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Outbreak Statehouse

The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock
/
WOSU

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss how a slew of COVID-19 cases in the Ohio General Assembly could derail this year's lame duck session. Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau reporter Andy Chow joins the show.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

In this week's episode:

Sick Time

Lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate have some unexpected time off during a critical period. The Ohio Senate canceled its session scheduled for Thursday after the House called off its Wednesday session.

That follows news that at least four Ohio House members tested positive for COVID-19 after being in committee meetings last week. House Speaker Bob Cupp says the outbreaks and committee meetings are not necessarily related, despite the fact that many lawmakers are not wearing masks or observing physical distancing.

Meanwhile, there is a long roster of bills that lawmakers are hoping to push through before the end of the session. The nuclear power plant bailout law that is mired in a $61 million bribary scandal remains on the books despite calls to repeal it. And a "Stand Your Ground" gun bill is in play, as well.

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill limiting his power to impose quarantines, and there is a possibility of an override if lawmakers can return from thier own self-imposed quarantine.

Snollygoster Of The Week: The Big Ten Conference

This week, the athletic directors at Big Ten universities voted to change their rules to prop up Ohio State. You may recall the conference initially canceled its season because of coronavirus, then reversed course and reinstated the season with the caveat that teams needed to play at least six of their eight scheduled games to make the conference title game.

Ohio State fell short and only got to play five, since the University of Michigan canceled this weekend's matchup, so did the next-best team from the Big Ten East get to play for the title? No!

Instead, athletic directors voted to change the rules and drop the minimum game requirement to let Ohio State in.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and son. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.
Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.