It was a raucous day in the Ohio House yesterday as State Representative Jenna Powell, who had proposed a bill banning transgender women from playing high school and college sports, slipped the measure into another bill allowing college athletes to be compensated for their name, image and likeness.
The bill regarding compensation for college athletes had bipartisan support. The transgender ban did not.
The ban, which was in the process of debate as a separate bill, passed 57-36, despite protests from Democrats. But the Senate wasn't interested, carving out the name, image, likeness measure and adding IT to a separate bill. Confused yet? Luckily, Karen Kasler, chief of our Statehouse News Bureau, is here and she'll fill us in.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled 4 to 3 this week that teachers cannot carry firearms in school unless they undergo peace officer training or have 20 years of law enforcement experience. The training requirements are much less stringent now.
Whether arming teachers makes schools any safer is a matter of debate, but for districts who thought teachers packing would protect against mass shooters -- plans will have to be rethought.
Parents in Butler County sued their school district over its plans to arm teachers. That district required the teachers to have concealed carry permits, undergo 24 hours of active shooter response training, as well as a mental health exam. A peace officer training course requires more than 700-hours.
A new program announced this week aims to increase police recruitment in the state as well as diversify officers in the ranks.
Governor Mike DeWine says the program will be offered to junior and senior criminal justice majors at Cedarville University and Central State University in Wilberforce. Those completing the program will be guaranteed an entry-level job with one of 12 agencies participating.
Well before the calls for reform after the death of George Floyd, Cleveland was working on reforming its police department, having entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015. However, rather than momentum to complete the task, recent turmoil has raised questions about the process in Cleveland.
Case Western Reserve University assistant law professor Ayesha Bell Hardaway resigned earlier this month as deputy monitor. The move came after criticisms were raised about her objectivity following an appearance on The Sound of Ideas in April discussing the Derek Chauvin conviction and her thoughts on issues of policing nationwide. The Consent Decree Monitor said her comments disqualified her form serving on the compliance team assuring consent decree measures are being carried out.
This week, the Norman S. Minor Bar Association, which represents Black lawyers, the Cleveland NAACP and the local chapter of Black Lives Matter called for the removal of the police monitor, Hassan Aden, claiming he is biased in favor of law enforcement. Aden is a former police chief.
Ohio's schools may soon have another rating system for district report cards. The Senate was considering a House Bill that would make SAT and ACT tests optional for High School seniors. Somehow, that morphed into a bill that would scrap the A through F report cards in favor of a star rating system. Schools have struggled with changing state standards and grading systems for years. The bill now heads back to the Ohio House.
Marlene Harris-Taylor, Managing Producer for Health, Ideastream Public Media
Glenn Forbes, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public