Morning News and Stuff

Romney loss stops heartbeat bill, tougher report cards pass House, S&P criticizes Cincinnati

Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention
Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention

Mitt Romney’s big loss is finally getting to Ohio Republicans. Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus made procedural moves to block the heartbeat bill from a vote before the end of the lame-duck session. Niehaus, a Republican, said his decision was

largely influenced by Romney’s loss on Nov. 6

. When the heartbeat bill was originally proposed, it was labeled the most radical anti-abortion bill in the country. It banned abortion as soon as a heartbeat was detected, which can happen six weeks into pregnancy. It made no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother. CityBeat recently wrote about

the GOP's renewed anti-abortion agenda

, but if Republicans begin taking lessons from the most recent election, the renewed agenda will never come to light.

The Ohio House of Representatives

approved

Cincinnati’s tougher school report card standards. An early simulation of the proposed system in May showed Cincinnati Public Schools would drop from the second-best rating of “Effective” under the current system to a D- , with 23 schools flunking and Walnut Hills High School retaining its top mark with an A. The bill will also impose more regulations and oversight on charter schools. As part of the overall reform, the state is

replacing its standardized tests

, but some Democrats are worried the new tests and system will be too tough on schools.

Standard & Poor's is not optimistic about Cincinnati. The firm gave the city’s debt rating

a negative outlook

due to structural budget problems. City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr. says ratings firms are looking for spending cuts or revenue growth from Cincinnati to achieve structurally balanced budgets in the next two years, but

Dohoney’s most recent budget proposal

largely balances the deficit with a one-time source from privatizing parking services. On the other hand, pursuing austerity during a weak economic recovery is

a bad idea

.

The Cincinnati Fire Department says it doesn’t have

enough personnel to man fire trucks

. The problem is only getting worse as retirements increase, according to Fire Chief Richard Braun.

The University of Cincinnati’s campus was ranked among the most dangerous in the country

.

Ohio has

some of the lowest graduation rates in the Midwest

. Low-income, black and Hispanic students are all much less likely to graduate than their wealthier and white peers.

Gov. John Kasich

met with college and university leaders today

to discuss higher education. After the meeting, Kasich and the leaders suggested attaching state funding to graduation rates, among other reforms.

It looks like Ohio’s financial institutions tax bill will

make it through the Ohio Senate

without major changes. The bill was already passed by the Ohio House.

A memo from nonprofit research organization Policy Matters Ohio

recommended making changes so the bill cuts tax loopholes without cutting rates on big banks. Zach Schiller, research director from Policy Matters, said in the memo, “Big banks aren’t better banks, as their role in the recent financial crisis made clear. It is questionable policy for the state to favor them with lower rates.”

It’s official: Cincinnati is

“cougar capital of Ohio.”

Heart-lifting story of the day: A New York City cop

helped a homeless person

by buying him a pair of boots.

Has the modern art world lost touch with its audience

?

NASA confirmed the presence of ice water on Mercury.

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