Ohio Legislature looks likely to send Cleveland bags of money for big projects: Today in Ohio

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webnexttech | Ohio Legislature looks likely to send Cleveland bags of money for big projects: Today in Ohio
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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Ohio Senate plans to spend hundreds of millions of unexpected tax revenue includes funding to dozens of Northeast Ohio projects, including millions for a massive redevelopment project in downtown Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Zoo. We’re talking about millions in one-time funds to projects in Cuyahoga and five neighboring counties as part of this year’s state capital budget, despite less-than-expected income tax revenues, on Today in Ohio. Editor Chris Quinn hosts our daily half-hour news podcast, with editorial board member Lisa Garvin, impact editor Leila Atassi and content director Laura Johnston. You’ve been sending Chris lots of thoughts and suggestions on our from-the-newsroom text account, in which he shares what we’re thinking about at cleveland.com. You can sign up here: https://joinsubtext.com/chrisquinn. You can now join the conversation. Call 833-648-6329 (833-OHTODAY) if you’d like to leave a message we can play on the podcast. Here’s what else we’re asking about today: We know the state House provided lots of help to Cleveland in its version of the capital budget. Now we know what the Senate version contains. More goodies for Northeast Ohio? The good news is that none of the personal financial information was hacked from Cleveland computers for hundreds of thousands of people. The bad news is the city appears to be the victim of ransomware. What do we know and what don’t we know about what’s happened to City Hall computers? Remember that Elyria police raid, where a whole bunch of guys in SWAT gear stormed into the wrong house and a kid had to go to the hospital as a result? How is Elyria now claiming that police were completely justified in how they handled this case? In a bunch of lawsuits that could affect everyone who has owned or leased a car, tire-makers are accused of conspiring to fix prices. How will Northeast Ohio get a front-row seat as these cases unfold? Have the Cleveland Guardians made changes at Progressive Field that created a home-run producing wind tunnel in one part of the outfield? Akron is converting that mass shooting from last week, when more than two dozen where injured and one killed, into something positive. What did it announce that will help future victims of gun violence? Marcia Fudge recently stepped down as Joe Biden’s HUD secretary, ending nearly 50 years in public service, and reporter Sabrina Eaton recently talked to Fudge about what’s next. What did Fudge have to say? The temperature never rose above 70 on Monday. That seems cool for June 10th, but apparently, it’s pretty common. How often do we have years with June highs in the 60s? We have a goofy election bill that has sponsors in both chambers of the Ohio Legislature. It comes from Theresa Gavarone, who is widely known for absurd legislative proposals. What would this do? We have an Apple podcasts channel exclusively for this podcast. Subscribe here. Do you get your podcasts on Spotify? Find us here. RadioPublic is another popular podcast vehicle, and we are here. On Google Podcasts, we are here. On PodParadise, find us here. And on PlayerFM, we are here. Read the automated transcript below. Because it’s a computer-generated transcript, it contains many errors and misspellings. Chris (00:01.119) Couple days ago, we reported that Ohio is running out of money because revenues are down. But today we’re talking about spending a lot of money. It’s Today in Ohio, the news podcast discussion from cleveland .com and the Plain Dealer. I’m Chris Quinn here with Lisa Garvin, Laura Johnston, and Leila Tassi. All right, Lisa, we know the State House provided lots of help to Cleveland in its version of the capital budget. Now we know what the Senate version contains. More goodies for Northeast Ohio, but at a major dollar cost to taxpayers. Lisa (00:32.654) Yes, and the Senate did pile on to the House’s version of the budget. So the total between the House and Senate for Cuyahoga County is $83 million. Senate Bill 288 unveiled yesterday gives $76 million in one -time funds to Cuyahoga County from the Senate. That includes $20 million for that land bridge project, $1 million for a new women’s pro soccer stadium, $8 million. to create 3 .5 million square feet of offices, retail, apartments, entertainment space between the western edge of Tower City to the river. And that of course is part of Bedrock’s $3 .5 billion proposal for that area. $2 million goes to the Rock Hall of Fame in addition to $5 million from the house. And then $2 million to the Cleveland Zoo to build an indoor primate forest. $5 million goes to the Port of Cleveland to modernize its bulk terminal. And other counties got some goodies as well. Geauga County got 6 .6 million from the Senate. That’s $7 million total across both chambers. Lake County, $6 .4 million, up to $8 .7 million total. Summit County got $10 .5 million from the Senate, and that’s $24 .4 million total. And that includes $3 .8 million for new sewer work in New Franklin and $5 million for Akron’s Cascade Plaza. Chris (01:57.055) As this story was rolling out yesterday, Laura asked the question, hey, how can they be spending this kind of money when we just said tax revenues are way down after years of the heady orgy of money flowing like water and spending it all over the place? Things have tightened up. And the answer is that things aren’t that dire. They’re just they’ve been down for a few months. We’re going to look at the budget in total. But it does seem that if you know austerity is coming, this is a lot of money to be spending. Lisa (02:28.654) But you know, I wonder with some of it, like the million dollars for the women’s soccer stadium, you know, they’re 89 million dollars they need to do that. So, you know, if that money doesn’t come, does this one million go away? So, you know, some of this money might be a little fluid. Chris (02:35.999) Hahaha. Chris (02:43.807) Yeah, it’s some of it is a token to it. It’s all good stuff. It’s all projects that that would be beneficial to everybody. I don’t know why the rock call keeps getting money because they get more donations than anybody I know. It’s it feels like we should be putting that money somewhere else than the rock call. But but I do wonder, we talked about this yesterday, the tightening of the budget. Are we going to look at this spending a couple years from now or a year from now, the way we look at the squandering of 50 million on the Med Mart by Cuyahoga County Council or the squandering of 66 million on their slush funds as they now are very tight as they want to build a new jail and a new courthouse. Will Ohio be the same way where we look back and say, boy, we had that money back. That was kind of luxury spending. Lisa (03:28.878) Hmm. Only time will tell. Chris (03:32.735) We’ll see. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. Okay, the good news is none of the personal financial information was hacked from Cleveland City Hall computers for the hundreds of thousands of people that have that information in those computers. The bad news is the city appears to be a victim of ransomware, although we won’t say it. Weylo, what do we know and what don’t we know about what’s happened to City Hall computers? Leila (03:47.687) you Leila (03:52.399) Yeah. Leila (03:58.863) You know, City Hall is closed today for a second day on account of what they’re mysteriously referring to as a cyber incident. And they’re not saying much about it. In fact, they called a press conference yesterday just to continue saying nothing and not answering questions. But cybersecurity experts told reporter Courtney Astolfi that it’s not uncommon for city officials to be pretty guarded with what information they release to the public in the immediate aftermath of these things. especially if they’re being advised by state and federal officials and cybersecurity experts, which the city is. But here’s what we do know that should be reassuring to people. Utility customer information and taxpayer information that’s held by Cleveland Central Collection Agency, those were not affected. And that’s what we were most worried about because of the load of personal and sensitive information that’s contained in the data those departments hold. Also not affected are city services like police, fire, EMS. the municipal court, recreation centers, trash pickup, airports, Cleveland water and CPP. So it’s unclear what exactly, what systems have been affected to the point that City Hall needs to be shut down. We’re still waiting for answers on that. The cybersecurity experts say that this is most likely a ransomware attack just because that really is the most prevalent type of cybersecurity incident these days. That’s where the hacker will access a computer system, then encrypt it and shut it down to prevent normal users from accessing the information it contains. And then the hacker will contact the owner and ask for money. And if the owner pays, the hacker will send them a key to unlock the encrypted data and regain normal access to the system. And if you pay, your business or government gets back up and running more quickly than if you refuse to pay. And in that case, you’re going to go to your backup systems and… You have to make sure they’re all clean of ransomware and that takes time. So Mayor Justin Bibb, like you said, Chris, wouldn’t even confirm or deny that the issue here is ransomware. And he wouldn’t answer questions about whether the city would pay the ransom in such a case or whether the city’s systems were even adequately backed up. Chris (06:10.175) And there might be a good reason for this. They have the advice of federal investigators and experts on this kind of thing. They know that the if it is ransomware, the people doing it are paying attention to media reports. And so they probably don’t want to tip their hand. You and I were wondering yesterday the the city claimed it’s this isn’t because we have antiquated computers. But you and I are wondering yesterday if actually the antiquated level of their computers is a protection. We all remember when Leila (06:32.079) Mm -hmm. Chris (06:39.423) We were trying to get refunds from the city for the income taxes we paid while we worked from home. We marveled at how much of that was on paper and not electronic. And if, if they have lots of things on paper, then that stuff can’t be hacked. They have backups in the paper, in the paper parts. So maybe being a dinosaur helps them here and they can just pull out the abacus and start figuring out what’s owed and what’s not. Leila (06:49.871) Yeah. Yeah. Leila (07:06.703) That very well could be. Yeah, the city denied that their aging systems made the city more vulnerable and they said they’ve made a lot of significant investments to enhance the security of their operations and they’ve been using best practices to maintain cybersecurity. But because the bad actors in cases like this are always evolving and coming up with new innovative ways to launch their attacks, they just thwarted the system. But I do think also this is the first time in City Hall history that the antiquated system of doing business is actually a protection and a bonus for them. Chris (07:49.407) Yeah, the hackers might be used to dealing with much more modern tech and they may not be able to read Morse code and some of the old coding that they have on their computers. So we’ll have to see. Hopefully they will come out at some point and explain what they’re doing. We’re going to try and look at what’s happened in other cities that have been hit by this. If they paid, how much did it cost them? If they didn’t pay, how long did it take to get up and running? Leila (07:52.911) Hahaha! Leila (07:59.791) Smoke signal, yeah. Chris (08:16.543) There was an odd moment apparently you described in the press conference where our reporter Courtney Stoffe asked if they had adequate backups and what was the description of the smirk that she saw? Leila (08:28.751) Yeah, they just sort of looked at one another and kind of smirked is what it sounded like. Who knows what was behind the smirk? Maybe there was a full, who knows? But we kind of saw that as some… Chris (08:33.023) Like, what’s a backup? Chris (08:40.959) They were probably smirking. They were probably smirking because the backups are on five and a quarter floppy disks or something like that. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. Remember that Elyria police raid where a whole bunch of guys in SWAT gear stormed into the wrong house and a kid had to go to the hospital as a result? Laura, how is it now that we have a finding that the whole thing was justified? Leila (08:49.455) the laura (09:05.479) Because that’s what the Lorraine County Sheriff’s Department decided. They did their own investigation and they said, okay, Elyria Police, you did all the right things, which some of this information is just mind blowing and leads to so many more questions. Because this was a pretty awful case. The Elyria Police Department believed that a 12 -year -old boy helped steal guns. And so they went to this house on Parmley Avenue in Elyria and they based their search on information from the boy’s school records as well as past drug complaints on the home and the boy himself. I mean, they called him into the office at the middle school where he was and asked him his address and he gave this address of 331 Parmoli Avenue, which clearly he didn’t live at, which makes no sense to me because who was living there but the tenants niece and her husband and their baby who had breathing problems and then the Illyria police kind of. gave them nine seconds or something to answer the door before they kicked in windows and there were flashbang smoke things and this poor baby ended up going to the hospital. Chris (10:11.967) The thing that throws me is that they claim all is well when obviously all is not well This was a terrible mistake and it caused real damage there was a history of of having been to this house and so I This seems this is why people don’t have faith in police and police investigations to come out and say clear. Everything’s good. It’s not good laura (10:18.823) Right. Chris (10:38.431) People suffered as a result of going to the wrong place. So further investigation probably was necessary here before you kick down doors and break windows and terrorize this woman and her child. I reject the whole notion that all is well, it’s clear. The claim by the city. Well, you know, we wanted to see this because we wanted to give people confidence that our police did the right thing. No one has that confidence after watching what happened here. laura (10:40.135) Mm -hmm. laura (11:04.071) Yeah, I don’t know how you can say all as well. The mayor put out this statement where he said, this report confirms the Illyria Police Department properly followed its policies and procedures as well as the law. It’s like, well, then it needs new policies and procedures because even if you followed them, the end result was terrible. So let’s look at that and work backward. What I don’t understand is how they say they confirmed that this boy had said he lived there. Chris (11:17.599) Right. laura (11:31.815) that there was the firearms permit listing this address and that while there were previous visits by police, they couldn’t have known that that boy wasn’t living there. It’s like when you go to a house for a complaint, don’t you ask the people’s names? Chris (11:46.751) I would I would have been so much better as they get this investigation where they say, look, for the letter of the law, we believe police did the right thing. And then the mayor stands up and says, look, yes, by the letter of the law, the police did the right thing. But clearly, this is a bad end and we need to do better. So we’re analyzing this to look at should there have been extra steps, should we do things? Humility, apologies. You know, it’s just instead of see. laura (11:53.703) Yeah. laura (12:11.527) Mm -hmm. Chris (12:14.335) Proof, we’re all good. We back the police, the police did the right thing. They didn’t do the right thing. Clearly, this is not the way the public should be treated. Innocent people should not end up in the hospital. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. In a bunch of lawsuits that could affect everyone who was owned or leased a car, tire makers are accused of conspiring to fix prices. Lisa, how will Northeast Ohio get a front row seat as these cases unfold? Lisa (12:41.742) A federal judge panel has assigned 35 price fixing lawsuits to district judge Sarah Lioi and Akron and more lawsuits are likely to come. They accuse Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Nokian, Gideon, and Como of conspiring to increase tire prices by 21 % since 2021. That’s 70 % higher than the inflation rate and this was happening as rubber prices fell and sales dropped during COVID. Some of these companies were actually raided by the European commission back in January and then these lawsuits soon followed. The cases are consolidated in what’s called a multi -district litigation. This is the first one for Leoy and her 17 years on the federal bench, but we have another, the Cleveland judge, Dan Polster, had a similar multi -district litigation for the opioid case. So yeah, Cleveland’s got a front row for this. Chris (13:33.887) And our audience is very aware of who Sarah Lioia, she was the judge in the Jimmy DeMora case. I hope this works. I’ve had to spend a fortune on tires because I keep getting nails on them. I don’t know how many sets of tires I’ve bought in the last 10 years. And they do seem prohibitively expensive. And if it’s true, they all got together to jack up the prices. There’s going to be millions and millions and millions of dollars that have to be paid back. Everybody that’s got a car. who’s replaced the set of tires would be affected by this. Lisa (14:05.774) And these are all the big tire people. I mean, I bought some cheapo tires that they don’t even make anymore for my car. I had to get two just recently and I got a pretty good price. But yeah, these are the big boys and they got together apparently. Chris (14:18.463) I wonder how far back the payments would be. We’ll go back 10 years or 15 years. How far back this conspiracy goes if it did happen. But we’ll be there. We’ll know all the details as they come out. This is going to be an interesting case that results in real dollars for a lot of people. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. All right, later we’ll have the Cleveland Guardians who are on a tear this season made changes a progressive field that created a home run producing wind tunnel in a part of the outfield that accounts for part of their success. Leila (14:53.615) This is a fascinating story that blends science and sports. It’s a great read. So earlier in the week, the video started circulating on social media that included speculation about recent renovations at Progressive Field that removed the right field shipping containers and sections of upper deck seating in both right and left fields and how that could have created a wind tunnel effect. The implication was that the wind tunnel gave Guardians hitters an advantage on balls hit to right and increased the chances of home runs. Indeed, the Guardians offense has made a massive leap forward this year in its ability to hit home runs after they finished dead last in the majors last year with 124 total. This year, they’re tied for eighth most in the league with 72. That’s more than half of their total from last season with just a third of the season gone by. So far this season, home runs and doubles at progressive fields specifically are up more than 20 % over league average. And because they have such sophisticated ways of analyzing those hits, we can tell that the nature of some of them suggests that, you know, they might not have been home runs, but for this wind tunnel effect. But the guardians, players and executives reject all of this nonsense. And they say, you can’t draw those conclusions after just 29 home games. They say the teams, upward trend in home runs has more to do with the way they’re swinging than any progressive field factors. That said, the physics and aerodynamics experts say, yeah, it’s too early to confirm the theory of the season, but with enough data, it really could bear out. So we’ll see the jury still out on that. Reporter Joe Noga tells us that before Cleveland made the changes to the ballpark, they did quite a bit of work on wind studies and they also engaged outside experts to help understand what, if any, impact. should expect on the field. In fact, it was one of the very first things they did when they were planning the changes. And the results told them that the changes to the ballpark shouldn’t have any effect on the way the ballpark played. I think probably the best quote of the story comes from starting pitcher Tanner Bibby, who said that hitting has improved on account of the hard work and nothing else, but the wind tunnel theory is just a very convenient narrative for the naysayers. He said, Leila (17:14.191) It’s not like we turn off the wind when the other team is hitting, which is an excellent point. Chris (17:20.575) I, if this turns out though, to, to be scientifically proven, you could see a whole new era of stadium design that is set up to push balls out of the park. I mean, what are you going to do? Put gigantic fans out there to keep the balls aloft. It’s a, when this first came up, we thought it was complete hooey, but our sports editor, Dave Campbell said, no, no, no, it’s not complete hooey. There might be something there. We need to really look at this closely. Leila (17:28.079) That’s right, completely open. Chris (17:48.095) So this will be an interesting season to watch the end. They are an exciting team. They are one of the hottest teams in baseball and they had three sweeps in a row and they just keep winning. Lisa (17:58.702) Well, but you know, there are other ballparks like the Mile High Stadium where the Colorado Rockies play. Because the air is thinner there, I believe they have more home runs and long balls there because of that. You know, and then the Astros, they used to open the roof around the seventh or eighth inning after the sun went down, but now they don’t do that because they keep the roof closed. If it’s closed at the beginning of the game, it stays closed. They don’t open it at all. Chris (18:10.527) Right. Chris (18:23.551) Is that because it changed the dynamic of the game? Lisa (18:26.83) Some people claim that, yes. Chris (18:29.311) Yeah, the Guardians can’t change the density of the air in Cleveland, but they can change the aerodynamics and the denials are almost too strong. No, no, no, no, no. This is just about hitting. So very fun. It’ll be interesting to. Leila (18:43.951) On the other hand, are we seeing more home runs hit by the other teams that are playing on our field? I mean, that’s what I want to know. Chris (18:51.839) Well, but maybe, but maybe the answer is they designed this and they told their players, yeah, hit it in that direction. I don’t know. It’s a fun story. Fun to talk about fun team. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. Akron is converting that mass shooting from last week when more than two dozen were injured and one was killed into something positive. Laura, what did it announce that will help future victims of gun violence? Lisa (18:59.822) Hehehe laura (19:19.623) This is a new fund called the Gun Violence Response Fund. And this is in response to that mass shooting last weekend at a birthday party on June 2nd. Hundreds of people were gathered near the Kelly and 8th avenues and they don’t know who did this. It was drive by. One person died. 28 people were injured, which is an increase from what they originally said. So the Akron Community Foundation, the Victim Assistance Program of Summit County and other organizations came together to decide. that they’re going to put money into this fund to help the victims in whatever way they need. And they can’t really give examples because they’re saying they’re so different. But obviously, if you’re injured and violent, like you’re going to have some hospital bills, you’re going to have trauma, and you’re going to need help. So City Council of Akron, they’re going to put in $150 ‚000. The United Way made a contribution. And they want to help the people of violence. It’s just, it’s really sad that they have to, right? that these people were victimized in the first place. Chris (20:21.855) And there is a state violence victim fund, but this is on top of that. They’re saying that when you get shot and have that kind of trauma, it’s expensive to be dealt with and we want to make sure people get what they need. So it’s a beneficial program. It’s nice to try and do something good out of something so bad. laura (20:26.983) Mm -hmm. laura (20:35.815) Right. laura (20:42.759) Yeah, there’s going to be an advisory committee of residents helping to decide the priorities. So that’s good that there’s involvement and buy -in from the community. And then victims who want support, they can call a hotline. So it’s not like they just have to wait to hear if they’ve been chosen. So if you’ve been a victim of violence and trauma in Summit County, you could call this number. It’s 330 -376 -0040 and ask for some help. Chris (21:08.511) Okay, you’re listening to Today in Ohio. Marcia Fudge recently stepped down as Joe Biden’s HUD secretary, ending nearly a half century in public service. Reporter Sabrina Eaton recently talked to Fudge about what’s next. Lisa, what did Fudge have to say? Lisa (21:24.462) Yeah, she is joining the Cleveland office of Taft, Statenius and Hollister law firm, which has 875 attorneys across several cities and it’s named for the prominent Republican political Taft family. They are delighted to hire Fudge, the chief diversity officer and co -partner in charge in Cleveland. Adrian Thompson says, with Fudge on the team, our growth will be exponential and we will continue our commitment to justice and our communities. As you know, Fudge was named HUD secretary in 2021 and she stepped down this March without saying what she was going to do next. And she said that I wanted to come home. She’s been in public office, as you said, for, you know, half a century. She’s been away from home basically for 18 years and she wants to spend more time with her mother who is 93 years old and still active. And she wants to make time for hobbies. She likes to play cards. She likes to swim. She says her house looks neglected. So she wants to make some home improvements. And also she says now she’s free to speak up on lots of issues that were kind of disallowed by the Hatch Act while she was in office, you know, including what the Biden administration has done. She will be on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and she wants to reach out to people who don’t understand the significance of his accomplishments. And she says she really feels good about her time with HUD, but she says she won’t miss Congress. She says they’ve actually become jaded and difficult to deal with. Chris (22:50.975) Card playing is a lost art. It’s interesting to see somebody that says they want to get back to playing cards. I was wondering what game she played. The part of this that really came through, and I don’t think we think of it often when people go to Washington to do public service, is how much you do give up. She talked about she needs to work on her house because it looks abandoned because she’s never there to do it. And after all those years of being in DC or going back and forth, Lisa (22:58.03) Me too. Chris (23:20.863) You gotta think that things can get away from you like that. When you live in a house all the time, things get away from you. But you give all that up. And her mother is elderly and she wants to make sure she gets time with her that she hasn’t had to have. It is a sacrifice when people go to Washington and spend so much time in those positions. And she certainly has given plenty of that time. Lisa (23:37.806) Mm -hmm. Lisa (23:45.262) And I’m assuming, is she single? I’m not sure that, you know, you know, so if you had a husband, you know, they could have helped do some of these things while she was in office. But yeah, good for her. laura (23:54.983) Can I just point out she’s 71 years old? She’s stepping down to go work for a law firm so she has more time. She’s 71. I hope she gets to enjoy her retirement. It sounds like she’s still going to be working quite a bit, but hats off to her. I’m glad she’s still going. Lisa (23:58.766) Right. Chris (24:14.047) All right, you’re listening to Today in Ohio. Check out that story. It’s on cleveland .com. The temperature never rose above 70 on Monday, which we all thought seemed cool for June 10th. But Leila, apparently it’s pretty common. How often do we have years with June highs only in the 60s? Leila (24:32.079) It feels so wrong, doesn’t it? Like we’ve cruelly fast forwarded to September or something. But our data reporter, Zach Smith, tells us that every June since 1974, there’s been at least one day when the high temperature never reaches 70 degrees. Last year, four days were below 70. The first was June 12th and last was June 27th. So this means that all the cooler June days in 2023 happened later. than the one Cleveland experienced yesterday, which was obviously June 10th. In fact, only three years since 1950 did we not have any June days with a high temperature lower than 70 degrees. They were 1952, 53, and 1973. That said, Zach says those cooler days in June are happening less frequently in recent years. Since 1950, there have been an average of four and a half days each June with a high temperature below 70 degrees. In the last decade, however, from 2014 to 2023, that average dropped to just two and a half days, with 2015 having the most with five cooler June days. So that’s probably why this weather feels so strange to us. It’s just not as common as it used to be. Leila (26:00.207) Can you hear me, Chris? Chris (26:02.271) Yeah, yeah, you dropped out. Did everybody hear you finish? Or was it just me who lost you? Yeah, you’ve been dropping out for a couple of days. Okay, I’ll have to edit this out. So I wonder if there’s part of this is the psychology of what we think it should be. We think of June, July and August as the hot months, but really, if you look back, September and even October are warm months now. And so it just… Lisa (26:02.574) Now we can. Leila (26:05.935) Did you? Lisa (26:07.182) No, I did not. Chris (26:30.303) We expect June to be warm. We’re ready for summer to begin. But clearly what Zach found is what we had yesterday is very, very common. And it’s us that are kind of out of kilter. Leila (26:42.799) That’s right. It feels like the seasons have really shifted. It’s so strange how we’re getting cooler in the late spring, early summer, and then, like you said, Chris, hotter in the late summer toward fall. laura (26:47.303) Mm -hmm. laura (26:59.623) But we did have that couple streak of days that got close to 90 a couple weeks ago. It was Sunday, a particular Sunday, I remember being really warm. So I think that tricks you too. Yeah, it is, it is. Chris (27:11.327) Well, and we’re headed there. We’re next week is looking pretty hot. So we’ll be thinking back to the sixties, I think when it’s 92 and it’s supposed to be a lot of rain too. So, but that’s all right. It’s summer. We want to be hot. We want it to be steamy. Yesterday felt like it should not have been that cold. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. Lisa (27:15.534) Right, right, right. laura (27:21.351) Uhhh… Chris (27:33.727) We have a very goofy election bill that has sponsors in both chambers of the Ohio legislature. It comes from Teresa Gavarone, who was widely known for absurd legislative proposals. But if this happens, it’s going to turn elections upside down a bit. Laura, what would it do? laura (27:50.727) I would completely overhaul the state’s voting system and not for any specific reason. It’s not like they can point to a problem here. This House bill, which is 472 and there’s a companion bill in the Senate, 258 pages. I know that everybody wants to go read this. It would require the state to replace all its voting machines and allow citizens to propose requiring hand counting of elections ballots on a county by county basis, which sounds like a terrible idea from someone who counts. my daughter’s Girl Scout boxes of cookies every year and gets a different number of tag alongs and thin mints every time. I do not want anyone hand counting my ballots. This sounds awful. It would require Ohioans to use a photo ID to register to vote, not to just cast a ballot like under current law and the voter registration system be converted to blockchain, which makes me want to roll my eyes. Chris (28:43.487) I really am surprised at how much they’re seeking to torpedo the election system. This would allow any voter to seek 2 % of the signatures and get a hand count, which would make the vote counting take forever and possibly get in the way of the certification of the vote. This seems like it’s actually intended to turn Ohio’s elections into something you can’t trust. One, require voting machines that aren’t made yet. So you can’t get voting machines to do what they want them to do to allow any whack job to say, I want a hand count, which is not nearly as accurate. All the elections officials in the state are saying, don’t do this. One group after another has said, what are you doing? This seeks to undermine our entire election system. And yet they could shove this through with no discussion in the lame duck. laura (29:11.815) Mm. Right, they don’t exist. laura (29:27.079) Right. Chris (29:39.455) That’s who Matt Huffman and Jason Stevens have been, the guys that are undermining everybody’s faith in government. I have a hard time believing they would actually do it though, because it is so bad and they will be criticized usually for pursuing it. laura (29:54.087) Right, the most vocal supporters of this bill are a right -wing citizens group whose top members believe the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread fraud, which is not true. It does make you wonder, are they trying to create questions about the election system so that if they don’t get the result they want, they can cry that it was fraudulent? Chris (30:12.159) Right, right. This is a despicable undermining of our faith in the elections by the elected officials. There’s nothing about this that’s a good idea. And yet they are they are pushing it and it’s in both houses. And you’re here, even Frank LaRose, the guy who is supposed to protect our system, say, well, I like parts of it. I don’t like parts of it. So I’ll keep talking to him when he should be saying what he always says. We have one of the safest systems ever. laura (30:40.263) Mm -hmm. Chris (30:40.863) and people should have full faith in it, we shouldn’t muck it up. Nobody who’s involved in elections wants this. It’s the fringe, crazy people that are trying to destroy our election system. It’s a dangerous moment and it’s part of this march toward fascism that this country seems to be on. And we’re all just standing by. You’re listening to Today in Ohio. That’s it for the Tuesday episode. Thanks, Lisa. Thanks, Laura. Thanks, Leila. Thank you for listening. We’ll be back Wednesday talking about the news.

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