This feature is intended to keep our readers up-to-speed with key legislation moving through the Ohio State House. Note: Details on legislation change regularly. For the latest information on all legislation, including current status, schedules, how specific legislators vote and more, go to: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/
The House finished its initial work on the State Operating Budget (HB166) with a 85-9 vote recently to pass a measure that has slightly more money than Governor DeWine’s original proposal, but reprioritizes where the money goes.
No new revenue was created by the tax changes, thanks to yet another across-the-board income tax cut.
Take action on the state budget
Reach out to the office of house Finance Committee Chair Scott Oelslager (614-752-2438) and ask to receive email notifications when Finance committee hearings are scheduled.
Contact your State Representative and let them know what priorities they should fund.
Follow Innovation Ohio for more information about goings-on at the statehouse:
- Twitter @innovationohio and tweet using #ohbudget,
- “Like” our Facebook page, and
- Sign up for budget emails at www.innovationohio.org.
The Latest in Abortion Politics – House Bill 182 (Rep. John Becker, R-Union Township
Majority Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly are aggressively focused on making it harder to get a legal abortion. Recently, the House held a hearing on a bill that wholly misunderstands medical science and could prohibit insurance coverage for many popular forms of birth control and even life-saving medical treatment.
Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering and Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, are introducing identical legislation in the Senate and House. This bill will promote pseudo-science “abortion pill reversals,” requiring doctors prescribing medication abortions, which are performed up to 10 weeks into a pregnancy, to provide information about a procedure to reverse abortions in the event the woman changes her mind. The concept is controversial and doesn’t have FDA approval.
Legislation in the Ohio House
House Bill 6, Ohio Clean Air Program (Callender, Wilkin) – Creates the Ohio Clean Air Program to create incentives for electricity production from clean air resources, encourage investment in reducing emissions, and improve air quality in the state. See David Carpenter’s negative assessment of this bill in the newsletter above.
House Bill 102, Review School Funding (Lehner, Brenner) – to replace locally levied school district property taxes with a statewide property tax and require recipients of certain tax exemptions to reimburse the state for such levy revenue lost due to those exemptions; to create a new system of funding schools where the state pays a specified amount per student that each student may use to attend the public or chartered nonpublic school of the student’s choice, without the requirement of a local contribution. See Mary Kate Pembroke’s commentary of this bill in the newsletter above.
House Bill 169, Require local/state authorities to cooperate on immigration (Keller, Antani) – To require local and state authorities to cooperate with the federal government’s immigration enforcement policies and sanction those that fail to do so.
Senate Bill 119, Exempt Ohio from Daylight Savings Time (Roegner, Peterson) – Exempts the state of Ohio from Daylight Savings Time
House Bill 178, Permitless Weapons Carry (Hood, Brinkman – Kris Jordan is a co-sponsor)- This bill would allow nearly all adults to carry concealed weapons without training or licensing.
House Bill 184, Contraceptives and services for sexual assault victims (Lepore-Hagan) – Regards access to contraceptive services (i.e. drugs and devices), hospital care for sexual assault victims, and health education in schools
House Bill 239, End-Of-Course Assessments (Manning, Crawley) – Reduces the number of end-of-course assessments required for high school graduation and requires each school district to form a working group to evaluate the amount of time students spend on testing in a given academic year.
House Bill 240, Firearm Storage (Kelly, Miranda) – Prohibits negligent storage of a firearm, as well as providing criminal penalties if a minor gains access to an improperly stored firearm.
Legislation in the Ohio Senate
Senate Bill 11, Ohio Fairness Act (Antonio, Rulli) – Prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. This bill would update Ohio’s anti-discrimination laws to include employment, housing, and public-accommodation protections for the LGBTQ community.
Senate Bill 57, Decriminalize hemp and license hemp cultivation (Hill, Huffman) – The 2018 federal farm law reclassified hemp as a commodity (like corn and soybeans) rather than a drug, making it possible for states to change their laws if they wanted to do so. This bill will decriminalize hemp and hemp products and set up a new licensing system for the cultivation of the crop.
Senate Bill 105, Change Massage Therapy Licensing Law (Brenner) – Would require all people performing massages, even in townships, be licensed by the medical board, the board of nursing or one of several other reputable agencies. Lawmakers said the goal is to cut down on human trafficking. As part of the bill, the state would clarify what is massage therapy.
Senate Bill 128, Private School Vouchers (Huffman, M.) – Eliminates current private school voucher pilot programs, replacing them with a statewide voucher for families earning up to $100,000 per year.
Senate Bill 146, Domestic Violence (Kunze, Antonio) – Expands the offense of domestic violence by prohibiting a person from knowingly impeding the normal breathing or blood circulation of a family or household member, either by applying pressure to the neck or throat or by blocking the nose or mouth of any such applicable individual.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Call or Email your State Senator Andrew Brenner – Phone (614) 466-8086
- Call or Email your State Representative, Kris Jordan 67th – Phone: (614) 644-6711
- Call or Email your State Representative, Rick Carfagna 68th – Phone (614) 466-1431
And call Gov DeWine’s office asking him to veto any bill you oppose that passes in the House and Senate. (614) 466-3555 or any bill you are in favor of that you want him to sign.
Join the Facebook Group – How Things Work at the Statehouse – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1202571436523926/
Testify or submit testimony on a bill (See end of this story for a How To Guide)
How to testify or submit testimony on a bill:
- Write your testimony. Template can be found here
- You can say anything you’d like. Share your personal story, share your experience as a professional, share facts/data.
- Keep it short! Committee chairs sometimes limit testimony to 2-3 minutes per person
- Fill out a witness slip. Blank ones can be found here
Email your testimony and witness slip to the Chairman/Chairwoman of the committee where the bill is. List of committee contacts can be found here
(If you CANNOT present your testimony in person – you’re done! No more steps!)
- If you CAN present your testimony in person, show up to the committee on the day of the hearing.
- You will have to wait a while – likely through several other bills. Plan for a few hours.
- Supporter testimony is usually the 2nd hearing. Opponent testimony is usually heard during the 3rd hearing.
- When they call your name – go up to the podium and read your testimony (you don’t have to read it word for word. The legislators just like to have your testimony in front of them ahead of time so they can follow along).
After you’re done, the legislators will have a chance to ask you questions. If you get into a good back and forth with the legislators, reporters may write about it!
⚠️Watch for committee schedules each week here:
Compiled and edited by: Marian Jacques