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Prison time for fentanyl goes up, prison time for minor drugs goes out?

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Governor John Kasich signed a bill to impose longer prison sentences for fentanyl abuser and simultaneously voiced his inkling towards legislation that would prevent many low-level drug offenders from being sent to state prison.

Wednesday, Kasich’s signature increased prison sentences for fentanyl-related offenses up to eight years, with those convicted potentially facing more felony time for trafficking, possession and funding of trafficking involving the deadly synthetic opioid that has fueled a spiral of fatal overdoses, reports The Dispatch.

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With these convicts being behind bars longer, Kasich said he is leaning towards supporting Issue 1 on the November 6 ballot which would take minor drug crime offenders out of state prisons and put them in addiction treatment.

Low-level drug crimes would decrease from felonies to first-degree misdemeanors.

Provisional federal figures, per The Dispatch, released last month showed 5,134 drug overdose deaths in Ohio last year, an increase of 770 or 17.6 percent. Ohio’s deaths was fourth-highest in the nation.

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Daily double: New legislation calls for huge minimum wage hike

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If new legislation passes, Ohio’s minimum wage could nearly double in the next several years. Two Democratic senators are working to increase hourly pay from $8.55 to $15.

State Senators Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) introduced the legislation Wednesday, reports 10TV.

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The new legislation stipulates a $12 minimum per hour beginning in January 2020 and a $1 yearly increase until 2023 to keep up with inflation.

“We have an obligation to make life better for the people in our state and that includes providing living wages,” said Sen. Thomas, per 10TV. “This increase to the minimum wage will help workers and their families have a better life. And when people have more money, it also benefits the local economy from increased spending in the community.”

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“Speaks to Columbus values,” Council shows support for immigrants in sanctuary

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At Monday night’s City Council meeting, a resolution was passed in support of two women living in sanctuary here in Columbus.

Edith Espinal has been living in sanctuary at Columbus Mennonite Church for over a year. Miriam Vargas has been living in sanctuary at First English Lutheran Church for over seven months. Both women are waiting to become legal residents of the U.S.

NBC4i reports the resolution based by council is not legally binding, but is an on-the-record show of support by the city.

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“While this resolution doesn’t change federal law, it speaks to Columbus’ values,” wrote City Council President Shannon Hardin on Twitter.

Neither Espinal nor Vargas were in attendance last night due to fear of being detained.

“It’s no secret that our immigration system is broken,” said council member Elizabeth Brown, per NBC4i. “Unfortunately Miriam and Edith are at its mercy.”

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Republicans propose “Heartbeat Bill” in both Ohio House, Senate

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The very controversial “Heartbeat Bill” that would outlaw abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat has been proposed in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.

Republican lawmakers in both champers of Legislation introduced the abortion bill this week.

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If approved, it would be among the most restrictive abortion measures in the country, reports 10TV. A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, which is early enough that many women may not even know they’re pregnant.

Former Gov. John Kasich voted down the bill twice, saying it would lead to costly and lengthy court battles that would ultimately result it in begin found unconstitutional. However, Gov. Mike DeWine has pledged to sign it.

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