AP NEWS

Steve Dettelbach unveils opioids plan, says Republicans have failed: Capitol Letter

September 26, 2018

Steve Dettelbach unveils opioids plan, says Republicans have failed: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings

Attacking addiction: Steve Dettelbach, the Democratic attorney general candidate, unveiled his plan to combat Ohio’s opioid epidemic. He told cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock he opposes Issue 1 but supports other ideas for criminal justice reform. 

The ‘nos’ are piling up: In addition to Dettelbach being a no on Issue 1, Senate President Larry Obhof, the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee, the board of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Buckeye Institute think tank also oppose it. Issue 1 would reclassify possession of small amounts of drugs in many cases to misdemeanors, and addicts wouldn’t go to jail until their third offense in 24 months. 

A hint of the future: The Senate adopted a bill Tuesday that would align laws for low-speed electric bicycles to those in other states. “This does not regulate in any way the electric scooters we are seeing in many cities in Ohio,” Sen. Frank LaRose told colleagues on the Senate floor. “My anticipation is at some point this body may deal with regulation pertaining to those electric scooters.” House Bill 250 returns to the House for final approval. 

Making history: Meeting for 45 minutes Tuesday, Senators also gave the final OK to bills including Senate Bill 86, to designate John Glenn’s childhood home in Muskingum County a state historic site.

Debate objection: The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed an Ohio Elections Commission complaint Tuesday claiming its candidate for governor, Travis Irvine, is being illegally excluded from this year’s three gubernatorial debates. The complaint asks the commission to fine Democrat Richard Cordray, Republican Mike DeWine, their campaigns, and the University of Dayton (which hosted the only debate so far). Libertarian Party of Ohio spokesman David Jackson said the party filed the complaint to draw public attention, adding that it’s unlikely the party will follow through on its threat to file a lawsuit over the matter. 

Making waves: Recreation, tourism and other industries generate billions of dollars, thanks to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton writes about a new study, which will undoubtedly be used by its advocates to stave off budget cuts urged by the Trump administration.

Let’s get ready to rumple: A new Sherrod Brown campaign ad references the Ohio senator’s unique image, writes Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias. The ad, called ‘Disheveled,’ segues from the sartorial talk to Brown’s work advocating for Whirlpool, which employs 3,000 people in Northwest Ohio. 

Bills of good health: Richard Cordray has sleep apnea and wears a CPAP machine at night. Mike DeWine would be the oldest governor in state history. But otherwise, the Democratic and Republican governor candidates’ doctors say they are in good health, according to the Associated Press. 

Balderson gets committee assignments: New U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson has been appointed to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, as well as the House Small Business Committee, according to Laura Engquist, his deputy chief of staff. As for how this might affect the Zanesville Republican’s re-election chances in November: neither committee is considered particularly attractive in terms of fundraising potential.

Job opening: Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof announced Tuesday he’s accepting applications from Republicans to serve the final two years of U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson’s term in Senate District 20. Applicants have until Nov. 16 to send a resume and letter of recommendation to the Senate Republican Caucus and Senate Chief of Staff John Barron. Senate GOP spokesman John Fortney said a final decision will likely be made by the end of November, after a screening committee interviews potential appointees.

A Kasich snub? Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, Treasurer Josh Mandel and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor told the Dayton Daly News’ Laura Bischoff they haven’t spoken to fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich in over a year. This comes at a time when Kasich has appealed for politicians to work together on national television. 

OSU gets audited: State auditors believe Ohio State University could save $6.4 million by moving computer servers to data centers, among other new practices. It’s OSU’s first audit, coming after a new law that requires at least four public colleges or universities to be audited each biennium, the Columbus Dispatch’s Jennifer Smola reports. 

Her too: Janet Garrett, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan in the 4th Congressional District, described to the Hill abuse she endured by her former husband and the challenges she faced reporting it to police. She said Jordan and others have a dismissive attitude toward the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of assault. 

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from the March 21 financial disclosure of Sen. Cecil Thomas, a Cincinnati Democrat, who is running for re-election for Senate District 9 in November. 

1. Thomas, a retired Cincinnati police officer, reported earning $25,000 to $49,999 each from the Ohio Police and Fire Pension and as an owner of rental properties. He earned $60,584 as a senator. 

2. He acts as the administrator for the estate of Dinika Thomas.

3. In addition to his police pension, he has a 457(b) supplemental retirement plan with Ohio Deferred Compensation. 

4. Thomas racked up $4,434.56 in mileage traveling from home in Cincinnati to Columbus. 

5. Among gifts he received, Thomas reported two basketball tickets from the University of Cincinnati worth $80 and $40 worth of food and beverages in the president’s suite at the game. He also reported receiving an unspecified gift worth over $75 from Moms Demand Action, an anti-gun group.

Straight From The Source

“Nobody named Harbaugh is going to win anything in November in Ohio.”

-U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, referring to both Democrat Ken Harbaugh, running against GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs, and Jim Harbaugh, the University of Michigan football coach.

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.

AP RADIO
Update hourly