Analysts Fiercely Debate Budget

A fiercely divided Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the power of state-level oil and gas drilling regulations to supersede local zoning laws. A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit filed by four death row inmates challenging Ohio's new law passed in the lame duck session last year that shields the names of companies providing lethal injection drugs. And a sad note for political junkies – Dana “Buck” Rinehart, the former mayor of Columbus, died this week of pancreatic cancer.

The question of whether Gov. John Kasich will or won’t run for the Republican nomination for the presidency got a lot more serious this week, as he took his balanced budget amendment tour to a state that plays heavily in presidential primary politics – South Carolina. Though Kasich continues to say he’s not even close to making a decision, the speculation is rampant. At a recent appearance before the Ohio Newspaper Association, Ohio Republican Party chair Matt Borges and Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper weighed in on the possibility.

As lawmakers look over the budget and grill members of the Kasich administration about it, the Governor is preparing to sell his spending plan in his State of the State speech next week in Wilmington. Talking about what they like and don’t like in his budget are two veteran policy experts: Greg Lawson is a policy analyst for the conservative Buckeye Institute, which describes itself as a free-market think tank, and Amy Hanauer, executive director of the progressive leaning research group Policy Matters Ohio.

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