Thanksgiving is a time when families come together but it can also be frustrating when members have different opinions on hot button political issues. The Ohio Legislature has provided plenty of fodder for uncomfortable conversations this year. Here are some of the topics that might come up faster than you can say "pass the turkey.”
When you sit around the dinner table, you can always bring up that most Ohioans will see new charges on their electric bills to bail out nuclear plants and subsidize coal plants. You could point out the bailout backers’ argument that rolling back renewable policies will end up saving ratepayers money.
There are three big abortion bills under consideration right now. The biggest one is a total ban on abortion, which could include the death penalty. Another involves so-called “abortion reversal,” where a woman can allegedly stop and reverse the process after taking the first of two abortion-inducing pills. And one speaks to a remedy to move an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus. That's a procedure that doesn’t currently exist. Opponents say those two bills are not based on scientific fact or reality.
Then there's the fight over gun regulation. Gov. Mike DeWine wants to make it easier to conduct background checks. But some lawmakers want to pass a law that lifts the requirement to get training before carrying a concealed weapon. And the bill to eliminate the duty to retreat before using deadly force in public, known as “Stand Your Ground”, has been brought back.
The legislature cannot agree on how to fix Ohio’s broken school funding formula, which was declared unconstitutional more than 20 years ago. And a recent suggestion by the Speaker of the House to pool local and state taxes for schools then let the state redistribute them is sure to have your cousin who lives in a wealthier district arguing with your cousin whose kids go to a poorer one.
And of course there’s the 10.5 cent gas tax hike that took effect this summer to fund everyone’s favorite travel topic – road repairs and construction. All of this could leave some family members reaching for another glass of French wine or Scotch whisky.
Just don’t bring up the new tariffs on both of those products.