According to a news release from the U.S. Courts, "The federal courts may be open during the government shutdown, but it’s far from “business as usual.” According to a Department of Justice memo(pdf), U.S. Attorneys across the country have been directed to “curtail or postpone” civil litigation “to the extent that this can be done without compromising . . . the safety of human life or the protection of property.” Criminal litigation will continue without interruption....The difficulties aren’t exclusively DOJ’s. Employees throughout the federal government have been furloughed and are prohibited from working during a shutdown. If they are involved in Federal court civil litigation, they are seeking stays until they’re able to work again."
The Plain Dealer has reported that the State of Ohio has offered Cuyahoga County $10.6 million dollars to build a new detention center for non-violent felons. The catch-22 is that in order to receive the funds, the County will have to approve plans for a new facility by January of 2008. According to the PD, this is something the County has been unable to accomplish in the last decade, despite having been offered the money 'carrot' before. If approved, the new facility would open in 2010 and house up to 200 prisoners. County Administrator Dennis Madden has indicated that County officials and judges are so hopeful that they are already scoping out land at the intersection of East 34th and Croton Avenue. Although the facility would foucs on treatment for different types of substance abuse, inmates could still work and see their families. According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, Cuyahoga County is the only major metro area without a community correctional facility, even though 20% of the state's inmates come from Cuyahoga County.
Governor Strickland's Executive Budget for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 contains links to three budget bills: two concerning workers' compensation and one concerning the transportation budget. Contained in the transportation budget bill, HB 67, is a provision prohibiting motor vehicle lessors from paying red light camera tickets issued on the leased vehicles, and then attempting to obtain reimbursement from the renter/lessee. The lessor must notify the city that issued the ticket of the renter's name and address. See proposed new ORC 4511.092. Also contained in the transportation bill is a provision allowing charter schools to assume full responsibility for pupil transportation. See proposed revised ORC 3314.091.
The Eighth District Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, finding that the State of Ohio could not transfer federal TANF block grant money to the state's general fund. The transfer violated ORC 5101.46 and the Ohio Constitution. The state was ordered to return the money to the block grant fund. The Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners filed this lawsuit, because transfer to the general account prevented availability of the TANF funds for county welfare programs. Judge Anthony O. Calabrese, Jr. dissented, stating that the federal funds reimbursed the state for services already provided, so the state was free to put the money in a general account. Additionally, Calabrese said the court did not have the power to order transfer of the funds, because that is a legislative function. See Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners v. State of Ohio, 2005-Ohio-2821, June 9, 2005.