Speculation builds for Kasich 2016 presidential run
With the state budget behind him, Governor John Kasich is setting his sights on national spending. And it’s fueling speculation about a 2016 presidential run. Kasich is calling on Ohio to lead the charge in an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution. He says Congress should be constitutionally mandated to balance the federal budget. Thirty-four states are needed to call for a constitutional convention and then 38 states to ratify an amendment. According to Kasich’s office, 20 states already have a resolution calling for a convention and the governor wants Ohio added to that list. As for presidential aspirations, Kasich tells the Columbus Dispatch he has no ulterior motives to his recent comments that also included calling Obamacare, “Hillarycare,” at a speech to the Franklin County Republican Party this week. The Wall Street Journal this week also featured Kasich on the front page as a possible White House contender for 2016.
Ohio’s jobless rate steady
The state says Ohio's unemployment rate held steady in July at 7.2 percent, matching what it was a year ago and remaining slightly higher than earlier in 2013. Ohio's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has varied only slightly since the beginning of the year. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says Ohio had 416,000 unemployed workers last month, up about 3,000 from June. Nonfarm wage and salary employment increased 5,300, bringing good news a month after Ohio reported the second-largest job loss for any state in June.
Sex offender label hearing held for Steubenville teen
A judge has scheduled a hearing to determine the sex offender classification for a Steubenville high school football player convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl last year. The hearing today for Ma'Lik Richmond was delayed earlier this summer while his attorney unsuccessfully challenged the constitutionality of the sex offender labeling process. The 17-year-old is serving at least a year in juvenile prison for raping the West Virginia girl in a case that garnered national attention. A judge in June gave Richmond's co-defendant Trent Mays the state's second-toughest sex offender classification.
Heartbeat bill faces uncertainty
Backers of an Ohio bill to effectively ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat are declaring "Round 2" in what is likely an uphill fight for the proposal. The bill's previous sponsor Lynn Wachtmann and several other Republican state lawmakers said Thursday they are reintroducing the so-called "heartbeat bill." Ohio sponsors acknowledged there could be hesitation from the GOP-led Senate to act on the bill. The abortion measure was dropped last year in that chamber.
Ohio set to unveil new execution process in October
A court filing says Ohio plans to come up with a new process for executing condemned inmates no later than Oct. 4. The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says that the new process will apply to the November execution of Ronald Phillips who murdered his girlfriend’s toddler in Akron 20 years ago. The supplies of the drug Ohio uses for execution have been put off limits by its manufacturer, and Ohio's remaining supplies expire at the end of September.
OSU president search committee reconvenes
The committee looking for the next leader of Ohio State University plans another meeting today. The search committee will receive an update on the selection of an executive search firm to replace Gordon Gee, who retired in July, a month after controversial remarks. There’s no set timeline for selecting the next president the head of the committee says it usually takes about a year.
$3 million awarded to Ohio health insurance navigators
Five organizations in Ohio are getting $3 million from the federal government to help people sign up for insurance under the new health care law. The grants announced Thursday by President Barack Obama's administration will be used to hire and train outreach workers. The Ohio Association of Foodbanks was the largest recipient of the so-called navigator grants, with almost $2 million. The money will support 30 to 40 navigators. Navigators will be particularly important to the law's success in Republican-led states such as Ohio, where state officials are taking a hands-off approach to promoting the law. Ohio's insurance department says no marketing, advertising or outreach efforts are in the works by the state. Enrollment for the law's new coverage options starts Oct. 1, and benefits kick in Jan. 1.