Ohio House Speaker Stephens Removes State Representative Merrin as Committee Vice-Chair

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) removed State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) as vice-chair of the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee, which reviews legislation affecting tax policy at the state and local levels.

Majority press secretary Aaron Mulvey told The Ohio Star that Merrin received a memo from Stephens on Friday informing him that Stephens removed him as the committee’s vice-chair.

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Two New Members Sworn In to Vacant Ohio House Seats

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) swore in two new members to the Ohio House to fill the vacant seats left due to the passing of State Representative Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) and the resignation of State Representative Brian Baldridge (R- Winchester) to take a job as state agriculture director.

After the untimely passing of Jordan, Delaware County Republican Brian Lorenz (R-Powell) has been chosen to fill the remaining term for the 60th House District seat.

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House Speaker Jason Stephens Delays Vote on Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment

On Tuesday, moderate Republican House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) once again delayed a floor vote on the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment, House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1, which aims to alter the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments.

The measure, if approved, would mandate a 60 percent approval percentage for any future constitutional amendments, call for signatures from all 88 counties, and do away with the opportunity to “cure” petitions by collecting additional signatures if necessary.

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Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment Supporters Say They Have the Necessary Votes to Pass Legislation on House Floor

Supporters of legislation that aims to alter the process of how initiative petitions can propose constitutional amendments have told Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) that they have the support of at least 59 House Republicans who want a floor vote on the resolution.

It will take a three-fifths majority of the 99-member House to pass the resolution to put before voters House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1 requiring 60 percent voter approval for future constitutional amendments.

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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.

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Ohio Speaker Stephens Announces Committee Chairs and House Leadership Team

New Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) has released his list of committee chairs and vice chairs with about 50 percent of those positions going to 20 of the 22 Republicans who supported him for speaker including most of the major committees, such as finance.

Earlier this month, lawmakers elected moderate Republican Stephens as the new Speaker of the Ohio House to succeed state Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima). The choice came despite the Republican Caucus‘ previous selection in November of state Representative Derek Merrin (R-Moncolva) 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.

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Ohio Lawmakers Approve Over 30 Bills During Culmination of Legislative Session

During the legislature’s overnight culminating session, Ohio lawmakers approved over 30 pieces of legislation that now head to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk for approval. If DeWine does nothing the legislation will take effect without his signature. However, he has ten days, with the exception of Sundays, following the acquisition of the bills to approve or veto the legislation if he so chooses.

On December 22nd, DeWine’s office received a raft of 24 bills. The deadline for DeWine to take action on those bills to either sign or veto is January 3rd.

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State Rep. Grendell’s ‘Restore Ohio Now’ Bill Gains Momentum in Ohio House, Needs Speaker’s Guidance

Nineteen state representatives signed on to support law that would effectively put an end to COVID restrictions, the bill’s author, State Representative Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) told The Ohio Star Wednesday.

“Government cannot protect us from every single one of life’s risks,” Grendell said.

The Star reported that the Representative-crafted a bill that would immediately cancel Governor Mike DeWine’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio.

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