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Don’t bet on Ohio lawmakers to legalize sports wagering this year: Capitol Letter

August 21, 2018

Don’t bet on Ohio lawmakers to legalize sports wagering this year: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings  Know when to hold ’em? Senate President Larry Obhof said he doesn’t expect a bill legalizing sports betting in Ohio to be adopted this year. Obhof said he will assign a committee to vet a Senate bill, cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock writes. 

Balderson replacement: Obhof also told reporters Monday afternoon he’s confident Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson will be the victor in the 12th Congressional District race. However, he said he hasn’t initiated the process of replacing Balderson since the results haven’t yet been certified.  We’ve seen this before: If, by chance, you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, President Donald Trump is coming back to Ohio, this time to headline the Ohio Republican Party’s state dinner. Cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton catalogs Trump’s previous visits to the state – and some of the controversies that ensued. Which hospital? A White House spokeswoman announced Monday that during Trump’s visit to Columbus on Friday, he and First Lady Melania Trump intend to visit the “Ohio State University Children’s Hospital.” As the Columbus Dispatch’s Randy Ludlow points out, there’s just one problem: there’s no such hospital by that name. No word yet on whether the First Couple actually plan to visit Nationwide Children’s Hospital. STOP, collaborate and listen: The president on Monday tweeted his support of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s proposed STOP Act, designed to halt shipments of fentanyl into the country. “The Senate should pass the STOP ACT – and firmly STOP this poison from killing our children and destroying our country. No more delay!” Trump wrote about the bill, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Lake debate: Ohio legislative leaders announced Monday the 14 members of a Lake Erie study committee -- including Republican co-chairs Sen. Bob Hackett and Rep. Brian Hill, who have criticized Gov. John Kasich’s recent executive order to create tougher fertilizer runoff rules for thousands of farmers to help curb toxic algal blooms. Earlier this month, Kasich said he was “totally opposed” to setting up the study group, saying lawmakers were just “dithering” on curbing fertilizer runoff and other contributors to Lake Erie algal blooms. Power struggle: “The fate of a pair of 1950s-era coal plants and the largest solar project ever proposed in Ohio are entangled in a single case before the state’s Supreme Court,” writes Kathiann Kowalski of Energy News Network. “American Electric Power agreed to build the 400-megawatt solar project in Appalachian Ohio as part of a controversial settlement over subsidies for two Ohio Valley Electric Corporation coal plants. ...At issue is whether a utility in Ohio’s deregulated electricity market should get generation costs and profits guaranteed while investors in other projects have to put their own money on the line when building and operating generation sources.”

Judicial watch: U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was on the calendar of both of Ohio’s U.S. Senators on Monday. Portman, who has voiced strong support for the nominee, attended a “White House prep session” for Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing. Brown, who has expressed “serious concerns” about some of Kavanaugh’s previous rulings but has not yet made a decision, planned a face-to-face meeting with Kavanaugh.  Rubber match: Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are running for governor on their accomplishments during their respective times as attorney general. Ludlow breaks down each candidate’s talking points from their time in office. Send in the nerds: Cordray has another new strategy to appeal to voters: embrace his nerdiness. As cleveland.com’s Seth Richardson reports, the campaign’s newest digital ad focuses on his time as a Jeopardy! champion and his love of trivia. ICE, ICE, baby: Outspoken Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones was one of seven sheriffs across the country invited to the White House to honor Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, per the Journal-News’ Michael Pitman. Jones has been one of Trump’s biggest allies in Ohio, speaking at all of his Southwest Ohio appearances and routinely defending the president’s stances on immigration and crime. Planning ahead: Ohio’s U.S. senators, along with two congressmen, have asked for an update on the plans to locate VA archives at the Dayton VA Medical Center campus, per Jack Torry in the Dayton Daily News. Brown and Portman, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Turner and Warren Davidson, all signed a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie asking for news about the move. SOS Smackdown: Secretary of State hopefuls Democrat Kathleen Clyde and Republican Frank LaRose will appear this Wednesday at a forum in Beachwood on voting issues, per cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias.  Paging John Kasich: It’s incredibly clear the national and Ohio Republican Party want nothing to do with Kasich, but a poll from New Hampshire might be a good sign for the governor’s possible 2020 aspirations. As the Union Leader reports, 40 percent of Republicans said having someone challenge Trump in 2020 would be a good thing. Debate season: Democratic Auditor nominee Zack Space wants five debates in his race against Republican Keith Faber. While that number might not happen, the Dispatch’s Marty Schladen writes that the two candidates agreed to debate at some point.

CPAs pick Faber: The Ohio Society of CPAs unanimously endorsed Faber for auditor. The organization noted that Faber, a Republican state representative from Celina, has a perfect voting record on CPA issues during his 18 years in the legislature and “recognizes the importance of job creation and economic development.” The group previously endorsed Republicans running for governor, attorney general and treasurer. 

CPAs endorse Brown: Sherrod Brown also received the Ohio CPAs endorsement for re-election to the Senate. Brown received the group’s endorsement in 2006 and 2012, and he’s the only Democrat endorsed in Ohio’s statewide elections thus far. “Senator Brown has been an advocate on some very difficult issues for OSCPA -- including taking on his own leadership for the betterment of the CPA profession,” society president and CEO Scott Wiley said in a statement.

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from the May 15 ethics filing of state Rep. Michael Henne, a Clayton Republican: 1. He is president of the Boord-Henne Insurance Agency, as well as vice president of Henne Investments LLC. 2. On top of his $60,584 lawmaker salary, he earned more than $100,000 from his insurance agency and collected $10,000 to $24,999 in rental property income last year.  3. The state reimbursed him $3,615 in mileage from his home to Columbus. 4. Opportunity Solutions Project, the advocacy arm for the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability, reimbursed him $461.50 for travel expenses in 2017. He also reported receiving at least one gift totaling more than $75 from Opportunity Solutions Project, as well as at least $100 worth of food and beverages.

5. At some point in 2017, he owed at least $1,000 to Citibank, Huntington Bank, US Bank and Navient, a student-loan servicer.

On The Move

Former Ninth District Court of Appeals Judge Joseph Cirigliano will be given the Ohio State Bar Association’s highest honor, the Bar Medal, on Thursday for the time he’s devoted to leadership roles on the bench and in the bar, the association said.

Attorneys Grace Hoffman of Bellaire and William Dowling of Akron will also be honored for their pro bono work at the bar association’s annual meeting in Columbus.

Birthdays Rep. Steve ArndtRep. Stephanie Howse George White, Ohio’s 52nd governor (1872-1953)

Straight From The Source

“Monday morning workouts always seem the hardest.”

- State Auditor and Republican attorney general nominee Dave Yost, in a tweet Monday morning. Many Democrats were less than sympathetic: In one of the nicer responses, Justin Barasky, Sherrod Brown’s campaign manager, dubbed it a “humblebrag.

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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