Ohio’s new leader of public education is out less than a month after he was sworn in. Democrats and doctors said Republicans were trying to mandate anatomy exams for girls who want to play sports, and questions continued about who will be on August’s primary ballot.
We break down what it all means on this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained.
It’s a podcast from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau where we catch you up on the state’s political news in 15 minutes or less. This week, host Anna Staver was joined by reporter Jessie Balmert.
1) Gun control in Washington
The U.S. House of Representatives voted for a package of gun control reforms that would raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21, ban bump stocks and require the safe storage of firearms.
Most Republicans voted against the bill, but Ohio outgoing Rep. Anthony Gonzalez was one of five GOP members who voted for it.
2) Internal and external examinations
Democrats and doctors raised concerns this week about how a proposed law would confirm whether a female student who wanted to play on a sports team was, in fact, “biologically female.”
House Bill 151, which passed the Ohio House in a late-night session last week, says students whose sex is questioned would have to submit to at least one or possibly three different tests.
And one of those tests would be an internal and external examination of their anatomy.
3) Who will be on the August ballot?
Another part of the prolonged redistricting process is now in the hands of Ohio courts: Whether it was fair to require candidates to file before the maps were finalized.
Republican and Democratic candidates both say it was not only unfair but unconstitutional, and they’ve filed lawsuits in both the Ohio Supreme Court and federal court.
If successful, the courts could let certain candidates shift districts or get onto the ballot. They could also reopen the filing deadline for anyone who wants to run.
4) In and Out
Less than a month after the Ohio State Board of Education chose Steve Dackin as its new superintendent of public instruction, the board announced his resignation.
“Concerns have been raised about my recent acceptance of the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction,” Dackin wrote in a letter. “I don’t want ‘revolving door’ questions to distract from the important work ahead for schools, educators and especially the children.”
Dackin, who used to serve on the state board, had been in charge of the hiring process for the state superintendent job before resigning to apply.
Listen to “Ohio Politics Explained” on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and TuneIn Radio. The episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.
The USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.