Author

Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman

Jake Zuckerman is a statehouse reporter. He spent three years chronicling the West Virginia Legislature for The Charleston Gazette-Mail after covering cops and courts for The Northern Virginia Daily.

Senate GOP signals skepticism on vaccine mandate ban

By: - December 8, 2021

Several Republicans in the Ohio Senate indicated reluctance to legislation prohibiting universities, employers, and most health care facilities from requiring vaccination against COVID-19. All but one Republican in the chamber passed House Bill 218 last month, overriding objections from business, health care, and public health organizations. During Senate committee reviews and interviews Tuesday, however, some […]

About 40% of Ohio’s nursing home staff are unvaccinated; mandates blocked for now in court

By: - December 7, 2021

At Auglaize Acres, more than 81% of the nursing home’s patients are vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to less than 30% of the caregivers, federal data shows. The facility, located in Auglaize County off of Infirmary Road, asked its staff why they haven’t yet received the vaccine. Administrator Rick Hartline chalked it up to fear of […]

Ohio lawmakers hire lawyers who defended ‘largest racial gerrymanders ever encountered’

By: - December 6, 2021

Defending themselves against accusations of gerrymandering, the Ohio House speaker and Senate president hired a team of lawyers with a history defending North Carolina against what a federal court called one of the “largest racial gerrymanders ever encountered.” A spate of special interest and voter advocacy groups have filed four lawsuits alleging that Ohio officials produced […]

COVID-19 infection, hospitalization rates worsen as winter looms

By: - December 3, 2021

The coronavirus continued a five-week surge in Ohio on Thursday, with state data showing worsening infection and hospitalization rates. While time lag and a Thanksgiving holiday cloud the latest data, an average of about 5,000 Ohioans per day contracted COVID-19 at the end of November, compared to about 3,600 daily at the beginning of the […]

Health care PACs fund campaigns of anti-vaccine legislators

By: - December 2, 2021

Nearly 3,900 Ohioans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the most since mid-January, when vaccines were a scarce commodity allocated only to the neediest recipients. Through the pandemic, meanwhile, the Ohio Hospital Association’s PAC has contributed $13,000 to Republican lawmakers who co-sponsored legislation to ban vaccine mandates from hospitals, colleges, and employers in Ohio. Critics of […]

House committee passes ratepayer-funded energy efficiency proposal

By: - November 23, 2021

An Ohio House committee unanimously passed legislation last week allowing electric utilities to charge customers to fund energy efficiency programs designed to reduce electricity consumption. Residential customers would have limited ability to opt out (the bill creates a three-week window to do so per five-year program cycle) of the maximum $1.50 per month utilities can […]

Recreational marijuana nearing enough signatures to force lawmakers’ hands, organizer says

By: - November 22, 2021

A direct-democracy attempt to force the state legislature to act on recreational marijuana will have enough signatures by the month’s end to set a plan in motion, an organizer projected Friday. Ohio attorney Thomas Haren, a representative of the “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol,” said he expects that enough signatures will be gathered to […]

House GOP passes vaccine mandate ban after months of effort

By: - November 18, 2021

After nearly six months of sustained efforts from anti-vaccination lawmakers and activists, Ohio House Republicans passed legislation Thursday prohibiting schools, colleges, and employers from requiring vaccination from employees and students. The legislation also extends a broad immunity for people and businesses against lawsuits alleging they negligently spread COVID-19. It passed with a nearly party line, […]

‘Money without oversight;’ lawmaker proposes giving nursing homes $300 million

By: - November 18, 2021

State lawmakers are considering giving Ohio’s nursing homes $300 million in federal funds to recover from the pandemic with no requirements regarding caregiver pay or quality of care. The lump sum payment in House Bill 461 would come with no requirements that the funds go to raise notoriously low salaries of the caregiver workforce or […]

gun with bullets

House GOP passes bill removing training, background checks for concealed guns

By: - November 17, 2021

The Ohio House passed legislation Wednesday allowing Ohioans aged 21-and-up to carry concealed weapons without undergoing any background check or firearms training. Under current law, Ohioans must complete eight hours of training and pass a background check via their local sheriff for a five-year, concealed carry  license. The legislation would remove the requirement to seek […]

Lawmakers pass bill restricting pandemic shutdowns

By: - November 17, 2021

State lawmakers passed legislation Tuesday that would block the governor from temporarily closing a business due to a pandemic or terrorism event so long as the business follows the safety precautions of still-operating businesses. The proposal comes in response to lockdowns ordered by governors and health departments around the U.S. in March of 2020 as […]

COVID-19 rises again in an undervaccinated Ohio

By: - November 16, 2021

COVID-19 cases are once again ascendant in the 10th least vaccinated state in the nation. State data shows infection rates are climbing and the workloads are reupping at hospitals, where more than 2,700 Ohioans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. An analysis of state data shows that 11 months into the vaccine rollout, the ground is […]