The state marked its 50th executions since it started resuming executions in 1999, and with more executions scheduled, the state is working on what to do when its supply of a key drug used in lethal injection runs out. Records show Ohio's state government payroll fell to less than $3 billion in 2012 - a 3% drop from the previous year. And thousands of die-hard gamblers and curious locals poured into a new casino in downtown Cincinnati this week.
Gov. John Kasich's budget included an element of tax reform that caught some by surprise - a cut in the state sales tax, but an expansion of that tax onto dozens services that currently aren't taxed, such as tickets, hair styling, digital downloads and cable TV. The governor's office claims that the tax cut amounts to $1.4 billion, but a study shows people earning over $335,000 will save $10,000 with the income tax cut, but the people at the other end of the scale could pay $63 more in increased sales taxes. The Ohio Association of Realtors opposed the budget this week, while the pro-union, pro-Democratic group One Ohio Now said the sales tax expansion was okay under certain circumstances. And two groups that are unlikely to concur on many issues are this week agreeing that that they don't like much about this budget plan. Wendy Patton is with Policy Matters Ohio, the liberal-leaning think tank that did the study. And Seth Morgan is a Republican former state representative from the Dayton area and is now with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
March 8, 2013