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Government & Politics

Bipartisan Bill to Protect Sports Officials Easily Passes Ohio House

kids playing soccer
State lawmakers are working on increasing the penalties for those who assault sports officials, with possible prison time for those who do it more than once.

The Ohio House has passed a bipartisan bill that increases penalties on people who are convicted of assaulting sports officials. 

Republican Rep. Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) says youth soccer coaches have told him they have a problem. 

“They said soccer games are being canceled because there’s no officials to officiate, and they said over 70% of new officials quit within three years, mostly citing spectator abuse," Roemer said.

Roemer’s bill, co-sponsored by Democrat Joe Miller (D-Amherst), would punish first-time offenders with a fine of up to $1,500 and 40 hours of community service. Subsequent offenses could be fifth-degree felonies that could result in prison time. The bill passed overwhelmingly and now moves to the Ohio Senate. 
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