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Government


School safety and unemployment top the legislative list of the Ohio House
Also on the GOP-dominated list are internet cafes and national health care
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
In The Region:
The new general assembly was sworn in a few weeks ago, and lawmakers now have a stack of 22 bills to read and react to. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler runs down the list.
First bill introduced

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A total of 22 bills were introduced in the House on what amounts to the first day of work on legislative agenda items. The first 10 were sponsored by House Republicans, and Speaker Bill Batchelder says they reflect some of the bigger issues that lawmakers will take on in the first half of this year.

Two bills require the use of the state’s website, OhioMeansJobs.com, by job seekers getting unemployment benefits and county workforce centers.

Some others are bills that did not get finished last session, including the crackdown on internet cafes, an overhaul of the municipal income tax system and the regulation of navigators who would bring together insurance shoppers with insurers under the federal health care act.

One bill is an incomplete bill called a placeholder. The description of the bill, called “working to ensure safer schools,” says that it “will be drafted based on interested party input during the committee process. It will incorporate research and suggestions brought forth by the public.”

Democrats also introduced bills, including one related to metal detectors in schools and a requirement that the Local Government Fund receive the same proportion of tax revenue it did in 2005. That's a reaction to the cuts local governments took in Gov. Kasich’s first budget.

And Columbus Rep. Mike Stinziano proposed a constitutional amendment on voters’ rights.
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