Bill’s future unclear: A Senate committee delayed voting on the controversial “heartbeat” abortion bill. Cleveland.com’s Laura Hancock writes that this may throw into question whether the bill will become law.
Shooting blanks: Senators passed a firearms bill that changes the burden of proof in self-defense shootings. But Hancock writes that the chamber removed the so-called “stand your ground” provisions and the bill heads back to the House for concurrence.
Seeing 2020: The Ohio Senate passed a bill that would ease graduation requirements for the classes of 2019 and 2020, as the state endeavors to overhaul graduation requirements for future classes, Hancock writes.
With a flourish: Senators passed and sent back to the House for concurrence House Bill 58, which orders the Ohio Department of Education to develop handwriting and cursive standards, which school districts can choose to follow.
Keeping dissent in check? The Ohio Senate sent to the House, 23 to 5, Senate Bill 250, which creates new laws for criminal mischief, criminal trespass, making false alarms and other offenses in a “critical infrastructure facility,” such as near energy production equipment. Environmental groups and American Indians say it will criminalize protests.
Brine time: House members also passed House Bill 393, which allows the use of brine from vertical (i.e., non-fracking) oil and gas drilling to be spread on roads as a de-icer. But as cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer reports, several environmental groups have pointed to a state report showing the salty liquid has radium levels up to 500 times higher than federal drinking-water limits.
Financial post mortem: Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown outspent Republican Rep. Jim Renacci by a margin of around six-to-one during his successful re-election campaign, and has $1.8 million left over as he considers a 2020 run, according to Thursday campaign finance fillings. As cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias writes, Renacci also disclosed repaying $3.5 million of the $4 million he loaned his campaign.
Seeing 2020 part 2: Michael Wager, a Cleveland attorney and former Brown campaign finance chairman, has formed an Ohio committee to promote Brown as a presidential candidate, writes Henry Gomez for BuzzFeed News. Wager would not talk with Gomez for the record about “The Committee to Draft Sherrod Brown for President 2020.”
Good work if you can get it: Outgoing Republican State Rep. Christina Hagan received $10,000 for consulting for MeToo Ohio, a GOP Super PAC that formed this year to attack Brown over his 1986 divorce, Tobias writes. Most of the $645,000 the group raised came from a pro-Renacci Super PAC or dark money groups, save for $25,000 given by Akron’s Anthony J. Alexander.
Dismissed: In a not-surprising move, the Ohio Elections Commission on Thursday tossed complaints by Ohio Libertarians and Greens claiming their candidates for governor were illegally excluded from this year’s gubernatorial debates. Pelzer has more on the decision.
He’s golden: Former Cleveland Indian Larry Doby – the second African American to join a major league baseball team – will get a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal after a U.S. Senate vote on Thursday, writes cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton. The measure to honor Doby for his role in integrating professional baseball passed the House of Representatives this summer and heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
Another Ohioan to head CFPB: The Senate also voted to make Chagrin Falls native Kathleen Kraninger the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head, Eaton writes. This came over objections from Democrats including Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who once employed her as a college intern. While business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce backed her nomination, Brown said she has “no experience whatsoever in consumer protection” and has “been involved in the management of one disastrous policy after another.” Her predecessor in the job – Democrat Richard Cordray – left run for Ohio governor.
Inaugural moves: In keeping with the theme of Mike DeWine’s inaugural celebration next month, “Faith, Family, Friends,” the governor-elect has named an old law-school friend to co-chair the event. Michael Kiggin, now a lobbyist, and his wife Suzanne, an executive at American Signature Inc., will serve as honorary co-chairs of the DeWine/Husted Inaugural Committee, according to a release. Dave Luketic, DeWine’s campaign manager, has been named the committee’s executive director.
We’ve received more than 350 nominations for our political awards, the Sloopys, but there’s still time to get your picks in on our submission page. Nominations will be open until 4 p.m. today. Voting on finalists begins next week.
Five things we learned from the May 15 financial disclosure of State Sen. Jon Eklund, of Geauga County.
1. In addition to his $60,584 salary as an Ohio senator, he made more than $100,000 as an attorney for Calfee, Halter and Griswold LLP, and less than $1,000 in interest from a KeyBank account.
2. He also has investments in a Calfee, Halter & Griswold retirement account, plus equity in the law firm and an Ohio Public Employees Retirement System account.
3. He disclosed owing money at some point during 2017 to American Express, EnerBank, Kohls, Bank of America, Discover, Visa, Chase, Loft, Home Depot and KeyBank.
4. The Ohio Senate reimbursed him for $6,489.60 in travel, while the Republican Senate Campaign Committee reimbursed him $344.50.
5. He did not disclose receiving any gifts.
State Auditor-elect Keith Faber has named outgoing Supreme Court Justice Mary DeGenaro as his chief legal counsel, according to a release. New Albany Mayor Sloan Spalding has agreed to serve as Faber’s chief of staff.
Friday 12/7: State Rep.-elect Jon Cross Ex-state Sen. Nina Turner Saturday 12/8: William Bebb, Ohio’s 19th governor (1802-1873)
“Is it possible for a lawmaker to use up goodbye speeches? Ohio Senate currently saying goodbye to Sen. Scott Oelslager. Senate said goodbye to him in 2002. House said goodbye in 2010. Now Senate again in 2018. House probably can say goodbye again in 2026.” -Columbus Dispatch reporter Jim Siegel on Twitter, presumably making a wry reference to how term limits have resulted in lawmakers jumping between the House and the Senate.
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