Ohio

DeWine says he didn’t know about alleged $4.3m bribe of utility regulator he appointed

BY: - July 27, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine distanced himself Monday from a utility regulator he appointed who was accused last week of accepting millions in bribes from FirstEnergy Corp. FirstEnergy said in a court filing last week that it paid Sam Randazzo $22 million in consulting fees in the decade leading up to his appointment as chairman of the […]

FirstEnergy paid $4.3 mil to top energy regulator and reaped the benefits, court docs state

BY: - July 23, 2021

An energy lobbyist who Gov. Mike DeWine appointed as the state’s top regulator of public utilities received $22 million from FirstEnergy Corp. in the decade before his appointment — including $4.3 million paid just before assuming the post and specifically to execute official duties to benefit the Akron-based utility — court documents revealed Thursday. Sam […]

Bar machine operators gave $100k to nonprofit that pleaded guilty in statehouse bribery case

BY: - July 22, 2021

A trade association connected to bar machine operators paid $100,000 to a political nonprofit that pleaded guilty to its role in an alleged bribery operation engineered by the former Speaker of the Ohio House, tax records show. The 2019 payment came from the Fair Gaming Coalition of Ohio (FGCO), which has deep ties to the […]

Report: 650,000 lead pipes still carry water in Ohio; 2nd most in U.S.

BY: - July 19, 2021

As many as 650,000 lead pipes statewide deliver water to Ohioans, according to a report released last week by the Natural Resources Defense Council. This makes Ohio the second worst state in the nation as measured by the estimated number of lead pipes (technically known as lead-containing service lines) in the water system, behind only […]

University tries to beat the clock on COVID-19 vaccine mandate ban

BY: - July 16, 2021

Using the clock to its advantage before state legislation outlaws the practice, Cleveland State University said it will move forward with its requirement that all on-campus students seek vaccination against COVID-19 before returning this fall. House Bill 244, which Gov. Mike DeWine signed Wednesday, forbids public K-12 schools and colleges from requiring any vaccine without […]

New data: fatal overdoses leapt 22% in Ohio last year

BY: - July 15, 2021

At least 5,215 Ohioans fatally overdosed on drugs last year according to new government data, a nearly 22% increase over 2019 numbers. The data, released Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, shows the Ohio uptick was more modest than the national rate. More than 93,000 Americans fatally overdosed in 2020, a staggering total […]

Ohio consumer watchdog asks regulators to revisit coal plant bailouts

BY: - July 13, 2021

A consumer watchdog last week asked state regulators to revisit their decision to allow two Ohio utility companies to pass onto customers their losses on two coal-fired power plants they partially own. The Ohio Consumers Counsel (OCC), which represents residential ratepayers in utility issues, asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to revisit its […]

DeWine signs bill giving commissioners ‘kill switch’ on wind, solar projects

BY: - July 13, 2021

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation Monday giving county commissioners new powers to kill wind or solar projects early in their development. No such power exists for local officials for coal mines or oil and gas wells, which are regulated at the state level. If commissioners opt against scuttling a project entirely, Senate Bill 52 […]

Wealthy state lawmakers to gain from income tax cuts in budget 

BY: and - July 9, 2021

Some of the wealthiest state lawmakers stand to save thousands of dollars annually on their taxes thanks to changes they enacted in the state budget.  Lawmakers lowered tax rates for all income earners and raised the minimum threshold at which Ohioans pay taxes on their income.  They also eliminated the top bracket (previously $221,300 and […]

Misinfo thrives at Spanish-speaking vaccination site; health workers are fighting back

BY: - July 6, 2021

LORAIN — Wanda knows she’s lucky to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Her three adult-aged children in the Dominican Republic haven’t yet had the chance — there are too few doses for too many people to go around. In the United States and Ohio in particular, the inverse is true: There’s an abundance of vaccines and […]

DeWine signs bill blocking Ohio cities from banning natural gas

BY: - July 1, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine signed into state law Thursday legislation that blocks cities or counties from banning natural gas or propane hookups to decarbonize new buildings. This makes Ohio one of 19 states that have either passed what’s known as a natural gas “preemption” bill into law or will do so soon upon gubernatorial approval, according […]

DeWine, top lawmakers met with national anti-vax leader in 2019

BY: - July 1, 2021

Gov. Mike DeWine and legislative leaders in the Statehouse met in 2019 with Robert Kennedy Jr., a scion of the American political dynasty and a leading voice of anti-vaccination politics. Kennedy, son of U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, came to the Statehouse to speak in support of legislation […]