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Kasich's budget may move slowly through GOP-dominated Legislature
Other noon headlines: Seatbelts, flooding, wind farms, buckeye trees, mumps

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Courtesy of FILE PHOTO
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In The Region:
  • State lawmakers may go slow with Kasich's budget plans
  • Eliminating immunity when drivers don't strap-in their kids
  • Federal flood-premium changes benefit about 3,700 in NE Ohio
  • Wind farms moving forward in Ohio
  • Buckeye trees migrating to Michigan?
  • More mumps
  • State lawmakers may go slow with Kasich's budget plans
    Ohio’s Republican lawmakers may not take up Gov. John Kasich’s tax package until after the November election.

    The governor wants to cut the top income-tax rate to less than 5 percent and to boost the personal exemption and earned-income tax credit for lower-income people. He hopes to make up the gap with a boost in cigarette, business and oil-and-gas-drilling taxes.

    The governor hopes to have the deal done by July 1.

    But the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that leadership in both the House and Senate are saying they’ll go slow on the budget. And the package has been divided into smaller bills that have been assigned to about a half-dozen legislative committees to consider.

    Eliminating immunity when drivers don't strap-in their kids
    Ohio lawmakers are also considering a bill that would allow criminal charges to be filed against drivers if children are injured while they are not in car seats or wearing seatbelts.

    The law now requires that children younger than 15 be restrained. But it grants immunity to drivers if a child is not strapped in and is injured or killed.

    The Plain Dealer is reporting that the bill also would allow police to stop drivers when they spot passengers 14 or younger who are not buckled up.

    Federal flood-premium changes benefit about 3,700 in NE Ohio
    A new federal flood insurance bill should save about 3,700 homeowners and businesses in Northeast Ohio from big spikes in their premiums.

    The bill delays rate hikes while the Federal Emergency Management Agency finishes a study of the affordability of flood insurance changes. According to a list from Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the northern Ohio county most affected by the delay is Erie, where nearly 600 properties are covered by the government-subsidized insurance. Cuyahoga, Lorain and Lake counties each have more than 300 properties affected.

    Wind farms moving forward in Ohio
    The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved a 17-thousand acre wind farm in central Ohio that includes 176 turbines. Each of the turbines on the Scioto Ridge Wind Farm would be 500-feet tall, which has led to protests of last week’s decision from residents. They’re also pushing lawmakers to eliminate clean-energy tax credits for such projects.

    State law requires power companies to get a quarter of their electricity from advanced or renewable energy by 2025 – with half of that coming from in-state. But Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz hopes to reverse that or scale it back. And the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Statehouse is likely to take up the issue this week.

    Buckeye trees migrating to Michigan?
    A new report from the National Wildlife Federation says Ohio may be losing its buckeye forests because of climate change. The report says drought, storms and heat are moving the best climate for buckeyes from Ohio into Michigan.

    More mumps
    And a mumps outbreak that started last month at Ohio State University has spread to other parts of Franklin County. Nearly five dozen people, ages 4 to 56 have now been infected.  

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