Statehouse Preview: Week of April 9th

Lawmakers Return From Spring Break to What Will Likely Be a Flurry of Activity Until Summer Recess
The next month and a half will likely see a whirlwind of legislative activity as lawmakers look to finish up their work until after the November election. The last scheduled session dates for the Senate and House are May 23rd and May 24th respectively. In the past during election years there has been little legislative activity between summer break and the general election so any legislation the General Assembly will want passed before this year’s lame duck session will need to be enacted by May 24th.
House Leadership Embraces Kasich’s Gun Proposals 

Last week, leadership in the Ohio House expressed their support for Governor Kasich’s gun reform proposals. Rep. Mike Henne subsequently introduced legislation in the form of HB 585 to enact these reforms. A companion bill – SB 288 – was also introduced in the Senate by Senators Eklund & Kunze. These bills:
Require Timely Updates to State Background Check System
Institute a Red Flag Law
Ban Armor-piercing Ammunition
End Purchases by “Straw Men”
Take Away Firearms From Domestic Abusers
Ban Bump Stocks
HB 585 is set for its first hearing Tuesday @ 2 PM in Room 017.
Committees Still Holding Hearings on Controversial Gun Bills

 

This week both houses are set to hold hearings on bills that would enact the “Stand Your Ground” law in Ohio. These bills would expand the places in which an individual has no duty to retreat before using deadly force to any place they may lawfully be. Current law limits those places to one’s home or vehicle – the so-called “Castle Doctrine.” Additionally, this legislation would shift the burden of proof regarding a self defense claim from the defendant to the prosecution.

Here are the two scheduled hearings regarding these bills:

SB 180Senate Judiciary Committee –  4th Hearing All Testimony –
Tuesday @ 10:15 AM in the North Hearing Room

HB 228House Federalism & Interstate Relations – 4th Hearing All Testimony w/ possible substitute bill Tuesday @ 4:00 PM in Room 115

LaRose Bill to Fund New Voting Machines Set For Amendment
SB 135, a bill to help counties purchase new voting equipment, is up for an amendment this week in Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday @ 4 PM. The legislation as it currently stands would provide $115 million to replace the state’s aging voting systems. This is significantly lower than the $175 million sought by the CCAO and the Ohio Association of Election officials. It is possible the bill will be amended to add additional funds on Tuesday.
Tell Your Lawmaker: Ohio Doesn't Need Stand Your Ground
Ohio does not need a dangerous “Stand Your Ground” law. Tell your lawmakers to oppose SB 180 and HB 228!