News from around Ohio:
Pay floor: 57% of Ohio voters in 2006 approved changing Ohio’s constitution to increase the minimum wage with inflation. Next year, it will be $8.70 an hour, well above the federal rate of $7.25 that last changed in 2009 — a difference of $3,000 for a full-time worker over a year, cleveland.com’s Rich Exner reports.
Stock issue: The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal over whether the gun-rights groups Buckeye Firearms and Ohioans for Concealed Carry have standing to challenge the city of Columbus’ ban on bump stocks. As cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer writes, if the court sides against the city, it could open the door to other activist groups challenging local ordinances on a variety of topics.
Attempted hack: Hackers in Panama, associated with a Russian-owned company, tried to get into the Ohio Secretary of State’s website, as well as state internal systems, the Dispatch’s Rick Rouan reports. Secretary of State Frank LaRose called the attempt relatively unsophisticated, and that election machines and ballot counters are not connected to the internet.
Opening offices: Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, the only Dem with paid staff in Ohio, is opening offices in Cleveland on Tuesday on Columbus on Dec. 4 and Cincinnati on Dec. 5. She’s believed to be the only Democratic presidential candidate with offices in Ohio — a sign that she expects to win enough state primaries to continue on in the race through the Ohio’s March 17 primary.
Speaking circuit: The Dayton Daily News’ Laura Bischoff got a copy of the contract between Miami University and Greater Talent Network LLC, which represents John Kasich, for a speech he gave Nov. 13. He was paid $40,000, got an armed security guard, “cool” water throughout the talk and a five-star hotel room with a king bed. Kasich was criticized by a Miami professor for the lucrative gig, when as governor he called on colleges to cut costs and increase professor teaching load.
So ordered: Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kimberly Cocroft has granted a five-month extension in the state’s case against the former e-charter school known as the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT. Ohio Attorney General David Yost, and defendants — including Bill Lager, his for-profit companies Altair Learning Management and IQ Innovations — jointly asked for more time, as first reported by Gongwer. The state is suing to recoup money from ECOT and Lager, saying they took state education money for students who merely logged in and didn’t complete tasks.
Fighting tax: Some residents in conservative Clermont County east of Cincinnati took matters into their own hands after Amelia imposed a 1% municipal income tax. They voted this month to dissolve the village. Now, the changes are starting to be seen, as the New York Times reported in a feature story. Amelia’s seven police officers lost their jobs. And residents of the former village will no longer be part of the same government; they will be in separate townships divided by Main Street.
Armor all: Since July 2018, the Ohio attorney general’s office has awarded a total of almost $4 million to 426 law-enforcement agencies around Ohio to purchase body-armor vests, according to a release from AG Dave Yost. That includes more than $345,000 in the last three months alone. The money for the program comes from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as part of its Safety Intervention Grant Program.
Medicare for all: 71% of Ohioans favor giving some people under the age of 65 the option to buy insurance from Medicare, according to Interact for Health’s Ohio Health Issues Poll, which asked a similar question that the Kaiser Family Foundation has asked nationwide. The Ohio poll didn’t ask people other questions in the Medicare-for-all discussion, such as whether they would support nixing private health insurance for Medicare.