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Karen Kasler (Ohio Public Radio)

Dan Konik / Statehouse News Bureau

Children’s hospitals say they’re worried about rising cases of COVID in kids, with nearly half of all Ohio students not required to wear masks in schools. But that’s unlikely to change unless local officials make decisions to do that.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The start of the school year has been a rough ride for many kids who haven’t been on a regular schedule for more than a year, and for districts that are struggling with thousands of COVID cases among students and staff. But there’s another problem that’s grinding school operations across the state toward a stop – a bus driver shortage. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

The bill that would ban all mandatory vaccines in Ohio brought the state into a harsh national spotlight, and made many people wonder where the proposal came from in the first place. Now, text messages between the bill’s sponsor and the chair of the committee that’s hearing it are showing sometimes careful coordination on the controversial measure. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Jo Ingles

Ohio has joined 19 other Republican-dominated states in a lawsuit over the Biden administration’s extension of protections to halt discrimination against LGBTQ people. 

The state of Ohio reported nearly 5400 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Thursday. These are the highest numbers seen since the end of the winter surge of cases and deaths. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports hospitals are now considering their options.

Keith Faber / Twitter

The panel of lawmakers that will draw new district lines for Ohio’s representatives and senators in the Statehouse held its first two meetings Monday in Cleveland and Youngstown, with eight more scheduled throughout the state this week. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports while there are no maps for people to offer input on, there was plenty of testimony on what they want them to look like.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

A second bill to overhaul Ohio’s election system has been proposed by some Republican state lawmakers, and this one is stricter than one introduced a few months ago that was deemed controversial by voting rights advocates. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler explains what this new proposal would do.

Andy Chow

Two defendants accused in the $61 million corruption scandal involving the nuclear bailout law have maintained their innocence, as others have agreed to plea deals. One of them is former Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

COVID cases numbers are continuing to climb, and the state says only around a third of kids over 12 who can be vaccinated got those shots. One of the Democrats challenging Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s re-election says she questions his motivation for not issuing a statewide mask mandate in schools. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Ohio Channel

Gov. Mike DeWine spoke out on a bill that would ban mandatory vaccines and so-called vaccine passports, which has been set for a four-hour long hearing next Tuesday, during the legislative break Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports he hinted he’d have a hard time signing it.

Community leaders around Ohio are weighing whether to sign on to the $26 billion opioid settlement with three drug distributors and a manufacturer. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports they’re going over the specifics as they consider their final decisions, which could bring big money but some fear could also be costly.

Karen Kasler

A Franklin County judge has ruled against reinstating the $300 weekly checks for unemployed Ohioans during the pandemic that were discontinued by Gov. Mike DeWine last month. The judge said the law is clear that DeWine wasn’t obligated to continue the program for around 200,000 Ohioans. But the suit isn't over.

Dan Konik

Gov. Mike DeWine has made his first public comments since last week’s plea deal from FirstEnergy in the federal corruption case involving the nuclear power plant bailout law known as House Bill 6.

DOUGLAS SACHA, SHUTTERSTOCK

A Franklin County judge is expected to rule in the coming days on a lawsuit that seeks to restore the $300 weekly checks that the federal government was providing to unemployed people through September. Ohio became one of 26 states that ended the program last month.

Karen Kasler

A law that took effect this spring puts Ohio in line with US Supreme Court decisions against life sentences without parole for those who kill or commit other violent crimes as juveniles. But as statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, the families and victims of some of these underage offenders are angry.

Karen Kasler

10 prisons workers are named in an investigation into the beating and subsequent death of an inmate at the Correctional Reception Center in Pickaway County in February. Two have quit and eight are facing disciplinary action, and Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports the incident has led to some changes throughout the system.

Karen Kasler

10 prison workers have been named as involved in the February beating and death of a Columbus man who’d arrived at a Pickaway County facility just two weeks earlier to start his sentence for a stabbing. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on the results of a months-long investigation by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction could result in disciplinary action and even criminal charges.

Karen Kasler

The idea of “means testing” for Ohioans getting food stamp or SNAP benefits was removed in the final version of the state budget. But advocates for low-income Ohioans and those who cycle in and out of poverty say the idea isn’t dead. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Dan Konik

Last year is likely to have been the deadliest year for drug overdoses ever in Ohio, according to a projection from the CDC. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

JAIR FONSECA/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Two Democrats are introducing a bill in the Ohio House that would legalize marijuana for personal use beyond the medical use already allowed in law now. It’s the first bill that would set up a structure for the state to regulate and tax it.

Dan Konik

With more than 40% of Ohioans unvaccinated against COVID, the Ohio Department of Health is urging people to get those shots. And they say it’s critical with the way the highly contagious delta variant of the disease is spreading.

SCREENSHOT/OHIO CHANNEL

The new two-year state budget includes a 3% income tax cut, a new school funding plan and hundreds of millions of dollars for broadband, foster care, foodbanks and grants for businesses hurt by the pandemic. While the Republican-backed budget also included things that Democrats didn’t like, many of them voted for it.

The new state budget sets aside $250 million for broadband programs – that’s a restoration of what Gov. Mike DeWine had initially proposed, which the House reduced and the Senate totally eliminated. But DeWine thinks the resolution is a good one. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Karen Kasler

For the first time in five years, Ohio will be looking for a new state schools superintendent, now that longtime Department of Education veteran Paolo DeMaria will be stepping down from that post this fall.

Karen Kasler

The two-year $75 billion state budget is awaiting Gov. Mike DeWine’s signature before the fiscal year expires June 30th. The budget process was led by Republicans, from DeWine’s initial proposal through the House and Senate, which are dominated by the GOP. But a lot of Democrats ended up supporting the final product. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Karen Kasler

With a little over a day till the deadline on Wednesday, the new two-year state budget is on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine after overwhelmingly bipartisan votes in the House and Senate late Monday evening.  Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has this rundown.

Dan Konik

Among the items added to the budget by Senate Republicans was a proposal that would require Medicaid to essentially re-do its procurement process for the managed care plans that want to work with the state. Advocates have said if it’s not removed, it will cause major problems – and especially in the new OhioRISE program for the state’s most troubled and vulnerable kids. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

In their version of the state budget, Ohio Senate Republicans erased money that had been earmarked for broadband programs. But they also added a provision that would ban local communities from doing their own broadband programs. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler report.

Groups representing Ohio’s school boards, school administrators and school financial officials are raising serious concerns about the Senate’s version of the budget, which blew up the $1.8 billion school funding formula overhaul in the House budget. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Karen Kasler

Ohio has settled a lawsuit filed just three months ago with a pharmacy benefits manager it accused of using subcontractors to overcharge Ohio’s Medicaid program.

Attorney General Dave Yost said Centene initiated the talks that led to the $88.3 million settlement.

“We didn’t seek out a settlement. Centene initiated the negotiations and said, ‘what’s is going to take to resolve this matter?’" Yost said in announcing the settlement.

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