Morning News and Stuff

Another anti-abortion amendment, Kasich prevents JobsOhio audit, streetcar funds remain

Jun 5, 2013 at 10:22 am
Ohio Statehouse
Ohio Statehouse

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The Ohio Senate

proposed a budget amendment

yesterday that would ban abortion providers from transferring patients to public hospitals. The rule continues a series of conservative pushes on social issues in the ongoing budget process that began in the Ohio House. The Ohio House budget bill

effectively defunded Planned Parenthood and funded anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers

, while the Ohio Senate accepted those measures and

added another rule

that potentially allows the health director to shut down abortion clinics.

Republican Gov. John Kasich

signed a bill

that will prevent a full public audit of JobsOhio, the private nonprofit entity established by Kasich and Republican legislators to replace the Ohio Department of Development. The bill defines liquor profits, which were public funds before JobsOhio, and private funds in a way that bars the state auditor from looking into any funding sources that aren’t owed to the state. Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald

called on Kasich to veto the bill

, claiming, “The people’s money is the people’s business, and this bill, which slams shut the door on accountability, is simply unacceptable.”

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) says the $4 million going to the streetcar is a

done deal

. Republican county commissioners Chris Monzel and Greg Hartmann tried to get OKI to pull the funds, but there now seems to be a general consensus that the money is contractually tied to the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) and, therefore, the streetcar project. City Council is likely to consider a plan to

plug the streetcar project’s budget gap

later this month.

Libertarian mayoral candidate Jim Berns is

handing out marijuana plants

at a campaign event today, even though the event may run foul of state law. Democratic candidates John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls are generally considered the top contenders in this year’s mayoral race, but Berns has differentiated himself by putting marijuana legalization in his platform. While drug prohibition policies are generally dictated at state and federal levels, cities can decriminalize or legalize certain drugs and force police departments to give prohibition enforcement lower priority.

Ohio State University President Gordon Gee is

retiring July 1

following controversial remarks about “those damn Catholics,” the University of Notre Dame and others. Gee, a Mormon, says he has regrets, but the gaffes didn’t compel him to retire. In a statement, OSU credited Gee with helping the school build an academic profile of a “highly selective, top-tier public research institution.”

Local officials

cut the ribbon

yesterday for the Roebling Bridge, the latest piece of infrastructure to debut at The Banks.

Fort Hamilton Hospital

has a new president


Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank has

loaned more than any other big bank in the country

, according to a new study.

How do mosquitoes survive storms? Popular Science

has the answer


Researchers unveiled a drone that can be controlled by thoughts

. Next stop: the Iron Man suit.