DVD : The State of Ohio - Democrats React to Coming Senate Budget; More on Open Data and Government
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Starting this week - Amazon is collecting Ohio local and state sales taxes on purchase from its website for the first time. The retailer voluntarily agreed to collecting sales taxes with the deal that brings three data and cloud computing centers and more than a thousand jobs to Ohio, which was announced last week. A package of bills aimed at addressing Ohio's opiate addiction crisis includes a proposal to give certain immunity to drug users seeking emergency help for others who have overdosed on heroin or painkillers. Former Rep. Peter Beck (R-Mason), who was accused of misleading investors about a company's financial status and using their money for personal gain, has been convicted of 13 charges including securities fraud, theft and perjury.

Ohio's 23 Republican state senators will unveil their budget next week, and Senate President Keith Faber of Celina is hinting at few details. It will be unveiled Monday, and will be on a short timeline to pass the Senate and the conference committee and be signed by the end of June. Add to that short timeframe a huge list of amendments proposed by the 10 members of the Senate Democratic caucus - 500 amendments, dealing with charter schools, unions, local government money, Medicaid eligibility, developmental disabilities funding, public transportation, and education. Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) talks about those amendments and why they've proposed them.

Last week on this show a conversation began about open data and government transparency - about information that's online, and information that's not but should be. There's a concept that getting some attention in this area - "open washing", when government officials put out certain information in an attempt to be seen as open and transparent, but in reality all important decisions and information is still closed off and hidden. Auditor David Yost joined Treasurer Josh Mandel in his call to local governments and school districts to share their financial information on the ohiocheckbook.com website. But Yost has also agreed with other advocates that more transparency is needed in government.

And we close this week with a special welcome to a new member of our extended family - Felicity Chow. She arrived this week to great acclaim, for her and for her parents, Vanessa and Andy Chow. We look forward to her thoughts on important state issues in the future. Congratulations.
June 5, 2015