News and Notes: Ohio
What's going on today in the state whose width (220 miles) is the same as its height (220 miles):
Ohio Farmers Support Strickland's Energy Plan - Reporter Marc Kovac at the terrific Capital Blog reprints this press release from the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation announcing its unanimous endorsement:
“Our board believes the governor’s proposal is in the best interest of Ohio’s farmers, households and businesses,” said John C. (Jack) Fisher, OFBF executive vice president. He added, “We appreciate Governor Strickland’s willingness to listen to our members’ ideas as he created a plan to address many of the important energy issues that face our state and nation.”Marc notes that hearings on the plan start today.
Of immediate concern to Farm Bureau is that Ohio’s electric rate stabilization plan expires at the end of 2008.
Assurances Regarding Production at Lordstown Included in UAW/GM Deal? - I haven't been able to track down a link, but I'm certain that I heard on the radio this morning (WCPN in Cleveland) that the tentative deal between the UAW and GM includes some kind of agreement to replace the Kobalt when it goes out of production at Lordstown in a few years. Can anyone confirm this?
Senate Passes Bill to Delay Tamper-Proof Presciption Requirement - The Columbus Dispatch blog The Daily Briefing reports that last night the U.S. Senate passed a bill cosponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and Sen. George Voinovich (R) that would delay full implementation of a new reuirement that Medicaid prescriptions be handled electronically or with tamper-proof prescriptions, an anti-fraud measure with which doctors are not yet ready to comply. If the deadline is not changed, it may "make it more difficult for Medicaid patients to get prescriptions and it will force pharmacists to shoulder the costs for improperly filled prescriptions." A House version of the law introduced by Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) will be voted on next.
Ohio GOP Legislative Agenda Outlined - Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch reviews the bills that may join Strickland's energy plan and banning cash-paying video machines on the legislative agenda this fall. Some are things that Strickland opposes, such as restricting the Ohio estate tax (stupidly called the "death tax" by opponents) and special education vouchers.
Brunner to Rule Whether Summit County Independent Candidates Are GOP - As reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer today, the Summit County Board of Elections deadlocked on whether six candidates for Cuyahoga Falls Municipal Court clerk can appear on the ballot, and Secretary of State will rule on the matter. The candidates are running as independents, but Republicans took care of the filing paperwork, and it appears that they may be GOP plants jumping into the race in order to take votes away from the incumbent Lisa Zeno Carano (D) in her race against term-limited State Rep. John Widowfield (R). Running as an independent while you are a member of a political party is not allowed under Ohio law.
UPDATE: Ohio Supreme Court Takes Local Gun Law Case - I just caught this story in the Toledo Blade, reporting that the high court will hear a challenge to H.B. 347, which amended the concealed carry law to prohibit local governments from enforcing gun laws any more restrictive than state law. The case involved an ordinance in Clyde, Ohio that prohibits carrying firearms in public parks. The municipality is expected to argue that the law violates the home rule provision in the Ohio constitution.