Leading Candidates Come Through Ohio; Experts Get Fired Up About Minimum Wage Hike, Jobless Benefits Changes

Ohio is starting to show up as a stop for the big presidential contenders including Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders. Leading Republicans in Ohio said this week they want to temporarily halt acceptance of Syrian refugees following the deadly attacks in Paris - and the Ohio House approved a resolution urging President Obama to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the US, sponsored by Rep. Tim Derickson (R-Oxford), and opposed by nearly all Democrats, including House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). On that same day, the House also approved a resolution to block Planned Parenthood from getting $1.3 million in state money, and approved – without debate – a bill to expand the state's concealed weapons law to allow guns in places such as colleges and day cares and on private aircraft.  Cincinnati City Councilman PG Sittenfeld wants to make stricter gun regulations part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for US Senate against former Gov. Ted Strickland, who's had good ratings from the National Rifle Association.

As state lawmakers prepare to leave for the holidays, there’s been a flurry of committee meetings to take up a variety of bills dealing with tax policy, the economy, and other big issues. Talking about them are two experts who lead organizations that are very involved in lots of legislation. Greg Lawson is a policy analyst for the conservative Buckeye Institute, which describes itself as a free-market think tank. Amy Hanauer is the executive director of the progressive leaning research group Policy Matters Ohio.

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