Terra Goodnight · December 14, 2020
Still operating without a mask requirement with COVID-19 spreading through the committee rooms and offices, the Ohio House and Senate will meet again this week to finish up the Lame Duck session.
Among the bills on the agenda this week is Senate Bill 260, prohibiting doctors from dispensing of any “abortion-inducing medication” via telemedicine, putting legal abortion further out of reach for Ohioans in many rural and underserved communities. The vote on SB260 comes after lawmakers last week sent Senate Bill 27 to the Governor for his signature. SB27 would mandate the burial or cremation of fetal remains resulting from abortion services–but not miscarriage.
Given all the movement in the past several weeks of proposals to loosen Ohio gun laws, including proposals to eliminate the Duty to Retreat in armed conflicts (also know as “Stand Your Ground”), we’re watching to see what happens with Senate Bill 360, the only gun-related measure on the agenda this week. SB360 would exempt gun stores from mandatory closure in a health emergency, but the bill could get loaded up with amendments as lawmakers run out of time to move legislation separately.
Legislation to reduce penalties for drug possession (Senate Bill 3) is likely to pass, and a bill (Senate Bill 310) originally allocating federal COVID-19 relief is being repurposed as a vehicle to pass a state capital budget quickly. SB310 may also see amendments related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We hope this is the last statehouse update we send this year! Look for us in early 2021 when focus turns to the state budgeting process and a brand new legislative term.