Ryan Smith

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 27:

A photo of former Ohio House speaker Ryan Smith

The former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives is resigning and heading for academia. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports.

Republican Ryan Smith is resigning to lead Rio Grande Community College and Rio Grande University. The move isn’t a surprise because word of it has been circulating around the Statehouse for weeks.

Democrats Help Householder to Speakership Victory

Jan 7, 2019
A photo of Ryan Smith, left, and Larry Householder, right.

The new speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives is a familiar face who has served in the role before. To win the job this time, Republican Larry Householder needed the support of as many Democratic representatives as fellow Republicans. 

Householder joked a bit as he took his spot in front of the House. “Either over the last 18 years, this dais has gotten smaller or I have gotten larger.” And then he got serious. “This is a very divisive time and I guess I would like to say is I would like to call Ryan Smith up here if I could.”

photo of Larry Householder

Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) wants to be speaker again.

year in review
Jo Ingles / Statehouse News

Controversial bills involving abortion, gun rights, and legislative pay raises passed by lawmakers during the Lame Duck session. Some might be vetoed by Governor Kasich and the legislature might override them. Those bills might be capturing headlines lately but there were more than 400 bills introduced this year and just over 70 have been signed into law.

Ryan Smith
Dan Konik / Statehouse News

Ohio House Republicans have voted to keep Ryan Smith as House Speaker. But Smith’s opponents are disputing the merits of that vote. 

While the 34 Republican representatives attending the caucus meeting chose Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), most of the 26 who weren’t there support Smith’s challenger, Larry Householder (R-Glenford).

@OhioHouseDems / Twitter

The behind-the-scenes battle over who will lead the Republican-dominated Ohio House next year isn’t just between supporters of current speaker Ryan Smith and former speaker Larry Householder.  

Longtime state lawmaker David Leland says with recent bills on abortion and gun rights, he’s open to options besides backing the current speaker.

“Clearly there’s no difference between Smith and Householder, and if Democrats can impact the speaker’s race, then the question is, what can we do for our people, the people we represent?” Leland said.

A photo of House Speaker Ryan Smith.

Last week, the Ohio General Assembly overturned a bill that had been vetoed by Gov. John Kasich earlier this year. The bill centered on the power of the legislature over the governor’s agencies. It might not be the last time lawmakers override a veto this session.

The House and Senate easily overrode Kasich’s veto. When asked whether he sees more overrides in the next few weeks, House Speaker Ryan Smith said, “perhaps.”

Photo of Rep. Stephanie Howse.

The Ohio House has overwhelmingly passed an NRA-backed gun bill 64-26 but not without controversy and an intense debate on the House floor.


photo of Statehouse

This week lawmakers are returning for a lame duck session, with hearings set on a so-called right to work bill and a Republican-backed bill on free speech on college campuses. Republican legislative leaders are talking about other priorities but suggesting action on controversial measures is possible.


Republican leaders in the Ohio House and Senate are already speaking out about proposals being made by Democratic candidate for governor, Rich Cordray.

The GOP lawmakers who control the Legislature say Cordray is making expensive promises.

Republican House Speaker Ryan Smith and Senate President Larry Obhof are sending a warning to Cordray that they do not plan on raising taxes to fulfill his campaign promises.

Photo of Ryan Smith

Experts say the decentralized, tamperproof digital ledger system known as blockchain has the potential to completely change commerce, culture, and communication, as the internet and smartphones have. Republican state lawmakers say they want in on it.

Speaker Ryan Smith said he isn’t proposing specific legislation but wants meetings on blockchain between lawmakers and community leaders. One is a Northeast Ohio luxury car dealership owner, Bernie Moreno, who says this is a chance to jump in after missing the tech wave of the 90s.

Photo of Cliff Rosenberger joined by business and labor leaders

The new House speaker says now that his seven-week-long battle to get elected is over, it’s time to focus on several big issues. Among those:  an effort to reform the state’s unemployment compensation fund. 

It’s been more than a year and half since top House leaders joined business and labor groups, pledging to shore up the fund that pays benefits to laid off workers.

As Republican House Speaker Ryan Smith explains, the state will go into debt to the feds unless a fix is passed.

photo of Speaker Ryan Smith

The so-called “Stand Your Ground” bill is likely to come to the floor of the House next week, just before lawmakers leave for an extended break. That might not be the end of the road for that controversial measure.

The Stand Your Ground bill came out of a House committee last month on a party line vote. New Speaker Ryan Smith leads a Republican supermajority in the House, and says, “I feel comfortable in saying that there's a lot of support for that bill.”

Photo of Ryan Smith

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

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.”

photo of Dan Ramos

After seven weeks without voting sessions, the full Ohio House will vote on Wednesday on a new speaker, and because no candidate had 50 votes among the 65-member Republican caucus, votes from Democrats could be important. But most Democrats are saying they won’t help out any Republican candidate.

Traditionally, the majority’s pick for speaker is voted in unanimously. But several Democrats say they’ll vote for their own Minority Leader Fred Strahorn.

Kirk Schuring and Ryan Smith

There may be an end in sight when it comes to the House speaker impasse that’s caused dysfunction at the Statehouse. A plan has been proposed that could result in either a new speaker or an interim leader who would act as a stand-in for the rest of the year, though some Republicans oppose the idea, and many Democrats say they won’t participate in it.

What could that mean for one of the biggest issues on Capitol Square; payday lending?

photo of Ohio Statehouse

This week marked the second in a row without a voting session in the Ohio House. All sessions were canceled because majority Republicans cannot decide on a leader to replace former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. He resigned in April and is embroiled in an FBI investigation involving his associations with payday-lending lobbyists.

Photo of Ohio Statehouse

Ohio House sessions for this week have, once again, been cancelled due to controversy over who will be the next speaker. As Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, the fight that’s been brewing among majority Republicans is now affecting the business of the Legislature -- and is quickly becoming a campaign issue.

Photo of an empty House chamber

Accusations are flying at the State Capitol as the Ohio House continues in chaos without a speaker. The lawmaker considered to be the frontrunner says his rivals, such as the payday-lending industry, are delaying a vote. But as Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, a top lending association is mounting its own, major accusation.

The chaos within the Ohio House Republican caucus continues to build.

As more time passes without a vote for a new House speaker, leaders and lobbyists are making their issues more public.

Photo of State Rep. Kirk Schuring

Thee Ohio House is scheduled to meet Tuesday, but questions remain over who will lead that session and two others that are scheduled -- and whether they will still happen at all.

Last week’s House session was abruptly canceled after the Republican House Caucus failed to reach consensus on a choice to replace Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned in April amid an FBI inquiry that involved him.

photo of Ohio Statehouse

There is no official action scheduled in the Ohio House today. Over the Memorial Day weekend there was talk, but little change in the saga over who will be the House speaker until the end of the year. The acting speaker says he’s willing to stay on, but the representative with the most votes says no deal.

Speaker Pro Tem Kirk Schuring of Stark County confirms he’s talked to his fellow Republicans about keeping that post but changing House rules so voting sessions can continue.