A Republican Talks Medicaid Expansion, Prisoners Producing Plenty of Products Behind Bars

Backers of same-sex marriage are embarking on a public awareness campaign to educate Ohioans about the need for changing the state law. But it's separate from the effort of one group that hopes to put the issue on next year's ballot. One of the worst-kept secrets on Capitol Square was revealed this week, as Democratic Rep. John Carney announced that he is indeed running for the Democratic nomination for state auditor next year. Former Gov. Ted Strickland is likely getting a new job with the United Nations. And this was a week of two big remembrances - the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and the bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.

Lawmakers are headed back to the Statehouse in a few weeks, and top of the agenda is said to be Medicaid – but whether that’s reform or expansion is the real question. While Republican Gov. John Kasich and a coalition of allies including Democrats, social services groups, hospitals and business organizations are pushing for expansion, Republicans have been wary of embracing it. But there is one Republican who is behind the plan, and is the lone sponsor of a bill to do it. She is Rep. Barbara Sears of Sylvania, and she talks about the future of Medicaid expansion and reform.

There was a time when people assumed that inmates kept busy behind bars by making license plates. That’s not the case any more at several Ohio prisons. Some prisoners are doing special projects, such as inmates at the Marion Correctional Institution who are building furniture for the Central Ohio Furniture Bank in Columbus. But many other prisoners are also working with Ohio Penal Industries, making everything from clothing to flags to office furnishings to toilet paper. Stuart Hudson with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction explains OPI's mission to help inmates and the prison system.

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