Ohio’s speed limit is going up to 70 on July 1 on some highways

Published: Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 10:40 AM
Updated: Monday, April 01, 2013 @ 5:17 PM


            Ohio lawmakers reached a deal this week on a transportation budget bill that includes bumping up the highway speed limit to 70 miles per hour.
            Nick Daggy

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The top speed limit in Ohio is officially going up this summer to 70 miles per hour.

Gov. John Kasich on Monday signed into law a two-year, $3.87 billion transportation budget. Among provisions of the law is the higher max speed limit, which will apply to interstates outside of urban areas starting on July 1.

That means Ohio’s top speed limit will match those of bordering states except for Pennsylvania, where the top speed limit is still 65 miles per hour, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Under the law, motorists will also be allowed to drive 65 mph on urban outer belts such as I-675, I-275, and I-270. Drivers can also go 60 mph on all two-lane state highways outside city limits and 55 on interstates in congested areas.

The Ohio Department of Transportation still needs to figure out which roads qualify as “outside of urban areas,” said agency spokesman Steve Faulkner. Until that vetting process is done, Faulkner said he couldn’t say where exactly the speed limit would go up to 70 miles per hour.

ODOT doesn’t know how much it will cost to change or replace speed limit signs, but the Ohio Legislative Service Commission last year estimated it would cost $80,000 to change the speed limit signs on all of Ohio’s interstates.

Legislators have floated increasing the speed limit in the past, including on a 2012 bill that resulted in the $80,000 estimate, but proposals were always scuttled over concerns from law enforcement. This year, although insurance and environmental groups expressed concerns, the Ohio State Highway Patrol chose not to oppose the measure.

Among other provisions of the transportation bill include authorizing the state to issue $1.5 billion in bonds backed by future Ohio Turnpike tolls. Ninety percent of the bond revenues would have to be spent in Northern Ohio.

The remaining 10 percent of the turnpike money could hypothetically be spent on road projects in southwestern Ohio. State Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield, said any benefits to the Miami Valley are more likely to be indirect.

“What it’s going to do is take a lot of these (highest-priority) projects in northern Ohio off the (top of the state’s funding list), allowing other projects to move forward in the process.”

Kasich was more interested in talking about his turnpike bonding plan, which he said would help create 65,000 construction jobs and help improve Ohio’s infrastructure. But he offered faint support for the higher speed limits.

“I see the patrol said they were fine with it … so I’m fine with the speed limit going up. It pretty well matches everybody up in the surrounding area,” Kasich told reporters.

John Kasich explains what’s up between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:52 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:52 PM

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been all over TV lately as he pushes his book ‘Two Paths.’

On Wednesday, he co-hosted The View and offered some thoughts on the feud between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.

“Well it’s shocking everybody,” Kasich said after being asked by Whoopi Goldberg to explain the rivalry. “Don’t ever steal anybody’s dancers, is the message.”

The governor tweeted later that he hopes “these two can Shake It Off ...

Ohio Supreme Court rules juveniles can be sent to adult court

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 11:22 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 5:44 PM


            Ohio Supreme Court
            Laura A. Bischoff

A split Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday that sending older juveniles to adult court when they face serious charges does not violate their constitutional rights.

The decision reverses a ruling by the high court in December 2016.

Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion that an earlier decision failed to consider a clause in the constitution that grants the Ohio General Assembly exclusive authority to define the jurisdiction of common pleas courts.

Related: Local teen’s case could go back to juvenile court

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor dissented, saying that the ruling affords blind deference to the legislature and ignores the requirements of due process. Juvenile court should determine whether the youth is a candidate for rehabilitation before being transferred to adult court.

In 1996, legislators passed a law requiring that 16- and 17-year-old defendants be automatically transferred to adult court when charged with certain offenses.

The 6-1 decision stems from the case of 16-year-old Matthew Aalim, who faced armed robbery charges in Montgomery County in 2013. Aalim’s case was sent to adult court, which denied his request to return the case to juvenile court. As part of a plea deal, Aalim pleaded no contest and was sentenced to concurrent four-year terms.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Matt Heck said this was an “important decision” by the court.

“This ruling only applies to certain juveniles who have committed the most serious crimes such as murder or rape, are of a certain age, or were previously convicted of a most serious offense,” Heck said. “The juvenile justice system is ill equipped to effectively rehabilitate those defendants. Furthermore, the juvenile system can only incarcerate defendants until age 21, when they must be released. In the adult system they can be incarcerated much longer, and once released they can be kept under the jurisdiction and control of the Adult Parole Authority.”

Related: Ohio Supreme Court: backpack searches fair game on school property

In December 2016, shortly before her retirement from the supreme court, Justice Judith Lanzinger authored a court decision that said mandatory bindover laws violated the due process rights of juveniles. The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office asked that the decision be reconsidered.

Ohio, which established juvenile courts in 1937, added a requirement in 1969 that “amenability” hearing to determine if the juvenile is a good candidate for rehabilitation.

Related: Ohio Supreme Court to decide if those with HIV have to disclose it

State law says that older juveniles who commit murder, are repeat felony offenders or commit felonies with a firearm are under the jurisdiction of adult court.

“Ohio’s mandatory transfer statute creates a system in which a judge has no right to even inquire into a juvenile’s potential for rehabilitation, let alone weigh it,” O’Connor wrote in her dissent. “Without allowing a judge to conduct any inquiry beyond probable cause or age, there is significant risk of turning a delinquent capable of rehabilitation into a lifelong criminal.”

Aalim, now 19, is serving his sentence in Lebanon Correctional Institution, an adult prison.

Whaley using mayoral campaign funds to raise money for governor race

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 2:32 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 4:32 PM


            Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, announces she is running for Ohio governor in front of a crowd of supporters at Warped Wing Brewery Monday, May 8, 2017. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Democrat Nan Whaley is using a re-election campaign fund for Dayton mayor that’s not subject to state contribution limits to raise money for her 2018 bid for Ohio governor.

A notice on Whaley’s campaign website informing potential donors that the mayoral fund is able to accept unlimited contributions was taken down Thursday after The Associated Press inquired about it.

RELATED: How much are the candidates for governor worth?

Whaley’s gubernatorial campaign says it is addressing the potentially confusing situation by voluntarily limiting donations from individuals and political action committees to the annual state limit of $12,000.

“Nan is uniquely popular as a mayor and she’s running for the first time in the city’s modern history unopposed — but, since she has announced for governor, we have been voluntarily complying with those (state) campaign requirements,” said spokeswoman Faith Oltman. “We are going to be transparent, open and accountable throughout this campaign.”

Oltman called the reference on the website to the mayoral campaign’s lack of contribution limits “a small oversight.”

Who’s in? A look at who is running for governor

The mayoral fund is the only fund Whaley can operate until the mayor’s race concludes this fall. She will need to convert the fund into a statewide campaign account by February when fundraising will be legally restricted by state campaign finance rules.

Under the law, Whaley will be able to transfer up to $200,000 from the mayoral fund into the gubernatorial fund, said Matt McClellan, a spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

Running for mayor and governor simultaneously puts Whaley in a rare situation for campaign fundraising and spending.

Democrat Jennifer Brunner faced the only somewhat similar conundrum in recent years when she was Ohio’s secretary of state. During the 2010 U.S. Senate race, Brunner’s Senate campaign used $15,000 to buy computers and other equipment that came from her defunct secretary of state campaign.

The question was whether the transaction violated a prohibition against money raised for a state campaign benefiting a federal one — a different question than Whaley would face if she folded money from her mayoral campaign into her gubernatorial campaign.

In Brunner’s case, the Federal Election Commission ultimately threw up its hands, calling the transaction too confusing to render a legal opinion.

Trump, Nixon, Elvis, 2020: John Kasich weighs in before West Palm talk

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:05 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 7:05 AM

December 1970: President Richard Nixon and an 18-year-old John Kasich in the Oval Office.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will speak to a sold-out Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch on Friday.

Kasichmania! His Forum Club appearance is a sellout.

Kasich was the last Republican standing against Donald Trump during the 2016 GOP nomination fight.

Now he’s promoting a book called Two Paths: America Divided or United that discusses the “post-truth environment” of 2016 and his thoughts on leadership, “followship” and other topics.

The Palm Beach Post interviewed Kasich this week and got his thoughts on President Trump, his 1970 meeting with Richard Nixon, how close he came to meeting Elvis Presley and his plans for 2020.

Click here to read the entire story at MyPalmBeachPost.com