The November election is months away, but an issue that Democrats put on that ballot is a step closer to being moot. The Ohio Senate approved a repeal of House Bill 194, the election reform law. But lawmakers from both parties came together to honor 50 police officers, firefighters and other first responders from the tragic school shooting in Chardon in February. Two new polls out this week are tracking the presidential race and the US Senate contest in Ohio - and so far, the Democrats in both races are in the lead.
Supporters call it "right to work." But critics call it "the right to work.....for less." The conservative think-tank the Buckeye Institute has released a study applauding the concept, which would change state law so that union contracts cannot require workers pay dues to get or keep jobs. Ohio University economist Richard Vedder says states with right to work laws have had higher rates of growth. But critics, including the coalition We Are Ohio - which brought the repeal of Senate Bill 5 to the ballot last year - gives no credence to the study.
The debate continues in various House and Senate committees on Gov. Kasich's budget update, even though the highest-profile proposal in it was stripped out by Republican lawmakers. That would be the plan to impose a severance tax of up to 4% on oil and natural gas drillers in Ohio, to fund an income tax cut that could go as high as 5% eventually. Here to talk about the budget update bill are two key members of the House Finance Committee - its chairman, Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) and Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland).
March 30, 2012