Articles from Columbus Dispatch - politics

Second public meeting set on debate over mining in Perry State Forest

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will hold a second public meeting Tuesday on an application to allow strip mining in a portion of Perry State Forest.The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at New Lexington High School, 2549 Panther Dr.Oxford Mining Company has submitted a 483-page permit application to mine an […]

Lawmakers now must decide whether to back major gas tax increase

Perhaps the only thing more plentiful than the potholes on Ohio’s roads these days is the angst inside the Statehouse among lawmakers staring down a proposed $1.2 billion annual gas tax increase.So far, no one is arguing that Ohio doesn’t need more money for road construction and maintenance. And Gov. Mike DeWine showed he’s not about to tiptoe around the problem, proposing in his two-year, $7.4 billion transportation budget an 18-cent tax increase on a gallon of gas that would take […]

Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman ducks where he stands on Donald Trump 'emergency'

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman doesn’t care for President Donald Trump’s declaration of an emergency.The Ohio Republican would have preferred for Congress to fully fund Trump’s request to extend the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.And, Trump’s move to circumvent legislative authority and grab other federal funds to erect border barriers is troubling and could set a bad precedent, Portman says.But, all that said, Portman refuses to say whether he supports or opposes Trump’s […]

DeWine wants entire 18-cent gas-tax hike imposed at once

Gov. Mike DeWine wants all of his requested 18-cents-a-gallon increase in the gasoline tax to maintain and upgrade Ohio’s roads and bridges imposed July 1, with no phase in.Prior increases in the state gas tax have been phased over a few of years. In his transportation budget submitted Thursday morning to the House Finance Committee, DeWine […]

A mileage tax for non-gasoline vehicles? Oregon plan mentioned as possibility

Ohio lawmakers may one day have other transportation revenue options besides a gas tax, but that day doesn’t appear to be in the near future.Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine will propose raising the state’s 28-cent gas tax by 18 cents, and lawmakers have been asking whether alternatives exist.Ohio Trucking Association president Tom Balzer, […]

Supreme Court reins in excessive fines by government

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the Constitution’s prohibition on excessive fines applies to state and local governments, limiting their abilities to impose fines and seize property.Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on just her second day back on the bench after undergoing cancer surgery in December, announced the decision for the court, saying that the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Fines Clause protects against government retribution.”For good […]

United Methodists set to decide on LGBT policies

The United Methodist Church faces a defining, and potentially dividing, decision on lesbian and gay rights as members from around the world gather this week in St. Louis.A group of 864 appointed delegates, clergy members and laypeople will meet Saturday through Tuesday in a special session of the General Conference to vote on whether the church should allow lesbian and gay people to serve as clergy members and to be married in Methodist churches.Since 1972, the Christian […]

Liberty Township trustees want four-fold reimbursement increase for EMS runs

Two Liberty Township trustees want $1 million annually from Delaware County as reimbursement for township-provided emergency medical runs.That’s four times the approximately $250,000 the county has been paying annually as part of a long-standing agreement related to sales-tax-funded EMS service that covers much of the county.Melanie Leneghan and Mike Gemperline voted for the increase at Tuesday’s trustees meeting, arguing that the county hasn’t raised the reimbursement amount […]