2018 Lame Duck Session

Ohio House
Andy Chow

The Ohio House and Senate have voted to override Gov. John Kasich’s veto on, HB228, a bill that would revamp the way the state handles self-defense cases in court. 

Ohio Senate
Andy Chow

The Ohio Senate and House have voted to override Gov. John Kasich’s veto on a bill, SB296, that would increase death benefits for the families of first responders but also hike wages for lawmakers and other elected officials. 

Kiattipong/Shutterstock

The stage is set for one last battle between lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich after he vetoed three bills in the past month. The House says it plans to take at least one veto override vote, which could include the self-defense gun bill.

Andy Chow

Gov. John Kasich has vetoed a bill, SB296, that would’ve increased the paychecks of state and local government officials starting next year. However, lawmakers were criticized for attaching the pay raise to a widely supported, bipartisan bill to increase death benefits to families of first responders who were killed in the line of duty.  

Ohio Senate
Andy Chow

State lawmakers have now sent to the governor a bill, SB255, to review every occupational license required in Ohio. The legislation requires the General Assembly to scrutinize each licensure process before deciding whether or not it should be renewed.

Dan Konik

Gov. John Kasich has vetoed a pro-gun bill, HB228, that would have changed the way self-defense cases play out in court, shifting the burden from the defense to the prosecution. The legislation is what’s left of the “Stand Your Ground” bill after lawmakers took out the repeal of the "duty to retreat" provision.

Jonathan Weiss/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Ohio Senate and House have approved a bill, HB119, that will ramp up scrutiny of people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. The new review process will require government administrators to review a person’s eligibility every quarter, this is currently an annual process.

Andy Chow

The Ohio House and Senate worked to pass a pay raise for themselves and other state and local government officials before the end of the year by attaching the measure to a bill, SB296, that would increase benefits for families of first responders who died on the job.

Andy Chow

The Ohio House has passed a bill, SB51, full of projects the lawmakers wanted approved before the end of the year. The so-called “Christmas Tree” bill, includes millions of dollars for different repairs and developments. 

Gov. John Kasich (left), Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) all spoke at the unveiling of the permanent display of Ohio's two constitutions at the Statehouse in November. But they did not appear together.
Karen Kasler

As state lawmakers race toward the end of this lame duck legislative session, they’ve been considering two bills that Gov. John Kasich opposes – the six-week “Heartbeat Bill” abortion ban and the “Stand Your Ground” self-defense bill.  And if he vetoes them as promised, lawmakers would have to come back to vote on them again during the holiday break.

Andy Chow

Community organizers are rallying against the resolution that would make it harder for citizens to put an issue on the statewide ballot. They say the measure would deliver a huge blow to democracy. 

Adora Namigadde

State lawmakers have proposed sending $15 million to the Columbus Crew to help build their new stadium in an effort to ensure the team could never be moved without striking a deal with government leaders.

House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) spoke at the winter gathering of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the County Engineers Association of Ohio.
Daniel Konik

State lawmakers could return during their holiday break to override vetoes on the so-called Heartbeat Bill abortion ban and on the Stand Your Ground self-defense bill, though they did remove a provision Gov. John Kasich didn’t like. But the Republican leader of the House is suggesting there may be another veto in the works that they could push back on.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) speaks at the winter gathering of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the County Engineers Association of Ohio.
Karen Kasler

The Ohio House and Senate are preparing for a busy week of legislating in Columbus with a couple of controversial measures up for debate.

Evangelical leaders and Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance)  at Ohio Statehouse
Jo Ingles

Backers of the so called “Heartbeat Bill,” legislation that bans abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected, are getting some help from evangelical leaders. And they are sending a strong message to Gov. John Kasich and Ohio lawmakers.

Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) speaks on the Ohio House floor in March 2018.
Ohio House

A veteran conservative lawmaker wants a raise – and wants his elected colleagues at the local, county and state levels to get one too.  And he says it’s urgent that the idea moves forward right away.

Supporters Of Heartbeat Bill Outside Recent Trump Rally
Karen Kasler

The so-called “Heartbeat Bill”, which Gov. John Kasich promises to veto, had been likely to come up for a vote today in an Ohio House committee. But there were too many questions about the controversial bill that would ban abortion at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected for it to proceed to a vote. 

Karen Kasler

A proposal to make it more difficult for citizens and groups to put amendments to the Ohio Constitution before voters may be running out of time. It didn’t get a vote in a House committee today. State lawmakers had wanted to make changes in the process because of recent big-money ballot issues that failed overwhelmingly.

Kiattipong/Shutterstock

The controversial legislation no longer includes an elimination of the "duty to retreat" for people who find themselves in threatening situations. Opponents argued that removing that language from Ohio code would make it for people to use lethal force in self-defense.

Shane Walker

Democratic lawmakers in the Ohio House who have been pushing for years to eliminate sales tax for feminine hygiene products were finally able to get it through – and nearly unanimously. But this time, it was part of a larger tax related bill.

Ohio House of Representatives
Jo Ingles

Bills can move quickly in the lame duck session of the legislature. That was the case with a bill that was pulled from consideration by lawmakers last week, but passed both chambers unanimously today. 

Karen Kasler

An Ohio Senate committee has approved "alternate pathways" to graduation for high school seniors and juniors who are not on track to earn their diploma through the current method of using standardized test scores. 

Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) speaks at a November 2018 press conference on her bill to reform step therapy.
Karen Kasler

The bill doesn’t ban so-called "step therapy", but would allow for exemptions such as if medication causes an allergy or if the patient has already tried the treatment and it didn’t work.

Senate Government Oversight and Reform holds hearing on HB228, the "Stand Your Ground" bill.
Andy Chow

Republican senators are planning to discuss the possible changes they would like to make to HB228, the so-called "Stand Your Ground" bill which might include more specific language on when to use lethal force in self-defense situations.

Ohio's 1802 and 1851 constitutions are now on display at the Statehouse.
Karen Kasler

A hearing is set Thursday morning on a proposal designed to make it harder for citizens and groups to put constitutional amendments on the Ohio ballot. The plan would have to be approved by voters if lawmakers okay it, and the leaders of the Ohio House have very different ideas about it.

Opponents of Heartbeat Bill gather on the Statehouse steps, a few hours before a hearing on the bill in a Senate committee.
Jo Ingles

"Ho, ho, hey, hey, Roe v. Wade is here to stay." That's what opponents of the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" chanted on the steps leading into the Ohio Statehouse. The activists said the bill would deny legal abortion before many women know they are pregnant. 

People gather in Dayton to protest against the "Stand Your Ground" bill.
Scott Cornell/Shutterstock

The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee plans to pass the "Stand Your Ground" bill by the end of the week. The bill would make it easier for someone to use lethal force in self-defense by removing the duty to retreat in cases where a person feels threatened.

Karen Kasler

It’ll be a busy day at the Statehouse with the so-called “Heartbeat Bill” abortion ban in the proposed legislation on the agenda. State lawmakers are hoping to be done by mid-December with all they’re going to do in this legislative session.

Karen Kasler

High school seniors not meeting the testing benchmarks to graduate next year could have extra options on the table, such as good attendance and GPA. That is if Ohio lawmakers can pass a change before the end of the year. 

Andy Chow

The Ohio House and Senate are rolling along with bills they want to pass before the Session ends. But they’re also considering overriding some of Gov. John Kasich’s vetoes, for instance, his rejection of their proposed enrollment freeze for Medicaid expansion. 

Pages