Speaker Saga Could End Soon, And Special Program For At-Risk Kids Is At Risk Itself

The House is still without a Speaker, but a showdown is expected in the next few days. The acting Speaker has proposing two possible paths forward – apparently worked out with the help of a member who wants to be Speaker next year. But the representative who’s had the most support is saying he opposes both of those options and wants a vote immediately. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles has the latest.

Just a few weeks ago, voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1, changing the process by which the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts are drawn. The current map, created in 2011 and described by many as one of the most gerrymandered in the nation, is supposed to stay until a new map is drawn after the 2020 census. But the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio wants it scrapped, and isn’t waiting for a new map to be drawn under Issue 1’s standards in 2021.

While the Speaker saga drags on, there are dozens of bills that are awaiting action in the House. One is a bill that will fund a program serving more than 800 kids each year in Cuyahoga County – kids like Pauly Belletti. Pauly’s family works with Positive Education Program or PEP Connections, which provides intensive case management, summer camps and alternative therapies to at-risk kids with severe behavioral issues. The state pays Cuyahoga County $2.5 million a year to fund these services, but it's being moved into Medicaid managed care. And the people who work for and with the program say since these alternative services aren’t paid for by Medicaid, they're uncertain about the program's future. But Sen. Dave Burke (R-Marysville) has a proposed solution, though it's stalled because of the Speaker saga.

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