Lawmakers Urge Schools to Retire Native American Mascots
A few Democratic state lawmakers have introduced a resolution to urge high schools in Ohio that have Native American mascots to retire them. The Ohio High School Athletic Association reports there are 79 high schools throughout the state with mascots referred to as Indians, Redmen, Braves, Mohawks, Raiders and other like terms.
Lawmakers are calling on state and local communities to help schools make those changes, especially now that one of Ohio's Major League Baseball teams has chosen to do that.
The Cleveland Indians recently announced they will be known as the Guardians beginning next season.
Robocalls Decline Under STIR/SHAKEN rules
The FCC STIR/SHAKEN rules, which compel Voice-Over-IP providers who want direct access to numbers, to abide by the the FCC's anti-robocalling regulations. These new rules are helping to decrease the number of illegally spoofed robocalls. The latest report indicates a 3% decline in July from June.
The regulation required most large voice providers to have the technology installed by the end of June. Spammers continue to look for ways around the STIR/SHAKEN technology.
According to a report released by Robokiller, states with the highest number of spam calls include Texas, California, Florida, Ohio and New York.
Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program
Governor Mike DeWine issued an Executive Order, facilitating the launch of the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program, by adopting emergency rules to speed the deployment of broadband. HB 2, a recently enacted broadband expansion bill devoted $20 million for FY 2021 and 2022 to launch the program, followed by the passage of HB 110, the biennial budget bill, earmarking $250 million in broadband funding for the current biennium.
The Executive Order was effective on July 30, set to expire within 120 days or upon the adoption of formal rules through the normal Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) process.
The Governor's order was followed by a Broadband Expansion Authority meeting to tee up the grant program. A five-member board authority is charged with reviewing applications and awarding grants, based on a weighted scoring system.
The board consists of appointments by the Governor, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and the Directors of the Ohio Department of Development and Innovate Ohio.
An online portal is available at: https://development.ohio.gov/bs/orbegp.htm, detailing current rules, a Broadband Guide Book, the grant application, and scoring criteria. The application process begins on Sept. 6 and closes on Nov. 8. A challenge process will commence 65 days after the closing of the application period, followed by a series of opportunities for applicants to address concerns or submit revised applications. The five-member panel, will oversee the entire application process and awarding of millions of dollars in funding under the Residential Broadband Expansion Program.
The Board Expansion Authority will report to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 1 regarding the group's work.
Ohio Candidates Declare for 2022 Gubernatorial Race
The following candidates have formally announced a gubernatorial bid for 2022:
Governor Mike DeWine (R), age 74 from Cedarville, is running for re-election with running mate Lt. Governor Jon Husted. DeWine has more that 40 years of experience in Ohio politics.
Jim Renacci (R), age 62 from Wadsworth, is a former U.S. Congressman from NE Ohio. His current job is with LTC Management Services, Inc., which manages homes. In 2018, Renacci unsuccessfully challenged Democratic Sherrod Brown for his U.S. Senate seat.
Joe Blystone (R), age 52 from Canal Winchester is the owner of Blystone Farm, a butcher shop, market and steakhouse. Blystone embodies the pro-Second Amendment and Anti-COVID 19 restrictions.
Nan Whaley (D), age 45 from Dayton, currently serves as the mayor. Whaley is taking another shot at the governor's office after a short-lived bid during the 2018 election. While mayor, she overcame a recent mass shooting in the heart of the city.
John Cranley (D), age 47 from Cincinnati, currently serves as the mayor. This is his first run at a statewide office, after serving as Cincinnati mayor and on city council. He ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress. Outside of politics, Cranley spends time with the Cincinnati College of Law through the Ohio Innocence Project, helping to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals.
The only other name that has surfaced, expressing an interest as a gubernatorial candidate is U.S. Representative Warren Davidson (R), from Southwest Ohio, who is expected to make a decision after new congressional district lines are drawn in September.
Process Begins to Redraw Legislative Districts
After a four month delay, blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has finally released population data needed for Ohio's redistricting process. The Ohio Redistricting Commission, consisting of the governor, secretary of state, auditor, two Republican and two Democratic lawmakers, are faced with an extremely tight time frame of Sept. 1 to complete the task of re-drawing seats in Ohio's General Assembly. The Congressional redistricting process and deadlines differ from those of the Ohio House and Senate Districts.
The Commission is tasked with drawing districts that are geographically compact, have roughly equal populations, do not favor one political party over another, avoid splitting municipalities and counties and respect minority voting rights.
If the Commission fails to pass a 10-year map that has bipartisan buy-in by the Sept. 1 deadline, The Commission would then have until Sept. 15 to pass a map with a simple majority that would last just four years.
The Census Bureau's raw data will be refined into usable precinct and political subdivision levels by Ohio State University's Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service. The Ohio Redistricting Commission plans to hold ten public hearings across the state. Voters in 2015 and 2018 overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendments to reform the way Ohio draws districts both for U.S. Congressional seats as well as seats in Ohio's General Assembly.
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