Ohio Statehouse

Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
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The first piece of legislation related to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of same-sex couples to marry is making the rounds at the Ohio Statehouse.

It’s called the “Pastor Protection Act,” to ensure that clergy members aren’t forced to perform ceremonies that go against their religious beliefs. Sponsoring State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) says it will help supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage get along.

Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
User Thoth188 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The state’s election chief is warning Ohio voters there may be confusion ahead in November, though no issues have officially made the fall ballot yet.


The ResponsibleOhio marijuana legalization amendment could be on the ballot at the same time as a measure that would prohibit businesses from creating amendments that give them economic benefits - just like the amendment from ResponsibleOhio does. Secretary of State Jon Husted says if what’s being called “the anti-monopoly” amendment gets more votes, it will negate the marijuana initiative.

Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
User Thoth188 / Flickr/Creative Commons

Senators are preparing to put together and unveil their version of the budget that was passed by the House last month, which featured key differences from the original spending plan from Gov. John Kasich. But finishing the budget on time might be difficult.

Republican Senate Finance Chair Scott Oelslager of Canton says once all proposed amendments to the $71.5 billion budget are turned in, it’ll be full steam ahead.

State Lawmaker Wants To Remove Time Limits On Rape Convictions

May 27, 2015

A freshman lawmaker wants to crack down on cases of rape and domestic abuse in Ohio.

State Rep. Greta Johnson of the Akron area says her bill would get rid of the statute of limitations altogether for rape crimes. It would also make all spousal rape and sexual battery illegal.

Johnson, a former prosecutor, says there’s only one way to describe rape.

“It is a murder of the soul. It is something that every victim defines their life in as everything that happened before and everything that happens after,” Johnson said.

Bill Would Help Smaller Cities Enforce LGBT Anti-Discrimination Laws

May 19, 2015

A state lawmaker wants a state panel to help municipalities crack down on sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination. 

More and more local government entities are considering LGBT-friendly policies such as adding sexual orientation or gender identity to the list of protected classes. 

State Rep. Michael Stinziano of Columbus says he’s proposing a bill that would enlist the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to help the small municipalities that don’t have the resources to enforce these rules. 

As Talks Continue, Lawmakers Concerned About Size of Budget Bill

Apr 27, 2015
Lawmakers scrapped Gov. Kasich's proposal that would have given schools less money.
User Thoth188 / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio House may have approved the $71.5 billion budget and sent it to the Senate, but that hasn’t stopped opponents from voicing their problems with the large spending bill.

Most of the five conservative Republicans said Medicaid expansion was the reason for their “no” votes on the budget. But State Rep. John Becker of Cincinnati says the bill also spends way too much money.

During the past decade, Ohio’s income tax has been cut several times. And it looks like it might be cut again as the Republican led legislature considers the state budget. But some lawmakers are questioning the value of those cuts.

Republican Finance Committee Chair Ryan Smith says it is important to cut income taxes, especially for small businesses. They would get another tax break under the house’s proposed budget.

traffic camera red light camera
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Communities that still have red light cameras in operation right now are questioning part of the budget plan proposed by the Ohio House. There’s disagreement over a part of the bill designed to take away revenue that’s generated through those cameras.

Some cities are continuing to operate red light cameras while they sue over a new state law that restricts the usage of those devices. State Rep. Ron Maag says there’s a part of the newly proposed House budget that deals with those communities.

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After two months, Republicans who lead the Ohio House will unveil their version of Gov. John Kasich’s two year budget this week. 

The House version of the $72 billion budget is likely to include a tax cut, but it may not be the 23 percent across the board cut that Kasich had proposed. House leaders have not embraced the governor’s ideas to pay for tax cuts with increases in other taxes, such as those on cigarettes and oil and gas drillers, and the hike in the state sales tax and the commercial activity tax or CAT.

Commission Will Consider Expanding Term Limits For State Lawmakers

Apr 10, 2015

A commission of leaders in both the public and private sector will debate the next step toward recommending a term limits extension for state lawmakers, who now can serve eight years in one office.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission—which sends recommendations on changing the Constitution to the General Assembly—is now considering two proposals to extend those term limits to 12 years. One includes current lawmakers and the other only applies to newly-elected officials.