Running Start For Lame Duck, Getting Women Ready To Run, And Ohio Leads In Opioid Deaths

The lame duck session of the legislature got off to a running start this week. The House and Senate approved some bills, but the most controversial ones still remain for next week. It hasn’t even been a month since the 2016 vote, but the speculation has been going for months on who will be running in 2018 for the top five statewide offices - and now Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) says he wants in the race for governor. Meanwhile, his Congressman, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Niles), who lost his bid to unseat Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, says he'll talk to his wife and the next step in his political career. And Gov. John Kasich is following up on the cautionary statements his budget director made on this show in October, saying the budget will be tight with no significant percentages increases to state agencies, but said there would be no tax increases.

Hillary Clinton's loss in the presidential race last month meant the glass ceiling for the nation’s highest office was not shattered. The Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers shows women, who make up more than half of the U.S. population, hold only about 20% of the seats in Congress and the U.S. Senate, and only slightly more than in state legislatures. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles took a look at a program designed to encourage women to take the first step toward joining them and running for office.

This week, Ohio came in at the top of a list no one wants to lead. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that Ohio is number one in opioid overdose deaths. One in 9 heroin deaths in the US happen in Ohio. And 1 in 14 deaths from synthetic opioids happened in Ohio. Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) and Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) talk about what they think state lawmakers can do about the opiate crisis.

Route 33 in central Ohio could become a technology superhighway, if a project launched by the state goes as planned. The Ohio Department of Transportation announced it’s working on a $15 million partnership to create a “smart corridor” from Dublin west to East Liberty. The ride sharing company Uber was helping test it out this week with OTTO, a self-driving semi that will next try trips on the Ohio Turnpike.

And this week is the last one for Rachel Niemi and Liam Niemeyer, who've done excellent work with the Statehouse News Bureau as part of their fellowship in the Scripps Program at Ohio University.

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