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
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.