Two Democrats Considering Governor's Race, And Getting A Grip On Rising Infant Mortality Rates

Next week is the first debate among the four announced Democratic candidates for governor next year. But Democrats have been waiting to see if two high profile politicians could also jump into the primary contest in May. Two possible contenders were testing the waters during one of the year’s biggest political holidays, in the hopes of firing some people up or maybe changing some people’s minds. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

Democrats around the state are mourning the loss of former Senate President Harry Meshel, known for his deep knowledge, his political savvy and his sharp tongue. A public university has stepped forward to volunteer to serve as the state’s medical marijuana testing laboratory.

For years, there’s been a discussion on regulations on licensing for certain occupations. Now it appears lawmakers are looking at reducing the amount of training needed to get cosmetology licenses while, at the same time, focus on developing apprenticeships instead. But there are concerns, as Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports.

Ohio’s infant mortality rate has been seen as both a tragedy and an embarrassment. Ohio was 11th in the for the number of deaths of babies under a year old in 2015, the last year for which stats are available. And the 2015 numbers are higher than in the previous two years. And birth outcomes are far worse for African American infants. Shannon Jones is a Republican who left the Senate last year and is now a Warren County Commissioner and heads Groundwork Ohio, which advocates for early childhood development issues.  Erika Clark Jones is the executive director of Celebrate One of Franklin County, one of several local efforts around the state trying to fight this crisis.

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