Anti-Death Penalty Activists Hopeful
As had been expected for days before it happened, Sen. Eric Kearney of Cincinnati stepped down this week as the Democrats’ candidate for lieutenant governor, following continuing criticism over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid back taxes. Kearney talked with public radio state WVXU in Cincinnati, and candidate for governor Ed FitzGerald spoke with the Statehouse News Bureau. Regulators have approved a plan to use a new 220 area code in parts of Ohio now covered by the 740 area code, which is expected to run out of numbers in 2015. Former Ohio legislator William Mallory has died in Cincinnati at age 82. And three Ohio deer hunters were killed last week - the first time hunters have died during deer gun season since 2009.
The number of death penalty cases in Ohio is down dramatically this year. But in the last few years, a growing number of high-profile officials have brought up serious concerns about executions in Ohio - perhaps most notably, Justice Paul Pfeifer, who helped write the Ohio death penalty statute when he was in the state Senate. All this has raised optimism among advocates who have been arguing against the death penalty for years – including Ohioans To Stop Executions. OTSE's executive director Kevin Werner talks about the issue.
As of the end of last month, nearly 5,700 Ohio residents have successfully picked health insurance plans through the new online marketplace created by the federal Affordable Care Act – also called “Obamacare”. Since Ohio officials elected not to set up an individual state exchange, Ohioans have to sign up through the maligned public website, or over the phone. Meanwhile, the state is also signing up people who are part of the state’s controversial Medicaid expansion through its new website – and it’s already brought in more than 1,100 applications. Amy Rohling McGee is the President of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, a non-partisan health information research group.