Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed 19 bills into law on Monday, the start of the new legislative session, that lawmakers approved during the lame duck session last year.
On December 22nd, DeWine’s office received a raft of 24 bills. He signed 18 of those 24 into law.
Lawmakers have proposed numerous pieces of important legislation that impact individuals throughout Ohio, such as major criminal justice reform, an overhaul of the state education system, and changes in Ohio’s voting laws; however, for every major policy proposal, is an obscure one that tends to go overlooked.
House Bill (HB) 379 sponsored by state Representative Phillip Robinson Jr. (D-Solon) pitched a new “Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland” license plate which supports an organization that helps cat owners and their feline companions.
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.
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.