Karen Kasler

Ohio Public Radio and TV Statehouse Bureau Chief

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets.  She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.

Karen is a graduate of Otterbein College, and earned her Master’s as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University. Karen has been honored by the Associated Press, the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences/Ohio Valley Emmys, and holds a National Headliner Award. 

Ways to Connect

photo of Mary Taylor
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor of Green says she’s still in the race for governor next year, though over the weekend she missed the largest statewide party event before the May primary.

All four Republican candidates for governor were on the program to speak at the GOP state dinner, but as Mary Taylor was to take the stage, it was announced that she couldn’t be there. Taylor says she was traveling with her son.

photo of traffic camera
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the right of cities to use traffic cameras without certain restrictions passed by state lawmakers, saying the state law that restricts those cameras is unconstitutional.

The court ruled 5-2 in striking three provisions of the law, including requirements that an officer be posted with each camera and that cities conduct traffic studies and awareness campaigns before turning on the cameras. Dayton’s Assistant City Attorney John Musto told the court in January that the law conflicts with local home-rule authority.  

photo of Paolo DeMaria talking to attendees
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Department of Education is partnering with the staffing company Adecco to match high school students with local businesses.

State school Superintendent Paolo DeMaria says it solves potential problems that keep kids out of some workplaces – and away from real-work experiences.

“Sometimes businesses come to us and say, 'You know, there are liability issues,' or, 'How do we handle workers’ comp and other things for these students?' And we take that worry out of it by having Adecco as that staffing intermediary.”

Photo of Vice President Mike Pence and Ohio Senator Rob Portman
Karen Kasler / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Republican Party’s state dinner this weekend brought in hundreds of party faithful, and included two leaders with different perspectives on the Senate health care bill. And that puts the person who’ll actually be voting on it in a tough position. 

Sen. Rob Portman is undecided on the Republican bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act, something he touched on in his speech: 

“I’ve talked to a lot of you about that tonight, and half of you have told me one thing and half of you told me another thing,” Portman said.

Nine months after lawmakers created a committee to examine state tax breaks and loopholes to see which ones should be abolished or closed off, that committee finally has some members.

House and Senate leadership have appointed four Republicans and two Democrats to the new Tax Expenditure Review Committee, which will look over $9 billion in exemptions, credits, deductions and other breaks in the budget. Zach Schiller from the progressive think tank Policy Matters Ohio has been waiting for this group to start working.

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