Ohio lawmakers plan anti-trust hearings regarding Google, Facebook: Capitol Letter


Rotunda Rumblings

Google search: Following Attorney General Dave Yost’s lead, the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings in Cleveland and Cincinnati next month to probe whether big tech firms like Google and Facebook are violating anti-trust law, according to cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer. Senate leaders said one option is to revise Ohio’s anti-trust law, which hasn’t been substantially updated in decades.

Spend local: While Yost wants control over local government lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, he said Wednesday that any money the state gets to settle its own suit against Purdue Pharma “needs to be spent at the local level.” Yost noted to reporters that foster-care programs and drug treatment clinics are run at the local level, not by the state.

New owners: Capital Care Network of Toledo is now Capital Care of Toledo, after new owners took charge. The clinic no longer has a license to perform surgical abortions, although NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio says the new owners will apply for a license. There’s no word from the new owners yet and abortion opponents are cheering that surgical abortions have been halted, cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock reports.

Ohio’s evaporating auto industry: The GM strike this week is a reminder of how the auto industry has dwindled in Ohio. GM employs about 4,300 people in Ohio, down from more than 60,000 when it was the state’s leading employer in the 1990s, cleveland.com’s Rich Exner reports. From 1995, Ford is down from 24,000 to 6,150, Chrysler (now Fiat Chrysler) is down from 11,500 to 6,530. Honda is up from 10,600 to 15,000.

Never-ending story: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says his staff is working to make sure no voters’ registrations are improperly canceled under a scenario uncovered by Ohio House Democratic Caucus staff. The scenario, which may have affected at least 1,000 voters in Cuyahoga County and more elsewhere, involves voters who moved in-county in 2015, a group LaRose has said should be exempt from the state’s Sept. 6 purge of its voter rolls. Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias has more.

Beto bound for Kent: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is scheduled to speak Sept. 25 at Kent State University, cleveland.com’s Robin Goist reports. The Kent State College Democrats announced the former Texas congressman’s upcoming visit on Twitter.

One of us: Democrats Nan Whaley (Dayton), John Cranley (Cincinnati), and David Berger (Lima) were among more than 50 mayors across the country to sign a USA Today op-ed endorsing South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for president. “We need a great mayor in the White House,” the op-ed states.

Drug warning: State prison officials used drugs for executions in spite of threats from at least one manufacturer that it would cut off sales of medical drugs to the state for millions of Ohioans, reports Marty Schladen of the Columbus Dispatch. Records show the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services bought midazolam from London-based Hikma Pharmaceuticals and potassium chloride from New York-based Pfizer Inc., then transferred the drugs to the state’s prisons agency for use in lethal injections.

That Country Up North: Gov. Mike DeWine is set to meet with Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the governor’s residence on Friday, according to DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney. The three are set to discuss a number of issues, including trade, Tierney said.

Full Disclosure

Five things we learned from the May 9 ethics disclosure of state Rep. Don Jones, a Perry County Republican:

1. In 2018, he earned $25,000 to $49,999 as an agricultural education teacher at Harrison Central High School. He also took in $10,000 to $24,999 from hay sales, and he received $1,000 to $9,999 as a parts salesman for his family’s farm equipment dealership.

2. Jones has retirement plans with the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio and Voya Financial.

3. Besides his home, Jones owns property southwest of Cadiz where his family business, D&J Sales and Service, is located.

4. At some point in 2018, Jones owed at least $1,000 to Farm Credit Services, Discover Card, US Bank, Vermeer Credit Corp., DLL Finance and Krone Finance.

5. A volunteer fireman, Jones is certified as a basic emergency medical technician.

On The Move

Mary Beth Kemmer of Troy has been elected president of the Ohio Federation of Republican Women. Her two-year term starts in January, according to the Piqua Daily Call.

Birthdays

State Rep. Rick Perales

State Rep. Mark Romanchuk

Straight From The Source

“I definitely am not interested in Congress. I don’t envision myself ever running for governor. I love being speaker, and I think I can be very effective here.”

– Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, a Perry County Republican, speaking with Jessie Balmert of the Cincinnati Enquirer about rumors regarding his future political plans.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.



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