WYSO

Jo Ingles (Ohio Public Radio)

Jo Ingles is an award-winning journalist who began her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s. Through the years, she’s worked in both radio and television as a reporter and production assistant. She’s assisted in the production of a presidential debate for ABC Television news, reported for a major commercial radio station in Louisville, and then came back to her native Ohio to begin working at the WOSU Stations in Columbus Ohio in 1989 to begin a long resume of work in public radio.

After working for more than a decade as a general assignment reporter at WOSU-AM, Jo was hired by the Ohio Public Radio/TV News Bureau where she’s worked for the past 11 years. She’s covered everything from tax hikes to Supreme Court proceedings to educational policies. Jo lives in southern Delaware county with her husband Roger and two children.

Chronic pain patients at the Ohio Statehouse.
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News Bureau

Last year, Ohio changed its rules for prescribing opioids, restricting amounts of, and circumstances under which, doctors can prescribe those narcotics. The new rules have an exemption for people who are in hospice type care for diseases like cancer. But many patients who suffer from chronic pain say the new rules are leaving them without pain relief, resulting in unintended consequences.

Ohio I voted stickers
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Voter registrations are up in Ohio since November 2016, and that pleases a non-partisan group that encourages increased voter participation.

Jen Miller with the League of Women Voters of Ohio says she’s encouraged that, at last check, voter registration rates are up by 2% since the presidential election two years ago.

“We often see a downtick in turnout in midterm elections but this increase seems to indicate an enthusiasm for politics and voting this year.”

SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

Even though judicial races are considered nonpartisan in Ohio, judicial campaigns are usually funded with campaign contributions. A government watchdog group’s report says once they’re on the bench, judges don’t recuse themselves when hearing a case involving those donors. 

The latest fundraising numbers show this year’s race for Governor is going to be the most expensive in the state’s history.

The most recent fundraising filing with the Secretary of State shows Republican Mike DeWine has raised a total of more than $24 million while Democrat Richard Cordray has nearly $14 million in his campaign war chest. That’s more than $38 million combined, and it’s $8 million more than was raised in 2010 when Republican John Kasich beat incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland.

marijuana leaves
Statehouse News Bureau

Ohio’s medical marijuana program went into effect on September 8, 2016 yet two years later, the drug hasn’t been dispensed to anyone. It was supposed to be fully operational on September 8th of this year but that’s not happening.

Weather, delays associated with ordering equipment, real estate closing delays, problems with utilities or unforeseen issues with renovation of buildings, and delays with local permitting are some reasons the program isn’t going to be fully operational by the September 8th, 2018 deadline.

Jonathan Juravich, Ohio’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, explains how he meets the needs of students in his classes.
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

State education leaders have a new policy they say will ensure student success.  But it involves doing some basic things many schools and teachers already do – focusing on individual students’ needs and de-emphasizing required standardized testing.

The state’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, Jonathan Juravich, helped develop the new policy that focuses less on teaching information that could be on state standardized tests and more on meeting the needs of individual students.

Rep. Niraj Antani says he’s proposing a bill requiring county commissioners get voter approval to raise taxes.
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A Republican state lawmaker who backed a failed attempt to overturn a county tax levy wants to make it tougher for counties to raise taxes.

Opponents of a sales tax increase on Montgomery County tried and failed to take a repeal to the ballot. So Rep. Niraj Antani says he’s proposing a bill requiring county commissioners get voter approval to raise taxes in the first place.

Cresco Labs

The state has issued the first license for a large-scale medical marijuana cultivator under Ohio’s medical marijuana program.

Ohio Department of Commerce spokeswoman Stephanie Gostomski says Buckeye Relief has passed its inspection and has been issued a certificate of operation. This is the first one issued to a large-scale cultivator that is allowed to grow up to 25,000 square feet of medical marijuana.

The state has already issued certificates of operation to two smaller cultivators who are allowed to produce up to 3,000 square feet of marijuana.

New Ohio House Speaker, Ryan Smith.
http://ohiohousegop.blogspot.com/

After two months at an impasse, the Ohio House has a new leader. 

In an unprecedented process, Republican Finance Chair Ryan Smith was elected speaker after 11 rounds of voting on the House floor. Under Ohio law, a speaker must have a majority to win until the 11th round. Smith ended up with 44 votes.

“You know I wasn’t sure if we’d go through 11 rounds of voting to get the plurality but I knew if we did, I’d get there,” the new speaker said.

Minority leader Fred Strahorn commanded most of the votes from Democrats throughout the process. He ended up with 27 votes.

Advocates for Planned Parenthood rally at Ohio Statehouse in 2016
Jo Ingles / Ohio Public Radio

A federal appeals court has unanimously upheld a decision that says a Planned Parenthood defunding law backed by Ohio lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich is unconstitutional.

The law has been on hold since abortion rights advocates filed a lawsuit two years ago. It would allow the Ohio Department of Health to strip $1.5 million in tax funding from Planned Parenthood. Lawmakers say the measure simply steers federal funds intended for women’s health care away from providers that also offer abortions.

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