File Ohio casino

The Jack Casino in downtown Cleveland.

Ohio saw record gambling revenues in 2019

Gambling revenues from Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos hit a record $1.94 billion in 2019, according to the state’s lottery and casino control commissions.

Since the first casino opened in May 2012, the state has pulled in $11.9 billion in gambling revenue, state Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, said in a column.

Last year, state lawmakers debated legalizing sports wagering in the Buckeye State. The proposal could have generated $7 million in tax revenue for the state in the first year and $9 million in the second year, proponents said at the time.

Bill would create a database of sexual exploitation convicts

State lawmakers are considering legislation to create a public database of people convicted of sexual exploitation.

Under Senate Bill 247, sponsored by state Sens. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, and Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster, the database would include the name, address, photo and conviction information for offenders. People would be automatically removed after five years on the list, but an offender can petition for early removal.

The proposal would also increase penalties for purchasing sex from a third- to a first-degree misdemeanor. It would mandate first-time offenders pay a fine of up to $1,500 and attend an education and treatment program.

Bill would require additional visibility measures for animal-drawn vehicles

Two state lawmakers have introduced legislation to require animal-drawn vehicles in Ohio to increase their level of visibility.

The bill, introduced by state Reps. Scott Wiggam, R-Wayne County, and Darrell Kick, R-Loudonville, would require animal-drawn vehicles to use new reflective tape that provides higher visibility. It would also mandate a flashing yellow light on the top rear part of animal-drawn vehicles, including buggies and pony carts.

There were more than 120 crashes in Ohio involving animal-drawn vehicles in 2019, according to numbers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

State Democrats laud passage of PRO Act

State Democrats celebrated the passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (PRO Act) in the U.S. House. The measure aims to protect workers’ right to organize.

“The Pro Act is a long overdue step to make a more level playing field for workers. When hardworking people join together and negotiate for a better life, it builds a stronger economy, a stronger state, and a stronger nation,” state Rep. Brigid Kelly, D-Cincinnati, said in a news release. “I now urge the U.S. Senate to stand with workers and pass this legislation quickly.”