WYSO Morning News Update: LaRose denounces 'replacement theory,' still supports Vance; Biden administration addresses housing issues
Your WYSO News Update for May 17, 2022, with Mike Frazier:
- Vance embraces racist theory by shooter as reason for rampage in Buffalo
(Statehouse News Bureau) — The man arrested for shooting and killing 10 people in a Buffalo grocery store had allegedly done so because he believes in the so-called “Great Replacement Theory.” Some right-wing groups promote that idea, saying immigrants are being brought into the country to replace American workers and dilute their votes. And as Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, the Republican running for the U.S. Senate has indicated his support for the theory too. On a recent FOX segment, Republican J.D. Vance said Chamber of Commerce Republicans and Democrats are, in his words, importing people from other countries to dilute voting strength away from Americans. “That’s what this is about. We have an invasion in this country because very powerful people get richer and more powerful because of it. It’s not bad policy. It’s evil and we need to call it that," Vance said. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is one of the Republicans who has endorsed Vance. Here’s what he said when he asked what he thinks about Vance espousing those views. “I think that’s lunacy. I think it’s a sick and racist ideology. It’s not something that I believe. I don’t know exactly what Mr. Vance has said about that. I supported him because I think he’s the right man for the job. I still think that," LaRose said. LaRose also said he looks forward to helping Vance campaign this summer.
- Affordable housing shortage
(WOSU) — The Biden administration used Columbus as a backdrop Monday for a new plan aimed at addressing the nationwide shortage in affordable housing. For the Ohio Newsroom, WOSU's Matthew Rand reports the White House hopes to close the gap within five years. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge made the announcement from a south Columbus residential construction site. The plan Sec. Fudge unveiled Monday includes about $10 billion in incentives for local municipalities willing to revisit their zoning and land-use policies.The plan also calls for increased federal assistance to help finance and build more factory-built and multifamily housing. Fudge explained why Columbus was chosen for the announcement. "It is a community that is growing, they are feeling the pinch more than most because it's a growing community. But they also have people here, the professionals, the housing professionals who know how to address the problem," Fudge said. Moody's Analytics estimates the U.S. is short more than 1.5 million homes, which Fudge said is a main driver of inflation.
- Ohio legal marijuana issue
(Statehouse News Bureau) — Andy Chow at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau reports House Democratic lawmaker said an issue to legalize marijuana for personal use in Ohio could have resulted in a large turnout of voters in November – that is until Republican leaders settled to move the citizen initiative to 2023. Now the debate is back in legislative hands. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports. Democratic Representative Casey Weinstein is accusing Republicans of putting off the initiated statute to legalize marijuana in order to avoid an uptick in voter turnout, adding that legalizing marijuana should be a priority in the state. “There’s so many good things for so many different groups here. I’m really disappointed to see us have to wait to have our voices weighed-in for political reasons," Weinstein said. Republicans counter Weinstein by noting that the petitioners also agreed to delaying the issue until next year. There are two bills in the House, sponsored by Democrats and Republicans, to legalize marijuana for personal use. With the ballot issue stalled, Weinstein says he and other lawmakers will turn their attention back to passing those bills.
- Dayton Children's expansion
(WYSO) — Dayton Children’s Hospital announced plans on Monday to build a new freestanding mental health facility. Officials say the Valley Street building will help the hospital expand services offered to local children and teens suffering from mental health issues.