Home Latest UpdatesMaking Ohio Headlines 6/30/23

Making Ohio Headlines 6/30/23

Ohio’s government shenanigans offer a continuous fountain of news. We’re curating the headlines each week so you can stay informed.

State Government

‘You were a bully’: What judge said to ex-Ohio Speaker Larry Householder

When sentencing former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Black blasted the Perry County Republican for abusing the public trust, lying on the witness stand and failing to take responsibility.

Black gave Householder a verbal thrashing as reporters scribbled down his remarks. He sentenced Householder to the maximum 20 years in prison and ordered him taken into custody immediately in Cincinnati.

“You know better than most people how much that money could have meant to the people of Ohio,” Black said of the $1.3 billion bailout. “How many lives could you have improved but you took that away from the people of Ohio and you handed it over to a bunch of suits with private jets.

Ex-Ohio GOP leader Matt Borges sentenced to 5 years in prison

Former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges on Friday was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a sweeping pay-to-play scandal at the Ohio Statehouse.

Once a rising star in the GOP nationally, Borges was immediately taken into custody.

But unlike the ringleader of the scheme, ex-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, Borges expressed remorse for his actions, which included bribing a friend for insider information about a ballot initiative to block a $1.3 billion nuclear bailout.

Former Gov. Taft: Issue 1 is ‘state leaders trying to game the system’

Hundreds of voters convened Tuesday evening in Dayton to hear former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and former state Rep. Mike Curtin discuss August’s Issue 1, the statewide initiative that would make it harder to amend the constitution and get citizen-initiated amendments on the ballot.

Hosted by the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area, the forum was meant to inform voters about the Aug. 8 special election — an atypical election called for by Republicans in the Ohio Legislature — and explain what implications Issue 1 would have on the state if it passed. The forum was moderated by Dayton Daily News Community Voices Editor Nick Hrkman.

Proponents of Issue 1 argue it is necessary to protect the constitution. Opponents, like Taft and Curtin, argue it permanently takes away a chunk of Ohioans’ voting power.

“This is a fundamental change in Ohio’s voting rights,” said Taft, who said he’d be shocked if 30% of registered voters participated in the election this August. “I just think it’s a major mistake to approve or disapprove such a change at the lowest-turnout election that we have.

One Person, One Vote

Abortion in Ohio

Medical, social work groups file support in Ohio Supreme Court abortion case

The Ohio Supreme Court has heard from a wide variety of medical groups and an association for social workers, all of whom support a continued injunction on Ohio’s six-week abortion ban law.

Challengers of the state’s six-week abortion ban law, which was indefinitely paused by a Hamilton County court as a battle over the merits continues, also entered their arguments to the state’s highest court, hoping to get the appeal thrown out.

National News with State Implications

Supreme Court rejects theory that would have meant radical changes to election rules

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected what would have been a radical change in election law, dismissing the theory that state legislatures have almost unlimited power to decide the rules for federal elections and draw partisan congressional maps without interference from state courts.

The Constitution’s elections clause “does not insulate state legislatures from the ordinary exercise of state judicial review,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in a 6-3 decision.

The decision was praised by Democrats and civil rights groups, more for firmly rebuffing what they viewed as an outlandish theory than for establishing new law. A wide coalition of scholars, liberal lawyers and conservative former judges had denounced the theory as unmoored and extreme.