November 8, 2017 •

Ohio Voters Reject Issue 2

Voters rejected a ballot measure Tuesday to reduce the price of prescription drugs for the state. Issue 2, or Drug Price Relief Act, would have limited the amount the state is allowed to pay for pharmaceuticals to the amount the […]

Voters rejected a ballot measure Tuesday to reduce the price of prescription drugs for the state.

Issue 2, or Drug Price Relief Act, would have limited the amount the state is allowed to pay for pharmaceuticals to the amount the Department of Veterans Affairs pays, typically a greatly discounted price. The state provides these drugs to prisoners, injured workers, and those who cannot afford them.

Nearly 80 percent of voters rejected the proposal, many citing a lack of transparency on how the change would affect prices for the general public.

The pharmaceutical industry contributed around $70 million to oppose the measure while AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a California-based group, spent only $17 million.

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October 19, 2017 •

Ohio State Senator Resigns after Misconduct

State Sen. Cliff Hite resigned earlier this week, citing inappropriate behavior with a state employee and health reasons. In his statement, Sen. Hite apologized for his actions, which he claims did not go beyond asking for hugs and chat that […]

State Sen. Cliff Hite resigned earlier this week, citing inappropriate behavior with a state employee and health reasons.

In his statement, Sen. Hite apologized for his actions, which he claims did not go beyond asking for hugs and chat that “was not appropriate for a married man.”

A replacement will be appointed by the Senate Republican caucus.

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October 19, 2017 •

Ohio Congressman to Resign

Rep. Pat Tiberi of Ohio announced his intention to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives by January 31, 2018. In a statement, Tiberi said he has been offered the opportunity to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. The Ohio Revised […]

Rep. Pat Tiberi of Ohio announced his intention to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives by January 31, 2018.

In a statement, Tiberi said he has been offered the opportunity to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable.

The Ohio Revised Code states that the governor “shall issue a writ of election directing that a special election be held to fill such vacancy” once the vacancy has become official.

Tiberi was first elected to Congress in November 2000.

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July 13, 2017 •

Former Major Lobbyist Moves from Big House to Halfway House

In preparation for his September release, former lobbyist John Raphael was moved from a federal prison in South Carolina to an undisclosed halfway house in Columbus. He had been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to a […]

In preparation for his September release, former lobbyist John Raphael was moved from a federal prison in South Carolina to an undisclosed halfway house in Columbus.

He had been sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to a count of extorting campaign contributions from a red-light-camera vendor to city officials. Despite the city doubling its number of cameras from 2005 to 2010 from said vendor, no city officials have been charged.

According to one of his attorneys, his post-release plans are “up in the air.”

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March 23, 2017 •

Drug Price Relief Act Expected to Appear on Ohio Ballot

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act is expected to appear on the ballot in November, 2017. The proposed initiated statute would prohibit the state from purchasing a prescription drug unless the net cost of the drug is equal to or […]

Ohio flagThe Ohio Drug Price Relief Act is expected to appear on the ballot in November, 2017.

The proposed initiated statute would prohibit the state from purchasing a prescription drug unless the net cost of the drug is equal to or less than the lowest price paid for the drug by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA).

It could directly impact more than 4 million individuals served by state programs including those on Medicaid, individuals participating in state retirement programs, and those receiving care through other state programs such as the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) commissioned Vorys Health Care Advisors (VHCA) and Health Management Associates (HMA) to create an independent and objective analysis of the potential impact of the proposed act.

Results of the analysis show it is highly unlikely the proposed act could be effectively implemented; moreover, it is highly likely it would fail to achieve its purpose and negatively impact non-targeted entities via increased prescription drug costs and limited availability of certain medications.

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March 2, 2017 •

Ohio Rep. Greta Johnson to Resign to Take Summit County Position

Ohio state Rep. Greta Johnson announced her resignation this morning, effective at the end of the month. She is stepping down to take a position as deputy law director for Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro. Johnson was elected in 2014 […]

Greta JohnsonOhio state Rep. Greta Johnson announced her resignation this morning, effective at the end of the month.

She is stepping down to take a position as deputy law director for Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro.

Johnson was elected in 2014 to represent District 35. Prior to serving in the Legislature, she served as a prosecutor in Mahoning County and Summit County, as well as with the city of Akron.

The House Democratic Caucus will soon announce the process for selecting her replacement.

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February 28, 2017 •

Ohio Secretary of State Raises Campaign Contribution Limits

The Ohio Secretary of State Campaign Finance Division recently released revised contribution limits. The new limits are effective February 25, 2017, through February 24, 2019. Among the changes, the limit individuals, political action committees (PACs), and political contributing entities (PCEs) […]

Flag-of-OhioThe Ohio Secretary of State Campaign Finance Division recently released revised contribution limits. The new limits are effective February 25, 2017, through February 24, 2019.

Among the changes, the limit individuals, political action committees (PACs), and political contributing entities (PCEs) may give to statewide or state legislative candidates increased from $12,532.34 per election period to $12,707.79 per election period.

The secretary of state adjusts statutory contribution limits in each odd-numbered year based on the Consumer Price Index. 

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December 6, 2016 •

See Us in Person!

Here is our December calendar. If you are attending any of these events, please say hello! December 6-9   NCSL Capitol Forum, Washington, DC December 6   SGAC Holiday Reception, Washington DC December 7   Ohio Holiday Reception, Washington, DC December 7   […]

december-calendarHere is our December calendar. If you are attending any of these events, please say hello!

December 6-9   NCSL Capitol Forum, Washington, DC

December 6   SGAC Holiday Reception, Washington DC

December 7   Ohio Holiday Reception, Washington, DC

December 7   WGR Holiday Party, Washington, DC

December 8   DDC Advocacy Holiday Party, Washington, DC

December 11-14   COGEL Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana

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December 5, 2016 •

Akron Councilman Indicted on Conflict of Interest Charges

The Summit County grand jury indicted Akron Councilman Bob Hoch on three first-degree misdemeanor charges. Hoch was accused more than a year ago of violating Ohio conflict of interest laws by voting on legislation and speaking on issues benefitting his […]

bobhochcopy-srv_1455040352The Summit County grand jury indicted Akron Councilman Bob Hoch on three first-degree misdemeanor charges. Hoch was accused more than a year ago of violating Ohio conflict of interest laws by voting on legislation and speaking on issues benefitting his sons, who are Akron firefighters.

The three counts pertain to actions taken in 2012, as well as an ongoing alleged conflict between 2014 and 2015.

Hoch previously denied a conflict of interest existed, as did City Council President Marilyn Keith. If convicted, Hoch could face up to 18 months in jail and lose his council seat.

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September 28, 2016 •

Columbus, OH City Council Approves Emergency Legislation on Ethics

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed emergency legislation yesterday creating a City Council Ethics Policy. The ethics policy aligns with state ethics law as well as with an executive order signed by Ginther in May 2016. Ginther’s executive order was immediately […]

columbus_mayor_andy_ginther_31_dec_2015Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed emergency legislation yesterday creating a City Council Ethics Policy. The ethics policy aligns with state ethics law as well as with an executive order signed by Ginther in May 2016.

Ginther’s executive order was immediately effective for executive branch public officials and employees. The new City Council policy has nearly identical provisions on prohibited conduct and financial disclosure, but is applicable to all public officials and city employees.

Effective immediately, public officials and employees may not solicit or accept gifts or employment from anyone doing business with the city. They also must wait at least one year after leaving public service before representing any person or entity before any city department or division with respect to a matter they personally participated in while serving with the city.

Designated officials and employees must also file financial disclosure statements each year. The statements must include a description of each gift, or aggregate of gifts, exceeding $75 from certain sources during the previous calendar year.

Photo of Mayor Andrew Ginther by David Paul on Wikimedia Commons.

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September 16, 2016 •

Cleveland, OH to Consider Raising Minimum Wage in 2017 Special Election

Cleveland City Council approved a proposal this week to put a minimum wage increase before the voters in a 2017 special election. If passed by the voters, the proposal would increase the city minimum wage to $12 per hour in […]

Cleveland SkylineCleveland City Council approved a proposal this week to put a minimum wage increase before the voters in a 2017 special election.

If passed by the voters, the proposal would increase the city minimum wage to $12 per hour in January 2018 and increase the wage $1 annually thereafter for three additional years.

The issue will appear on the ballot on May 2, 2017.

Photo of the Cleveland skyline by Eric Drost in Wikimedia Commons.

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August 23, 2016 •

Ohio Bill Could Eliminate Unnecessary Elections

Recently introduced legislation could eliminate unnecessary elections if only one person is on the ballot. The special primary set for September 13, for example, will cost taxpayers $500,000 despite there being only one person on the ballot to become the […]

OhioRecently introduced legislation could eliminate unnecessary elections if only one person is on the ballot.

The special primary set for September 13, for example, will cost taxpayers $500,000 despite there being only one person on the ballot to become the Democratic nominee going into the November special general election.

Ohio Sen. Frank LaRose, who introduced Senate Bill 347, believes forcing county boards of elections to hold uncontested primary elections is a waste of both time and resources. His proposal would remove the requirement to hold a primary when only one candidate is certified and would allow the secretary of state to declare the lone candidate the party’s nominee.

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August 10, 2016 •

Special Primary Election to be Held for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District

A special primary election will be held on September 13, 2016, to fill a general election ballot vacancy for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. Democratic nominee Corey Foister withdrew from the race to pursue an out-of-state opportunity he said he couldn’t […]

Ohio flagA special primary election will be held on September 13, 2016, to fill a general election ballot vacancy for Ohio’s 8th Congressional District.

Democratic nominee Corey Foister withdrew from the race to pursue an out-of-state opportunity he said he couldn’t pass up.

Steven Fought, a former congressional staffer from Toledo, was the only Democrat to file for the special election ballot. In November, he will challenge recently elected Republican U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson for the seat in former House Speaker John Boehner’s district. Davidson won a June 7 special election to complete Boehner’s term and is seeking a full term in November.

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July 7, 2016 •

Ohio Legislator Seeks to Eliminate Certain Special Elections

Ohio Sen. Kris Jordan recently introduced a bill to eliminate special elections in February and August. His proposal is the result of historically low voter turnout in Ohio special elections. Fewer than 10 percent of residents usually participate in any […]

Ohio StatehouseOhio Sen. Kris Jordan recently introduced a bill to eliminate special elections in February and August.

His proposal is the result of historically low voter turnout in Ohio special elections. Fewer than 10 percent of residents usually participate in any special election, and an election can cost the state $4 to $6 million.

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