Thursday, February 5, 2004

From the state capitals

Bill would regulate Ohio contractors

COLUMBUS - Home improvement contractors - the No. 2 target of consumer complaints to the Attorney General's Office - would be required to register with the state under legislation proposed by Rep. Jim Trakas.

The bill revives legislation Attorney General Jim Petro could not get passed during his tenure in the House in the 1980s. More consumers complain to his office about home improvement than any service besides auto sales, Petro said.

The bill would create a board in the Ohio Department of Commerce that would license home-improvement contractors and salespeople. It would also authorize the attorney general to file civil suits on behalf of defrauded customers.

Ky. senators seek highway oversight

FRANKFORT - Following a new report criticizing past management of the state's Transportation Cabinet, Senate Republicans said Wednesday they want more legislative oversight of the agency.

Under their proposal, cabinet officials would report to a legislative Transportation Cabinet Oversight Subcommittee with authority to review all the agency's operations, Senate President David Williams said at a press conference. The proposal is "one of the highest priorities," said Williams, R-Burkesville, the bill's sponsor.

Among other things, the oversight panel would review the cabinet's spending and work to boost the competitiveness of its bidding process, Williams said.

The proposal comes mostly due to findings in a report by Dye Management Group Inc., which the Legislative Research Commission accepted Tuesday.

The report found, among other things, that the state had spent millions more than it had to because projects went to single bidders. .

Bill to limit tuition dies in Ind. Senate

INDIANAPOLIS - A bill that would have prevented steep tuition increases for students at Indiana's state-supported colleges and universities did not have the support it needed to pass the Senate.

Sen. Luke Kenley, the bill's sponsor, said he did not call for a vote on the proposal by Wednesday's deadline because it could have gone down to defeat. .

" Tuition and mandatory fees for entering freshmen have more than doubled, on average, for four-year universities over the past decade, according to the state Commission for Higher Education. First-year fees at IU's main campus in Bloomington have risen 110 percent to $6,567, while Purdue engineering majors pay $6,372.

City backs Bond Hill housing
House: Cover mental illness
Mother charged in baby's fire death
Buyer interested in LeSourdsville Lake

Black History Month events around region
Carlisle ready for 1990 Reds
High school awash in electioneers
Secret is out: Local cops guard two Butler Co. sites during orange alert
School begins removal of soil tainted with lead
Mount Adams crime targeted
Teen dances her way to Honolulu
Meth labs, users present rising danger, police taught
Mason focuses on positives
Builder balks at Milford fee plan
Nativity priest going to new parish
Crime sweep racks over 100 arrests
Tax-increase resisters branch to northern burbs
Non-union city workers get pay hike
Fire, police seek common radio channels
Anti-smoking plan aimed at maternity
Township considering own maintenance code
From the state capitals
In the Tristate
News briefs
Neighbors briefs
Public safety briefs
In the schools

Crowley: Councilman's books unlock computerese
Bronson: Be Sinatra! or like Gus; wear a hat
Good Things Happening

'Cool Ghoul' was icon of Queen City
Stanley Sorrell, decorated veteran

Some in diocese suit will settle with church
Flying-disc football the game of choice at Villa Madonna
Mom confined to home for yelling at bus driver
Ky. political notebook: Chamber to track bills
Covington water park's leaking