Republican leaders in the legislature seek to eliminate term limits for themselves

Rotunda Rumblings

The clock has run out: After over three decades since Ohio voters passed legislative term limits in the state, there is now a push from top Ohio House and Senate leaders to relax or completely eliminate them. However, it seems highly unlikely that the Ohio General Assembly will address this issue before the current session concludes in December. House Speaker Jason Stephens initially brought up this possibility in December, and Senate President Matt Huffman expressed support for it during a recent press briefing.

Ohio Auditor Keith Faber’s office recently conducted a review of federal Medicaid records and discovered that approximately 124,000 Ohio Medicaid recipients were simultaneously receiving coverage from other states’ Medicaid programs between 2019 and 2022, according to Laura Hancock. Faber, a Republican, attributed this issue to the department’s negligence in managing the situation. However, the department responded by stating that during the federal public health emergency, they faced limitations in removing individuals from the Medicaid rolls.

A group of Democratic U.S. Senators, including Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, are taking action against the practice of “shrinkflation” by corporations. This practice involves companies reducing the size of their products without lowering prices, thereby increasing consumer costs. The Senators, highlighting that this is a common practice among companies selling household paper products, cleaning products, snacks, and candy, argue that it negatively impacts the purchasing power of American families. To address this issue, they have introduced a bill called the “Shrinkflation Prevention Act.” If passed, this act would empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish shrinkflation as an unfair or deceptive practice. Additionally, the FTC and state attorneys general would have the authority to take legal action against corporations found guilty of engaging in shrinkflation.

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U.S. Senator JD Vance, a Cincinnati Republican, used his connections in Silicon Valley to raise significant funds for GOP car dealer Bernie Moreno’s campaign against U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, according to a report by Fox News. It has been confirmed by Republicans involved in the race that Senator Vance was responsible for securing over $1 million in fundraising contributions for the pro-Moreno super PAC, Buckeye Values. This impressive amount includes a staggering half a million dollars raised in just 24 hours to support a rally featuring Former President Trump, held only three days before the primary election.

Senator Sherrod Brown teamed up with Cleveland-Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves and United Steelworkers District 1 Director Donnie Blatt to express their shared concern about the potential acquisition of U.S. Steel by Nippon Steel, a Japanese-owned company. Cleveland-Cliffs, based in Ohio, was one of the bidders for U.S. Steel but ultimately lost the bid. Brown and the executives from Cleveland-Cliffs believe that U.S. Steel made a wrong decision by choosing Nippon Steel as the buyer. They argue that Cleveland-Cliffs’ offer was more valuable and that the sale to Nippon Steel may face regulatory challenges. As part of their efforts, Senator Brown visited the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works steel mill and met with the workers.

U.S. Rep. Max Miller is eager for his district to become the location of the new Browns stadium. In a letter he wrote last year, the Rocky River Republican expressed his desire to Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Miller emphasized that his district, the Seventh District, is the ideal place to live, work, raise a family, and watch the Cleveland Browns achieve victory. The Haslams are currently contemplating a potential site in Brook Park, which happens to be within Miller’s district.

The authors of a new book on affordable housing suggest that the government can address the issue by purchasing unused land, rezoning it, and selling it to developers who are interested in building “starter homes” and affordable housing. However, it is important to recognize that the problem goes beyond simply constructing enough buildings. The government must also dismantle racist policies that perpetuate exclusion of Black and other families, and focus on creating job opportunities with higher wages to enable workers to afford housing, as reported by Lucas Daprile.

Bernie Moreno’s victory in the Republican U.S. Senate primary was impressive, as he won every county in Ohio. However, newly released data from the county board of elections reveals that he did not have a clean sweep in Cuyahoga County. In this county, Moreno secured 49% of the vote and emerged victorious in 35 out of the 59 cities, villages, and townships. His opponents, state Sen. Matt Dolan and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, were unable to match his success in Cuyahoga County. This data provides valuable insights into the local support and voting patterns within the county.

Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, has issued an order to lower the U.S. and Ohio flags to half-staff on all public buildings and grounds in Hamilton County, as well as at the Ohio Statehouse and other state office buildings in Columbus. This gesture is being done in honor of Brigid Kelly, a Democratic former state representative and Hamilton County auditor, who passed away at the age of 40 on Tuesday. Brigid had been battling esophageal cancer for the past two years. The flags will remain at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on the day of her funeral.

During the appeal, doubts were raised by members of a state appeals court regarding Governor Mike DeWine’s authority to dismiss his appointee, Wade Steen, from the State Teachers Retirement System board. As reported by Laura Bischoff of the Columbus Dispatch, DeWine removed Steen due to his excessive absenteeism from meetings and appointed a new individual in his place. Steen, who was aligned with a board faction questioning the operations at STRS, filed a lawsuit against the governor’s decision.

If Bernie Moreno, a Republican endorsed by Trump, defeats U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic candidate from Cleveland, in the upcoming November election, his win could provide a boost to other Republican candidates aligned with Trump. This includes Senators Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who are running for control of the Republican conference. According to the Hill’s Alexander Bolton, the leadership battle is expected to be divided between mainstream Republicans, like outgoing Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Republicans aligned with Trump.

According to a recent report by environmentalists, vinyl chloride, the chemical involved in the East Palestine train derailment, has been implicated in a higher number of accidents than previously believed. Since 2010, there have been 966 accidents related to this chemical. Furthermore, it has been recorded that trains transporting vinyl chloride have derailed 29 times since 1968 (The Hill’s Zack Burdyk and Rachel Frazin).

Lobbying Lineup

Five organizations are actively lobbying for Senate Bill 132, also known as the Ohio Fairness Act. This bill aims to expand state nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ individuals in Ohio. Introduced in September, the bill has not yet undergone any hearings.

Huntington Bancshares Inc.

The Ohio Economic Development Association (OEDA) is a highly respected organization that plays a vital role in promoting economic growth and development in Ohio. With a deep commitment to fostering a thriving business climate, the OEDA works tirelessly to attract and retain businesses, create jobs, and strengthen the overall economy of the state. Through its diverse range of programs, events, and initiatives, the OEDA provides valuable resources and support to businesses, communities, and economic development professionals across Ohio. By leveraging its extensive network and expertise, the OEDA continues to make a significant impact on the economic landscape of the state.

The Association of Ohio Life Insurance Companies is an organization that represents the interests of life insurance companies in Ohio.

The Center for Christian Virtue is a renowned organization that focuses on promoting and nurturing Christian values.

Equality Ohio is a prominent organization that works tirelessly to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in the state.

On the Move

Medina native Ray Paoletta has been appointed as the new district director for U.S. Rep. Max Miller’s office, as announced by Miller on Wednesday.

Birthdays

Tiffany Bonner, the journal clerk for the Ohio House, is highly skilled in her role.

Terese Herhold, who serves as the director of policy, budget, and finance for Ohio Senate Democrats, expressed her views on the matter.

Former State Representative Paul Zeltwanger

Straight from the Source

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of my former colleague Brigid Kelly’s passing. It reminds me of the strong bond that exists between Democrat and Republican members behind the scenes, which may not always be apparent on TV. Rep. Kelly and I served together on the Health Committee during the challenging times of the COVID pandemic, and she was always a pleasure to work with. I also greatly admired her courage in standing up against Larry Householder, even when others in her party supported him for Speaker. In the end, she was proven right. May she rest in peace, and my thoughts and prayers go out to her family.”

“Former state Rep. Brigid Kelly, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer two years ago, passed away on Tuesday. Ohio Rep. Brian Stewart expressed his condolences, joining many others in remembering her.”

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing that offers concise and timely information for individuals who have a strong interest in the decisions made by state government. You can subscribe to receive Capitol Letter in your email inbox every weekday at no cost.

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