Ohio’s sales tax holiday begins Friday: Capitol Letter

August 1, 2018

Ohio’s sales tax holiday begins Friday: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Shop till you drop: Students and parents can back-to-school shop this weekend without paying sales taxes on some items. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock has the details. 

Coming together: Gov. John Kasich doesn’t have a lot in common with President Donald Trump politically, but both have been publicizing their endorsements of Troy Balderson for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. As part of a $695,000 ad buy from the Congressional Leadership Fund, Kasich touts the Republican state senator from Zanesville as “a partner” who “shares our common sense values on important issues.” Trump, meanwhile, has tweeted four times in the last two weeks about his support for Balderson.

And, he’s showing up: Trump plans to stump for Balderson in person Saturday in Delaware County, cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias reports.

Give me victory or give me cash: Melanie Leneghan is doubling down on her request for the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn Balderson’s GOP primary victory over her in May. Leneghan, who’s accusing Muskingum County elections officials of ballot-counting violations, filed an amended complaint on Monday asking the court to order a new primary election in Muskingum County, declare her the winner or order the Muskingum County Board of Elections to reimburse her for “the hundreds of thousands of dollars she spent on the primary election.”

Voting no: A ballot measure intended to cut kidney dialysis costs hasn’t made the ballot yet, but it’s picked up two new opponents. The Ohio Pharmacists Association and Ohio Council for Home Care & Hospice joined a growing coalition of about 20 groups opposing the proposed constitutional amendment. Supporters of the “Kidney Dialysis Patient Protection Amendment” have a few more days to collect additional signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. 

Eyes on the road: Distracted drivers could be hit with $100 fines under a new Ohio law signed by Gov. John Kasich on Monday. As cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer reports, starting in October, police who pull over motorists for a traffic violation could give them an additional ticket if any form of distracted driving – from talking on a cell phone to putting on makeup – contributed to the primary offense.

Report from the Heartland: Ohio can do more to embrace the “innovation-based economy,” a new report concludes. As cleveland.com’s Peter Krouse reports, the Walton Family Foundation report says Ohio ranks about in the middle compared to rest of the country “and better than most of the 18 other states that researchers identify as making up the American Heartland.” 

PAC attack: Former state rep and ex-Cuyahoga County Republican Party chairman Jim Trakas is the second GOP state legislative candidate to sue a Super PAC over “dark money” attack ads aired before the May GOP primary, Tobias reports. As Tobias explains, the backdrop for this dispute is the hotly contested race for House Speaker next year.

Turner cries foul: Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton has filed a complaint against his Democratic opponent, Theresa Gasper, reports Will Garbe of the Dayton Daily News. The Federal Elections Commission complaint says Gasper misled the public by including the names of five universities in a fundraising invitation, implying they endorsed her, Garbe writes.

Sad news: The same day Kasich signed a bill requiring drivers to move over or slow down when approaching stationary garbage trucks, a garbage truck driver was struck and killed in Middletown, the Journal-News reports. The new law takes effect in October.

Full Disclosure

Here are five things we learned from Eighth District Appeals Court Judge Melody Stewart’s April 2 financial disclosure filing. Stewart, a Democrat, is running against Ohio Supreme Court Justice Mary DeGenaro for the seat DeGenaro was appointed to earlier this year.

1. Stewart reported earning income in 2017 from her job as a judge and from bank account interest. Stewart was not required to report the amount earned, but was paid $145,550 last year, according to the state expenditure database.

2. Stewart reported receiving no gifts valued over $75 and no meals or beverages valued over $100.

3. At some point in 2017, Stewart reported owing at least $1,000 to Discover Card, Cleveland Clinic and Hyundai Motor Finance.

4. Stewart reported nine investments valued at more than $1,000, including retirement accounts through the Ohio State Teachers Retirement System, Public Employees Retirement System and Ohio Deferred Compensation Program.

5. She reported $1,464 in travel last year over seven in-state trips. Three were for meetings of the state Criminal Justice Recodification Committee.


Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko

Straight From The Source

“We don’t need platitudes or vague promises. With more than 300 published opinions, Judge Kavanaugh leaves little to the imagination. What you see is what you get.”

-Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, in an op-ed in the Columbus Dispatch, supporting Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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