Politics & Government

The issue of gambling dominated much of the news in state government and politics this year in Ohio. There were actually TWO gambling issues --- a plan for slot machines at race tracks AND a proposed ballot issue authorizing 4 full-scale CASINOS. Today, in the latest year-in-review report from our statehouse news bureau, correspondent Bill Cohen recalls the battles over expanded gambling.

One recurring problem dominated the agenda of Ohio legislators in 2009 --- huge holes in the state budget. The red ink actually came in THREE WAVES. At stake --- dozens of government programs and billions of taxpayer dollars. In one of a series of year-in-review reports from Ohio Public Radio, correspondent Bill Cohen recalls the money mess.

It appears more likely that Ohio voters - next November -- will decide the fate of a plan to install thousands of slot machines at race tracks. A group seeking to BLOCK the plan until voters get the final say has filed petition signatures to put the proposal up for a statewide vote. Details now from statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen.

Ohio Budget Pact Clears Legislature

Dec 18, 2009

A state budget compromise that calls for Ohioans to pay more in 2009 taxes than expected has cleared the state Legislature.

After eking through the Senate in a 17-15 vote, it cleared the Ohio House 54-42 with two Republican votes.

Ohio lawmakers have reached a deal to resolve an impasse over a budget deficit by combining Gov. Ted Strickland's tax cut delay with a pilot project for new construction rules.

The deal was reached late Wednesday. It would avert $850 million in budget cuts to school districts.

Lawmakers plan to vote on the deal Thursday once the agreement can be translated into legislation.

Both sides in the ohio budget impasse appear to be digging in their heels. That means it's still unclear whether this year's 4.2 per cent cut in the state income tax will be delayed, and it's still unclear how state legislators will fill a projected 851 million dollar money hole. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.

Four Decades of Ohio Politics

Dec 9, 2009

Four decades of important events and major figures in Ohio politics and government, with retired United Press International and The Columbus Dispatch reporter Lee Leonard.

Ohio Senate Republicans appear willing to provide enough votes to approve of Gov. Ted Strickland's suggested tax cut delay.

But those Republicans want things in return from Democrats, and negotiations on closing a state budget gap continue.

Delaying a 4.2 percent income tax reduction would fill the $850,000,000 hole in the budget.

In times of fiscal crisis, budget battles often boil down to raising revenue or cutting spending. The governor and House Democrats - with the help of two Republicans - have voted to raise revenue by pulling back the final year of a five year income tax cut. But Republicans have talked up a plan to cut spending by consolidating state government. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has more on that plan.

Ohio House Passes Tax Delay

Oct 22, 2009

A proposal to delay this year's 4.2 per cent cut in the state income tax got an okay from the Democrat-dominated Ohio House of Representatives Wednesday evening. The plan now faces an uncertain fate in the Republican-dominated Ohio SENATE. The House debate lasted about 3 hours, mostly along party lines. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.

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