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Ohio Democrats Prepare to Push Bills Ahead of 'Lame Duck' Sessions

photo of Ohio Democratic representatives
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s 34 House Democrats are all up for re-election, along with their 65 Republican colleagues. But the Democrats are not letting their low numbers set them back as they think about what bills they plan to push in the lame duck session this fall and beyond. 

Democrats are talking up their agenda of raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing equal pay for women, expanding paid family leave, lowering college costs and spending on clean energy and infrastructure. Minority Leader Fred Strahorn of Dayton says his caucus's numbers are ultimately up to the voters, but he doesn’t feel Democrats have to have the majority to make things change.

“When we got to 42 and 46 members, the behavior changed, What you can’t do is let people do whatever they want to in the Legislature and never say anything about it.”

Democrats don’t have candidates on the ballot in 16 of the state’s 99 House districts, and it’s generally conceded that Democrats don’t stand a chance to win some of them.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.