Tracked Senate Bills – December 2018

Role for the Lieutenant Governor? A bill passed by the General Assembly this week and sent to the Governor for signature hinted at a role to possibly be filled by Lieutenant Governor-elect Jon Husted. Senate Bill 296, originally drafted to increase law enforcement survivor benefits was amended to include a compromise pay raise omnibus amendment affecting state and local elected officials. An additional amendment apparently requested by the Governor-elect’s transition team would create an office within the Governor’s Office called “InnovateOhio” (see https://www.mikedewine.com/innovationohio/) and would allow the Lieutenant Governor, if appointed to head such an office, to receive the salary for that office rather than the lieutenant governor’s statutory pay.

Tracked Senate Bills – November 2018

Ohio Election Results:

Voter turnout for the November General Election in Ohio was quite high. According to the Secretary of State’s office, of the state’s 8,070,917 registered voters, 54.3 percent voted.

In Federal races, U.S. Senate Democratic incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown defeated Congressman Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) with a 53.19 to 46.81 percent advantage. In U.S. House of Representatives races, the Ohio Congressional delegation political breakdown remained the same in all 16 seats. Ohio U.S. Representatives Marcia Fudge (D), Marcy Kaptur (D), Troy Balderson (R), Mike Turner (R), David Joyce (R), Tim Ryan (D) and Steve Stivers (R) all won re-election. Steve Chabot (R), Brad Wenstrup (R), Joyce Beatty (D), Jim Jordan (R), Bob Latta (R), Bill Johnson (R), Bob Gibbs (R) and Warren Davidson (R) were also successful. Likewise, former Ohio State University football player and first-time candidate for elected office, Anthony Gonzales (R), won election by 56.84 percent of the vote.

Tracked House Bills – November 2018

Ohio Election Results:

Voter turnout for the November General Election in Ohio was quite high. According to the Secretary of State’s office, of the state’s 8,070,917 registered voters, 54.3 percent voted.

In Federal races, U.S. Senate Democratic incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown defeated Congressman Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) with a 53.19 to 46.81 percent advantage. In U.S. House of Representatives races, the Ohio Congressional delegation political breakdown remained the same in all 16 seats. Ohio U.S. Representatives Marcia Fudge (D), Marcy Kaptur (D), Troy Balderson (R), Mike Turner (R), David Joyce (R), Tim Ryan (D) and Steve Stivers (R) all won re-election. Steve Chabot (R), Brad Wenstrup (R), Joyce Beatty (D), Jim Jordan (R), Bob Latta (R), Bill Johnson (R), Bob Gibbs (R) and Warren Davidson (R) were also successful. Likewise, former Ohio State University football player and first-time candidate for elected office, Anthony Gonzales (R), won election by 56.84 percent of the vote.

Tracked Senate Bills – October 2018

State Issue 1: Voters will see one state issue on the November ballot, State Issue 1. State Issue 1 is titled “To Reduce Penalties for Crimes of Obtaining, Possessing, and Using Illegal Drugs”, and it would add a new Section 12 to Article XV of the Ohio Constitution designed to reshape the funding and implementation of Ohio’s drug treatment and correctional rehabilitation programming. The Ohio Ballot Board issued the following description of the components of State Issue 11: Require sentence reductions of incarcerated individuals, except individuals incarcerated for murder, rape, or child molestation, by up to 25% if the individual participates in rehabilitative, work, or educational programming; Mandate that criminal offenses of obtaining, possessing, or using any drug such as fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, LSD, and other controlled substances cannot be classified as a felony, but only a misdemeanor; Prohibit jail time as a sentence for obtaining, possessing, or using such drugs until an individual’s third offense within 24 months; Allow an individual convicted of obtaining, possessing, or using any such drug prior to the effective date of the amendment to ask a court to reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor, regardless of whether the individual has completed the sentence; Require any available funding, based on projected savings, to be applied to state-administered rehabilitation programs and crime victim funds, and Require a graduated series of responses, such as community service, drug treatment, or jail time, for minor, non-criminal probation violations. The Issue is very controversial. Opponents say it could decrease the effectiveness of Ohio’s drug courts and that its decriminalization of fentanyl will lead to increased overdoses. Proponents include Former Ohio Attorney General Rich Cordray, the Democrat running for governor; Christian Coalition of Ohio; American Civil Liberties Union and numerous church and social service organizations. Opponents include Ohio Gov. John Kasich; Ohio Attorney/Republican Gubernatorial candidate General Mike DeWine, and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and numerous law enforcement agencies in Ohio.

Tracked House Bills – October 2018

Ohio Legislature: Recent House and Senate Sessions have been sparse, and legislators are in full campaign-mode. However, work has continued in legislative committees.

Gubernatorial Race: With the three scheduled gubernatorial debates completed, most polls show the race between Democratic candidate Richard Cordray and Republican candidate Mike DeWine too close to call. The outcome could well rest on voter turnout.

Early Voting Underway: Early voting for Ohio’s November 6 General Election began October 10 and lasts through November 5. Voters can either vote early by mail (Request a ballot from your county’s board of elections, fill out the form and mail it back or drop it off at your local board of elections headquarters) or in person by going to your county’s Board of Elections with an acceptable form of identification. Hours are as follows: between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays between Oct. 10 and Oct. 26; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. between Oct. 29 and Nov. 2; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5.