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
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
Ohio school-choice advocates are applauding a bill introduced in the Ohio House they say empowers families to choose the best education options for their children.
The “Backpack Bill” became part of the debate on a proposed new education funding formula and would ensure each child in Ohio would be eligible for a scholarship to attend the K-12 school or their choice.
“Ohio lawmakers should be focusing on funding teachers and students, not buildings and bureaucrats,” said Aaron Baer, president for the Center of Christian Virtue, formerly known as Citizens for Community Values. “The Backpack Bill will ensure every Ohio student is able to access the education that best meets his or her needs.” Read More
Counter-protesters wearing black activism gear targeted Representative Candice Keller (R-OH-53) after her speech this past weekend at a Save Our Children Rally in Columbus. Keller is an avid pro-life legislator and creator of the Ohio Heartbeat Bill.
Keller and her husband Kent – a write-in candidate for the Ohio Senate – attended the rally. In interviews with The Ohio Star, Keller states that she and her husband were walking back to their cars when they noticed people recording and following them. Every time the couple looked back, the group stopped and stared – but continued taping. Read More
Ohio House Democrats introduced a new bill this week that would repeal House Bill (HB) 6, which bailed out nuclear power plants in the state. HB 6 was at the heart of the $60 million corruption scandal that led to state Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) being stripped of his House speakership position.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) arrested Householder and four other people on July 21 for allegedly having “worked to corruptly ensure that HB 6 went into effect by defeating a ballot initiative to overturn the legislation,” according to the DOJ press release. Read More
Even as the Ohio House of Representatives looks to replace disgraced Speaker Larry Householder, a coalition of conservative organizations is urging lawmakers to be thoughtful in how they do so.
Householder and four others were arrested July 21 in connection with a $60 million federal bribery probe in connection with the Legislature’s 2019 bailout of FirstEnergy and its nuclear power plants. Read More
Two Ohio Democrats introduced a bill Friday to criminalize the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers in Ohio.
“Chokeholds can cause serious injury or even death. The NYPD ban on chokeholds didn’t prevent the death of Eric Garner. We cannot leave this up to cities and individual departments any more. The state must act. We need greater law enforcement accountability in Ohio,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), who introduced the bill with Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron). Read More
An Ohio Democrat claimed last week that current House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) and his two predecessors “ignored requests dating back several years” to address “a hostile work environment in the Ohio House.” Read More
Ohio Democrats asked Gov. Mike DeWine to indefinitely ban the use of tear gas by all county, municipal, and township police departments in a letter sent last week.
According to the letter, law enforcement agencies across Ohio used tear gas, pepper spray, and mace on peaceful protesters during recent demonstrations. Read More
Ohio House Democrats unsuccessfully attempted last week to ban the sale, display, possession, or distribution of Confederate flags at county and independent fairs.
During a Thursday night debate on House Bill 665, a bill related to agricultural societies and public safety, Democrats introduced two amendments in an effort to crack down on Confederate memorabilia. Read More
Ohio House Democrats called on Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) to publicly condemn the threats of violence made against their leader and provide “additional security measures” for lawmakers.
“As Speaker and in recognition of your leadership role in the Ohio House of Representatives, you are granted additional security while in the statehouse,” House Democrats said in a letter to Householder last week. Read More
House lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill to legalize sports wagering in Ohio, a move that could generate millions in tax revenue for the state.
House Bill 194 levies a 10 percent tax on gross gaming revenue with proceeds to benefit education in the Buckeye State. The measure could bring in $17.7 million in additional revenue for the state during the 2022 fiscal year and $23 million during the 2023 fiscal year, according to the Legislative Service Commission (LSC). Read More
Ohio Democrats said they were “outraged” by Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal for addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s black population.
African Americans make up 14 percent of Ohio’s population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths. Read More
Ohio House Democrats want to mail a ballot to every voter in the state and skip the “confusing application step,” according to an election proposal put forward Friday.
“Our members have worked intensely over the last several months pushing for improvements in the primary election and now proposing needed fixes to ensure a fall election that goes much more smoothly than the primary,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) (pictured above) said in a statement. Read More
The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony Wednesday to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on the policies of Senate Bill 308, which would provide businesses and workers with immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits. Read More
State Rep. Diane Grendell (R- Geauga County) wants Ohio Health Department Director Dr. Amy Acton to be more forthcoming about COVID-19 statistics.
Grendell drafted the “Truth in COVID-19 Statistics” bill, the Record-Courier reported. She said the bill will be introduced in the House later this week, and she expects it to gain bipartisan support. Read More
A top Democrat on the Ohio House’s coronavirus economic recovery task force criticized its Republican chair for gathering “one-sided testimony that only supported the idea of opening Ohio as soon as possible.”
In a statement released last week, Rep. Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland), vice chair of the Ohio 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force, voiced frustration with the fact that the committee hasn’t heard from “minorities or women.”
“We were under the impression by the majority that this task-force would be a bipartisan, collaborative effort to map out next steps for the General Assembly’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in Ohio,” he said. “However, it became almost immediately apparent from the agenda and the chosen speakers that this task force was actually designed to gather one-sided testimony that only supported the idea of opening Ohio as soon as possible. This was never a democratic process.” Read More
Ohio Democrats called Attorney General Dave Yost “opportunistic” for urging abortion clinics to close during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health issued an executive order Tuesday that required health providers to cancel all non-essential or elective surgeries that utilize personal protective equipment (PPE). Read More
Ohio House Democrats are using the coronavirus outbreak in the United States to advocate for paid family and medical leave. Read More
In this age of hyper-partisanship, there is still bipartisan agreement in the Ohio House. Read More
The state House has signed off on a bill that would repay outstanding chiropractic school debt for doctors who agree to serve in areas where there is a shortage of chiropractors. Read More
A recent report found that a dark money group promoting Gov. Mike DeWine’s gun control platform has connections to the governor himself. Read More
An anti-sanctuary bill is pending in the Ohio House of Representatives. Read More
The Ohio House is currently considering a bill that would reduce the number of state-mandated standardized tests students are required to take by eliminating four end-of-course exams, including the American history and American government exams. House Bill 239, referred to as the Testing Reduction Act, was introduced by Reps.… Read More
State Sen. Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati) said it would be “a mistake” for the Ohio Senate to support a decrease to the tax breaks small businesses receive in the state. “There are a range of issues with the House budget that concern us in the Senate. The first would be… Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has called for raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, a proposal that’s included in Ohio’s biennial budget bill. But anti-smoking groups in the state have actually testified against the proposal. These groups believe that the proposal would mostly punish youth… Read More
Ohio House Democrats announced their plans Wednesday to introduce a package of gun-control laws in response to the so-called constitutional carry bill making its way through the committee process. As The Ohio Star previously reported, Republicans introduced a bill in March to bring constitutional carry to the Buckeye state,… Read More
Gov. Mike DeWine called for lifting the statute of limitations in cases of rape and sexual abuse in response to the report surrounding former Ohio State University team doctor Richard Strauss. According to a report released Friday by the university, Strauss, who killed himself in 2005, abused at least… Read More
A bill making its way through the Ohio House would make it easier for military spouses living in the state to obtain professional licenses, a policy championed by the conservative Buckeye Institute. House Bill 133, sponsored by Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), would grant full professional licenses to military spouses… Read More
Ohio House Democrats and Republicans unveiled a set of bills Monday at a joint press conference, continuing an unusual bipartisan push in the Ohio Legislature after successfully passing a state budget bill. “By working together, we can strengthen Ohio families, give our children a brighter future and create a… Read More
The Ohio House passed House Bill 166 Thursday, its version of the state’s biennial budget. While the bill includes substantial income tax reductions, some groups aren’t pleased with the impact it will have on small businesses. Under the bill, Ohio’s Business Investment Income Deduction would be lowered to $100,000.… Read More
The Buckeye Institute, an Ohio-based conservative think tank, warned lawmakers Tuesday that state government spending “has outpaced inflation and population growth for years,” meaning the “day of reckoning will be painful for families and businesses” if they don’t cut down on spending. Greg Lawson, a research fellow at The… Read More
A revised state budget proposal unveiled Thursday by House Republican leadership would introduce substantial income tax cuts for Ohioans but would do so by eliminating tax breaks for small businesses. The budget plan, House Bill 166, builds off of the budget proposal put forward by Gov. Mike DeWine, who… Read More
State Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) has introduced a bill that he says would close a “loophole in child exploitation laws” after a 9-year-old boy performed in drag at a bar just outside of Columbus. Jacob Measley, who performs under the name “Miss Mae Hem,” sparked outrage online in December after… Read More
Ohio House Democrats unveiled a number of proposals Thursday that they claim will “modernize” Ohio’s tax system to “benefit working people, families and small businesses.” They’re calling the set of proposals the “People First Tax Reform,” which will include a “Working Families First” tax incentive. This incentive would reform Ohio’s… Read More
One of the most divisive and talked-about bills in Ohio’s history is officially on its way to Gov. Mike DeWine’s desk and is expected to be signed into law at any moment. After months of debate and numerous committee hearings, the heartbeat bill passed the Ohio House Wednesday afternoon in… Read More
Ohio House Republicans added substantial new provisions to their version of the “heartbeat bill” that have the potential to make one of the state’s most controversial pieces of legislation even more divisive. While the Senate already passed its version of the bill last month, it is still making its way… Read More
In one of his first major acts in office, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) signed into law the state’s first gas tax increase since 2005. The issue has been the focal point of his first few months in office, and negotiations with House and Senate Republicans have not been easy. But… Read More
The Ohio Governor’s Residence in Bexley is set to receive $2 million in renovations on the taxpayer’s dime after the funding was tossed into a catch-all bill passed at the last minute of 2018. Senate Bill 51 was initially introduced in the Ohio Senate in February 2017 as a piece… Read More