2021 OH Legislature

2021 Legislature

Summary

The Ohio General Assembly is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Ohio. It consists of the 99-member Ohio House of Representatives and the 33-member Ohio Senate. Both houses of the General Assembly meet at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus.

News

Total abortion ban bill enters Senate committee after day of protest
Ohio Capital Journal, Susan TebbenSeptember 30, 2021 (Medium)

A bill hinging on the downfall of federal abortion rights came into a Senate committee Wednesday with the support of its two Republican sponsors.

Senate Bill 123 is a “trigger” bill that would allow the state to ban abortion with a change in the U.S. Constitution or the overturning of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.

The bill criminalizes a physician’s role in an abortion in the state, threatening prison time and the revocation of medical licenses for any doctor participating or promoting abortion. Bill cosponsor state Sen. Sandra O’Brien, R-Ashtabula, said the work against abortions doesn’t stop with just the challenges to Roe v. Wade.

“Overturning Roe v. Wade does not make abortion illegal,” O’Brien told the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. “It simply changes the venue of this question from nine unelected Supreme Court justices to the people to enact abortion policy through their elected state legislators.”

Senate Health Committee member Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Avondale, pushed back on the bill, arguing that calling Ohio a “pro-life state” as O’Brien did, was not supported by data.

“Survey after survey has concluded the majority of Ohioans believe abortions should be legal and that politicians should not be making personal decisions for them about their pregnancies,” Thomas said.

Taking heat from all sides, House GOP shelves anti-vaccination bill
Ohio Capital Journal, Jake ZukermanSeptember 30, 2021 (Medium)

Ohio House Republicans have pumped the brakes on what was once turbo-charged legislation aimed to restrict abilities of employers and colleges to require vaccination against COVID-19.

The House Speaker and top lawmakers introduced the legislation Tuesday afternoon with the intent of the whole House passing it Wednesday. The House Health Committee passed it 11-3 on party lines Tuesday.

However, before a legislative session commenced Wednesday afternoon, the bill drew fierce criticism from the health care and business community, and even anti-vaccine activists who said it didn’t go far enough.

The Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, in a statement on behalf of a wide range of health care businesses and associations, said the bill falls short of what the state needs.

“This bill does not address the concerns expressed by the medical, business and university communities about prior proposals of a similar nature,” the statement says. “Protection of an employer’s rights to make decisions in the best interest of their employees and those we serve cannot be overstated.”

Steve Stivers, a former GOP congressman turned CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, said the bill infringes on the rights of employers.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Hundreds of supporters of a Republican-backed bill that would prohibit employers from requiring workers to receive vaccinations descended on the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday as lawmakers heard a single additional day of testimony on the closely watched proposal.

While speakers before the GOP-controlled House Health Committee were evenly divided between those for and against the measure, supporters far outnumbered them on the Statehouse grounds.

Hundreds rallied outside ahead of time carrying signs with slogans such as “Enact Vaccine Choice” and “No To Forced Vaccines!”, then crowded into the Statehouse atrium to watch the hearing live on large-screen TVs, applauding speakers who favored the legislation and laughing at those who didn’t.

Just minutes after the committee wrapped up Tuesday, Ohio State University announced it would require all students, faculty and staff to complete the full vaccination process by Nov. 15. President Kristina Johnson pegged the decision to the Food and Drug Administration’s decision Monday to grant full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. Ohio State is one of the country’s largest universities and a major Columbus employer.

States follow Ohio’s lead in announcing their own vaccine lotteries
Ohio Capital Journal, Tyler BuchananJune 3, 2021 (Short)

What some Ohio lawmakers saw as a wasteful gameshow gimmick, other governors saw as an opportunity.

It took only a few weeks after Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Vax-A-Million for other states to introduce their own vaccine lottery programs. There are cash prizes in Oregon, music festival tickets awarded in Delaware and even custom rifles available for the winners in West Virginia.

“I can’t stand for Ohio to get ahead of us on anything,” the Charleston Gazette-Mail quoted Gov. Jim Justice as saying.

There are nearly a dozen states across the country offering some type of vaccine lottery. In total, these states are offering close to $50 million in prize money along with college scholarships and other prizes.

About

Source: Wikipedia

Legislative agencies

The Legislative Service Commission is one of several legislative agencies. It serves as a source for legal expertise and staffing and drafts proposed legislation, also helps serve as an advertisement to the general public as to what is happening inside the assembly.

History

The General Assembly first convened in Chillicothe, then the Ohio capital, on March 1, 1803.[4]

The second constitution of Ohio, effective in 1851, took away the power of the General Assembly to choose the state’s executive officers, granting that right to the voters. A complicated formula apportioned legislators to Ohio counties and the number of seats in the legislative houses varied from year-to-year.[5]

The Ohio Politics Almanac by Michael F. Curtin (Kent State University Press) described apportionment thus:

The new [1851] constitution … contained a complicated formula for apportionment, the so-called “major fraction rule.” Under it, the state’s population was divided by 100, with the resulting quotient being the ratio of representation in the House of Representatives. Any county with a population equal to at least half the ratio was entitled to one representative; a county with a population of less than half the ratio was grouped with an adjacent county for districting; a county containing a population of at least one and three-fourths the ratio was entitled to two representatives; a county with a population equal to three times the ratio was entitled to three representatives. To determine Senate districts, a similar procedure was followed; the starting point, however was figured by dividing the state’s population by 35. The ratios for the House and Senate and the resulting apportionment was determined by a board consisting of the governor, auditor, and secretary of state.

In 1903, the apportionment system was modified by the Hanna amendment, which also gave the governor veto power over the assembly’s acts, which could be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses. The last state constitutional convention, held in 1912, gave the governor a line-item veto, but reduced the supermajority required for overriding the veto to three-fifths. In 1956, a referendum increased the terms of state senators from two to four years.

The Hanna amendment (which guaranteed each county at least one representative and all members elected at large) guaranteed that rural areas of Ohio would dominate the legislature. However, several decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court surrounding the legal principal of one man, one vote mandated apportionment proportional to population. Reapportionment was ordered in 1964. Starting with the 1966 election, the number of seats in the two chambers were fixed at their present numbers of 33 and 99.

Republican activists, led by Fred A. Lennon, began pursuing term limits in the 1980s, in 1992, a referendum set term limits of eight consecutive years in office: four consecutive terms in the House or two consecutive terms in the Senate. Years in office are considered consecutive if they are separated by less than four years. A former member of the legislature who had served eight years becomes eligible for election to the legislature after four years out of office.

Vacancies

The Ohio House and Ohio Senate use slightly different methods to fill vacant seats. In both chambers, a replacement is first elected by the members of the relevant chamber who are affiliated with the same party as the departing member. In the House, the replacement will serve for the remainder of the term. In the Senate, the replacement will serve for the remainder of the term only if the vacancy occurred after the first 20 months of the four-year Senate term. If the vacancy occurred during the first 20 months of the term, then a special election will be held during the next regularly-scheduled even-year statewide election. The replacement selected by the party members will then serve until the end of December following the special election, with the winner serving the remainder of the term.[6]

See also

References

  1.  The Ohio General Assembly Official Government Websitehttps://www.legislature.ohio.gov/
  2.  The Ohio House Official Government Website, http://www.ohiohouse.gov/index
  3.  The Ohio Senate Official Government Website, http://ohiosenate.gov/
  4.  Blue, Frederick J. (Autumn 2002). “The Date of Ohio Statehood”Ohio Academy of History Newsletter. Archived from the original on September 11, 2010.
  5.  A Brief History of Ohio’s State Government,https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/publications/a-brief-history
  6.  “The Ohio Legislature”www.legislature.ohio.gov. Retrieved December 6, 2020.

Further reading

External links

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