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John Kasich signs much-debated payday-loan bill into law: Capitol Letter

July 31, 2018

John Kasich signs much-debated payday-loan bill into law: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Sign here: Gov. John Kasich on Monday signed legislation reining in payday lenders. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock writes that the payday lending industry is now exploring its options. 

Bills, bills, bills: Kasich also signed eight other bills into law Monday; all take effect in late October. They are:

House Bill 18, which eliminates a requirement to hold a special election for an uncontested primary to fill a vacancy for a congressional seat and allows local elected officials of jurisdictions with a lodging tax to serve on the board of trustees of a convention and visitors’ bureau. House Bill 95, which adds an enhanced penalty for distracted driving to a moving violation: a $100 fine or completion of a public safety course. House Bill 168, which establishes the Cemetery Grant Program to help not-for-profit cemeteries with repairs and maintenance. House Bill 263, which allows restaurants, bars and other establishments serving food to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas. Senate Bill 66, which ends mandatory prison time for minor parole violations and gives judges more leeway in sentencing for nonviolent offenders. Senate Bill 127, which would require drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stationary garbage trucks. Senate Bill 135, which appropriates $114.5 million to help counties upgrade voting equipment. Senate Bill 239, which increases transparency for regional councils of government and designates three memorial highways: a portion of U.S. Route 33 in Meigs County as the “Steve Story Memorial Highway,” a portion of Interstate Route 270 in Franklin County as the “Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering Memorial Highway,” and the portion of U.S. Route 24 in Henry County as the “Henry County Veterans Highway.” 

Screeching to a halt: Lawmakers battling cities over traffic cameras now have a new weapon -- a Case Western Reserve study finding that the cameras don’t improve public safety. Hancock reports the cameras may possibly lead to more accidents.  Grow, baby, grow: Ohio’s first large-scale medical marijuana cultivator plans to start growing plants ASAP after passing a state inspection, cleveland.com’s Jackie Borchardt reports. Buckeye Relief LLC, which plans to grow up to 25,000 square feet of marijuana in Eastlake, expects to have marijuana on dispensary shelves by January.  VP stumps for Balderson: Vice President Mike Pence was in Newark on Monday to rally support for 12th Congressional District Republican nominee Troy Balderson. As cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer reports, Pence’s visit is the latest effort by national Republicans to energize the conservative base ahead of the Aug. 7 special election. 

Spending spree: Outside money is pouring into the 12th Congressional District special election, the Columbus Dispatch’s Jack Torry writes. The conservative Congressional Leadership Fund in particular, with donors like Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is spending big. The group has dumped $2.6 million into the contest to help Balderson. Kasich’s commutations: Kasich has issued a “modern-era” record number of commutations during his time in office, according to the Associated Press. Kasich commuted seven convicts on death row, the most since Gov. Dick Celeste – though none of the executions during Celeste’s time were imminent. No, thanks: Ohio won’t be taking advantage of a law that would allow the state to delay a required electronic verification visit system for Medicaid, per the Dispatch. The new system will log the visits of home health-care workers, but detractors say the program infringes on civil rights. Paid in full: A charter school on Columbus’ West Side paid $7.7 million to renovate a building at taxpayer expense, more than three times what the building was valued at, per the Dispatch’s Catherine Candisky. State Auditor Dave Yost is investigating the matter, along with similar deals at other charter schools.

Five Questions 

Here are five things we learned from the April 9 financial disclosure form of Rep. Bill Dean, a Xenia Republican. 1. In addition to his $60,584 annual legislative salary, Dean earned $50,000 to $99,999 last year from his plumbing business in Xenia.

2. He owns property that’s home to a landscaping and concrete company.

3. He was reimbursed $2,555 last year by the House for travel between his home and Columbus. He was also reimbursed $133 by the House GOP’s campaign arm.

4. He reported almost $458 worth of travel expenses related to WallBuilders, a Texas-based group that advances the belief that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and disagrees that the U.S. Constitution calls for the separation of church and state. He also reported receiving a gift worth at least $75 and at least $100 worth of food/drink from WallBuilders last year.

5. He received gifts worth at least $75 from the Cincinnati Reds and the University of Cincinnati.

Birthdays

George Hoadly, Ohio’s 36th governor (1826-1902)

Straight From The Source

“We keep hearing about the ‘Art of the Deal.’ I’m waiting for the ‘Art’ portion.”

- Ohio farmer and ex-U.S. Department of Agriculture official Christopher Gibbs, criticizing President Donald Trump’s trade policies in the Sidney Daily News.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.

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