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Sales tax referendum bill has counties on edge: Capitol Letter

August 10, 2018

Sales tax referendum bill has counties on edge: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings Taxing matters: A new bill requiring all county sales tax increases to go before voters has the County Commissioners Association of Ohio on edge. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock reports that counties feel financially squeezed by state cuts in recent years and the resources they need for the opioid epidemic.  The rematch, by the numbers: Cleveland.com data analysis editor Rich Exner delved into precinct breakdowns from Tuesday’s special election in the 12th Congressional District. Exner pinpoints where Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor ran strongest and shows how they can fortify their support by increasing turnout in those areas when they compete again in November. The Trump factor: Did President Donald Trump’s Saturday rally in Ohio motivate voters to come out for the special congressional election? Yes, cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton concluded, but some voters were friends of the president while others were foes. High anxiety: Ohio’s special election made it clear that Republicans in battleground states are “looking ahead to a general-election strategy of embracing anxiety as a tool to motivate voters,” Steve Peoples and Bill Barrow of the Associated Press report. The AP cited the GOP’s repeated message during the Ohio campaign that tried to tie O’Connor to Nancy Pelosi.

Colbert report: We’ve been so busy the past couple days, we missed Stephen Colbert weighing in Tuesday on the 12th District special-election race between, as the late-night host put it, “Democratic candidate and man who just got his braces off” Danny O’Connor and “Republican candidate and damp Martin Short” Troy Balderson. 

It’s not for everybody: The concept of “Medicare for All” is growing in popularity on the political left. But as cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias reports, “three politicians help illustrate a more halting level of current support among Ohio Democrats” for universal, government-provided health insurance. The doctors are in: Another 38 doctors are now certified to recommend medical marijuana in Ohio, cleveland.com’s Jackie Borchardt reports. Borchardt has a database you can search to find all of the 222 physicians who’ve been certified so far.  Out of business: “A pioneer of school choice in Ohio, White Hat Management, is out of the charter school business,” reports Doug Livingston of the Akron Beacon Journal. “The for-profit operator founded in 2000 by Akron industrialist David Brennan has quietly sold off the last of its contracts to run charter schools.”

Cancer care: The American Cancer Society’s political arm, in releasing its annual report on cancer incidence and mortality, discussed a bill in the Ohio General Assembly that it’s supporting that could increase palliative care. Hancock has the details. 

Clean slate: All four candidates for Ohio Supreme Court this year have signed onto the Ohio State Bar Association’s “clean campaign agreement,” the OSBA announced Thursday. That means Republicans Mary DeGenaro and Craig Baldwin, as well as Democrats Melody Stewart and Michael Donnelly, have agreed to (among other things) publicly disavow ads that impugn the judicial system or a rival, not make false campaign statements and avoid commenting on pending cases.

Five Questions

Nan Whaley is the mayor of Dayton. She ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor this year.   1. Do you think you’ll ever run again for higher office? 

“I don’t rule it out. I love being mayor of Dayton, but I also want to make sure that Dayton’s taken care of.”   2. You’ve been working a lot on the opioid epidemic. Do you think the opioid problem in Dayton and the rest of the state is getting better or worse?   “It’s kind of uneven in different places. Dayton, I think, had the issue before everybody else did. And we’re actually going to print a report – it’s about a 50-page document – about what we’ve learned and some of the processes that we’ve done we think have been really helpful. ...For, at least, the city [of Dayton] and Montgomery County, overdose deaths have been cut by half.”   3. What are some of those best practices in that report? 

“Police officers and firefighters in front of this epidemic had enormous fatigue. ...They were constantly giving folks Narcan. ...So we created a team with a social worker, police and firefighter and EMS person and they actually go and knock on the doors of folks two days later that have overdoses. ...I think that is having some really good success.”   4. Another issue you’ve been vocal on is local government funding. Realistically, do you think we’ll ever see local government funding return to the levels of the past, even if Democrats or pro-local government Republicans take over? 

“I think it could be. It’s not a huge part of the state budget. I think the conversation we’ve seen from both candidates [Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine] has been good. ...Will it happen the first year or the second year? Maybe not. For us, it’s more of just [about] the conversation changing.”  5. What music do you enjoy listening to? 

“It depends on the mood. I really enjoy Beyonce. I enjoy Old Dominion, which is country. And I like a lot of Motown, too.”

Birthdays

Saturday, Aug. 11: Curt Steiner, Republican political consultant and ex-Gov. George Voinovich’s chief of staff

Sunday, Aug. 12: Rep. Anne Gonzales

Straight From The Source

“No aliens, Russians or interns were involved in this #oh12 blunder.”

- Cincinnati Enquirer political reporter Jessie Balmert, tweeting about how Franklin County elections officials discovered 588 uncounted votes the day after the special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District.

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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