The 2020 General Election added one additional Republican to the Ohio Senate and three additional Republicans to the Ohio House of Representatives.
Republicans now hold a 25-8 majority in the Senate and outnumber Democrats 64-35 in the House.
That increase in Republican lawmakers may spell hope for conservative Ohioans who are still hoping for legislation – for example, Senate Bill 311 – that restricts Governor Mike Dewine’s 11-month restriction reign ranging from the Arnold Classic to the requiring people be in a residence by 10:00 p.m. Read More
While members of the Ohio House of Representatives want to push forward quickly with a plan to change how the state funds public schools, the chairman of the senate committee reviewing the idea wants more answers.
Proposed legislation, which calls for a six-year phase-in, could mean $2 billion more for schools in Ohio. However, state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wants to know how much it will actually cost. Read More
The Ohio House of Representatives made voices on the state’s college campus a little louder this week, if Gov. Mike DeWine approves.
The House passed the “Forming Open and Robust University Minds Act,” which would prevent colleges and universities from limiting political speech on campuses or moving that speech into “free speech zones.” Read More
While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was announcing a statewide curfew to slow the spread of COVID-19, more than 97 people submitted written testimony supporting a bill that would strip authority from the governor and the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders.
Doctors, nurses and regular citizens provided written and oral testimony in support of House Bill 618, legislation that would make any special or standing order from the governor seeking to prevent the spread of contagious or infectious diseases advisory only. If HB618 passes, any such order from the governor would have no legal effect unless approved by the General Assembly. Read More
Saying they strongly support the right to protest, two Ohio Republican lawmakers responded to incidents around the country in the wake of protests with a bill that would stiffen penalties for rioting, looting and violence toward peace officers in the state.
“We have had conversations with peace officers and business owners around the state and they were like something has to be done,” state Rep. Cindy Abrams, R-Harrison, said at a news conference Tuesday. “Over the summer, we saw peaceful protests and then we saw rioting, vandalism and looting.” Read More
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed several new bills into law Wednesday.
The new laws include the expansion of the jurisdiction of Ohio courts and stopping state officials from interfering with religious services. House Bill 272 prohibits “a public official from ordering the closure of all places of worship in a geographic area,” and stops public officials “from changing the time, place, or manner of conducting an election, except in certain circumstances.” Read More
A state board is meeting today to decide if Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose can spend up to $3 million to pay for absentee ballot postage for the November elections.
The Ohio Controlling Board will consider LaRose’s request today. Their agenda is here, and more information about LaRose’s request is here.
This appropriation of state funds will be used by the Ohio Secretary of State to pay the cost of returning absentee ballots on behalf of any Ohio voter who opts to use that manner of voting in the November 3, 2020 General Election. This will not expand Ohio’s existing absentee voting opportunities and will not permit universal vote by mail. There will still be in-person voting at polling locations on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Read More
House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, has named lawmakers to serve on a new committee tasked with repealing and replacing House Bill 6, a ratepayer-funded bailout of two Ohio nuclear plants that led to a federal corruption probe.
Democrats said they were prepared to take action when the House met on Tuesday. Read More
Ohio House lawmakers on Friday moved to address the power vacuum created by the arrest of current Republican Speaker Larry Householder amid a $60 million federal bribery probe.
The names of potential candidates to take the reins of the House of Representatives are spilling out — two days after federal officials arrested Householder and four associates over alleged bribes to shepherd an energy bill into law. Read More
House Democrats said they plan to introduce a bill that would allow legislative staff to unionize.
The bill would eliminate a provision in the Ohio Revised Code that bans collective bargaining for exempted state employees, including legislative staff. Read More
A Republican lawmaker questioned during a meeting of the Ohio Senate Health Committee if “the colored population” is contracting coronavirus at disproportionate rates because they do not wash their hands “as well as other groups.”
The American Civil Liberties Union called for state Sen. Steve Huffman to step down from office Thursday following his comments that were made during a hearing for a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. Read More
Ohio voters could decide a constitutional amendment to cover the cost of unemployment payouts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Joint Resolution 4, if passed, would allow voters to decide whether to issue the bonds “to repay any federal borrowing in support of Ohio’s unemployment compensation program,” Ohio Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Peterson, R-Washington Court House, said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Read More
Conservatives are using words like “betrayal” to describe Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof’s late-night move to kill a vote on a bill to curb Dr. Amy Acton’s unrestrained powers in shutting the state down, and suggests he had an ulterior motive.
The Senate will not act this week on Senate Bill One pulling back the Health Department director’s powers, meaning it will likely fail, Fox 19 Now reported. The Senate is only having committee meetings this week and will hold a session next week. 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
Gov. Mike DeWine took a stand Thursday against Ohio House Republicans who are trying to limit the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)’s powers during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, House Republicans on the House State and Local Government Committee (HSLGC) passed an amendment to a 2019 regulatory reform bill that would limit ODH’s orders to two weeks, The Ohio Star reported. 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
Ohio State House Republicans on Wednesday approved a move to limit the Health Department’s emergency declaration powers. Read More
Approximately 150 people gathered outside the State Capitol in Columbus Monday to tell Gov. Mike DeWIne and Health Department Director Amy Action that it’s past time to reopen the state.
Tom Zawistowski, president of Ohio Tea Party group We the People Convention, estimated the attendance, in an interview with The Ohio Star. This was the second such protest since last Thursday.
Many of the protestors called out, “You’re getting a paycheck, we’re not,” Zawistowski said. Read More
Some Ohio Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen the state.
The governor said Friday he would create a plan to gradually reopen the state, The Plain-Dealer said.
House Speaker Larry Householder convened a task force that will study how to reopen the economy. State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (R-OH-54) said Ohio needs to plan for controlling the disease for when segments of the economy reopen. He pointed out that some question whether 253 deaths as of Sunday justify the closures. Read More
The Buckeye Institute says Ohio should end the collaborative supervision requirements that prevent advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) from offering the medical care they have been trained and licensed to provide. Read More
A group trying to alter the way term limits work in the Buckeye State filed petition paperwork with Attorney General Dave Yost Wednesday. A group called Ohioans for Legislative Term Limits (OLTL) wants to limit the number of years state elected officials can serve to 16. Currently, an amendment… Read More
Greg R. Lawson, a research fellow at The Buckeye Institute, testified Wednesday before Ohio legislators looking at solutions to the problems facing Ohio’s EdChoice program. Read More
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio recently erected ten billboards across the state to inform residents that “abortion is still legal in Ohio.” Read More