Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is asking for an emergency stay on a recent court order on voting. The order lets voters vote in any polling place as long as they’re in the correct county. In his 22-page motion, Husted expressed concerns the “unwarranted, last-minute litigation” could cause “ongoing harm and confusion.” He also stated concerns that if the ruling stands, Ohioans will soon be able to vote from anywhere in the state, regardless of assigned polling places and counties.
The Anna Louise Inn and Western & Southern met in court for what could be the final time yesterday. In front of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, both sides reiterated their past arguments. The Anna Louise Inn said it should be classified as “transitional housing,” not a “special assistance shelter”; and W&S argued to the contrary. A final decision is expected in 30 to 45 days.
President Barack Obama canceled today’s visit to Cincinnati to monitor Hurricane Sandy storm relief. Both Mitt Romney and Obama have been heavily campaigning in Ohio, which could play a pivotal role in the presidential election. Obama will return to the campaign trail Friday. Meanwhile, a new Romney ad running in Ohio was given a “Pants on Fire” rating from Politifact. The ad claimed Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China” at the cost of American jobs, which PolitiFact said is throwing “reality in reverse.” In aggregate polling, Obama leads Romney in Ohio by 2.4 points. Romney is up 0.8 points nationally. FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times' election forecast model, now gives Obama a 77.6 percent chance of winning Ohio and a 77.4 percent chance of winning the election.
Supporters of Issue 4 held a press event yesterday. If Issue 4 passes, City Council will have four-year terms, up from two. The reform seeks to allow City Council to focus less on campaigning and more on long-term policy. Opponents say it will make council members unaccountable.
An anti-Obama memo circulated by the CEO of Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp. is getting some criticism from Democrats. The memo took issue with Obamacare, possible tax hikes and “over-regulation,” but it does not specifically endorse any candidate. Caleb Faux, executive director of the Hamilton County Democratic Party, says the memo is coercive: “I think that it’s disgraceful that any employer would use the power implicit in the employer-employee relationship to coerce people while they are making their voting decisions.”
Build Our New Bridge Now has already raised $2 million. The coalition will market and lobby to get a new Brent Spence Bridge built between Cincinnati and Kentucky.
A University of Cincinnati study found green roofs may require some special plants. The news could shift some ideas in the green movement, which is currently pushing green roofs as a way to improve urban water infrastructure. Cincinnati’s City Council and Metropolitan Sewer District have some plans for utilizing green infrastructure.
Xavier reversed its decision to not pay for birth control in its employee health plans. The decision comes largely due to Obamacare's requirement most employers pay for contraception without a copay. Rev. Michael Graham, Xavier's president, criticized Obamacare’s requirement in an email to Business Courier: “Religious institutions have never been asked to violate their consciences in this profound a manner.”
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency will be holding a public hearing on Nov. 13 to accept comments on a draft hazardous waste permit renewal for Spring Grove Resource Recovery, a Cincinnati-based company.
Josh Mandel is touting his alternative to Obamacare. His plan pushes tax benefits, transparency, tort reform, health savings accounts and allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines. However, one study by Georgetown University found insurance companies may not want to sell across state lines, and a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study found tort reform would only bring down total national health care spending by about 0.5 percent. The CBO also found repealing Obamacare would actually increase the federal deficit by $109 billion. In aggregate polling, Mandel is currently losing to Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown by 5.3 points.
State Republicans introduced a bill reforming Ohio’s municipal income tax code . The bill got praise from business interests, but a statewide group representing local communities doesn’t seem too happy.
Ohio school leaders are asking the state to not regulate the use of seclusion rooms. The rooms are small rooms that are typically intended to restrain violent or out-of-control students, but an investigation by StateImpact Ohio and The Columbus Dispatch found the rooms were often used to punish students and for the convenience of school staff.
The Ohio Department of Education announced a $13 million Early Literacy and Reading Readiness competitive grant. The program seeks to help students boost reading skills before the end of the third grade.
Ohio victims of Hurricane Sandy could be eligible for reduced interest rates through the state’s Renew and Rebuild programs.
If you have a disturbing lack of faith in humanity, wait until you read this next sentence: Star Wars 7, 8 and 9 announced.
How to protect Earth from asteroids: paintballs.