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NAACP, Democrats file lawsuit over new “stand your ground” law
Ohio Capital Journal, Jake ZuckermanSeptember 10, 2021 (Medium)

Two Democratic lawmakers and the NAACP filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking to overturn a recently passed “stand your ground” law, which removes Ohioans’ legal duty to try to retreat before responding to a perceived attack with deadly force.

The legislation passed in the dying hours of the previous General Assembly often known as the “lame duck” session — the period after biennial elections but before the victors take office. Lawmakers abruptly tucked the stand your ground language into an unrelated bill addressing civil liability issues among nonprofit corporations.

The plaintiffs, including Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Cincinnati, and Rep. Stephanie Howse, D-Cleveland, allege the bill’s passage violated two rules in the state Constitution:

  • Three considerations rule: “Every bill shall be considered by each house on three different days”
  • Single object rule: “No bill shall contain more than one subject.”

The Stand Your Ground legislation was controversial and the tactical insertion of it into S.B. 175 circumvented the public criticism of pending and past Stand Your Ground bills,” lawyers with anti-gun violence advocates Everytown Law, representing the plaintiffs, wrote in a court filing.

Ohio Coronavirus Update
April 21, 2021
Parties battle over proposed elections changes in Ohio
Ohio Capital Journal, Tyler BuchananJune 4, 2021 (Short)

The Republican sponsors of a bill proposing numerous changes to Ohio election law say they are open to some compromise with Democratic opponents.

But this olive branch comes with a warning.

“(Democrats) have so far given the back of their hand to a balanced bill,” said Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati. “And the risk that they are taking is that by being disingenuous in their opposition, we might just say ‘OK, well, you don’t like a balanced bill, we might move it the rightward direction and then give you something really to howl about, OK?’”

House Bill 294, sponsored by Seitz and fellow Republican Rep. Sharon Ray of Wadsworth, has a ways to go before it becomes law. Ohio Democrats are preparing for the long fight.

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.

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