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.

Daniel Konik

The House version of Gov. John Kasich’s budget comes out tomorrow, and it’s expected to include a lot of changes. 

Screenshot, "Face the Nation", CBS

Gov. John Kasich begins his book tour this week – just as the House version of his budget is being released. And while it’s expected his fellow Republicans will make big changes in that budget, Kasich is talking about unity.

Daniel Konik/OGT

The most recent stats on drug overdoses in Ohio are from 2015, when more than 3,000 Ohioans died – and the 2016 numbers are expected to be worse. The head of the state’s drug addiction agency will be on "The State of Ohio" this weekend, talking about the opioid battle and the state budget.

Karen Kasler

State pension systems are underfunded by more than a trillion dollars nationwide, according to a new report. And taxpayers would have to make up that shortfall. But the study has some good news for Ohio.

Karen Kasler

Months of tax revenues coming in under estimates has Gov. John Kasich trimming back his state budget by $800 million. And that has budget watchers wondering what will get the ax.

Statehouse News Bureau

A few days after Ohio’s Democratic US Senator announced he raised a historic amount of money in the last three months, the Republican who wants a rematch to unseat him has released his fundraising figures.

Daniel Konik

Five percent of the state budget is dedicated to maintaining the state’s 27 prisons, which have been overcrowded for decades.  And the state’s prisons director wants to change that before the state has to consider doing something he says he won’t do.

Andy Chow

Gov. John Kasich has been defending his budget, saying it’s the way to keep Ohio’s economy growing. But state lawmakers who are working on their own versions of the budget are looking at incoming tax revenues and raising critical questions.

Statehouse News Bureau

Gov. John Kasich has cut income taxes in all three of his state budgets, and has proposed a 17% income tax cut in his final one. But state lawmakers are working on the new state budget right now, and are looking at state tax revenue coming in below estimates. And even Kasich’s Republican colleagues in the legislature are showing signs that they’re concerned about what they’re seeing.

Karen Kasler

For the eighth time in nine months, the state has fallen short of predicted revenue. And this comes at a crucial time in the budget process.

Daniel Konik

Budget, taxes, education, drugs - Gov.  John Kasich covered a lot of ground in his State of the State speech in Sandusky. And he also made a little news.

Karen Kasler

Gov. John Kasich got a guided tour of Amazon’s huge new fulfillment center in central Ohio today. And he took the opportunity to blast a bill to change the state’s green energy requirements on electric utilities into voluntary goals.

Karen Kasler

A well-known Democrat who’s often mentioned as a possible candidate for governor was in Ohio this weekend, campaigning for a national constitutional amendment on money in politics. And he says Ohioans may be seeing a lot more of him.

Ohio Department of Medicaid

700,000 Ohioans are covered under Medicaid expansion, and Gov. John Kasich continues to push for the federal government to continue Medicaid expansion in any future health care reform. But he’s also argued that states should have flexibility.  That could mean thousands of very poor people might lose Medicaid coverage.

Karen Kasler

Six states have adopted computer science standards for schools. A pair of suburban Columbus Republican lawmakers want Ohio to be next, but they don’t want schools to be mandated to use them.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

A man who admitted killing dozens of people while working as a nurse’s aide in the 70s and 80s has died after being beaten in an Ohio prison.

Daniel Konik

A bill to change the state’s green energy benchmarks on electric utilities from requirements to goals is halfway through the Statehouse. But in spite of the overwhelming vote in the House, the bill faces an uncertain future.

Karen Kasler

Republicans have another possible primary next year, now that Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo has done as expected and announced he’s running for treasurer.

Dan Konik

The Senate has upped the penalties for possessing fentanyl, the deadly and powerful synthetic painkiller that’s been turning up in heroin in Ohio. But the debate on what may seem like a simple way to fight the fentanyl problem got complex and heated.

Anne Kitzman/shutterstock.com

The $7.8 billion transportation budget is now headed to Gov. John Kasich.

Karen Kasler

An environmental group says Ohio is 11th among all states in jobs in the solar energy industry. But the group says a vote likely this week in the House to change the state’s energy requirements for electric utilities could change that.

Karen Kasler

The White House is reportedly quietly restarting talks on health care reform, after the bill President Trump and Republicans back was pulled just hours before a vote on Friday.  And Gov. John Kasich said he was working on that issue too this week.

"State of the Union", CNN

Gov. John Kasich spent several weeks pushing to keep Medicaid expansion as the House was considering phasing it out with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Kasich was back on a national talk show Sunday, reacting to the flurry of last minute moves  that ended with the repeal being pulled just before a vote.

Karen Kasler

The trucking industry says there’s been a driver shortage for two decades – and that there could be 175,000 unfilled trucker jobs in the next seven years.  A bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed a package of bills that seeks to put the brakes on that.

Karen Kasler

Gas tax revenue has been dropping for years. And at the same time the costs for road construction, which the gas tax pays for, are rising. There's a new proposal that seeks to address that, by hiking one fee all car owners pay but offering refunds to them later.

Karen Kasler

Starting today, conceal carry permit holders may for the first time be able to legally bring their weapons into daycares and airport terminals, and onto college campuses.

Ohio Department of Health

The director of the Ohio Department of Health is resigning.

www.gtrtl.org

The state’s leading abortion rights group is asking a Supreme Court justice to remove herself from two cases involving abortion providers coming before the court.

Karen Kasler

Nearly nine years after state lawmakers passed a crackdown on payday loan businesses and voters upheld that law, people are still borrowing from quick-cash lenders, and they’re still charging huge interest rates. And now another proposal to regulate the industry is back before legislators.

Ohio House

A Republican state lawmaker from southwest Ohio has issued a statement about his arrest on drunk driving and weapons charges over the weekend – and so has the House Speaker.

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