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E-Cigarettes Spark Hot Debate, And Bill Seeks To Bridge Gender Pay Gap

The State of Ohio
Friday, February 14, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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Lawmakers debate how far they should go in regulating e-cigarettes.

The 2014 race for governor is definitely underway now, with the major party candidates going to each other’s turf to campaign this week. And Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democratic Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald are already disagreeing about some big issues – for instance, K-12 public education. The state school superintendent is giving schools an extra week to administer required state achievement tests to third- through eighth-graders due to the effects of severe winter weather that has delayed and canceled classes. Three big bills that we’ve been following on this show are likely to come to the House floor next week - the plan to add more calamity days to the school calendar, the bill to shorten the early voting period and the measure that would allow only the Secretary of State to send out unsolicited absentee ballot applications.

Electronic cigarettes are a fairly new item on the market, but they're growing in popularity. And they are so new there are few rules on their sale and use. A bill to ban e-cigarettes for people under 18 has passed the House and Senate, but critics say it doesn't go far enough in terms of regulations and taxes. Talking about the bill are Republican Rep. Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard in suburban Columbus, its sponsor, and Democratic Rep. Nickie Antonio of Lakewood in suburban Cleveland, who spoke out against the bill.

Another bill that’s was just introduced in the Ohio House is a measure that seeks to deal with the so-called gender pay gap – the difference between the salaries that working women pull in compared to their male counterparts. The Equal Pay Act was first talked about by Democratic women state lawmakers in October, but was introduced last week by Rep. Connie Pillich of Cincinnati. She explains why she feels it's needed.

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