JobsOhio v. Progress Ohio, And Religious Leaders Preach Medicaid Expansion

It appears that for the third time in five years, Ohio will become the first state in the country to use an untested method of executing a condemned inmate. Federal judge Gregory Frost has denied the request to stop the execution of Ronald Phillips, and Gov. John Kasich has denied clemency for him. Some third parties are vowing to sue after the Governor signed a bill setting rules governing minor political parties – a bill critics call the John Kasich Re-Election Protection Act. There was an election this week, and while there were no statewide issues on the ballot, 60% of the school issues on ballots around the state were approved.Parts of southeastern Ohio will be getting a new area code soon, and the state is looking for input. And ground was broken this week for the Holocaust memorial that Gov. John Kasich has pushed for on the Statehouse grounds.

The Ohio Supreme Court heard arguments this week on JobsOhio, but not on whether it’s a constitutional creation. This week’s case was simply about who can file a lawsuit to settle the question of constitutionality. Maurice Thompson from the conservative 1851 Center for Constitutional Law argued for the liberal coalition Progress Ohio, which was joined by the conservative Ohio Roundtable and two Democratic lawmakers in opposition to JobsOhio. Thompson told the court that potentially anyone in the state has standing to sue over this law. State deputy solicitor general Steven Carney told the justices says Progress Ohio wants an unprecedented form of standing that would allow 11.5 million people to legally fight any state law. The issue of standing is key in several other cases, including the lawsuit over video lottery terminals at horseracing tracks that was filed by Progress Ohio and the Ohio Roundtable. There’s no timeline for a ruling.

In his push for Medicaid expansion, Gov. John Kasich made several arguments - bringing up potential savings, possible job creation, and even history, saying that Republican President Ronald Reagan expanded Medicaid in 1986. But many of his statements were about faith. And Kasich has been bolstered in his arguments by clergy members from several faiths – including those who had concerns about some of the other moves that Republicans have made. Two of them talk about why they support the governor and Medicaid expansion. Sister Monica McGloin is a Dominican Sister of Hope and one of the “Nuns on the Bus”, a group that’s traveled around the state and the country speaking out on a variety of policy issues. Rev. Timothy Ahrens is the pastor of the First Congregational Church just a few blocks away from the Statehouse, and has also been outspoken on several legislative efforts.

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