Republicans who lead the Ohio House have introduced their answer to Gov. John Kasich's two-year, $55 billion budget. Chairman Ron Amstutz has scheduled three days of public testimony - including hearings on Saturday and Sunday - on the proposed changes to the bill. A committee vote could come Tuesday, followed by a full House vote May 5.
The Governor is still taking heat from school districts very concerned about the money they won't be getting from the state, money many of them did not expect to lose. Confusion over those school funding numbers has prompted two Democratic state lawmakers to make a public records request to the administration. The governor says the numbers they're looking for are easily available, but Rep. Matt Lundy of Elyria doesn't agree, and could take the case to the state's highest court.
Gov. Kasich's budget cut funding for nearly every state agency, and one of those that was fairly hard hit was the state department of natural resources. ODNR may also have some new duties, if the budget goes through as proposed, because it includes allowing leases for drilling for oil and natural gas on state lands. Ohio Department of Natural Resources director David Mustine talks about that and more.
The battle over Ohio's new collective bargaining reform law is in a lull now, as its opponents gather the hundreds of thousands of valid signatures they need to put the repeal of the law onto the fall ballot. But while it's no longer making headlines, it's still top of mind for a lot of Statehouse watchers on both sides of the issue. This week, a panel of reporters talked about what's happening with the law and efforts to stop it. Colleen Marshall from Columbus NBC affiliate WCMH, Jim Siegel from the Columbus Dispatch and our own Bill Cohen from Ohio Public Radio and Television were asked if they think what started out as Senate Bill 5 is political or philosophical.