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Cuyahoga County Executive and Ohio Governor set agendas

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Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne submitted his first legislation to council this week. Those pieces of legislation provide funding for organizations that operate homeless shelters or provide supportive housing. Ronayne is also seeking money for emergency shelter for young people the in the custody of the county. Count Council is expected to take up the legislation next week.

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb is proposing the creation of a Civic Participation Fund as part of his plans for how to spend the next round of American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA dollars. Cleveland will get $40 million dollars in this round from ARPA. Bibb proposes using $5.5 million toward the so-called “peoples b budget”. This is the city’s first participatory budget.

Governor DeWine says he plans to focus on public health and mental health as part of his agenda in his second term. The governor says he wants to focus on extending economic opportunities for Ohioans. The governor struck an upbeat and optimistic tone and encouraged young people to come to Ohio.

The power-struggle that erupted in the Ohio House speaker vote is not ending. State Representative Jason Stephens of Lawrence County ended up a speaker after some Republicans joined with Democrats to defeat the more conservative State Representative Derrick Merrin of Toledo. Merrin had been the choice among the majority of Republicans.

One of the groups that seeks to enshrine the right to an abortion in the Ohio constitution says it has hired a firm that helped defeat anti-abortion issues in Kentucky and Kansas. Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom says Mission Control Inc will help them create a campaign that will be approved by voters.

Last summers United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe versus Wade handed abortion rights up to the states.

Ohio may be ready to get on-board with expanded passenger rail service in the state. The Corridor Identification and Development Program is a new federal initiative that was part of the massive infrastructure bill passed by Congress in 2021. It has set a deadline of March 20 for applications for money.  Ohio is said to be strongly considering doing so.

Guests:
- Glenn Forbes, Supervising Producer for Newscasts, Ideastream Public Media

- Kabir Bhatia, Senior Reporter, WKSU, Ideastream Public Media

-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a producer for Ideastream Public Media's the “Sound of Ideas” and the “Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable.”