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Government and Politics

Ohio lawmakers take on budgets, gambling and guns
Legislators pick up with key bills -- formally and informally

Bill Cohen
Ohio Senate Pres. Keith Faber
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Ohio legislators face a busy week ahead. They have committee hearings scheduled on proposals that deal with a new state budget, internet cafes, guns, and tanning booths. Statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen has the preview.

Hear Cohen's preview for upcoming week in Ohio legislation

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The House has already OK'd a 7 percent cut in the state income tax. And this week, key state senators plan to huddle on it informally. Senate President Keith Faber would love an even larger tax cut, but he says Republicans’ first priority is an income tax cut for small businesses.

The proposed tax cut is just one item in a 4,000 page, two-year state budget the House has approved. Three Senate subcommittees this week plan hearings on various parts of the whole package.

Also up for committee consideration is an often debated bill that’s never passed. It would ban people younger than 18 from commercial tanning booths unless they have a doctor’s prescription.

Gun bills face off
Two different bills, one from each side of the gun debate, are set for a hearing in the House State and Local Government Committee. One would order adults to lock away guns at homes so children could not get to them, and if a child did indeed get a gun, the adult could be charged with a crime.

While gun control advocates like that proposal, the other bill getting hearings is being cheered by gun advocates. That bill proclaims if the feds or some international agency tries to enforce a fire arms registration requirement or a fire arms ban, they may not in Ohio.

Senate President Faber is hoping this week the full Senate will pass a renewal of a moratorium on any new internet cafes or sweepstakes stores. He sees that as a temporary  crackdown against the businesses accused of illegal gambling.

By the end of May, Faber wants the full Senate to approve an even tougher measure, a House-passed bill aimed at shutting down the estimated 794 cafes.

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