Karen Kasler

Bureau Chief

Credit Kristen Kasler Peters

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.

Karen Kasler is a lifelong Ohioan. She grew up in Lancaster, attended Otterbein College in Westerville, and found her first professional break at WCBE-FM, Columbus. Karen was selected as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University in 1994. After earning her Master's Degree in that program, she worked at WBNS-TV in Columbus and then moved north to become the afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor for WTAM-AM, Cleveland. Karen followed the demolition and rebuilding of Cleveland Browns Stadium, produced award-winning series on identity theft and the Y2K panic, covered the Republican National Convention in 2000 and the blackout of 2003, and reported annually from the Cleveland National Air Show each year, often going upside down in an aerobatic plane to do it. In 1999, she was a media witness to the execution of Wilford Berry, at the time the first man put to death since Ohio re-instated capital punishment. Karen frequently reported for ABC Radio News, and also co-produced an award-winning nationally-distributed documentary on the one-year anniversary of September 11, 2001, which featured her interview with Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge from the West Wing of the White House.

Since returning to Columbus, she's covered major elections and the controversies surrounding them. Each year she anchors the Bureau's live coverage of the governor's State of the State. She was a moderator for US Senate debates in 2012 and 2010, participated in several debates in 2010, and has led debates over statewide issues. She's produced features for NPR and "Marketplace", and has been interviewed by NPR, the BBC, NBC and several local and regional stations around the country. She's a regular panelist on WCPN/ideastream's "The Sound of Ideas", a frequent guest on WOSU-TV’s “Columbus on the Record” and has appeared on WBNS-TV's "Face the State".

She's been honored by the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the Ohio Educational Telecommunications Commission, and holds a National Headliner Award. She's won several awards from the Ohio AP, and is a four-time winner of the AP's Best Broadcast Writing award. She's a three-time Emmy nominee for "The State of Ohio". She's a past president of the Ohio Associated Press, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Central Ohio Society of Professional Journalists. Karen is also a former adjunct professor at Capital University in Columbus.

Karen, her husband and their son Jack live on Columbus' northeast side.

Jo ingles

A Facebook post from the only Democratic justice on the Ohio Supreme Court is raising eyebrows today. But in an interview, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, the only Democrat holding statewide elected office, says he stands by it.

Daniel Konik

Ohio could soon become the third state in the country to ban abortion after a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports a bill to do that has passed the Senate.

Andy Chow

After months of speculation, it appears a shake-up in the Democratic race for governor next year is starting. A potential candidate who is likely to be a front runner in that contest has made a big move.

Karen Kasler

The Treasury Secretary came to Columbus to promote Republican lawmakers’ $1.5 trillion tax reform plan, which they say will grow the economy, make the tax code simpler and create a middle-class tax cut. But not everyone agrees.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich still won’t say whether he’ll be on the ballot again, but he did have some thoughts about how Democrats and his fellow Republicans fared in Tuesday’s election results.

Statehouse News Bureau

If Issue 2 had passed on Tuesday night, it would have been only the fourth time in Ohio history that a law brought to the ballot by an individual or a group was approved by voters. There’s a new effort to make changes in that process.

Karen Kasler

Though there were two statewide issues, several big mayoral and local elections and more than 1500 levies and other issues on ballots across Ohio, Election Night 2017 didn’t bring out voters in big numbers.

jfs.ohio.gov

The Ohio House has also passed a pair of bills requiring more checks for those who administer the state’s food stamp programs. Representatives considered requiring photos on electronic benefit cards and checks on recipients for other sources of income.

Karen Kasler

Two weeks after the resignation of a Republican state senator because of sexual harassment claims, other reports have surfaced of inappropriate and concerning behavior by some other state lawmakers.

Screenshot: youtube.com

Next week’s statewide ballot is topped off by a question about crime and the rights of victims. Issue 2 is well behind the big money involved in the drug price question that is Issue 2. But Marsy’s Law, which would put certain victims’ rights in the state Constitution, still has supporters and opponents with varying concerns about what it would do.

(More on Issue 1 on "The State of Ohio".)

Karen Kasler

Ohio’s attorney general says the state needs to be doing more to fight the opioid crisis, which last year killed an average of 11 Ohioans a day. The AG says he’s putting pressure on the drug companies the state is already suing.

Karen Kasler

Two Democratic state lawmakers have proposed a plan for universal health-care coverage for Ohio. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports on the longshot “Ohio Health Security Act”.

Liesl Bonneau

The Ohio Supreme Court says a law requiring people living with HIV to disclose their status to potential sexual partners is constitutional and doesn’t violate free speech rights.

Daniel Konik

A divided Ohio Supreme Court says juvenile courts can dismiss sex charges against a child under 13 if the kids involved in sexual conduct were close in age. 

Daniel Konik

The House has voted to change the rules by which Ohio’s 550,000 licensed concealed carry weapons holders have to tell police that they’re armed.

Megan Wycuff/OGT

Several Ohio cities put in bids with Amazon for its second headquarters, complete with offers of tax breaks. But in an interview for "The State of Ohio", Gov. John Kasich says while he’s hoping high-tech firms are looking at Ohio, he maintains the state does not – in his words – “buy deals”.

Karen Kasler

The state parole board has voted 11-1 to recommend Gov. John Kasich deny clemency to Alva Campbell Jr., the next inmate scheduled to be executed in Ohio. The report follows the clemency hearing for Campbell last week.

Daniel Konik/OGT

Buzzfeed is reporting that Gov. John Kasich met yesterday with foreign policy and national security experts in Columbus, apparently looking toward a possible run for president in 2020. This report came just hours after Kasich talked about his future on "The State of Ohio", and he shared some different information.

Daniel Konik

A report from 60 Minutes and the Washington Post on Sunday suggested central Ohio based Cardinal Health and other opioid painkiller distributors persuaded Congress to weaken the Drug Enforcement Agency’s authority. Gov. John Kasich talked about that today in an exclusive interview.

ideastream

In spite of having plenty of opportunities to gamble, Ohio has a rate of problem gambling that’s less than half the national rate of 2.2 percent, according to a study just released by the state. But the state is still keeping an eye toward developing problems.

Twitter

There’s more information out today about why Republican state Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay suddenly resigned his seat, just a month after saying he would run for re-election next year.

Karen Kasler

Ten months ago state lawmakers created a bipartisan panel with the power to review the state budget and make recommendations for ending billions in tax loopholes. Now that group has met for the first time.

Karen Kasler

A longtime Republican Senator from northwest Ohio has abruptly resigned his seat.

Tiffany O'Neill Scullen

It’s likely Ohio’s only statewide elected Democrat will enter the race to become his party’s nominee for governor.

Office of Budget and Management

The state budget office says its required analysis of Issue 2 shows Ohio could save money if voters approve the drug price initiative next month. But the report says there are many variables that make it impossible to predict how much the state would save.

Karen Kasler

The state’s largest online charter school said in court filings last week that it will close by January if it’s forced to pay back nearly $80 million to the state from two attendance audits. But the state auditor says that doesn’t mean the bill would be settled.

Karen Kasler

A Republican state senator wants to roll back almost a hundred requirements on school districts. They range from mandates on school personnel to directives for students in classrooms.

Statehouse News Bureau

The four candidates vying to be the Republican nominee in next year’s governor’s race sat down for separate twenty-minute interviews last night in a Columbus church before a crowd of more than 500 people.  And there was one theme in particular that stood out – and it was about the man they all want to succeed.

Ohio Department of Health

The number of abortions in Ohio last year went down for the fourth year in a row. Both sides in the debate are pleased, but have differing opinions on why.

Daniel Konik

A state budget provision just taking effect would change an 80-year-old policy, requiring those who want to dispute tax decisions go to one of 12 regional appeals courts instead of the Ohio Supreme Court. But businesses say that will hurt them.

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