Dress advice: About 18 months after the House Bill 6 scandal broke, more than a third of the board responsible for selecting candidates for Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission is made up of men who supported, lobbied or even co-sponsored the infamous energy law. As Jeremy Pelzer reports, that includes Chairman Mike Koren, who helped FirstEnergy lobby lawmakers pass HB6, and former Sen. Lou Terhar, a Cincinnati Republican who co-sponsored the scandal-tainted legislation.
Chop on it: Nine Ohioans have submitted petitions to the State Medical Board of Ohio to add new diseases to the list of conditions people can get medical marijuana for. There are currently 25 conditions, reports Laura Hancock. The medical board will determine whether to add any conditions over the coming months. Meanwhile, a House committee will vote Tuesday on a bipartisan bill allowing medical marijuana for autism.
And after: Now that the Ohio Redistricting Commission has approved new state legislative maps, Andrew Tobias looks to what’s next. Groups that originally sued the latest set of maps have three days to file objections after the maps are adopted. The court will decide whether the maps — which favor Republicans in 57% of districts, though more than a dozen Democratic-leaning districts favor Democrats by 1% or less — comply with state constitutional language requiring neutrality partisanship and political proportionality.
Positive development: Secretary of State Frank LaRose canceled his public events for the week after testing positive for COVID-19 on Monday, two days after meeting with Governor Mike DeWine and other members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission. As Tobias writes, LaRose said he started having “very mild” symptoms on Sunday and took a quick test Monday morning. DeWine is not in quarantine because he does not consider himself to have been in close contact with LaRose, a spokesperson said. The two men were seated at opposite ends of the committee room, about 25 feet apart. LaRose was seated next to elected House Minority Leader Allison Russo and Senate staff.
Mom is the word: It’s been four days since the project was announced, and the DeWine administration still hasn’t said what incentives Ohio has promised for Intel to build a massive semiconductor manufacturing complex in the Columbus area. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the state would build $1.2 billion in infrastructure to support the project, including widening Ohio 161, the state highway from New Albany to Columbus, but won’t did not specify the details.
Sign of the times: A bill easing filing requirements for congressional and state legislative candidates amid uncertainty surrounding Ohio’s redistricting process could pass this week. A proposed amendment to House Bill 93 would remove the requirement that candidate petitions have correct district numbers and contain the signatures of voters in the district where the candidate wants to run, as long as the information would have been correct under the district lines that the Ohio Supreme Court overturned earlier this month. HB93, which otherwise deals with privacy provisions for victims of domestic violence, is up for vote Wednesday by the Senate Local Government and Elections Committee.
‘All systems go’: Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers said he was certain U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black would set a trial date for the House Bill 6 bribery case when a conference call this week, Columbus Dispatch’s Laura Bischoff reports. “Everything is working, depending on the COVID issues,” DeVillers said, with Bischoff pointing out in the article that the case appears ready to move forward, including prosecutors released to focus their time on the case.
Example : For the second day in a row, Ohio has had fewer than 10,000 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, reports Julie Washington. That’s down from the massive increase the state has seen since late December, when cases stayed above 19,000 a day.
Death sentence: The number of deaths from all causes in Ohio in 2021 was far higher than previous years, and for the second straight year the state reported 20,000 more deaths than in pre-pandemic years, Washington reports. Figures released Monday afternoon showed just under 147,000 Ohioans died in 2021, compared to an average of about 122,000 in the five years before the pandemic.
Funny couple: Josh Mandel, the far-right Republican candidate for the US Senate and Morgan Harper, the progressive underdog in the Democratic Senate primary, will debate Thursday in Columbus. As Tobias writes, the event will give both candidates ample opportunity to tweak U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, who is the frontrunner for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.
Sold out: U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, a Niles-area Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate, joined a bipartisan group of 27 members of the House of Representatives on Monday in a letter urging House leaders to allow a vote on legislation that would prohibit members of Congress from owning or trading stocks to ensure they don’t profit from inside information. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last month that she opposes banning members of Congress from trading individual stocks while they serve in Congress, saying they should be able to participate in the market economy and are legally required to report transactions.
One in a million: The Ohio Senate campaign is fueled by a very specific type of people: millionaires. Like Politico’s Natalie Allison reports, much of the Republican field is plowing their personal wealth into campaigns, including Mike Gibbons, Jane Timken, Bernie Moreno and Matt Dolan. Meanwhile, Josh Mandel and JD Vance have the backing of millions in PAC money from Peter Thiel and the Club for Growth. All of this points to Ohio’s U.S. Senate race being one of the — if not the most — expensive in history.
Bye: State Sen. Jay Hottinger, a Republican from Newark, said Monday he would not run for office in 2022, the Kent Mallett reports of the Newark Advocate. Hottinger has served in the General Assembly since 1994 and has not missed a single floor vote in the past 27 years.
Five things we learned from May 4, 2021, Financial Disclosure Form of State Representative Gary Click, a Republican from Sandusky County.
1. In addition to his legislative salary of $67,493.16, Click said he earned $1,000 to $9,999 from the Gary Click ministry and $25,000 to $49,999 as a minister at the Fremont Bible Baptist Temple.
2. Click on having declared having IRAs with Millennium Trust Company and PFS Investments.
3. At some point in 2020, Click owed over $1,000 to Fremont Federal Credit Union, Cornerstone Community Credit Union, Citibank, Capital One, Synchrony Bank, Bank of America, and Mastercard.
4. Click, a first-year legislator, reported no eligible travel, gift, meal, food or beverage expenses.
5. Unsurprisingly, Click holds a ministerial license to perform wedding-related duties.
President Joe Biden has named Jonathan McCracken as Ohio State Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development.
U.S. Representative Shontel Brown, a Democrat from Warrensville Heights who took office in November, announced her leadership team in the Congressional office: Veleter MB Mazyck is her chief of staff. His Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director is Kimberly Hodge Edwards. Jasmine Lastery-Butler is his executive assistant and planner. Julian Sham is its legislative director. Conor L. Fryer is its director of communications and Ebony Webster is its press secretary.
State Representative Jason Stephens
Brandon Hendrickson, Legislative Assistant to State Representative Diane Grendell
Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal reporter
Harry L. Davis, 49th Governor of Ohio (1878-1950)
“These sports bills play on the public’s sense of fairness – the belief that transgender girls and women have some type of unfair advantage. The image being built is that there is a mass of transgender women dominating women’s sports and that’s just not the case.
-Antron Mahoney, professor of African studies, gender and identity at Ohio Wesleyan University, quoted in a History of Columbus Dispatch on the Republican push to use transgender bills as culture warfare issues ahead of the May primary.
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