Budget Battle in Columbus

Roundtable: Elizabeth Sullivan, editorial page editor, The Plain Dealer; Jill Miller Zimon, blogger, Writes Likes She Talks.

State Budget Debate
In a rare intra-party feud, majority Republican lawmakers and Governor Kasich can’t agree on major facets of the new state budget. Kasich wants to expand Medicaid; conservatives in the legislature do not. Kasich wants to expand the reach of the sales tax but fellow Republicans oppose it. The two branches also don’t agree on the level of school funding. They have until the end of June to work out their differences.

Medina Superintendent, School Board on Defensive
Superintendent Randy Stepp was put on paid leave this week while state auditors investigate a board-approved pay and benefits package that has residents up in arms. Stepp was awarded an $83,000 bonus and his college tuition was covered by a board eager to keep a skilled officer. But residents question whether the board realized the scope of Stepp’s remuneration.

Thatcher’s Legacy
The death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rekindled an old debate about her legacy. She'll be remembered by history as the European head of state who sided with President Reagan in the final days of the Soviet Union and she put her country on the road to recovery after a long economic decline. But her opposition to long-time Labour policy and her handling of Irish relations kindled animosities that still burn.

North Korean Bluster
Saber-rattling from the northern half of the Korean peninsula has South Korea, Japan and allies wondering what the end game might be. The north threatens missile launches and says war is imminent but is vague about the casus belli. South Korea describes the North’s threats as ‘ordinary.’ However, the South along with the U.S. is monitoring mobile missile movements in the North and Japan has deployed anti-missile launchers.

Russell Schneider, author, Cleveland Indians Legends
The veteran Cleveland sportswriter has identified the 40 best Indians players in a franchise history dating back to 1901. It’s not surprising to find such names as Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Rocky Colavito and even Albert Belle in the favored forty. But it is surprising that the book leaves out such names as Satchel Paige, Len Barker and Joe Carter. Schneider explains there’s method in the oversight. He’ll tell all and talk about his choices for the greatest Indians.

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