The Senate health care bill fizzled out Monday after two more senators announced they wouldn't support it, bringing the total to four and leaving Republicans with less than 50 senators who would vote yes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then announced that he would put forward a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act after a two year transition period.
Rep. Jim Renacci joined Jasen Tuesday to give his thoughts on the health care bill, why he will support a repeal bill in the House, and what should be done to fix the health care system.
It hasn't exactly been a secret that Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is planning a run for Governor. But she officially launched her campaign Friday in a City Club Forum in Cleveland. She joined Jasen on Monday to talk about the campaign and her ideas on the opiate crisis, jobs, and education.
Akron officials are making the case for the proposed 0.25 percent income tax increase that is expected to appear on the ballot later this year. The $16 million projected annual revenue increase will be earmarked for police, fire, and road improvements.
Chief Clarence Tucker of the Akron Fire Department joined Jasen to explain the dismal condition of several of his firehouses, discuss additional needs that could be fulfilled by the added tax revenue, and talk about what his department has done to be fiscally responsible.
The Akron Public Schools announced the elimination of 93 positions Monday, including 31 teachers and 35 tutors. Much of the blame for the layoffs was placed on the merger of Kenmore High School and Garfield High School.
Akron School Board President Patrick Bravo and School Board member Lisa Mansfield joined Jasen Tuesday to talk about what the layoffs will mean for students and whether some of the laid off staff members could still get jobs within the district.
Reaction came fast Thursday to Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan's proposal to raise the city income tax from 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. Akron City Council President Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8), Budget Committe Chairman Mike Freeman (D-Ward 9), and Councilwoman Tara Mosley Samples (D-Ward 5) joined Jasen to give their thoughts on the plan and respond to concerns raised by the listeners.
Greg McNeil from Cover2 Resources hopes test strips that detect fentanyl in heroin will soon be as available as Narcan and needle exchanges.
Inspired by a similar program in New York City, McNeil is working with the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County to implement a pilot program in the Cleveland area. The strips, which cost around $1, only detect fentanyl but a similar strip to detect carfentanil is in the works.
McNeil joined Jasen to talk about the program.
There is no shortage of ideas about what to do with the land opened up by the removal of part of Akron's Innerbelt. An event held this weekend at Kent State University helped to work through some of those ideas.
A design charette, defined by Merriam-Webster as "the intense final effort made by architectural students to complete their solutions to a given architectural problem in an allotted time or the period in which such an effort is made," drew architects, designers, and community stakeholders to work on concepts for the soon vacant plot of land. Architect Craig Thompson said he hopes to have similar gatherings in Akron neighborhoods soon to gauge how the community wants the land used.
Thompson joined Jasen to discuss what the charette participants came up with.
We're more than five months away from Election Day, but one ballot issue is already gaining attention and filling up the airwaves.
The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act would require the state to pay no more than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for prescription drugs. It would affect state agencies that purchase prescription drugs including Medicaid, the Department of Health, retirement plans, prisons, and workers compensation.
Dennis Willard, spokesman for Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices, joined Jasen to speak in favor of the ballot issue while Dale Butland of Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue presented the opposition.
There's another local candidate in the race for Secretary of State.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) announced her candidacy earlier this week. She joined The Jasen Sokol Show on Friday to talk about her decision to run and the changes she plans to make if she's elected.
The large field of contenders for Governor got larger Monday with the announcement that Nan Whaley will run for the office.
Whaley, who has served as Mayor of Dayton since 2014, joined Jasen on Tuesday to talk about why she decided to run, some of the issues she'll run on, and how she plans to set herself apart from an already crowded field of candidates.
The 2018 gubernatorial race is heating up as another Republican contender has entered the race.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced his candidacy late Saturday night with a video posted to his social media accounts. On Monday, he joined Jasen to talk about his decision to run for Governor and some of the issues he'll run on.
It's the first Saturday in May, and that means it's time for the Run for the Roses. 20 horses will go to the post at what is expected to be a rainy Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire is the favorite at 4-1, but the possibility of a sloppy track has the experts looking for a mudder.
Rich Ruda, track handicapper for JACK Thistledown Racino, and Max Barton, executive director of the Canton Museum of Art and a longtime owner of racehorses, joined Jasen to share their picks and how they'll play the Derby.
Maurice Clarett knows what it's like to be on the inside. He's using that experience to try to reform the system.
Clarett, who helped Ohio State to the 2002 BCS National Championship while a running back for the Buckeyes, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for robbery and concealed weapons charges in 2006. After he was released early in 2010, he became a motivational speaker and is working with substance abuse recovery organizations in his native Youngstown.
On Wednesday, Clarett will return to Columbus for an event sponsored by the U.S. Justice Action Network in support of two criminal justice reform initiatives. Senate Bill 66 would widen eligibility for substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration, while an element of Gov. John Kasich's state budget proposal would allow for more funding to house nonviolent, first-time offenders in community-based facilities instead of prison.
Clarett joined Jasen to talk about changes he would like to see made in the criminal justice system.
A group of tech, business, and design experts spent ten hours Saturday working on some of the pressing issues facing Akron.
By the end of the Hack N Akron hackathon, participants had developed branding for Akron neighborhoods including logos and websites, assembled an online booking system for rooms in Akron's community learning centers, and built an app that can search the city's land parcel data and break it down by usage.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan told the group of volunteers before they started their work that the city intends to utilize the group's work.
Courtney Gras, Executive Director of event organizer Launch League, joined Jasen to talk about what the group accomplished and what they plan to do in future hackathons.