Moderate Republican House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) removed State Representative Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) on Thursday from his position as chair of the House Constitutional Resolutions Committee and the committee all together due to Wiggam signing a discharge petition for the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment.Read More
Tag: ohio house
Ohio House Republicans File Discharge Petition on Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment
On Wednesday, a group of Republican lawmakers filed a discharge petition on House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1 which aims to alter the process of how constitutional amendments can be proposed by initiative petitions.
A bill or resolution may be discharged from committee if it wins the support of a simple majority of House members (50 percent + 1). This implies that even if the resolution has not yet been approved out of committee or finished holding hearings, it would automatically advance to the floor for a vote if 50 representatives signed on.Read More
Ohio Secretary of State LaRose Supports Prospective August Election to Protect State Constitution
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose on Tuesday supported a prospective August election as a way to change the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments.
Republicans in both the House and Senate have introduced resolutions to raise the initiative petition voting threshold to 60 percent to amend the state Constitution.Read More
Ohio State Legislature Revives Cincinnati City Rail Line Sale to Norfolk Southern
The State Legislature revived Cincinnati city officials’ attempt to sell a city-owned rail line to Norfolk Southern, the same company that caused the toxic disaster in East Palestine, which stalled last month,
City leaders announced a plan to sell the rail line that runs to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Norfolk Southern at the end of last year for $1.6 billion. However, that deal could not be done without changes to state law.Read More
Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment May Get August Vote
Although the “Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment” did not pass in the Ohio House and Senate prior to the February 1st deadline to be on May’s primary election ballot, state lawmakers may reinstate an August special election to consider the amendment.
House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1 sponsored by state Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) aims to alter the process of how constitutional amendments can be proposed by initiative petitions. Currently, issues proposed by initiative petitions need to meet a 50 percent voting threshold to amend the Constitution. Under this proposal, these issues would need to meet a 60 percent threshold.Read More
Cincinnati Stalls Its Southern Railway Sale to Norfolk Southern
Cincinnati city officials have stalled its attempt to sell a city-owned rail line to Norfolk Southern, the same company that caused the toxic disaster in East Palestine last month.
The elements required for the proposed sale of the Cincinnati Southern Railway are no longer included in the state’s transportation budget, hence Norfolk Southern cannot currently purchase the city-owned railroad.Read More
Ohio Senate Bill Seeks to Reduce Police Officer Age Requirement to Address Police Shortage
A recently proposed law that is now making its way through the Ohio Statehouse would lower the age requirement for an Ohioan to join the police department.
In Ohio, applicants must currently be 21 years old to become police officers, but Senate Bill (SB) 53 would lower that age limit to 18. Senators Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) and Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) have sponsored the legislation.Read More
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose Weighs U.S. Senate Bid
Ohio Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose told The Ohio Star that he is actively considering running for U.S. Senate against Ohio Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in 2024.
“I’m giving it a lot of thought. No announcements yet,” LaRose told The Star.Read More
Ohio House Republicans Hit Breaks on Appointment of Norfolk Southern Engineer to Open House Seat
On Wednesday, the ongoing conflict among Ohio House Republicans emerged once more when they hastily decided not to schedule a vote on filling a House seat vacancy with a Norfolk Southern train engineer.
A screening committee of the House GOP selected Justin Pizzulli, of Franklin Furnace in Scioto County to represent Ohio House District 90 above seven other candidates. If chosen, Pizzulli would replace former state Representative Brian Baldridge (R-Winchester), who resigned after being designated director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture by Governor Mike DeWine.Read More
Ohio Amendment to Enshrine Abortion in State Constitution Moves Forward
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office certified the petition summary on Thursday for “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize abortion throughout the state. The amendment would add Section 22 to Article 1 of the state Constitution.Read More
Democrats Request Independent Audit of Ohio Voter Database ‘Purges’
Ohio House Democrats are requesting an independent audit of the recent update to the state’s voter registration database, which they claim initially disqualified 16,000 individuals from casting ballots.
State Representatives Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Westlake) criticized the state’s voter “purges” in a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose and demanded transparency.Read More
Ohio Coalition Seeks to End Qualified Immunity for Government Employees
A group of Ohioans wants to try again to change the state’s Constitution to permit lawsuits against government employees.
By placing the proposed amendment on the general election ballot for 2024, the Ohio Coalition to Eliminate Qualified Immunity (OCEQI) aims to close what it refers to as a legal loophole – qualified immunity. Similar measures have been rejected twice before for various reasons.Read More
Ohio House Representatives Want to be Consulted by Federal and State Authorities on Issues Regarding East Palestine, Ohio Train Derailment
In the wake of a railroad catastrophe that has continued to worry residents in East Palestine, Ohio, a group of Ohio House members want federal and state authorities to consult with them.
A bipartisan group of 26 state Representatives have sent a letter to the Ohio and United States Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) on February 22nd requesting that the two organizations “consult and advise” them on any additional potentially needed resources.Read More
Ohio House Speaker Stephens Sets Legislative Priorities
Following several weeks without any measures being formally submitted with bill numbers, the Ohio House Speaker and his leadership team have announced their legislative priorities, which range from adjustments to property taxes, to adoption, to protecting the integrity of girls’ sports.
Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) was joined by his allied House Republicans as he listed 12 of the more than 50 bills that were assigned numbers and sent to committees as priorities. These bills ranged from changes to property and income taxes to an affordable housing tax credit, the “Backpack Bill” universal voucher program, and making certain that biological males cannot compete in female-only athletics.Read More
Ohio Governor DeWine Aims to Double Sports Betting Tax Rate in Proposed Budget
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is attempting to double the tax rate from 10 percent to 20 percent just over a month after sports betting became legal in the state. This increase is part of his biennial executive budget plan for the 2024–2025 fiscal years.
The budget doubles the tax on sports wagering that casinos and teams operating mobile sportsbooks must pay. A Bloomberg Tax analysis shows that the tax is just a little bit higher than the average 19 percent levied by other states.Read More
Ohio House Republicans Prepare to Sue over Control of Campaign Account
Who controls the House GOP’s campaign funds is still the source of contention between the factions supporting the Ohio House speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) and State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova).
The majority of GOP members selected Merrin last month to serve as the formal chairman of the House Republican Caucus and vice-chair of its campaign arm, giving him authority over the group’s spending.Read More
Ohio Lawmaker Reintroduces Bill Extending Working Hours for Teenagers
An Ohio Republican Senator has reintroduced a bill that aims to allow teenagers to work until 9:00 p.m. on a school night if it becomes law.
Senate Bill (SB) 30 sponsored by State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) aims to allow kids as young as 14 to work late during the school year if their parents give permission, to help with “staffing problems.”Read More
Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment Not Approved by Lawmakers in Time for May Ballot as Anticipated
Although State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) said that there was ample time to have the “Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment” on the May ballot, it did not pass in the Ohio House and Senate prior to the February 1st deadline.
Stewart introduced House Joint Resolution (HJR) 6 in November; however, the legislation did not pass before the end of the session. Stewart indicated at the end of the year that he intended to resurrect the legislation in the 135th General Assembly which he did along with 30-plus GOP cosponsors last month.Read More
Ohio Lawmakers React to Governor DeWine’s State of the State Address
Following Governor Mike DeWine’s State of the State address in the Ohio House chamber on Tuesday, Ohio lawmakers in the House and Senate voiced their opinions.
DeWine centered his address on his budget proposal. The proposal will be presented in the Ohio House in the near future as a piece of legislation that the Ohio General Assembly will need to approve.Read More
Ohio House Speaker Stephens Denies Debate or Amendments on GOP Leadership or House Rules
The Ohio House approved a new rules package Tuesday despite objections from Republican lawmakers. The provisions set the guidelines for the upcoming session. House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) advanced the House rules to a vote without allowing for any debate or amendments. Republicans who supported state Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) for speaker argued that Stephens excluded them from the process.
Lawmakers controversially elected Stephens as speaker earlier this month to succeed state Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima). The choice came despite the Republican Caucus‘ previous selection in November of Merrin as the new speaker. Although the GOP caucus voted for Merrin as Speaker of the House in December, Stephen fought in collaboration with the Democrats to collect votes and garner a win.Read More
Ohio Lawmakers Consider Bill to Localize State Agency Licensure Appeals
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would transfer the conflict over state licenses that have been suspended or repealed to local county courts as opposed to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
Senate Bill (SB) 21 sponsored by state Senators Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) would provide legal challenges to licenses issued by the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the State Medical Board, the State Chiropractic Board, the Board of Nursing, and the Liquor Control Commission to take place in the county where that person or company is based.Read More
Ohio State Representative Merrin Unveils Proposal of Ethics Reform Package
Republicans in the Ohio House are pushing to modify the state’s ethics laws to, among other things, limit elected officials’ ability to serve on corporate boards and require more transparency from lobbyists and utility board applicants.
Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova Township), flanked by 11 of the 43 Republicans who backed him for speaker, unveiled proposed legislation, called the “Ohio Ethics and Financial Disclosure Reform Act,” which would make lobbyists disclose all of the money they receive from each client and forbid elected officials from serving on corporate boards of directors after being elected.Read More
Republican State Senator Matt Dolan Announces Run for U.S. Senate
Republican State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) has announced he’s running for U.S. Senate against Ohio Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in 2024.
“I am unapologetically committed to putting the needs of Ohio first and delivering results as our next U.S. Senator. With the courage of my convictions, clarity of purpose, and a resolute focus on the challenges and opportunities facing our beloved state, I am ready to lead,” Dolan said in a statement.Read More
Ohio Republican Party Censures GOP Lawmakers Who Backed New House Speaker
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Republicans censured 22 lawmakers on Friday for voting with Democrats to choose the new Speaker of the Ohio House, saying they had disregarded their obligations to the party and the public.
Earlier this week, a number of Republican lawmakers joined forces with Democrats to choose State Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as speaker. The choice comes despite the Republican Caucus‘ previous selection in November of State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Moncolva) as the new speaker.Read More
Ohio Bill to Codify Solicitor General’s Office Proceeds to Governor
A Republican-supported bill to codify the Tenth Amendment Center in the Ohio Solicitor General’s Office heads to Governor Mike DeWine’s office for signature.
House Bill (HB) 506 sponsored by state Representatives Jeff LaRe (R-Violet Township) and Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) creates a Tenth Amendment center to “actively monitor federal executive orders, federal statutes, and federal regulations for potential abuse or overreach, including assertion of power inconsistent with the United States Constitution.”Read More
Ohio Senate Passes Bipartisan Bill to Create a Temporary Tax Amnesty Program
A bipartisan Ohio bill to establish a temporary tax amnesty program that would forgive interest and penalties on delinquent taxes and fees passed in the State Senate on Wednesday.
House Bill (HB) 45, sponsored by State Representatives Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) and Thomas West (D-Canton), aims to “create a temporary amnesty program for delinquent state taxes, forgiving taxpayers of penalties and interest accrued if they pay the full amount of their taxes owed during an established time period. Any person who pays that amount due during the amnesty period would also be immune from criminal prosecution or civil actions related to their taxes or fees paid.”Read More
Ohio Bipartisan Bill Aims to Allow Teenagers to Work Late on School Nights to Help with Staffing Problems
Teenagers in Ohio could be permitted to work until 9:00 p.m. on a school night if a bipartisan bill progressing through the Statehouse passes.
Senate Bill (SB) 251, sponsored by State Senators Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) and Tina Maharath (D-Columbus), aims to allow kids as young as 14 to work late during the school year if their parents give permission, to help with “staffing problems.”Read More
Lawmakers Look to Ban Gas Chambers for Pets and Increase Animal Cruelty Penalties in Ohio
A bipartisan bill in the Ohio House aims to classify the crime of animal cruelty as an act of violence and increase the penalties in animal abuse cases.
Senate Bill (SB) 164, sponsored by State Senators Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights), would enhance Goddard’s Law that was passed in 2016, classifying serious physical harm of a pet as a fifth-degree felony.Read More
Bill to Lower Ohio Prescription Drug Costs Gets First Hearing in House
A Republican-backed bill aimed to lower prescription drug costs for Ohioans made its way to the Ohio House Health Committee for its first hearing on Tuesday.
House Bill (HB) 715 sponsored by state Representatives P.Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) and Tom Young (R-Washington Township) would require the State Board of Pharmacy to develop a program for prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.Read More
Ohio Senate Bill’s Provisions Aim to Protect Families from Fertility Fraud
Ohioans may soon get protections from fertility fraud after the Senate passed a major criminal justice reform bill.
A 27-2 bipartisan vote sent Senate Bill (SB) 288 sponsored by State Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) to the House where lawmakers will consider it further prior to sending it to Governor Mike DeWine for final approval.Read More
Ohio State Senate Passes Bill Expanding Drilling on State Land
Within 24 hours of presenting the idea, Ohio Senate Republicans passed legislation on Wednesday that aims to expand the ability to drill for oil and gas on state-owned lands.
A 2011 state law gave state agencies the power, if they choose, to lease out state lands for oil and gas exploration and production. However, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission has been slow to approve any projects. Former Governor John Kasich signed that bill into law but didn’t appoint anyone to the commission for years. Under Governor Mike DeWine, the commission has met more often but has not approved leases.Read More
Lawmakers Amend the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’ to Accept Birth Certificates
Ohio lawmakers amended a bill Tuesday that stops biological men and boys from high school and middle school from participating in women and girls’ sports. The amendment removed a provision that could have required students to undergo “internal and external” exams to verify their sex.
Instead, House Bill (HB) 151, The Save Women’s Sports Act, sponsored by State Representative Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) (pictured above), now would require an athlete whose biological gender is disputed to present a birth certificate under the amendment adopted by the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee.Read More
Ohio House Approves $615 Million for Nursing Homes
Lawmakers in the Ohio House attached an amendment to a bill that would send $615 million to skilled nursing facilities to assist with staffing shortages and keep establishments open.
The amendment was attached to Senate Bill (SB) 110 sponsored by State Senators Sandra O’Brien (R-Ashtabula) and Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) which already appropriates $465 million for rental assistance programs.Read More
Ohio Lawmakers Unanimously Pass Firefighter Amendment in Cases of Vehicular Manslaughter
Following the tragic death of a Cleveland firefighter, Ohio lawmakers unanimously passed an amendment to Senate Bill (SB) 185 to set higher mandatory prison sentences for individuals convicted of striking and killing firefighters and emergency personnel on the road.
State Representatives Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) brought forward the amendment to address a concern in current state law that sets a higher minimum sentence for those convicted of vehicular homicide but omits firefighters and emergency medical personnel.Read More
Ohio House Joint Resolution Amended to Include Increasing Threshold to Legislative Ballot Initiatives
The Committee of Government Oversight amended a resolution Thursday to require all proposed ballot issues to receive 60 percent of the vote in order to amend the state constitution, not just citizen-led amendments.
State Representative Brian Stewart (R-Ashville), requested the committee to adopt an amendment to his resolution, House Joint Resolution (HJR) 6, to include legislative ballot initiatives to also require 60 percent of the vote on election day in order to be enacted.Read More
Ohio State Senate Passes Bill Reducing Training for Cosmetologist and Barber Licenses
State Republican lawmakers are moving a bill forwards that aims to reduce the amount of required training it would take to get a cosmetology and barber license.
House Bill (HB) 542 sponsored by state Representatives Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) and Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) began as a piece of legislation aimed to create a unified barbering/cosmetology school license, to eliminate duplicative applications for facilities that teach both cosmetology and barbering and to lower the age of applicants for barber school to 16 years old.Read More
Ohio House Passes Bill Protecting Firearms Rights During Declared Emergencies
Republicans in the Ohio House passed a bill Thursday, on a 55 to 22 vote, that will prevent state and local governments from closing gun stores, stopping processing background checks, or confiscating firearms without cause during declared states of emergency.
Senate Bill (SB) 185, sponsored by State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), aims to prevent state and local governments and elected or appointed officials from infringing on Second Amendments rights during declared emergencies. This would include required gun registrations, seizing weapons, banning the sale of ammunition, limiting the operating hours at shooting ranges, or prohibiting otherwise lawful hunting.Read More
Ohio Senate Passes Major Criminal Justice Reforms
The Ohio Senate voted 27-2 on Wednesday in favor of a criminal justice reform bill that aims to change how quickly inmates can earn time off of their prison sentences, expand immunity from prosecution for minor drug possession offenses, and strengthens penalties for domestic violence offenders.
Senate Bill (SB) 288 sponsored by Senator Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) aims to provide alternative services to people in lieu of jail or prison or to divert people from an already overburdened prison system.Read More
Ohio Senators Propose Increasing Penalties for Disrupting Religious Services
State lawmakers are proposing stiffer penalties in cases where an individual disrupts a religious service. The measure passed the Ohio House in April and is now progressing through the Senate.
In a hearing of the Judiciary Committee last week. Mike Rodgers, director of policy and legislation from the Attorney General’s office put forward the concept behind the “Sacred Spaces Act.”Read More
Ohio House Passes Bill to Close Loophole that Can Shield Bad Educators from Investigations
The Ohio House has approved legislation that will close a loophole in disciplinary investigation procedures for teachers and school employees.
House Bill (HB) 403 sponsored by Representatives Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Ashtabula) and Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) aims to close a loophole enabling a teacher or school employee who retires under threat of disciplinary investigation or termination to avoid further investigation. Under this bill school districts would report these teachers to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) even if they retire.Read More
Distracted Driving Bill Clears Ohio House
The Ohio House passed an amended version of a distracted driving bill Wednesday afternoon that makes texting and driving a primary offense.
The measure fell short of its original intent requiring hands-free use only of a cellphone by drivers.Read More
Ohio Lawmakers Prepare for the First Week of Lame-Duck Session
After taking a break over the summer and part of the fall for the general election, lawmakers are returning to the Ohio Statehouse to consider many different bills before the two-year session of this general assembly ends in December.
The committees and floor votes which occur after an election, known as a lame duck session, work to conclude urgent or unfinished bills that lawmakers have introduced. Once the session ends, lawmakers will either overlook or reject the bills and legislators, returning incumbents, and newly-elected officials will have to reintroduce the pieces of legislation and restart the committee process.Read More
Ohio Voters May Be in New House, Senate, and Congressional Districts Due to Redistricting
Ohio’s journey to develop maps for the legislative and congressional voting districts has put many voters in new Ohio House, Senate, and Congressional districts for the upcoming election.
When voters go to the polls next week they may notice that they have different lawmakers representing them at the Statehouse and in Washington.Read More
Democrat Tim Ryan Now Says He’s in Favor of Ohio State Issues 1 and 2
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) now says he is planning to vote “yes” for State Issues 1 and 2 making him the fourth and last leading statewide Ohio candidate to do so.
When asked previously about the state issues Ryan stated he had not “read them” and intends to “dig into them before I make a decision.” Vance has endorsed both state issues, calling them “common sense.” Republican Governor Mike DeWine and his Democratic contender Nan Whaley have also said they will vote for both ballot initiatives.Read More
Ohioans Can View What’s on the Ballot Before Going to the Polls
With only a week left until the midterm election and early voting well underway Ohioans can access, review, and mark their selections on a sample ballot prior to election day.
The November 8th election is a midterm, so a number of federal, state, and local candidates will be on the ballot as well as two important statewide issues.Read More
Ohio House Passes Bill Targeting Protesters, Riots
Allowing law enforcement officers to sue for injuries or false claims suffered during riots became closer to becoming law in Ohio.
Democrats and other groups called the bill passed by the Ohio House an attack on free speech, however.Read More
Ohio Businesses Could Get $25K in Tax Breaks to Train Truck Drivers
The Ohio House has passed a bill that would give employers $25,000 in tax credits to train new drivers in an effort to help companies across the state alleviate a growing truck driving shortage.
House Bill 197, backed by trucking and business organizations, now heads to the Senate. It passed the House, 97-0, this week.Read More
Ohio Closer to Establishing Electric Vehicle Commission
A bill passed in the Ohio House would help the state prepare for a future with electric vehicles.
House Bill 292, which was passed in the House on Thursday, establishes the Electric Vehicle Commission, consisting of elected officials and industry leaders, to study electric vehicle production and the steps needed to take to adapt to potential growth in the industry.Read More
Critical Race Theory Debate Heating Up in Ohio General Assembly
School districts, teachers unions, student groups and parents lined up at the Ohio House to testify against two bills that would stop schools from teaching what sponsors called “divisive concepts” in the classroom.
The House State and Local Government Committee heard more than three hours of testimony Wednesday during the third hearing for both House Bill 322 and House Bill 327. Each prohibits teaching concepts that are part of the nationwide critical race theory movement critics say purports the U.S. is a fundamentally racist country.Read More
American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Sues the State House of Representatives Over for Redistricting
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio wants a court to force Republican lawmakers to turn over records related to redistricting it says it asked for five months ago and never received.
The group has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Ohio, seeking the records as the state closes in on the release of U.S. Census Bureau data and a constitutional mandate to redraw congressional and state representative district boundaries.
House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, and Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, have not responded to open records request made in February, the lawsuit said. The ACLU said the records will help it monitor the redistricting process.Read More