Posted Friday, June 24, 2011
There are just a few days remaining to get the new state budget through a conference committee and back before lawmakers and the governor before the new fiscal year starts July 1. And Republican leaders in the legislature say they have reached some agreement to boost nursing home funding. Once again, a bill that would require Ohioans to show photo identification to vote in person is back in the news - it was yanked from a Senate bill this week, but could still come up for a vote next week. Opponents of the state’s new collective bargaining law say they have more than enough signatures to put a repeal before voters, and cheered a ruling from the Secretary of State that a possible repeal couldn’t be broken up into several separate issues on the ballot. An effort to put before voters an amendment to exempt Ohio from the federal health care law failed in the House by one vote, but Tea Party activists say they have enough signatures to put it onto the ballot. A long-discussed bill on prison sentencing reform is on its way to the governor’s desk. And Gov. John Kasich is promising a “blowout” this year for the Ohio State Fair.
Last week’s deals between the governor and the two casino developers may have made some people happy, but also have some critics. One group says it’s planning to sue over the deals, and says it likely will not be the only ones who do. Rob Walgate, Vice President of the Ohio Roundtable, talks about the concerns his conservative, anti-gambling organization has about these deals.
Every 20 years, Ohioans get the chance to revamp the state’s constitution through a constitutional convention. But state lawmakers have another idea - a commission of experts which will look over the state’s founding document and suggest changes that legislators and voters could approve or reject. Talking about the pros and cons of a convention versus a commission is Steven Steinglass, professor of Law and Dean Emeritus of the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, and the author of “The Ohio Constitution: A Reference Guide.”