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Officials seek local funding, parking plan delayed again, poor schools may get more funding

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During Gov. John Kasich’s term as governor, local government funding has fallen by nearly half — from nearly $3 billion to about $1.6 billion — and Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is

leading an effort to get that funding back

. With the support of Democratic officials from around the state, Sittenfeld is launching a website called ProtectMyOhio.com , which is gathering petition signatures that will eventually be sent to Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly.

Hamilton County Judge Robert Winkler

extended the temporary restraining order

on the city’s parking plan yesterday, potentially delaying any ruling on the city's plan to lease its parking assets to the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority for another two weeks. In response, the city said it’s approaching a “pressure point” for budget cuts for fiscal year 2014, which must be executed by July 1.

Ohio House Republicans are looking to

bolster education funding to poor districts

in response to criticisms of Kasich’s 2014-2015 budget proposal.

A previous CityBeat analysis

found Kasich’s budget proposal disproportionately benefits the wealthy in a few ways, including education funding.

City Council

did not vote on funding

for a feasibility study for Westwood Square Wednesday, but the vote could happen as early as next week. The delay came after the Westwood Civic Association said in a letter that the plan needs more discussion.

The controversial election bill

moved through

the Ohio House yesterday despite calls for more time for debate. The bill, which will now head to Kasich to be signed into law, limits the referendum process by giving referendum and ballot initiative petitioners 10 days to get more signatures if the initial batch is found to be inadequate. Under current law, petitioners can continually search for more signatures while the secretary of state and ballot board sort through signatures. Republicans argue the change makes the petition process fair and uniform, but Democrats say it goes too far in weakening ballot initiative and referendum powers.

The state’s $7.6 billion transportation budget, which includes plan to fund transportation projects around the state with Ohio Turnpike funds,

breezed through the Ohio Senate Wednesday

. It will reach the House for a scheduled vote today.

Attorney General Mike DeWine announced new efforts to help sexual assault victims around Ohio by ensuring each county has adequate services. The efforts are in response to a survey that found 59 percent of counties don’t have comprehensive services and eight counties have very few or no services. “It is our goal to ensure that a quick and compassionate emergency response is available to any victim of sexual assault at any time of the day, any day of the week and in any area of the state,” DeWine said in a statement.

The federal government released data that shows serious safety violations in hospitals that occurred since Jan. 1, 2011, and the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and Christ Hospital are

both on the list

.

Hamilton County

ranked No. 65 out of Ohio’s 88 counties

for health in a new survey from Patrick Remington at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. The study found suburban counties fare much better than urban counties, and premature death is at a 20-year low.

Accusations of inappropriate teacher behavior in Ohio are

on the rise

.

Voyager 1

is or may soon become

the first object humanity has ever sent out of the sun’s reach.
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