Good morning, all. Here’s a quick mid-week news rundown to get your day started.
Cincinnati City Council today is casting final votes on a fiscal year 2019 budget. The spending plan comes just days before the end of the current fiscal year and after some heavy-duty wrangling over details of the budget. Council will boost six fees and taxes to overcome a $32 million deficit and pay for increased human services funding, 911 call center upgrades and more. Council’s plan presents significant tweaks to proposed budgets from acting Cincinnati City Manager Patrick Duhaney and Mayor John Cranley. You can read our story on the budget here.
• A petition seeking to put some city money for FC Cincinnati’s soccer stadium infrastructure on the November ballot has failed, organizers say. The effort from the Coalition Against an FC Cincinnati Stadium to cancel some $17 million the city would contribute to infrastructure from its proceeds of the county hotel tax needed 6,400 signatures to get on the ballot. The coalition says it has fallen short of that goal as the deadline for that petition approaches. The proceeds from the hotel tax will be used to pay back debt service on bonds. The overall cost of the contributions could come to $45 million.
• Speaking of FC Cincinnati, the team yesterday unveiled its plans for a $30 million training facility in Milford. The proposed Clermont County facility will include three full-size soccer fields and a 30,000 square-foot, multi-level building on about 24 acres. It should be ready to roll by next summer, pending approval by Milford City Council and Clermont County Commissioners. The team will pay for the facility itself, but the land would be owned by the Clermont County Port Authority. That land would be paid for with a 1 percent boost to the county's lodging tax.
• Hey. Are you about to get kicked off Ohio’s voter rolls? The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the state’s practice of purging voters who haven’t voted in recent federal elections or responded to mailed cards from the Secretary of State. You can check your registration status here at this handy database by Cleveland.com.
• Today is National HIV Testing Day, and to that end, here’s a handy website that lets you find places offering free HIV tests. If you’re downtown, you can go to the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to get one of the tests.
• The Ohio Senate likely won’t vote on a bill that would put new restrictions on payday lending until this fall. That comes after the bill passed the Ohio House of Representatives by a wide margin earlier this month in the fallout of the resignation of House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who is under investigation by the FBI for his relationship with lobbyists from the payday loan industry. The law would limit to 5 percent of income the interest rates payday lending establishments can charge.
• A new bill proposed by a local lawmaker in the Ohio House would require teachers and other "government agents" to alert parents when they believe their children exhibit signs that they are transgender. Ohio Rep. Tom Brinkman of Mount Lookout first introduced the bill in May. The legislation would also make it a fourth-degree felony to provide treatment for gender dysphoria without parents' consent and keep courts from stripping custody of a child from their parents due to issues around a child's transgender status. The Ohio teachers union and Equality Ohio, an LGBT rights group, have decried the legislation.
"Who is the judge of which gender is allowed to do what?," Equality Ohio said in a statement. "If Jane signs up for shop class, will her parents receive a government letter? If Jordan doesn’t want to play football, do his parents get a letter? What if Alex wants to attend a meeting of the student LGBTQ group — does the school email that to Alex’s parents?"
The bill was motivated by a case in which custody of a transgender minor was given to his grandparents after the minor reported that one of his parents told him to kill himself and refused to allow treatment for the child's gender dysphoria unless it was rooted in the family's Christian faith.
Brinkman says the bill is designed to protect parents' "fundamental rights to decide what is best for their children."
• A couple national items here: an East Pittsburgh police officer has been charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose. Officer Michael Rosfeld allegedly shot Rose in the back while the latter was fleeing from a car Rosfeld had pulled over because he suspected it was involved in an earlier shooting. In some ways, the incident resembles the 2015 shooting death of Sam DuBose by University of Cincinnati Police officer Ray Tensing. Tensing was indicted on murder charges, but two juries could not reach a verdict in his case.
• New York saw a huge primary election upset last night as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a candidate with Democratic Socialists of America, toppled 10-term congressman Joseph Crowley, the fourth-highest-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Twenty-eight-year-old Ocasio-Cortez ran on a platform that included abolishing the federal department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, universal healthcare and other left-friendly issues. The election has something of a local tie-in: former mayoral candidate Yvette Simpson was in New York working for Democracy for America, a political action committee that is backing Ocasio-Cortez and other heavily progressive candidates.