Politics & Government

Activists who want to eliminate the tax heirs pay on high-value estates have gotten the go-ahead to start their drive to put the issue before voters. But the campaign to kill the estate tax will likely be attacked by local communities if it makes it to the ballot. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler talked with a key opponent of the estate tax and an operative who opposes the effort to erase it.

A final version of the Ohio budget removes a provision that would have allowed natural gas drilling in Ohio state parks and strips school districts of the authority to determine whether pupils should say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The plan also clarifies Gov. Ted Strickland's authority to put slot machines at Ohio's horse racing tracks to raise an estimated $933 million.

A legislative committee voted 5-1 on Monday to approve the budget plan after little debate or discussion.

The roughly $52 billion spending plan now goes to votes in the House and Senate.

Ohio Lawmakers Delay Final Budget Vote

Jun 30, 2009

Ohio legislators and the governor have given up trying to hammer out a compromise two year state budget by the Wednesday morning deadline. Instead, they're now in the process of enacting a one-WEEK budget to give them more time to work on the long-range spending package. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports.

Budget Talks Stall. Ohio Waits.

Jun 29, 2009

Negotiations over a new two-year state budget among Ohio's 3 most powerful politicians fell apart over the weekend. That makes it seem more and more unlikely that state legislators will be able to agree on a compromise spending plan by the July first deadline. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports the biggest sticking point appears to be slot machines.

Pressure Builds As State Budget Deadline Nears.

Jun 25, 2009

Advocates for foodbanks, unions, libraries and social service agencies in Ohio used demonstrations, media ads, and phone calls to protest proposed state budget cuts. The pressure on lawmakers is building as they work to fashion a new two year state budget. And, the deadline for agreement is next week.

Many state employees have been laid off in recent months, and many more have been asked to take unpaid furlough days. These actions were taken by state leaders to help save state dollars. Some Ohio lawmakers think more cuts are in order. But as Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports, what these lawmakers want to cut might come as a surprise to many Ohioans.

Ohio House Approves Foreclosure Moratorium

May 21, 2009

The Ohio House has approved legislation that would place a six-month moratorium on foreclosures in some cases. The Democratic-controlled House voted 54-43, largely along party lines, to approve the bill Wednesday.

It would allow homeowners who can pay at least half of their mortgage payment to put off foreclosure for six months. It also would require lenders to pay $750 to the state when they initiate foreclosure proceedings.

Democrats say it will let more people stay in their homes and give the parties more time to agree on a new plan.

Ohio Lawmakers Work Budget, Other Issues.

May 18, 2009

A potent combination of economics and politics has Ohio lawmakers facing the prospect of repairing a hole of at least $2,000,000,000 in the next two-year budget in a little over a month.

Legislature Sets Hearings On Prison Reforms.

Feb 23, 2009

Ohio lawmakers have scheduled hearings this week on prisons legislation. Lawmakers will also consider a plan to fund bonuses for veterans of the wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Ohio Lawmakers Eye Revenue Sources.

Jan 27, 2009

If government spending cuts alone are not enough to fill a projected 7 billion dollar hole in Ohio's next two-year state budget, legislators may have to answer a question they'd rather not face --- what's the better way to raise cash - gambling casinos or a tax hike? Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen reports it's a debate that actually has THREE sides.