Statehouse Preview: November 26

As predicted, the first week of lame duck before the Thanksgiving holiday was busy and consequential. The House passed controversial “Stand Your Ground” gun legislation and a 6-week abortion ban, sending both to the Senate where they must be approved by that chamber next week in order to give the legislature time to override promised vetoes by Governor Kasich.

This week, several bills are moving and there’s still a lot we don’t know, such as what will be on the House and Senate floor for final passage. Today’s newsletter focuses on those items that are scheduled for committee votes and/or key hearings.

The House and Senate both meet once this week, on Wednesday at 1:30. The agenda for those committees will be set by the respective Rules and Reference committees which meet at the following times:

House Calendar for 11/28 session: expected today at 11:30 am
Senate Calendar for 11/28 session: expected tomorrow at 11 am

We’ll provide updates on Twitter.

Scheduled for Committee Votes

The following bills are scheduled for committee votes this week, meaning they are high priorities for passage during lame duck and could be up for passage on the House or Senate floor in the very near future:

House Bill 36 (Vitale) – Marriage Ceremonies. A proposal which some say legalizes anti-LGBT discrimination, this bill is up for three hearings and a vote this week in Senate JudiciaryOpponents to the measure will be offered an opportunity to testify at Thursday’s hearing (agenda). To submit written or in-person testimony, email a copy to the office of Chairman Bacon at bacon@ohiosenate.gov or call his office at (614) 466-8064 for additional instructions. 

House Bill 390 (Merrin) – Eviction. To “streamline” the counting of days before occupants can be forcibly removed from rental properties, opening the door to Sunday and holiday evictions. The bill is up for 7th hearing, all testimony and a vote on Wednesday in House Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development (agenda).

House Bill 511 (Lanese, Rogers) – Marriage Age. To eliminate gender-based differences in the legal age to marry in Ohio. A hearing will be held Thursday, with all testimony accepted and scheduled vote in Senate Judiciary (agenda).

House Bill 625 (Lang, Lipps) – Plastic Bag Fees. To prohibit local governments from imposing a fee on single-use plastic bags or other auxiliary containers. 4th Hearing, all testimony and vote in House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor today (agenda).

Senate Bill 250 (Hoagland) – Utility Protests. To increase criminal and civil penalties for protests that take place on so-called “critical infrastructure facilities.” The bill is up for a third hearing and opponent testimony in Senate Judiciary. A 4th hearing, featuring all testimony, amendments and a vote will be held Wednesday in Senate Judiciary (agenda).

Legislation on strangulation (SB207), the death penalty (HB81), rape kits (HB719SB323), human trafficking (HB461) and genital mutiliation (SB214) are also up for committee votes.

See full committee schedules for the House and Senate for details.

Previously heard bills getting additional hearings this week

While a 2nd hearing is no guarantee that a bill is on track to pass during lame duck, it does represent and opportunity for bill proponents (and in some cases opponents – check the committee agenda for details) to offer testimony.

House Bill 561 (Lanese) – Spousal Rape. Eliminates the spousal exceptions for offenses of rape, sexual battery, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, and importuning. It also permits a person to testify against their spouse in a prosecution for any of those offenses. 2nd hearing, House Criminal Justice.

House Bill 380 (Seitz, Householder) – Workers Compensation. To deny workers compensation benefits to undocumented workers injured on the job. 2nd hearing, Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions.

House Bill 402 (Hill) – Telephone Regulation. To partially deregulate telephone service in Ohio, allowing for reduced customer service standards, more frequent price increases, and reduced access to low-cost landline service. 2nd hearing, all testimony in Senate Public Utilities.

House Bill 497 (Rogers, Manning) – Private Sexual Images. This bill prohibits the nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, also known as ‘revenge porn’ and established some rights and protection for victims of revenge porn. 2nd hearing, all testimony in Senate Judiciary.

House Bill 720 (Antani, Smith) – Sales Tax. To require a public vote to enact an increase in local sales taxation. 2nd hearing, all testimony in House State & Local Government

House Bill 758 (Antani, Brenner) – College Speech. Subjects public college and university trustees to criminal and civil penalties for restricting the right of any group or individual to speak on campus. 2nd hearing, opponent & interested party testimony in House Higher Education and Workforce Development.

Other Hearings Of Note

House Bill 182 (Seitz) – Debt Settlement. To allow debt adjusting firms to operate in Ohio. House members objected that the legislation provides too little consumer protection and allows firms to charge unlimited fees. 1st hearing in Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions.

House Bill 630 (Galonski) – Graduation Requirements. To Extend Alternate Pathways to Graduation. 1st hearing in House Education and Career Readiness

House Bill 576 (Kelly) – Minimum Wage. To raise the state minimum wage rate to $12.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2019, and increase the wage by $.50 each year beginning January 1, 2020 and ending January 1, 2025. 1st Hearing in House Government Accountability and Oversight.

House Concurrent Resolution 19 (Leland, Greenspan) – Hate Groups. To denounce and oppose the totalitarian impulses, violent terrorism, xenophobic biases, and bigoted ideologies that are promoted by white nationalists and neo-Nazis. 1st Hearing in House Government Accountability and Oversight.

Senate Bill 285 (Thomas, Schiavoni) – Gun Transfers. To regulate the transfer of firearms at gun shows – 1st hearing, Senate Government Oversight and Reform.

Senate Bill 168 (Jordan) – End Medicaid Expansion. To end the Medicaid expansion. 1st hearing, Senate Finance.


Complete House Committee Schedule
Complete Senate Committee Schedule

We will be tracking any new updates and sharing timely legislative updates on significant legislation on Twitter using the #LameDuckOH hashtag. Follow us to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Statehouse.


Time for Some Statehouse 101.

Ohio citizens can have a real impact at the Ohio Legislature just by meeting with lawmakers or testifying on bills before they’re enacted. But the process can be difficult to understand.

We developed the Ohio Resistance Guide to demystify the process that’s usually only understood by Statehouse insiders.

Use our guide to find out: 

  • How to track bills and get notifications when hearings are being held;
  • How to testify on bills in committee;
  • Which lawmakers to target to impact legislation you care about;
  • and more!

Check out the Ohio Resistance Guide: download the guide or read it online.