Aug. 2, 2018
If you are the sort of person who likes to avoid traffic, don't go anywhere near the Delaware County Fair Coliseum this Saturday night because the President is coming.
With much talk in political circles about the potential for a "blue wave," and whether energized Democratic voters can flip the House and successfully block the Trump agenda, the Aug. 7 Special Election to replace former Congressman Pat Tiberi in Ohio's 12th Congressional District may prove to be a harbinger of what's to come. The Central Ohio district includes Delaware, Morrow and Licking counties, as well as portions of Franklin, Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties. Pat Tiberi, who stepped down in January to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable, had represented the district for 17 years and Governor John Kasich held the seat before that. Currently Republican State Senator Troy Balderson and Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor are in a dead heat, at least according to latest Monmouth University poll that came out this week.
Not willing to take any chances, President Trump is coming to Ohio Saturday to stump for Balderson, who has not been shy about tying his candidacy to the "Make Ohio Great Again" agenda. Earlier in the week, Vice President Pence traveled to Newark to lend his support. All will become clear next Tuesday. Or will it? The election will determine who represents the district only through the end of the year (completing Tiberi's unexpired term). Balderson and O'Connor will still have to face off in November to earn a full two-year term. Translation: Central Ohioans will have many, many more political ads to endure, ahem, enjoy.
ICYMI – Congressman Jordan Running for Speaker
Should Republicans hold the majority in the U.S. House, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan hopes to lead the body. In case you missed it, the Congressman from Urbana and a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has officially thrown his hat in the ring to replace Speaker Paul Ryan (who replaced former Ohio Congressman John Boehner). In his announcement on Facebook Thursday, he cited President Trump's efforts to change how Washington works and how Congress has not held up its end of the deal. Jordan hopes to change that.
Meanwhile Back in Ohio, Kasich Signs Bills into Law
On Monday, Governor Kasich signed nine bills into law, including:
House Bill 123, the controversial payday lending reform bill;
Senate Bill 135, which provides funding to county boards of elections to replace aging voting equipment;
House Bill 18, which eliminates the requirement of holding a special election to fill a vacancy in a party nomination for the office of representative to Congress under certain circumstances;
House Bill 95, which establishes an enhanced penalty for committing a moving violation while distracted if the distraction is a contributing factor to the commission of the violation and reenacts provisions of the law that specified that certain electronic wireless communications device violations were allied offenses of similar import;
House Bill 168, which deals with cemetery maintenance and oversight;
House Bill 263, which generally allows the owners of a retail food establishment or food service operation to allow dogs in an outdoor dining area;
Senate Bill 127, which requires motor vehicle operations to take certain actions upon approaching a stationary waste collection vehicle collecting trash;
Senate Bill 239, which deals with regional councils of government as well as a number of highway namings; and
Senate Bill 66, which modifies criminal sentencing and corrections to in the words of the sponsors, allow offenders to have "a fair shot" at rehabilitation without being subjected to unfair penalties.
Aside from the Sales Tax Holiday strategically timed for prime back to school shopping, Aug. 3-5 (more information here), all eyes will be on the 12th Congressional District election Tuesday. There are no General Assembly sessions scheduled until September.
OSBA's Weekly Legislative Report Turns One – Let Us Know What You Think!Time sure flies when you are having fun. It was one year ago this week that we started this weekly legislative treatise. On behalf of the OSBA Public Affairs team, thanks for reading! In the year ahead, what would you like to hear more of? Less of? We welcome your feedback, please send it via email@example.com.
Tracking OSBA Legislation
While you anxiously await your next Weekly Legislative Report, you can always track bills we are watching and OSBA priority legislation via the Legislative section at www.OhioBar.org.