Week in Review - 01/01/2019

Week in Review - 01/01/2019

BALLOT ISSUES

Those seeking to put a proposed constitutional amendment before voters will now need nearly 45 percent more signatures to qualify for the ballot after last year's gubernatorial election than in the previous four years, according to updated requirements announced by Secretary of State Jon Husted on Wednesday. Under Ohio law, the total number of valid signatures required for ballot initiatives is set by the total number of votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election.

 

BUDGET

As Gov.-elect Mike DeWine prepares to take office and implement his agenda, especially in the realm of children's issues, a new report from former Center for Community Solutions Executive Director John Begala predicts some difficulties thanks to a 2006 law passed by lawmakers to head off a constitutional amendment aimed at constricting state spending. Begala said he wanted to take a look at long-term revenue and spending trends in Ohio, and he found that over the last 30 years, the only areas of state spending that have grown overall are corrections, thanks to a growth in services under former Gov. George Voinovich, and in Medicaid, with much of that expansion coming through the implementation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 1998 and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during Gov. John Kasich's tenure.

 

EDUCATION

Attorney General MikeDeWine's office answered the State Board of Education's request for a formal legal opinion on who is eligible to vote in the upcoming election for the board's president and vice president on Tuesday, Jan. 15. DeWine's office stated in the opinion that appointed board members whose terms expire at year'send, but whose successors have not yet been appointed, are eligible to vote at the board's January organizational meeting. DeWine's opinion also states that newly appointed members whose appointment paperwork has been delivered to the Senate clerk, but whose appointment has not yet been confirmed by a vote of the Senate, also are eligible to vote, so long as they meet other qualifications for board service.


Gov. John Kasich replaced four members of the State Board of Education with new appointees Wednesday, filling the seats of term-limited veterans Tess Elshoff and Joe Farmer and declining to reappoint members Kara Morgan and Cathye Flory. Newly appointed members include David Brinegar of Fayette, Cindy Collins of Amanda, Mark Lamoncha of Leetonia, and Michael Toal of Sidney.


Auditor Dave Yost's office got access over the holidays to more student activity logs from the defunct Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), after a county judge gave him permission to review some of the data the auditor subpoenaed last year.


FEDERAL

Ohio is weathering the current federal government shutdown better than a majority of the nation according to a report issued by personal finance website WalletHub. On a scale from one to 51, with one being the most affected by the government shutdown and 51, the least, Ohio ranked 42nd out of 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.


HIGHER EDUCATION

The University of Akron (UA) Thursday announced that it is joining a statewide collaborative unit that is working to improve the state's cybersecurity. The Ohio Adjutant General, the Ohio Department of Education, and UA have signed an agreement that will double the current capacity of the Ohio Cyber Range, a program designed to help cybersecurity professionals train others and test remedies that address threats to computer information systems.