Did you hear that story….? A television news story went viral saying the Ohio legislature, in decriminalizing hemp, accidentally legalized recreational marijuana– causing much confusion about the status of the law. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock susses out the state of Ohio hemp and marijuana laws – and the challenges the police and courts are encountering when investigating possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Fenta-no: Gov. Mike DeWine told reporters Friday he and his administration don’t think that state Rep. Scott Wiggam’s idea of using seized fentanyl for executions would be an option to solve Ohio’s ongoing problems with finding lethal-injection drugs. “We do not believe that it would be upheld by a court, so there’s really no reason to come forward with that proposal,” the governor said.
Take a flyer on this: The Heartland is going to decide the next presidential election, and we’re going to wear the label of “Flyover country” proudly. Let us introduce you to The Flyover, a weekday newsletter we’ve launched to highlight the issues that matter to us, to examine the shared identity of the heartland states and to unify our voice and demand that candidates put our issues at the forefront of their campaigns. Chief politics writer Seth Richardson is your pilot. You can subscribe for free here.
Hate mail: Dayton city officials have assigned Mayor Nan Whaley a round-the-clock security detail because of dozens of hate-filled messages she received after she and President Donald Trump traded insults following his visit to a local hospital earlier this month, according to the Associated Press. Dayton police said there were no specific threats made against Whaley, a Democrat.
Come back: U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown led a rally in Cleveland Saturday to call for action by the Senate on legislation requiring universal background checks for gun purchases. As cleveland.com’s Kaylee Remington reports, more than 100 people showed up for the rally, including Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democratic presidential candidate.
Low unemployment: The state unemployment rate reported for July at 4 percent marked the first time in 18 years that Ohio has had consecutive months of unemployment rates of 4 percent or below, cleveland.com’s Rich Exner reports. Here’s where politicians can twist and turn the numbers to their favor. For the Democrats: the trend downward got started under the leadership of President Obama and Gov. Ted Strickland. For Republicans: Rates are now lower under President Trump and Gov. Mike DeWine.
Feeling perky: Non-union state employees who are exempt from overtime have a new perk that puts them in line with their union counterparts, Darrel Rowland writes for the Columbus Dispatch. The employees, mostly supervisors, can now bank 240 hours of comp time – double the amount they used to be able to put away. Dispatch reporter Randy Ludlow discovered the policy change.
Charter school numbers down: “Fewer Ohio students are attending charter schools as enrollment in the tax-funded, privately operated schools has dropped for the sixth straight year,” Catherine Candisky writes for the Dispatch. Ohio’s 315 charter schools enrolled 104,439 students this school year, down from a peak of 121,000 pupils in 395 schools for the 2013-14 school year, Candisky writes.
OEC staff unionize: A majority of Ohio Environmental Council staffers have signed cards to form a union with Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, according to a union news release. It’s the first time that workers at a Columbus non-profit have taken such a step, according to the union. It’s now up to OEC management to decide whether to voluntarily recognize the union — as the OEC’s national affiliate, the League of Conservation Voters, did recently when its workers organized.
Five things we learned from the May 14 financial disclosure form of state Rep. Beth Liston, a Dublin Democrat:
1. Liston reported earning more than $100,000 last year as an assistant professor of clinical internal medicine and pediatrics at Ohio State University. She received $10,000 to $24,999 in rental income. She was also paid $1,000 to $9,999 each in 2018 for a speaking engagement at the University of Kentucky and for a state tax refund on her 1099-G.
2. Liston is president-elect of the Columbus Medical Association.
3. Liston reported having significant investments, including in 25 different mutual funds, a money market account, and in U.S. treasury bonds.
4. She rents out a house on Tupsfield Drive in Columbus.
5. Liston reported owing $1,000 or more at one point in 2018 to Fifth Third Bank, Union Savings Bank, US Savings Bank, Bank of America, Barclay’s Bank, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Straight From The Source
“It’s horse[bleep]. It’s not a fair process. We’re weeding people out in August. Bill Clinton didn’t get into the  campaign until October 1991. They’re trying to shut out the more moderate voices of the party. To start eliminating people now isn’t fair.”
-U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who won’t qualify for the third Democratic presidential debate next month. He criticized the selection process in an interview with the Youngstown Vindicator.
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