Ohio introduces bill that would ban abortion if Supreme Court overturns landmark Roe decision

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Here are some of the stories for the Reporters Roundtable this week.

The United States Supreme Court is expected to deliver its decision in a Mississippi abortion law case by the end of its current term in June or July.  The case in question, Dobbs versus Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involves a Mississippi law that bans abortion at 15-weeks.  The case is the most direct challenge to the landmark Roe versus Wade decision in decades.  The Roe decision said that the U.S. Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s freedom to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

The case is being watched closely and Ohio lawmakers who are opposed to abortion are preparing to ban the procedure in the state pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

This week, Republican State Representative Jean Schmidt of Loveland in southwest Ohio introduced House Bill 598.  It would outlaw abortion in Ohio if the Supreme Court overturned Roe.   It is called a trigger bill because it would be triggered by the Supreme Court’s decision.

Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and the city council are expected to soon revamp the current system of 15-year tax abatements for new or substantially renovated housing.

In advance of that move, a working group of more than 20 organizations has released its own proposals for changing-up the program with the aim of making it more nuanced and less “once size fits all.”  The working group which includes neighborhood development organizations, Policy Matters Ohio, Enterprise Community Partners, Cleveland State University and others, aims to spur development across the city and not just in a few popular neighborhoods.

Akron has earned the dubious distinction of being the "eviction capital" of Ohio, according to the Community Legal Aid Society.  Yesterday, a summit to examine how to reduce evictions in Akron brought together agencies focused on eviction as well as landlords and tenants. The featured speaker was Pulitzer-Prize winning author Matthew Desmond, whos book "Evicted" examines the impact of eviction on the poor and working poor. He argues that safe, affordable housing is a basic human right. Here is the link for a pamphlet created by WKSU and partners to help people navigate the eviction process. 

The Ohio Redistricting Commission is facing a deadline for next Friday set by the Ohio Supreme Court to draw and approve a new map for the state’s house and senate districts.  But you would not know it. The commission has not met yet.  A federal court will step in and implement a map previously ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court if the commission cannot pass a new map by May 28.

Guests: 

Andrew Meyer, News Director, WKSU, Ideastream Public Media  
Gabriel Kramer, Multiple Media Producer, Ideastream Public Media  
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV  

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