Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne will present legislation to county council next week proposing a 72-acre parcel of land in Garfield Heights as the site for a new county jail.
County leaders have been discussing for years what to do about the current jail which is decrepit. In 2018, the U.S. Marshals released a report describing the conditions inside the jail as inhumane and violating civil rights. The Marshals were called in to investigate after seven inmates died at the facility over a span of months. In addition to proposing the Garfield Heights site, Ronayne is also expected to introduce legislation to extend the .25% sales tax in the county for another 40 years to help pay for the new jail. The sales tax is set to expire in 2027 and was initially passed to pay for the Global Center for Health Innovation and renovation of the Huntington Convention Center.
The Ohio Supreme Court sent the Ohio Ballot Board back to work this week to rewrite part of the language voters will see when they decide State Issue 1 in August. The issue would raise the threshold to pass a constitutional amendment from a simple majority to 60%. State Issue 1 would also increase the signature requirements for putting citizen-led amendments on ballots.
The city of Aurora is pursuing the purchase of Geauga Lake-the body of water not the amusement park. The city wants to purchase the lake and about 40 acres of property on the lake to create a new public park with a pool, beach, and non-motorized boating. Mayor Anne Womer Benjamin calls the potential purchase the opportunity of a lifetime for Aurora.
The Ohio Senate passed its version of the two-year state operating budget yesterday. The $85.8 billion proposal would overhaul public education and higher education and expand the use of vouchers. It also seeks to cut taxes by eliminating all but two of the state's tax brackets. The budget must be passed and signed by June 30. There are many differences between the Senate and House versions of the budget which will have to be reconciled.
-Kabir Bhatia, Sr. Reporter, Arts & Culture, Ideastream Public Media
-Matt Richmond, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV