Cliff Rosenberger

Photo of Ryan Smith
OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

After two months of fighting, mostly by majority Republicans behind closed doors, the Ohio House has a new speaker. It was an unusual floor vote because the majority couldn’t agree on a nominee. But the vote ends an impasse that stopped voting sessions in mid-April when former speaker Cliff Rosenberger resigned amid an FBI inquiry.

House Clerk Brad Young sounded more like an auctioneer as he took vote after vote after vote.

Photo of Ryan Smith
DAN KONIK / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

After two months of impasse, the Ohio House has a new leader.

In an unprecedented process, Republican Finance Chair Ryan Smith was elected speaker after 11 rounds of voting on the House floor. Under Ohio law, a candidate must have a majority of the 99 House members to win -- until the 11th round. Smith ended up with 44 votes.

“I wasn’t sure if we’d go through 11 rounds of voting to get the plurality, but I knew if we did, I’d get there.”

UH Twinsburg Health Center
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL / UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, June 6:

photo of Kirk Schuring
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

By the close of business, state representatives were supposed to respond to the acting speaker’s request for them to choose between two options to deal with an impasse over who will be the next Republican leader of the House. Some lawmakers report it’s likely many Democrats are not responding.

photo of empty ohio house chamber
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The House Republican gridlock that’s lead to weeks of dysfunction may soon come to an end. A plan by the interim leader could lead to a new acting speaker, which could open the floodgates for legislation that’s been sitting on the sidelines during the impasse.

There are more than 150 bills waiting for a full chamber vote by the Ohio House. It’s not unusual to have a lot of bills that have been approved by committees or passed in the Senate. But traditionally the House tends to pass a few dozen bills in the last weeks leading up to a long summer break.

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