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Government & Politics

Ohio Republicans Set the Statehouse Agenda for 2016

Sen. Keith Faber

Lawmakers will be coming back to Columbus later this month to pick up some bills left unfinished last year. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has details on what Statehouse leaders want to work on.

In the Senate

Senate President Keith Faber of Celina says his Republican caucus will meet in a retreat later this month. He says they’ll talk about proposals on public records dispute resolution, on reviewing state agencies and commissions to see if any of them can be closed, and on ensuring there are no anti-trust violations going on with commissions and boards that regulate certain industries.

“I have four or five items I want to work on. But where else we go is up to the caucus.”

A bill on medical marijuana could be discussed. And Faber says a decision will have to be made on whether to go with the House or Senate version of the bill to defund Planned Parenthood.

And in the House...

Rep. Cliff Rosenberger
House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says medical marijuana will likely be on the agenda.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger expects cuts in unemployment benefits will dominate.

  Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says the bill to change rules for unemployment compensation and the capital budget will likely dominate House attention in the first few weeks. After an investigation from the Attorney General just before the holidays, Republicans introduced a bill on fetal remains from abortions that will likely be a top priority.

Rosenberger says that’s an example of how the legislative spotlight can shift quickly.

“Headlines drive, sometimes, what we do in the legislature so who knows what issues will bring us forward in 2016 and we’ll be prepared to meet them, though.”

And Rosenberger says there’s work being done to put together a bill on medical marijuana.