Posts Authored by Brock A. Miskimen

Ohioans Protecting Ohioans order issued

On May 20, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a revised Director’s Order that rescinded or amended parts of the “Stay Safe Ohio Order” that has been in effect since April 30. Dr. Acton also signed an “Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans.”

Governor Mike DeWine, while previewing these actions in his May 19 press conference, stated, “we are now moving from orders to strong recommendations. This is a new phase in our battle against the virus.” For a summary of the impact of collective actions taken by the administration, read the full article

General News

Gov. DeWine announces 2020 fiscal year reduction in budget expenditures

On May 5, 2020, Governor DeWine announced a reduction of $775 million in General Revenue Fund (GRF) expenditures for the remainder of the 2020 fiscal year. Tax receipts were lagging due to declining economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more, read the full article

General News

Ohio extends Stay At Home order

On April 2, 2020, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio’s Stay At Home Order is extended until May 1, 2020. The new order takes effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020. Read the full story.

General News

COVID-19 may spur poll location changes for March 17 primary

The Ohio Secretary of State is taking coronavirus (COVID-19) related precautions for the upcoming March 17 primary election. Polling locations, particularly those that house senior citizens or populations susceptible to the virus, may be relocated. The Secretary and Boards of Elections are also encouraging early voting, both in person or by mail.

To find your polling location and for the latest election information, visit the Ohio Secretary of State’s website dedicated for updates with respect to COVID-19 and this year’s Primary Election in Ohio.

Election Law, General News

JLEC gives guidance that "all invited" does not mean "will not kick you out"

The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee (JLEC) recently gave guidance that lobbyists and employers must “affirmatively invite” all members of the General Assembly or all members of the House or Senate to qualify as an “all invited” event for reporting purposes. Read the full story.  

Ethics

Legislative review and 2020 legislative and electoral preview

With the start of a new decade, our team wants to share an overview of the past year and a look ahead to the coming months. Please click the link below for a review of relevant legislation that the General Assembly passed in 2019, a summary of predictions for 2020 legislative priorities and a political preview of the 2020 statewide election. Read more >>

General News

Federal judge rules Ohio law restricting prisoners’ right to vote is unconstitutional

Prisoners awaiting trial “must be given same voting rights as other citizens,” U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Watson recently found, ruling on a case filed by two men incarcerated in Montgomery County last year, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Lawyers for the men argued that Ohio law “violates the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating prisoners differently than other voters,” according to the article. State law grants voters “confined in hospitals by unforeseen medical emergencies until 3 p.m. on Election Day to submit an absentee ballot application,” while voters held in jail “face a noon deadline on the Saturday before an election.” Watson wrote in his opinion, “[t]he legislature cannot simply grant one class of voters more favorable terms . . . (that) is exactly what the Equal Protection clause forbids.” For more, read the full article.

General News

Amendment introduced to prohibit foreign ownership in critical infrastructure in Ohio

Introduced on October 26, 2019, House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR 2), titled the “Ohio Critical Infrastructure Protection Amendment,” seeks to place a constitutional amendment before Ohio voters prohibiting foreign businesses and individuals from having a majority ownership interest in critical infrastructure located in Ohio. Read more >>

General News

Alleged campaign account fraud illustrates need for election law overhaul

An investigation into $120,000 missing from the campaign account of U.S. Representative Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) highlights a loophole in the federal campaign finance system, according to a recent editorial in The Toledo Blade. The main focus of the investigation is James Schwartz, Jr., the son of Chabot’s longtime campaign treasurer of record, James Schwartz, Sr. According to the article, “the elder Mr. Schwartz was not aware he continued to be identified as Mr. Chabot’s campaign treasurer,” although he has been listed on Chabot’s campaign finance reports since 2011. This implies that no member of Chabot’s campaign staff “has conducted a serious conversation” about his campaign account with its treasurer for eight years.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose “noted that this occurred through a loophole in the federal campaign finance system” and said that Ohio is “vulnerable to the same possible fraud.” LaRose has proposed a change to ensure campaign treasurers have reviewed and approved campaign finance reports. State Representative George Lang is expected to introduce legislation that would require a notary to verify a campaign treasurer’s signature.

Election Law

One vote claims victory for Athens County school district

The state-mandated recount of the Alexander Local School District's May levy vote confirms that the issue has passed by one vote, with 1,184 votes for and 1,183 votes against, reports the Athens News. This is the district's sixth vote on the 1 percent earned income tax levy. Administrators say that the new levy will keep the district from a $1.5 million budget deficit and fund operating expenses. Read the full story.

General News
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