Morning News and Stuff

State tax plan favors wealthy, state budget limits abortion, mayoral primary incoming

Ohio Statehouse
Ohio Statehouse

The Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly yesterday passed its state budget for the next two years, and Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bill this weekend. Part of the budget is a tax plan that would cut income taxes but raise sales and property taxes in a way that Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning public policy think tank, says would

ultimately favor the state’s wealthiest

. On average, individuals in the top 1 percent would see their taxes fall by $6,083, or 0.7 percent, under the plan, while those in the bottom 20 percent would pay about $12, or 0.1 percent, more in taxes, according to Policy Matters’ analysis.

The state budget also

includes several anti-abortion measures

: less funding for Planned Parenthood, more funding for anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, regulations that could be used by the state health director to shut down abortion clinics and a requirement for doctors to do an external ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion and inform her whether a heartbeat is detected. Republicans claim they’re protecting the sanctity of human life, while abortion rights advocates are labeling the measures an attack on women’s rights.

Cincinnati will

have a mayoral primary on Sept. 10

. Five candidates vying for the highest elected position in the city: Democrats Roxanne Qualls and John Cranley, Libertarian Jim Berns, self-identified Republican Stacy Smith and Sandra Queen Noble. Qualls and Cranley are widely seen as the favorites, with each candidate splitting on issues like the

parking lease

and

streetcar

. Qualls supports the policies, while Cranley opposes both. A recent poll from the Cranley campaign

found the race deadlocked

, with Cranley and Qualls both getting 40 percent of the vote and the rest of polled voters claiming they’re undecided.

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will

appear at the Northside Fourth of July parade

. Giffords will be in Cincinnati as part of a nationwide tour on gun violence.

Elmwood Place’s speed cameras are being

confiscated by the Hamilton County Sheriff Department

. Judge Robert Ruehlman originally told operating company Optotraffic to turn the cameras off, but when the company didn’t listen, the judge ruled the cameras should be confiscated.

The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments

released its new bike map

for southwest Ohio.

President Barack Obama signaled on Thursday that the federal government will

extend marriage benefits to gay and lesbian couples in all states

, even those states that don’t allow same-sex marriage. That may mean a gay couple in Ohio could get married in New York and Massachusetts and still have their marriage counted at the federal level, but state limitations would still remain. The administration’s plans follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday that struck down a federal ban on same-sex marriage.

The U.S. Senate on Thursday

approved a bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws

. Ohio’s two senators were split on the bill: Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown voted for it, while Republican Sen. Rob Portman voted against it. A Congressional Budget Office report previously found the bill would

reduce the nation’s deficit and boost the economy over the next decade

.

Scientists cloned a mouse with a mere blood sample

.

CityBeat won a bunch of awards at Wednesday’s Society of Professional Journalists Cincinnati chapter awards banquet and hall of fame induction ceremony. Read about them

here

.
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