Ohio Senate Committees to be Led by Mostly White Men
Oops! They did it again.
Just a week after we learned that the Ohio House of Representatives will feature men in charge of 21 of 25 committees, Senate Senate President today introduced the team that will head up the chamber’s 21 standing committees, and once again, women and people of color are nearly absent.
And the Senate picture (literally — look at it) is even more bleak. The 33-member Senate will see women= in charge of only 3 of 21 committees and subcommittees, or 14%. And zero people of color.
Committee chairs decide which bills are heard and will advance to a vote. Diversity in these positions can help to ensure all voices are heard and that the concerns of all Ohioans are considered when tackling tough issues.
In all, 14 of 58 Senate committee leadership roles — Chair, Vice Chair and Ranking Member — will be filled by women, or 24%. Even fewer people of color (just 8, or 14%) will help to lead a committee, and all of them are in the minority party. Just three committees will feature a leadership team that is more than half female: Health and Human Services; Medicaid and Transportation, Commerce & Labor.
The make-up of the Ohio Senate is not as diverse as Ohio, but as we noted in our discussion of House committee leadership, the Senate missed an opportunity here to be more representative of the State’s population as a whole.
Below are the 2015-2016 Senate Committees and their leadership teams: