Statehouse Preview: Week of May 28

Six Days Left And Counting

Lawmakers–originally scheduled to be on summer break this week–return from the holiday on edge, as all eyes look to whether the Republican caucus can finally broker a deal to name a new House Speaker. Without a Speaker, the logjam that has prevented the body from voting on bills since the April 11 resignation of Cliff Rosenberger will continue.

If resolution is to come, it must happen by June 14, the last of six “if needed” session days on the calendar for 2018. Those are May 30 and 31st, June 6, 7, 13 and 14. Two tentative session days are scheduled this week: Wednesday at 1:30 and Thursday at 1:00.

Bills Stuck In Limbo

Barring a solution to the Republican leadership impasse, the chamber will be unable to act on a number of bills awaiting a House vote. Dozens of bills are awaiting House action, but some noteworthy ones include:

  • HB 21 – to shift responsibility for student address verification from public to the charter schools they attend
  • HB 123 – to enact payday lending reform
  • HB 189 – to reduce educational and other requirements for cosmetology licenses
  • HB 225 – to expedite plugging of hazardous abandoned methane-releasing gas wells
  • HB 240 – to require public colleges to adopt policies on dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and rape
  • HB 337 – to exempt college textbooks from sales taxes
  • HB 365 (Reagan Tokes Act) – to allow more GPS tracking of released violent offenders
  • HB 383 – to require parental notice of serious risks to the health or safety of children receiving child care.
  • HB 456 – to prohibit mandatory overtime for nurses
  • HB 535 – to provide better statewide data on drug overdoses
  • SB 4 – to expand the expungement law for human trafficking survivors
  • SB 20 – to increase penalties for acts of felony violence resulting in permanent disability
  • SB 66 – to reform criminal sentencing laws and boost rehabilitation efforts

For a full list of bills and their status, view the Legislative status report

Update on Last Week’s Action

Guns. House Bill 585, a GOP-sponsored package of gun reforms advocated by Gov. Kasich, which includes a so-called “red flag” law, received opponent testimony on Thursday. A wide array of concerned citizens were vocal in their opposition. To read testimony, visit the committee page and view May 24 documents. Stand Your Ground legislation (HB228) passed out of the House Federalism and Interstate Relations committee in its seventh hearing on Tuesday on a party-line vote.

Overtime. House Bill 605, which would increase the salary at which non-managerial employees are eligible for overtime pay, had its first hearing on Tuesday. We wrote about this bill and its potential to help more than 350,000 Ohioans on our blog.

On The Agenda This Week

Two committees have scheduled hearings this week, with the House State and Local Government committee set to vote Thursday on bills to regulate the treatment of animals (HB552) and establish procurement goals for women-owned businesses (HB492). Separately, the House Aging and Long-Term Care committee will meet Thursday to vote on bills pertaining to elder fraud (SB158) and pension credits (HB572).

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

House committee schedule
Senate committee schedule