Statehouse Preview: House to Adopt Budget Amendments, Move Abortion and Gun Bills
The House will adopt a substitute version of Governor DeWine’s two-year budget proposal (HB166) this week, incorporating many — potentially hundreds — of the over 2,000 amendments proposed by members. Some proposals we’ll be watching for include changes to (or replacement of) DeWine’s proposal for funding schools, the scaling back of tax breaks for business owners or the creation of new tax breaks. It’s also not uncommon to see standalone bills moving separately in the legislature get tacked on to the budget bill to ensure their passage by the end of the fiscal year. One such proposal that could go that route is the Speaker’s priority legislation (HB6) to create a new surcharge to support the state’s nuclear power plants. We may also see cuts to funding levels in the Governor’s budget proposal to bring it in line with the legislature’s more conservative revenue estimates.
The House Finance committee will adopt the substitute on Wednesday, hear public testimony on Thursday and continue its work early next week before sending the bill to the full House of Representatives, which has scheduled sessions on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (if needed) next week. The Senate continues its committee hearings on the budget despite the House not yet formally sending them the bill.
Abortion and Guns
The Ohio General Assembly has remained laser-focused on its twin goals of making it easier to access guns and harder to access abortion. This week, we have two anti-abortion bills getting hearings in House committees. One, House Bill 90 (Antani) would require the state to develop a curriculum for teaching students about the “humanity of the unborn” in 3rd through 12th grade, while requiring legislative review before the curriculum is implemented. The other, Senate Bill 27 (Uecker) would require the burial or cremation of fetal material resulting from abortion, but not miscarriage or other causes of fetal demise.
The House Federalism committee will hear proponent testimony on House Bill 178 (Hood, Brinkman), permitless carry legislation long sought by gun rights proponents that would eliminate Ohio’s training and licensing requirements for carrying concealed firearms, and open the door for even some convicted criminals to legally aquire deadly weapons.