Ohio legislature

While Ohio House members removed former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder from his leadership post amid a public corruption investigation into his activities, he remains an active member of the general assembly. Now, some of his colleagues are now pushing a bill that could make him pay restitution for his salary if he’s convicted of the bribery and racketeering charges levied against him.

A photo of Larry Householder.
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder has been arrested on corruption charges related to House Bill 6, the energy bill passed last year that bailed out FirstEnergy nuclear plants. 

Watch the FBI press conference live here:

Federal officials on Tuesday unraveled details of a years-long conspiracy involving Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who prosecutors say headed a scheme that funneled $60 million in bribes through a dark money group in order to pass a billion-dollar bailout for Ohio's nuclear power plants.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s Wednesday evening speech seemed to be a warning to Ohioans to wear masks or risk another round of shutdowns and closures. DeWine’s fellow Republican Speaker Larry Householder has been critical of some of DeWine’s COVID-19 responses.  But in an interview for "The State of Ohio", Householder said he thought the speech was good.

Republican House Speaker Larry Householder’s office is reinstituting its work from home policy. This comes after at least one House employee was put on administrative following testing positive for COVID-19. And some Democratic members are furious, saying they’ve been kept in the dark.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is pushing back on a new Columbus ordinance that requires face coverings in public, saying the requirement can't extend to state lawmakers. 

The leader of Ohio’s Black state lawmakers’ group is the first Ohio legislator known to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Representative Stephanie Howse says she’s experiencing mild symptoms since being diagnosed a couple of days ago.

Two bills under consideration in the Ohio Legislature would change sentencing for low-level drug crimes to intervention over incarceration. A new study from a liberal leaning think tank shows passing those bills would improve the health of many Ohioans – especially now.

Some Ohio lawmakers are pushing five different bills they say will deal with the state’s opioid abuse problem in a comprehensive way. 

More than 50 people were signed up to speak out at the first hearing in the Ohio Senate for a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. They were some of the more than 130 people and groups who provided written testimony in support of the proposal backed by eight Senate Democrats and one Republican.

Republicans in the Ohio House have approved a bill that would limit the power and length of public health orders on coronavirus that their fellow Republican, Gov. Mike DeWine, has been issuing through Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. The bill reflects a split in the GOP on how to restart the economy that could carry over into the future.

a photo of Voting Machines
DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Election eve was confusing. An announcement earlier in the day stated Ohio's March 17 primary was still on. But that afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine said he was going to get a court to postpone it until June 2. 

The court refused to do that. So later that evening, DeWine had Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issue an order to close the polls on Election Day. 

Nearly 180 charter schools will have to change how they do business or shut down under a new bipartisan bill introduced in the Ohio House. It's the latest attempt to crack down on charter schools.

photo of Ohio Legislature
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio voters might get to decide whether to amend the state constitution to set new term limits for state lawmakers.

The proposed amendment would limit lawmakers to serving 16 years total in the Ohio House or Senate. Now lawmakers are limited to eight-year terms. Attorney Don McTigue, who's leading the effort, says they can jump back and forth between the chambers to stay in the legislature much longer.

photo of man talking
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A lawsuit has been filed in the Ohio Supreme Court by families who are affected by the legislature’s recently imposed 60-day moratorium on vouchers for the state’s EdChoice school voucher program. 

Aaron Baer with Citizens for Community Values says he represents parents and schools who have been harmed by the law pushing the EdChoice window from Feb 1 to April 1. Baer says it’s also unenforceable because it lacks an emergency clause that would allow it take effect right away.

a photo of a classroom
SHUTTERSTOCK

This is the week that advocates for school choice are highlighting alternatives to traditional public schools.

One choice that may be available to a growing number of parents is a voucher to use public money to pay for private education.

That expansion of Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program could devastate public school budgets unless lawmakers take action this week.

a photo of Plastic Bags
DAIZUOXIN / SHUTTERSTOCK

Local communities would not be able to ban single use plastic bags under a bill the Ohio House has passed – mostly along party lines – and sent on to the Senate.

The leaders of the House have differing views about the proposal.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) supports the ban on bans, saying retailers need uniform rules. "There should be consistency as far as your business is concerned."

a photo of Emilia Sykes and other members of the Ohio House of Representatives
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Leaders of the Republican dominated Ohio Legislature have expressed frustration in recent weeks that more of the bills they consider “priorities” have not been passed by lawmakers. But Democrats in the House say they think lawmakers are spending too much time debating the wrong issues.

Democrats say there are bills, many with bipartisan support, that deal with kinship care, family leave and healthcare. But Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) says the legislature is spending too much time on divisive bills that don’t benefit Ohio’s families.

a photo of a woman about to take a pill
FIZKES / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

The Ohio Senate is poised to pass two controversial abortion bills Wednesday that would put restrictions on doctors performing those procedures.

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

The home rule provision was added to the Ohio constitution by voters in 1912, and the struggles between local officials and state lawmakers have raged almost since then. There have been claims that home rule is “under attack”.

Republican Leader Larry Householder
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Republican leader of the Ohio House says he’s watching what happened this week with the last-minute settlement to stop the big opioid trial in Cleveland – and the billions of dollars involved in it.  

Sad looking dog behind rusted chain link fence
KIDD SILENCER / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase penalties for people convicted of cruelty to pets and other companion animals. 

Ohio Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) says first-time animal cruelty offenders can be charged with felonies under a law passed in 2016. But he says with newly passed criminal sentencing standards, even those who are convicted often spend no time behind bars. 

“If you smack them on the wrist for breaking the necks of puppies, that is not going to bode well for what they are going to do in the future to other animals or people.”

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the state did not overstep its authority when it passed a law that forbids cities from placing residency requirements on workers employed by contractors doing business with those local governments.

One of Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed gun law changes in the wake of the shooting that killed 10 people in Dayton is an idea that’s been talked about before, and has passed in 17 states – a way to remove guns from people who are thought to be dangerous to themselves or others.

a photo of Gov. Mike DeWine
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

In response to the mass shooting in Dayton, Gov. Mike DeWine is calling on the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass a slate of gun regulations. His plan includes a version of the so-called "Red Flag Law" and expanded background checks.

DeWine says his 17-point plan is a comprehensive way to reduce gun violence.

Critics say more should've been done sooner.

But DeWine says his office has been working on these initiatives and that it was important to get it right.

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