Posted Friday, April 20, 2012
This week brought the first of many likely executions in Ohio over the next 21 months. This week 49 year old Mark Wiles of Portage County was executed by lethal injection for stabbing to death 15 year old Mark Klima, the son of his former employer, in 1985. For weeks, lawmakers have been talking about Gov. John Kasich’s big budget update, and Republicans have been tinkering with it since he unveiled it – taking out the severance tax that Kasich wanted to use to fund an income tax cut, and this week adding 46 amendments, including one that makes big funding cuts to the 37 health centers operated by Planned Parenthood.
Now Democrats in the Ohio House have come up with their own addition to the budget update, saying they want a $400 million fund for cities and schools that they say are suffering from huge budget cuts in the Governor’s spending plan last year.Minority Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and Rep. Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) talked about it, while Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania) and Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney) dismissed it.
Gov. Kasich had split with members of his own party in the legislature over one of the final steps in the Great Lakes Compact, the agreement signed in 2005 by eight states and two Canadian provinces to ban diversion of water outside the region except when approved by area officials. Now Kasich and the bill’s sponsor in the House, Rep. Lynn Wachtmann of Napoleon in northwest Ohio, have come to a deal. Environmentalists say they have problems with the deal. Jack Shaner is with the Ohio Environmental Council.
The fall vote is months away, but it’s clear that Ohio will once again play a critical role in the presidential contest. President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney were both in Ohio this week. And a former presidential candidate was in Ohio to stump for Republican US Senate candidate Josh Mandel - Republican US Sen. John McCain. McCain talks about his thoughts on Mandel, on what the US Senate needs in a successful candidate, and on the GOP campaign for president.
And Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and it was commemorated for the 32nd year at the Statehouse this week, as the Governor talked about the Holocaust memorial coming to the Statehouse.