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Government


Ohio Legislature to consider calamity days, road closures and cuts in voting days
State lawmakers also will look at road closures
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
A new bill would make it illegal for motorists to ignore "High Water" or "Road closed" signs.
Courtesy of Matthew Stein
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After being shelved last week, a measure to extend calamity days for schools could make it to the Ohio House floor this week.

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When a storm hits and roads are flooded, there are still people who try to drive through high water, leaving them and their vehicles stranded. That is why Republican Sen. Tim Schaffer of Lancaster has introduced a bill that would make it illegal for drivers to ignore “High Water” and “Road Closed” signs.

The bill, which is scheduled for a possible vote in the House, was created after a water rescuer died saving the lives of two people who were trapped after ignoring a road closure.

Two controversial election bills could get a full House vote as well. One bill would shorten the early voting period and eliminate the so-called “golden week,” during which people can register to vote and cast their ballots at the same time. The other would allow only the Secretary of State to send out unsolicited absentee ballot applications, not individual county boards of elections.

Also in the House, a committee could vote on a bill that makes changes to provisional ballot laws in Ohio. Republican Sen. Bill Seitz of Cincinnati, who sponsored the bill, says the measure codifies recent rulings made in federal court. However, Democrats believe the bill transfers too much responsibility from a trained poll worker to the voter.

Seitz’s controversial bill to overhaul the state’s energy standards and policies is scheduled to a make a return in committee. The bill has not been seen since early November, when a meeting for a possible vote was cancelled.

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