, she also noted the impact of the state’s current funding model, including the funding cap that results in a $12 million fewer state dollars to the district’s budget each year. More…

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Life in Delaware County

Judge: Energy Company Can Continue Donations To Lawmakers

3 Oct , 2020  

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An effort by Ohio’s attorney general to block an energy company and its affiliated entities from donating to lawmakers is an infringement of First Amendment rights, a judge ruled Friday.

A Franklin County judge denied Attorney General Dave Yost’s attempt to stop campaign contributions to Ohio lawmakers from First Energy while the House is considering a repeal of a $1.3 billion bailout of two nuclear plants formerly owned by the company’s subsidiary.

The lawsuit sought to freeze the assets of former House Speaker Larry Householder’s $1 million campaign fund and dissolve the dark money groups involved in the bribery scheme. More…

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