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Ohio


Pro-choice advocates at the Statehouse: Politicians are playing doctor
Ultrasound requirements and pregnancy predictions are in the two-year state budget
Other noon headlines: Portman on immigration, Kent State tuition, Cavs and the draft

by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Pro-choice advocates showed up at the Statehouse today to protest last-minute antiabortion provisions in the state budget.
Courtesy of KAREN KASLER
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In The Region:
  • Pro-choice advocates say lawmakers are playing doctor
  • Portman says the immigration bill won't get his vote without his amendment
  • Kent State's tuition hike will go for scholarships
  • Cavs choice is likely narrowed to three -- or a trade
  • Pro-choice advocates say lawmakers are playing doctor
    Crowds gathered outside the Statehouse this morning to protest last-minute abortion restrictions Republican lawmakers inserted in the Ohio budget.

    Extra Highway Patrol troopers are providing security to today’s sessions, including an expected vote this afternoon on the two-year spending plan.

    Tuesday night, Republicans on the conference committee inserted language that would require doctors to perform an ultrasound to detect a fetal heartbeat and to predict problems with a pregnancy based on the result.

    Ohio Sen. Nina Turner of Cleveland told the crowd that if lawmakers “want to make intimately personal decisions about women’s health, they should go to medical school.”

    Portman says the immigration billwon't get his vote without his amendment 
    Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says he will not vote for an immigration bill that does not include his amendment to enhance the federal database employers can use to verify immigration status for employment. And in a conference call today with reporters, he insisted that and other amendments should be debated over the next few days.

    PORTMAN ON HIS VOTE

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    "We're not getting the people's work done. We're not allowing senators to represent their states by offering amendments, having a debate, having an up-or-down vote. ... I hope that they will allow me to offer this amendment in the next couple of days here, but if they don't, there's no way I can look my constituents in the eye and tell them this legislation’s going to work.”

    Portman and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid battled yesterday over the E-VERIFY amendment. Reid said Senate negotiators had offered to include Portman’s provision in another amendment, but Portman refused.

    Kent State's tuition hike will go for scholarships
    Kent State University is boosting tuition by 1.5 percent, a half percent below the state cap. The trustees also voted this morning (Thursday) to devote the roughly $4.75 million raised by the increase to merit-based scholarships, with roughly a third designated for incoming freshmen.

    University spokesman Eric Mansfield says the scholarships are part of the universities “First Choice” initiative to draw higher achieving students – with a better chance of graduating.

    MANSFIELD ON KENT'S TUITION DECISION
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    “I think this is a very good-news day for us because it’s a modest increase, its giving back to the students, the efficiency of our spending is reflected in the new budget and our incoming class with a 3.3 average GPA should spell success.”

    Kent also is freezing most fees though this year it will charge extra for students who take more than 16 credit hours in a semester.  Mansfield says affects less than 10 percent of the student body.

    Akron and Cleveland State have approved 2 percent tuition hikes, though Cleveland is offering a rebate based on academics.  Miami went with a 1.5 percent boost and Ohio State is freezing tuition.

    Cavs choice is likely narrowed to three -- or a trade
    The Cleveland Cavaliers have the first pick in the NBA draft tonight and are keeping mum on their choice.

    There is no consensus on a top player but the team is believed to have narrowed its pick to Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, Maryland big man Alex Len or Kansas guard Ben McLemore.

    There's also chance the Cavs could trade the No. 1 pick, but that's a rarity.

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