Terra Goodnight · April 8, 2019
The Ohio House will vote on Wednesday for its fifth consecutive General Assembly to enact a 6-week abortion ban (SB23). While twice they were joined by their Senate colleageus, the difference today is that Ohio now has a sitting Governor who says he will sign it into law. The bill is essentially identical to one that generated national headlines in Georgia last week, and would make Ohio the largest state yet to enact a ban that will effectively outlaw abortion, if allowed by the higher courts.
Two other anti-abortion bills will be heard in House committees this week while a third was introduced last week. House Bill 182 (Becker) would ban private insurance coverage of so-called “non-therapeutic” abortion, while changing Ohio law to redefine “non-therapeutic abortion” to eliminate all exceptions for rape and incest, which would have sweeping impacts to the availability of legal abortion in the state. Also getting House hearings this week are HB90 (Antani), which would require the posting of anti-abortion posters in public restrooms at restaurants, healthcare and education facilities, and SB27 (Uecker), which would require the burial or cremation of aborted (but not miscarried) fetal remains. Both bills appear to be on the fast-track to House passage.
The closely-watched School Funding plan developed by a bipartisan team of Ohio lawmakers has still has not been incorporated into the state’s two-year budget, and , last week, the House Speaker expressed reservations about the plan’s first draft which saw many school districts (including his own) flat-funded. More testimony will be heard this week from interested parties, including Innovation Ohio. We urge education advocates to speak up to their Representatives about this critical opportunity to enact and fund a real school funding formula – something Ohio hasn’t had in eight years.
Other subcommittees of the House Finance committee are hard at work all week wrapping up agency testimony and providing an opportunity for members of the public to testify on the budget. See the full House committee schedule (or Committee Hearings to Watch, below) to find out when and where.
Next week, the House and Senate will be out for spring break, but members of House Finance will return the following week to adopt a substitute bill for the state operating budget (HB166) and to hear public testimony.