Weekly Legislative Report: Statewide ballot set – On to Nov. 6th

​Aug. 30, 2018

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has certified the official ballot for the Nov. 6 General Election, which will be here before we know it. In fact, Labor Day traditionally marks the unofficial start of campaign cycle, though signs of the season are all around you if you only stop to smell the proverbial roses.

For example, the ads (like this and this) have begun in the gubernatorial election (which you might catch if you are the sort of person who watches commercials or live TV for that matter) and President Trump was in town...again, headlining the Ohio Republican Party’s annual dinner. His appearance marked the first time the event featured a sitting president and the largest turnout in their history.

At the dinner, all the GOP’s statewide candidates peddled their wares and all this talk of a “blue wave” was categorically dismissed in favor of the red variety. Their hopes were arguably bolstered with State Senator Troy Balderson being declared the official winner in Congressional District 12. He’ll make the trek to Washington to be officially sworn in after Labor Day — more details to come — as his opponent in the Special Election AND the General Election, Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor continues his bid to represent the district for a new two-year term. This will be decided on Nov. 6 along with all other congressional seats, one seat in the U.S. Senate, statewide offices (including two Supreme Court seats), the Ohio General Assembly (all the House and half the Senate), as well as local races and issues.

Additionally, State Issue 1 got its official title from the Ohio Ballot Board — “To Reduce Penalties for Crimes of Obtaining, Possessing, and Using Illegal Drugs,” as the opposition begins to line up against it. You can read the official arguments for and against the issue, as furnished by the Ballot Bo​ard, but Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor also made a strong case against it in an op ed released to statewide media outlets this week. Look for the Ohio State Bar Association to also weigh in in coming days. 

Ohio prisons chief to step down

Ohio’s prisons chief Gary Mohr has announced he will be moving on at the end of August to “a new opportunity in the criminal justice field.” He will be replaced by Stuart Hudson, who has been serving as deputy director of the department.

Supreme Court seeking comment as part of annual rule review 

If you are the sort of attorney who is impacted by the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Ohio Rules of Evidence, the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure, you may want to take some time to review and possibly, to comment on proposed rule changes posted by the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure. This is part of their annual review. Under the Constitution, a draft of any proposed changes must be filed with the Ohio General Assembly by mid January and then in final form by May 1, so there is still time to impact what proposals will be considered and in what form. Comments are due to the Ohio Supreme court no later than Sept. 26. More information can be found on the Court’s website.

Kasich orders flags flown at half-staff to honor John McCain

And finally, flags across the state are at half staff in honor of the life and service U.S. Senator and former Vietnam prisoner of war John McCain, who passed away last weekend after a battle with brain cancer. McCain, who ran for President twice, lost a primary bid in 2000 to then-candidate George W. Bush and after finally earning his party’s nomination in 2008, he was defeated by Barack Obama. McCain earned 46.91% of the vote in swing state Ohio that year, to President Obama’s 51.5%. Rest in peace, Senator McCain.

Week Ahead  

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend and beyond! The Ohio House and Senate are not expected to hold voting sessions until closer to the end of September. We’ll keep you in the loop!

Tracking OSBA Legislation    

While we await the General Assembly’s return, you can always track bills we are watching and OSBA priority legislation via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.

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