For the first time since taking office in January, Gov. John Kasich has spared the life of a condemned killer. The two versions of the two-year state budget are their way to the committee that will stitch them together into a spending plan on which both the House and Senate can agree. The Senate pushed through its budget this week after a six-hour session, and the House then rejected the Senate's amendments. But there are big differences to be worked out on education, local government funding, abortion, charter schools, lawmaker pay, nursing homes, and privatizing the lottery. And there's still a debate on how big the deficit the budget had to handle really was.
The state's largest agency was probably its hardest working one in the last few years. Ohio Job and Family Services is an immense agency assisting the poor, the unemployed, the disabled, the uninsured, and those who with concerns ranging from adoption to workplace training. Director Michael Colbert talks about his work, and about his role in a cabinet some have said is less than diverse.