The summer sizzle arrived this week, especially for those living south of Cleveland. Temperatures in Akron and Canton have been in the 80s and pushing 90 degrees all week. The hot weather forced many to turn on their air-conditioning and fans.
Beginning this month, the price to keep cool is increasing. Energy experts have been sounding the warning for months that electric customers will see substantially bigger bills beginning with June's billing cycle. The reason? Higher costs for generating power being passed on to you the customer. In some cases, the cost of electric per kilowatt-hour, the unit of usage for which you are billed, more than doubled.
Customers have been encouraged to shop around for better prices and many have done so either individually or as part of aggregation programs. Electric providers say the higher prices will be in effect for about a year.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says it received eight applications to drill for oil and gas on state owned lands this week. Tuesday was the first day new administrative rules established for the application process went into effect. Republicans in the statehouse passed legislation last year that makes it easier for companies to acquire drilling leases for parcels on state-owned lands including Ohio's state parks.
Two Northeast Ohio House lawmakers are behind a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. The bill would also allow households to grow up to six plants. House Bill 168 is the work of Lake County Republican Jamie Callender and Hudson Democrat Casey Weinstein. Weinstein introduced a similar bill last session that failed. This piece of legislation known as the Adult Use Act attempts to get out in front of an expected November ballot issue to legalize recreational marijuana and regulate it like alcohol.
As we begin Pride Month, the political climate in Ohio has been less than inclusive for LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender men and women. This week Attorney General Dave Yost offered an advisory legal opinion on an existing state anti-discrimination law. The Green County prosecutor asked for the opinion to determine whether Ohio public facilities can require people to use bathrooms that align with their biological sex assigned at birth and not their current gender identity.
-Abbey Marshall, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Ken Schneck, Editor, The Buckeye Flame
-Jo Ingles, Statehouse News Bureau Correspondent, Ohio Public Radio/TV