Ohio Supreme Court strikes down third attempt at state legislative maps, sets new deadline

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The Ohio Redistricting Commission is batting zero when it comes to drawing new maps for the state’s legislative districts.  For a third time, the Ohio Supreme Court said on Wednesday night that the maps approved by the commission were unconstitutional and unfairly favored Republicans. As has been the case each time previously, the majority included Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican, siding with the court’s Democrats. The court set a new deadline for the maps for March 28. 

The further delay in the approval of the maps, state leaders have said, likely means at least part of the May 3 primary will have to be delayed.A federal judge in Cincinnati set the trial for former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder for January 23, 2023.  Householder faces charges that he engineered a $60 million bribery scheme to pass House Bill 6—which included a billion dollar bailout of two old nuclear plants.  Householder and a co-defendant, former lobbyist, Matt Borges, maintain their innocence.

There will be no primary debate for Republican candidates for governor. The debate scheduled for later this month at Central State University has been cancelled. Governor DeWine initially declined to take part.  Challenger Jim Renacci has also now declined. Only Joe Blystone had accepted.  A fourth challenger, Ron Hood, never committed either way. The Ohio Debate Commission will still proceed with debates for Democratic primary candidates for governor and separate debates for Democrats and Republicans running for United States Senate.

Next March, Cleveland will require that all rental properties built before 1978—the year Congress banned lead  paint—be certified by the city as lead safe. The Center of Urban Poverty and Community Development at Case Western Reserve University which audits the program says after a slow-start, lead-safe applications picked up in the final months of 2021.

Guests: 

Nick Castele, Senior Reporter, 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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