Capital Blog

Author Archive for mkovac

I am the Capital Bureau chief at the Ohio Statehouse for the Dix newspaper chain and The Youngstown Vindicator. I cover Ohio politics, legislation, etc., for newspapers in Wooster, Ashland, Defiance, Ravenna, Alliance and Cambridge. I've been a full-time, professional newspaper reporter and/or editor since 1993. I spent my first seven years working as a staff writer, business editor and (for a very short stint) interim managing editor at The Tribune in Ames, Iowa, a little paper that was co-owned by Pulitzer-winner Michael Gartner. I worked another seven years as business editor, farm editor, county government reporter and special projects editor at The Daily Record in Wooster (part of the Dix chain). I have covered the Statehouse since late January 2007. I hold a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism from Ball State University in lovely Muncie, Ind. I grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago (graduated from H.L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn). My wife and I have three children.

Heartbeat Bill

Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) offers sponsor testimony on HB 248, Ohio’s Heartbeat Bill, which would ban abortions within weeks of conception. Includes Q&A, with Democrats challenging the legislation. And here are the amendments offered on the Heartbeat Bill, plus final comments and the vote of the Health committee (very limited batteries in the FlipCam, so…

Hodges Appointment

Richard Hodges answers questions during a hearing before the Ohio Senate’s Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee, which reviewed his appointment as state health director by Gov. John Kasich. Alison Norris, an assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Ohio State University, voices concern about Hodges’ appointment.

Barnes Files Suit

Rep. John Barnes (D-Cleveland) talks about a defamation lawsuit he filed against the Ohio Democratic Party and outgoing chairman Chris Redfern over false campaign statements and alleged retaliation for his refusal to join the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus and voicing concerns about minority contracting by the state party.

Ohio Ebola Update

Lynne Bratka, interim chief of the bureau of health preparedness at the Ohio Department of Health; Harry Kamdar, chief financial officer of the state department; and Gene Phillips, chief of the bureau of environmental health, answer reporters’ questions about efforts to prepare for a potential outbreak of Ebola in the state. The hallway interview took…