Dec. 7, 2017
T-minus 2 months and counting until the deadline to file as a candidate for Ohio Governor in the 2018 Primary Election. Just to see if you've been paying attention, play along with our Candidate/Not-a-Candidate quiz.
On the Democratic side:
Jerry Springer is…NOT A CANDIDATE. The tabloid talk show host and former Cincinnati Mayor made an emotional announcement on his podcast that though he'd have a real shot at winning, he would not be filing to run for Governor of Ohio.
Richard Cordray is…A CANDIDATE. At a diner in suburban Columbus on Monday, he made it official. Cordray, the former Ohio Treasurer and Attorney General, resigned from his post as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Nov. 24, taking care of any Hatch Act complications.
Bill O'Neill is...(We'll have to let you know tomorrow). Justice O'Neill has previously said that he would not run if Cordray got in the race. Recently, he has hedged a bit saying that he would not drop out unless he's assured Cordray will work to legalize marijuana and use the proceeds to address the opiates/mental health crisis. He has said he'll announce his plans on Friday.
Betty Sutton is…A CANDIDATE.
Connie Pillich is…A CANDIDATE.
Joe Schiavoni is…A CANDIDATE.
Nan Whaley is…A CANDIDATE.
Yes. In fact, while the news about Springer, Cordray and O'Neill dominated the headlines, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton, former State Representative Connie Pillich, State Senator Joe Schiavoni, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley all made the case why they would be their party's best hope in November as part of a Monday candidate forum sponsored by the Cleveland City Club. This was their second debate of the season.
On to the Republicans:
Mike DeWine is…A CANDIDATE. As we reported last week, Attorney General Mike DeWine not only is a candidate for Governor, he's the first to pick his running mate -- former rival for the nomination, Jon Husted.
Jon Husted is…NOT A CANDIDATE. He's officially on team DeWine, effectively narrowing the Republican field for Governor.
Mary Taylor is…A CANDIDATE. Current Lt. Governor Mary Taylor surprised Statehouse insiders who, when they heard that she had scheduled a press conference on the day of the Husted-DeWine announcement to discuss the future of her candidacy, had assumed she would drop out. Instead she declared she was "in it to win it."
Jim Renacci is…A CANDIDATE. The businessman, congressman, and former Wadsworth Mayor is still in.
Legislative Happenings of Note
OSBA LEADS Bill
While the aforementioned candidates jockey to replace him, current Governor John Kasich will soon see OSBA priority legislation cross his desk. On Tuesday, the Ohio Senate concurred in house amendments to Senate Bill 33. Sponsored by Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township), the bill would ensure defendants have access to the same information from the LEADS (Law Enforcement Agencies Data System) database as the prosecution regarding their record of convictions. We are confident the Governor will sign the bill and that our Traffic Law Committee will soon be basking in their legislative success…as they well should! Read more about the House amendments to SB33 in last week's legislative report.
Estate of Dower Abolishment
The House Civil Justice Committee held its first hearing on House Bill 407 legislation that would abolish the estate of dower in Ohio, that is, the right of a spouse to claim a life estate in one-third of the real property acquired during the marriage. Representatives Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) say the practice is antiquated and the largest cause of bad title, creating the inability to sell real estate because marital status or release of dower were omitted from a deed or mortgage.
Both the OSBA Real Property Section (pro HB 407) and the OSBA Family Law Committee (anti HB 407) have strong and opposing views on HB 407. Child rearing experts would tell you it is unhealthy to show favoritism between your children. Likewise it is unwise to pick favorites between your devoted OSBA committees; therefore, the OSBA will be playing only a minor role as the drama unfolds. Presently there are only three states that still have dower in their laws -- will Ohio soon join the other 47? We'll be keeping our eye on it. In the meantime, email OSBA Assistant Executive Director of Policy and Public Affairs Todd Book at TBook@Ohiobar.org with any feedback on the bill.
Court Organization Bills
House Bill 354, sponsored by Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), which allows the Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court to have concurrent jurisdiction with Seneca County Common Pleas Court in the operation of an addiction recovery pilot program, passed the house 91-0.
House Bill 174, sponsored by Representatives Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington) and Laura Lanese (R-Grove City), which creates two judgeships in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Division of Domestic Relations, passed the Ohio Senate 31-0 with an emergency clause. Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Columbus), who carried the bill, said the emergency clause was necessary in order to ensure one of the judges could be elected in 2018. The other will be elected in 2020.
House Bill 329, sponsored by Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), which sets a standard for distinguishing between legitimate direct sales businesses and illegal pyramid schemes, passed the House 91-0.
Workers Comp Benefits
House Bill 380, sponsored by Representatives Larry Householder (R-Glenford Township) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), which would bar people who are in the country illegally from collecting benefits from workers' compensation, passed the House 62-30. A similar proposal was included in the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) budget earlier this year, but the Senate struck the provision from the final bill.
Fantasy Sports Regulation
The Ohio House concurred in Senate amendments to House Bill 132, sponsored by Representatives Jonathan Dever (R-Madiera) and Robert McColley (R-Napoleon), which would regulate fantasy sports in Ohio. It's now on its way to the Governor.
Tracking OSBA Legislation
As always, track OSBA priority bills via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.
It's looking like it will be the last week of voting session before the end of the year. The Ohio House and Senate are both in session on Wed. Dec. 13, though the Senate has also set if needed session days on Dec. 12 and 19. Look for continued work on a fix to unemployment compensation, but no vote until January.