After months of jockeying for votes, Ohio House Republicans are going to vote soon on whether Ryan Smith or Larry Householder will be speaker next session.
Battle for the gavel: After months of jockeying for votes, Ohio House Republicans are going to vote soon on whether Ryan Smith or Larry Householder will be speaker next session. As cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer writes, each side claims they have more votes than the other, but neither has the 50-vote majority needed to win the 99-member House.
Patient care: The state is accepting petitions to add more medical conditions to the list of ailments that can allow someone to legally possess and use medical marijuana. No medical marijuana is currently available, but state officials say it will be by early next year, cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock reports.
Curbing constitutional amendments? Even though Issue 1 failed Tuesday, Ohio’s legislative leaders are getting fed up with what they see as frivolous constitutional amendments on the statewide ballot. As Pelzer reports, Smith said Thursday that lawmakers will discuss how to make it harder for citizen-initiated amendments to make the ballot and pass.
Another Issue 1 post mortem: Although Issue 1 was heavily voted down on Tuesday, the Ohio Senate is working on legislation that reflects some of the ideas put forth in the amendment. The Columbus Dispatch’s Marty Schladen explains that this legislation would reclassify minor drug felonies as misdemeanors and address other drug-related issues within the state.
Red spots in blue Cuyahoga County: Even in Cuyahoga County, the bluest of blue counties in Ohio, there are strongly red Republican areas. Seven of the 59 cities or townships voted for Republicans Mike DeWine and Jim Renacci this year, and Donald Trump in 2016. Cleveland.com’s Rich Exner breaks down the votes in the three races by city in Cuyahoga County.
Let’s make a deal: Northeast Ohioans in the U.S. House of Representatives say they’re optimistic that Democrats will be able to reach deals with President Donald Trump when they take charge of the institution next year, cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton reports. Infrastructure, immigration and lowering prescription drug costs are among the areas where they believe common ground can be found.
Chairs line up: The power change will put Toledo Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Niles-area Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in line to chair plum House Appropriations subcommittees, Eaton notes. Kaptur says she’d like to use chairmanship of a subcommittee that oversees federal energy and water development spending to conduct hearings into nuclear plant closures including those of Ohio’s Davis-Besse and Perry plants.
Gambling up in October: Ohio casino and racino gambling revenue totaled $150 million in October, up 3.6 percent over October a year ago. This is the money kept by the house after paying out winnings, Exner reports. But nearly all of the gains came at the racinos.
Another gerrymandering decision: A three-judge federal panel in Maryland this week ruled the state must come up with a new congressional map in time for the 2020 election, the Washington Post reports. That case was brought by Republicans upset with the gerrymandering work of Maryland Democrats. In Ohio, the same request is being made for a new map. But in Ohio, it’s the Democrats who are upset about a map drawn by Republicans. The Ohio trial is scheduled for the spring. Both cases involve constitutional questions.
County of the woman: Summit County will soon have an all-female common pleas court. As of Nov. 6, women dominate the judgeships, with the elections of Kathryn Michael and Kelly McLaughlin. The Akron Beacon Journal’s Stephanie Warsmith reports that women occupy more than 70 percent of the elected judicial seats within the county.
Dayton and DeWine: Mike DeWine is the first governor to be from the Dayton area since James Cox, who held the title in 1913-15 and 1917-21. Laura Bischoff of the Dayton Daily News explains the similarities between the two Ohio governors.
Trump factor: DeWine’s victory as well as other Republican statewide wins are being attributed to President Trump’s visit to Cleveland, reports Randy Ludlow of the Dispatch. Republicans and Democrats agree that Trump’s presence in the state increased Trump followers’ enthusiasm to get to the polls.
Taxing matters: School levies passed at a rate of 69 percent on Tuesday, reports Catherine Candisky of the Dispatch. Seven out of 11 school safety levies that would provide resources, such as security cameras and mental health counselors, failed. “That was the third straight year the passage rate fell and was down from last November’s general election when 73 percent of 122 levies were approved. In the last 15 years, the highest passage rate was 85 percent in 2015,” Candisky writes.
Recycling yard signs: Wondering what to do with your lawn signs now that the election is over? “The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio is hosting an event from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday on the Northwest Side to recycle election signs,” reports the Dispatch’s Beth Burger. Signs are also being collected at the Bill McDonald Athletic Complex in Columbus.
Democrat Phil Robinson is the newly elected state representative for Ohio’s House District 6. He defeated Republican Jim Trakas in the Nov. 6 election, flipping the district to blue. His election will add a member to the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus.
1) Why did you decide to run for state representative?
“I firmly believe that the state government should work for everyone. We need to end the culture of corruption in Columbus, and we need to remember that family and community comes before politics.”
2) What do you hope to accomplish during your time as state representative?
“I’ve been laser focused on three things. First is education. I want to address Ohio’s unconstitutional school funding system and work to make college more affordable through increased funding for state universities. Second is focusing on local government funding. We need money to work on roads and bridges and money to work on fixing the opioid crisis. Third is growing the local economy and focusing on small businesses.”
3) How did you feel on election night?
“I felt humbled and honored that Ohio House District 6 trusts me to represent them. I am so grateful to my family, friends and all the volunteers. I think this just shows that people wanted fresh faces and voices to represent the community, and I look forward to working for everyone, even if you did not vote for me.”
4) Do you have any book recommendations?
“I haven’t had much time to read lately because of spending time on the campaign, but anything by my sister, the New York Times best seller Phoebe Robinson, is a good choice.”
5) What TV shows do you watch?
“‘House of Cards,’ ‘Walking Dead’ and anything Marvel Comics on Netflix.”
Friday, Nov. 9: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, state Rep. Robert Cupp
Saturday, Nov. 10: U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson
Sunday, Nov. 11: state Rep. Louis Blessing III and Dick Celeste, Ohio’s 64th governor
Straight from the Source
“Speaking ‘more naturally about things that matter to Ohio’ might not have been a bad thing to try DURING the race? Sort of a weird takeaway.”
-BuzzFeed News reporter Henry J. Gomez on Twitter, reacting to a tweet from Richard Cordray, who said he is now free from the constraints of running for office and can speak “more naturally” about Ohio and national issues, as well as share “more light-hearted thoughts.”
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