Statehouse Preview – Week of May 21

Will They Or Won’t They?

Today was to be the day House Republicans would choose a new leader, allowing business to resume in the chamber. But that was scuttled last night, so the new plan is to convene, elect a new speaker, and pass a full slate of bills (here’s a list of what was on the agenda before the current impasse) tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, dozens of bills are moving through committees in both the House and Senate, so we’ll try to hit the highlights here, but as always, check the full House and Senate committee schedules to be sure you don’t miss anything.

Update On Last Week’s Action

Guns. A House hearing on HB585, a GOP-sponsored package of gun reforms advocated by Gov. Kasich, which includes a so-called “red flag” law, featured testimony from supporters, including emotional words from Fred Guttenberg, a father who lost his daughter in the February shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Stand Your Ground legislation (HB228) had a sixth hearing featuring continued opposition from members of the public who fear that it will lead to more gun violence, as well as from the Ohio Municipal League who expressed concerns about its limits on local control. Committee Chair Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) suggested there was no clear timeline for this bill’s advancement, but it’s been scheduled for a vote this week (see below).

Renewable Energy. A Senate committee adopted changes to HB114 that would maintain Ohio’s renewable energy standards, but reduce the overall targets. The substitute bill would also significantly loosen wind turbine setback restrictions that have weakened the ability to move towards wind power. No action is scheduled this week.

Misc. A measure to prohibit child marriage (HB511) was unanimously reported out of committee, with amendments. Meanwhile, payday lending reform (HB123) did not get a full House vote as expected when the impasse over the next House Speaker led to session cancellation. Better luck this week?

On the Agenda This Week

This week, committees are busier than usual, and we encourage you to review the committee schedules for the House and Senate (below) for all the details, but a few hearings we’re watching include:

House Bill 228Stand Your Ground legislation, will get its seventh hearing and a committee vote today at 4pm in the House Federalism and Interstate Relationscommittee.

House Bill 605, which would increase the salary at which non-managerial employees are eligible for overtime pay, will get a first hearing today in House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor.

House Bill 585, the aforementioned gun reform package, is up for opponent testimony Thursday morning in House State and Local Government, and we expect to hear a lot as gun rights proponents turn out their supporters in force.

To see the full line-up of bills being heard this week, check out:

House committee schedule
Senate committee schedule

In advance of today’s committee vote and a possible floor vote as early as tomorrow, tell your lawmakers that Ohio doesn’t need Stand Your Ground. Use our letter-writing tool to send a quick message to your Representative and ask them to reject HB228.

>> Sign up for our other email lists at innovationohio.org/signup