Author

Nick Evans

Nick Evans

Nick Evans has spent the past seven years reporting for NPR member stations in Florida and Ohio. He got his start in Tallahassee, covering issues like redistricting, same sex marriage and medical marijuana. Since arriving in Columbus in 2018, he has covered everything from city council to football. His work on Ohio politics and local policing have been featured numerous times on NPR.

‘DATA Act’ would create consistency in Ohio voting records, supporters say

By: - March 16, 2023

Officials from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office put their weight behind Senate Bill 71 this week. The DATA Act would create uniform definitions for various voter data and codify specific record-keeping standards. Democrats worry about the influence of a Donald Trump-aligned think tank. Mandi Grandjean spoke on behalf of Secretary Frank LaRose; she serves […]

“This bill is a stinker.” Opponents bash Ohio Second Amendment ‘sanctuary’ legislation

By: - March 15, 2023

Opponents lined up Tuesday against a measure to cut federal firearm provisions out of Ohio’s state law. The measure’s proponents argue it will keep federal agencies from commandeering local officers. Committee speakers forcefully rejected that argument. More than 80 people submitted testimony in opposition of the proposal ahead of the committee hearing. More than a […]

How the bid to make it harder to amend Ohio’s constitution fell apart

By: - March 14, 2023

Just before lawmakers took off for Thanksgiving last year, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, held a press conference. Details ahead of time were scant, but the advisory promised “reforms which will better protect Ohio’s constitution.” What they unveiled would dominate the chaotic final weeks of the lame duck legislative […]

Ohio state senators hold rail safety hearing as pressure builds for federal action

By: - March 10, 2023

This week Ohio’s U.S. Senators criticized Norfolk Southern for “putting profits over people,” and insisted their legislation presents a “time for choosing,” in a closely watched committee hearing. In Ohio, meanwhile, lawmakers held their own hearing on rail safety. Separately, the rail industry announced plans to install about 1,000 additional wayside detectors in response to […]

Ohio state Sen. Gavarone introduces bills to investigate voter fraud and clean up election data

By: - March 9, 2023

A pair of priority voting measures for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose got their first committee hearing Tuesday. Sen. Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, is sponsoring both proposals on the heels of passing new voter ID restrictions late last year. Gavarone’s first bill, SB 51, creates a new Election Integrity Division answering to the Secretary […]

Backers voice support for bill keeping Ohio cops from enforcing federal gun laws

By: - March 8, 2023

A new bill in the Ohio House would strike out all references to federal firearm policy from state law in an attempt to render state and local law enforcement in Ohio no longer responsible for enforcing federal gun laws. This furthers a trend in recent years where, for instance, lack of movement on federal immigration […]

Marijuana business owners line up against Ohio Senate’s proposed medical cannabis overhaul

By: - March 7, 2023

As Ohio lawmakers push to reform the state’s medical marijuana system, business leaders within that system are gearing up to block the effort. They contend that easing the entry of new producers could overwhelm the market and threaten the industry’s viability overall. Senate Bill 9 would consolidate oversight for Ohio’s medical marijuana program with a […]

Ohio Republicans at CPAC: Jim Jordan, JD Vance, Vivek Ramaswamy, Dave Yost and Frank LaRose

By: - March 6, 2023

Conservatives from around the country descended on Washington, D.C. last week for the Conservative Political Action Conference. Organizers bill the event as the “largest and most influential gathering of conservatives in the world.” Across four days of panels like “Parents with Pitchforks,” “The Red Menace Comes to the Americas,” and “Sacking the Woke Playbook” attendees […]

Oil and gas commission looking to lawmakers for increased royalties, fees

By: - March 3, 2023

The commission in charge of new rules for leasing Ohio’s state lands to oil and gas companies will seek legislative tweaks to award leases through bidding and to allow for more lucrative royalties. Meanwhile, the commission is pushing forward with a standard lease form over the objections of environmentalists. They worry that, despite repeated statements […]

Will Norfolk Southern’s political spending help shield it from consequences?

By: - March 2, 2023

Officials are all singing from the same hymnal. Republican and Democrat; state, local and federal; all agree Norfolk Southern will be, must be, held accountable for the train accident in East Palestine. Wednesday, U.S. Sens. J.D. Vance, R-OH and Sherrod Brown, D-OH, put pen to paper, introducing legislation for rail safety. But the company has […]

Federal, state officials weigh plans to increase rail safety

By: and - March 2, 2023

Ohio’s U.S. Senators have introduced sweeping rail safety legislation alongside four other senators from both sides of the aisle. Their Rail Safety Act of 2023 demands procedural and equipment changes, while increasing fines for violations and offering funding to spur improvements. Meanwhile, Ohio legislators met in the new Senate Select Committee on Rail Safety to […]

What Norfolk Southern’s accident reports say about the company and industry

By: - February 27, 2023

Last October in Sandusky, a Norfolk Southern train derailed 21 cars and spilled 10,000 gallons of paraffin wax. In 2020, a Norfolk Southern conductor tried to pull out of a Rossville, Tennessee train yard while one car was still connected to an unloading tower. The accident released about 500 gallons of maelic anhydride — an […]