Posted Friday, June 1, 2012
The state’s second execution of the year could take place next week, as Gov. John Kasich has rejected clemency for a man scheduled to die next month for killing his estranged wife and brother-in-law in the Cuyahoga County courthouse in 1992. Meanwhile, the state’s prison director says changes in laws aimed at shrinking the number of inmates are having a slower effect than anticipated, but that the state’s prison population is at its lowest level in four years. Ohio’s transportation agency has big financial problems, but its leaders outlined the steps they’re taking to deal with that in a first-of-its-kind presentation – the “State of ODOT”. Ohio is one of eight states that this week got a break from the federal No Child Left Behind law. And congratulations to Ohio’s own John Glenn – astronaut, US Senator and now recipient of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the presidential Medal of Freedom.
The state’s first two casinos are open for business. Toledo’s Hollywood Casino opened on Tuesday, just two weeks after the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland made its debut. And this week, the state’s first racino has joined those two full-fledged casinos in welcoming gamblers. Scioto Downs has become the first horseracing track to open up for gambling at electronic slot machines or VLTs, after a lawsuit to stop the racinos was thrown out. The Ohio Roundtable brought the lawsuit, and vice president Rob Walgate says the group is still weighing its legal options. But supporters of racinos say the argument that this was an amendment of the constitution via statute is specious, including Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati).
There are rumors that a decision from the US Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the federal health insurance law called the Affordable Care Act could come anytime, or that it might happen around June 25. But regardless of when it does come down, it will be huge news, with major implications for the uninsured, for those who want to change their insurance, for the health insurance industry, and for people running for office in this big election year. This week, it’s the second part of a conversation with two experts on the Affordable Care Act, which opponents call “Obamacare”, to talk about what the decision will mean specifically in Ohio. Tim Maglione is the Senior Director of Government Relations for the Ohio State Medical Association, which opposes the law. Cathy Levine is the executive director of the Universal Health Care Network of Ohio, which supports the law.