Posted Friday, May 25, 2012
Summer break for state lawmakers started with a flurry of bills this week - both chambers passed most of the governor’s big budget update, while Senators approved bills to shore up the state’s five public pension funds and the House passed the exotic animal ban. The Ohio Supreme Court issued a huge decision this week, upholding the state’s indoor smoking ban. Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, the longest serving woman justice on the Ohio Supreme Court is stepping down at the end of the year. Ohio’s auditor says it may be time for the state to dump its requirement on what’s pumped into its vehicles, because he says using only biodiesel is costing the state $800,000 a year. And once again, the Statehouse lawn became a field of dreams this week, for the rematch between state lawmakers and a group of historical re-enactors who play baseball by rules set in 1860.
There are around five months till election day. But the chairs of the state’s two major political parties are talking like it’s just around the corner. The faceoff at the Columbus Metropolitan Club was the first time Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern and Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett were together since Redfern survived a coup among his membership and Bennett was brought back from retirement after GOP chair Kevin DeWine was forced out.
In a few weeks, a ruling from the US Supreme Court is expected that will send shock waves across the country, no matter what it is. The decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act – what critics call Obamacare – could come in the next few weeks. Here to talk about the possible impact of the ruling are Tim Maglione, Senior Director of Government Relations for the Ohio State Medical Association, and Cathy Levine, the executive director of the Universal Health Care Network of Ohio.