Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the state's new, two-year operating budget in the wee hours of Thursday morning. The 74-billion dollar spending plan incorporates a new school funding formula, money for broadband expansion and an across-the-board tax cut.
DeWine, did use his line-item veto power to strike 14-items from the budget.
Earlier negotiations between had worked out differences between the Ohio House and Senate versions of the bill. Those compromises including removing an "asset test: for those receiving food assistance in the state that critics said would make it harder to climb out of poverty.
The compromise budget also moved off a plan in the Senate version that would have gutted the state's star-rating system for preschool and daycare providers that accept students receiving state assistance dollars. The budget keeps the minimum rating for those centers at one-star and forms a committee to further study the program.
The budget passed with bi-partisan support but not all Democrats were on board. Some wanted DeWine to use his line item veto on other policies in the budget that remain, including a medical conscience clause that LGBTQ activists say can lead to medical discrimination.
A field of seven Democrats will seek to replace Frank Jackson as the Mayor of Cleveland.
The sole Republican in the race, Landry Simmons, this week withdrew his name after failing to reach the required number of valid signatures to place him on the ballot.
A September primary will determine the final candidates for the November ballot.
Meanwhile, Ohio's crowded race to fill the 11th United States Congressional District seat has become a "must-watch" race nationally. Marcia Fudge left Congress to become the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Thirteen candidates are vying for the seat, but so far the race has focused on just two: Former State Senator Nina Turner and Cuyahoga County Councilwoman Shontel Brown.
This week, Brown picked up the endorsement of South Carolina Democrat and House Majority Whip, Congressman Jim Clyburn. He is the highest ranking Black member of Congress.
A judge this week fined a demolition contractor $30 million dollars for his operation of a construction debris dump site in East Cleveland.
The judge wrote that the contractor, George Michael Riley Senior, defied state law "at every step of the way."
The Ohio Environmental Protection agency shut down the dump site, Arco Recycling, in 2017.
Glenn Forbes, Host/Producer, Ideastream Public Media
Jenny Hamel, Education Report, Ideastream Public Media
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV