National surveys show consumers’ mood is brightening, and it’s not just holiday cheer. The more positive outlook has a lot to do with the steep drop in gasoline prices since last summer. 2015 holds the promise of more price relief not only at the gas pump but also at grocery stores.
Ohio High Court Strikes Down Child Enticement Law
The Ohio Supreme court has thrown out Ohioâ€™s child enticement law, saying it criminalizes innocent behavior. The decision puts the responsibility to rewrite the law on Ohio legislators.
The state high court said the law is unconstitutional because it prohibits â€œa significant amount of constitutionally protected activity.â€
The case began in 2010 when Jason Romage offered money to a child in his Columbus neighborhood to help him move boxes. He was charged because Ohio law says â€“ with the exception of police, firefighters or emergency squads â€“ no one can solicit a child younger than 14 to accompany them â€œin any mannerâ€ without a parentâ€™s OK.
Both the trial and appeals courts threw the charges out, saying the law was too broad. But that conflicted with another appeals court decision, so the case went to the Supreme Court.
In the 5-2 decision, Justice Judith Lanzinger acknowledged that protecting children from sexual predators is â€œa paramount governmental interest.â€ But she said the law the way it is written could prohibit something as innocent as a senior citizen offering to pay a kid to mow the grass.