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.

Statehouse News Bureau

Both of Ohio’s US Senators were very concerned about what would happen to the 700,000 Ohioans now on Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act if the ACA was repealed. Now that the House has released its plan, one is completely opposed, but the other isn’t totally sold on it either.

Statehouse News Bureau

It's not quite Powerball, but Gov. John Kasich’s office is offering up seats to his State of the State speech next months through a lottery.

Last year was a hard one in a category that nearly every politician talks about and nearly every election hinges on: the economy. And specifically, it was a tough year for job growth in Ohio.

Karen Kasler

The state’s jobless rate was 5% for January, which is unchanged from December. But officials say there’s good news in that number.

Jo Ingles

A Democratic state representative who some saw as a possible candidate for higher office is leaving the legislature after just winning election to her second term.

Chuck Wagner/shutterstock.com

The Ohio House has overwhelmingly passed the state’s $7.8 billion transportation budget, which funds road projects and public safety around the state.

Ohio House of Representatives

More candidates are coming forward to run next year, not just for governor but also other offices that will be on the ballot. And there’s now a race building for the state’s top elections chief in 2018.

U.S. Senate

Ohio’s two US Senators have high hopes for tonight’s address to a joint session of Congress by President Trump.

Ohio House

A bill to crack down on violence committed in dating relationships has passed the House  unanimously.

Screenshot, "Face the Nation", CBS

700,000 Ohioans are enrolled in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. And concerns about the repeal of the ACA brought Gov. John Kasich to Washington to meet with President Trump and other Republican governors this weekend.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich is spending the weekend in Washington – meeting with President Trump today, and then participating in meetings with governors about changes to the Affordable Care Act. And whatever happens with the ACA has major implications to the state and hundreds of thousands of Ohioans.

Karen Kasler

Ohio House leaders held a first-ever news conference with their Republican counterparts from another Midwestern state, saying they’re teaming up to send a message to federal lawmakers.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Ohioans would still have to have front license plates when driving, unlike drivers in Kentucky and Indiana. But a proposal in the state transportation budget would allow them to escape being cited if they’re parked.

OGT/Ohio Channel

Gov. John Kasich’s budget includes a plan that would have businesses file a specific tax through the state, instead of through the municipality where they’re located. The state says it will save money, but communities say it’ll do just the opposite.

Ohio House

As a federal court fight continues over the state’s new proposed method of lethal injection, a freshman state lawmaker is proposing expanding the death penalty in Ohio.

Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget includes a change in the way a portion of the state’s local government fund is distributed to communities. But the leaders of some of Ohio’s biggest cities and a group that represents communities across the state are fuming over that formula.

Karen Kasler

A book released on Valentine’s Day is a bit of a bittersweet love letter from its author to its subject – his hometown. And the story it tells has been heard in towns all over Ohio and across the country.

Karen Kasler

In each of the last two legislative sessions, at least one Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that would change the rules for union dues and membership for public employees.  But there are questions about whether this latest so-called “right to work” effort has a chance of passing this time.

Karen Kasler

A group representing 650,000 union members in Ohio opposed the nomination of Andrew Puzder, who's now withdrawn as President Trump’s nominee as the secretary of labor. But a progressive leaning think tank says whoever heads that agency is critical to working Ohioans.

Karen Kasler

A new report from a group representing 15 health insurers operating in Ohio says managed care is saving Medicaid a lot of money.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has decided where and when he wants to deliver his seventh annual address to the legislature.

CAIR

The Council on American Islamic Relations says it wants investigators looking into vandalism found at a Columbus area mosque on Friday to consider it a hate crime.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

The state parole board has released its recommendation on whether Gov. John Kasich should spare the life of a man who killed two people in back-to-back robberies in Parma almost exactly 25 years ago. And Kasich took some unrelated action on executions while waiting on that report.

Karen Kasler

In the last seven years, the number of children taken into custody by children services agencies in Ohio soared by nearly 20%, and half of those cases involve parental drug use. And the agencies charged with caring for those kids say Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget doesn’t do enough to help them

Karen Kasler

There were a lot of topics covered by Gov. John Kasich in a speech to a group of newspaper executives and editors. He focused mostly on his budget, but also about who he wants to see replace him in 2018.

Karen Kasler

Republican and Democratic state lawmakers are working up dueling bills on sanctuary cities – communities that say they’ll shield undocumented immigrants from prosecution based on their illegal status. When asked about that at a speech before newspaper executives and editors, Gov. John Kasich was firm on where he stands.

Karen Kasler

A bill on religious freedom that was introduced last year and went nowhere is back.  The so-called “Pastor Protection Act” got its first hearing Wednesday, the day after it was introduced.  And now Gov. John Kasich has weighed in on it.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich talked to newspaper executives and editors about a variety of topics in his budget, including school funding.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich has warned this will be a difficult budget process, but has also touted the progress Ohio has made under tax reforms he wants to continue in his final budget. And comparing his statements with those from his budget director almost appear to be examples of “alternative facts”. But the budget director's office has a clarification.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich made a somewhat surprising statement this week about a pair of abortion related bills from last year’s lame duck session – one he signed and one he vetoed.

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