September 29, 2022
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Guns in classrooms, transgender sports ban win approval

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State lawmakers took action on dozens of items addressing everything from guns in schools to statewide ballot issues to spending billions of dollars.

Despite a broken air conditioning system and sweltering heat, state lawmakers buckled down for a marathon session on Wednesday to knock items off their to-do list before leaving town for an extended break.

Decisions made this week will impact your kids’ schools, what you’ll vote on in November, when you can start betting on sports and how Ohio will spend billions of dollars.

Here is a recap from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau team:

Place your bets: sports gambling starts Jan. 1, 2023 

The Ohio Casino Control Commission this week decided sports betting in Ohio would start Jan. 1, 2023. That means legal betting on Ohio State football and other fall sports will be missed this year.

Ohioans will be able to place their bets on sports starting Jan. 1, missing much of the college and professional football seasons.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission announced Wednesday that Ohio’s sports betting program would have a universal start date of Jan. 1 to allow time for applications and vetting of those that want to offer sports gaming.

Missing much of Ohio’s football season will have a cost: an estimated $1 billion in lost bets on teams like the Ohio State University Buckeyes, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, according to one PlayOhio.com analysis.

Training teachers to carry guns in classrooms

Under current Ohio law, school boards can allow teachers and other staff to carry guns at school but there has been a debate over how much training is required. Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign a bill that would set training requirements at about 24 hours.

Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign into law a measure that lowers the required training for school staff to carry firearms on campus.

Under current law, school boards can allow teachers and other staff to carry guns at school, but there has been a debate over how much training is required. An Ohio Supreme Court ruling in January 2021 said those carrying must be trained as peace officers, which requires about 728 hours.

House Bill 99 would knock that down to about 24 hours of training.

Banning transgender girls from girls’ sports

Rachel Jones and her daughters Julia, 8, Felicia, 13, and Sophia, 4, listen to speakers during a  protest against transgender sports bill at the Ohio Statehouse. Lawmakers in the Ohio House adopted a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating in girls sports in high school and college.

Late Wednesday – the first day of Pride Month – the Ohio House took a back door route to ban transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports in high school and college. 

The proposal would require transgender female athletes to join male or co-ed teams. If a student’s biological sex is called into question, they must get a signed statement from a doctor verifying it. Schools that knowingly violate these rules could face lawsuits. 



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