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Another ‘heartbeat bill’ clears Ohio House: Capitol Letter

November 16, 2018

Another ‘heartbeat bill’ clears Ohio House: Capitol Letter

Rotunda Rumblings  ‘Heartbeat bill’ clears House: The Ohio House on Thursday voted 58-35 to pass legislation banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected – which, in some cases, can be as soon as six weeks into a pregnancy. As cleveland.com’s Jeremy Pelzer writes, Gov. John Kasich vetoed similar legislation in 2016, and it’s unclear whether supporters would be any more successful this time at finding the 60 votes needed to override Kasich’s veto, should it come to that.

Gerrymandering the Statehouse: The Democrats, though losing all the statewide offices, were more competitive in the 116 Ohio House and Senate elections across Ohio, Rich Exner at cleveland.com found in tabulating the unofficial returns. In terms of controlling Ohio’s government, the GOP won 73 of the 116 Statehouse races. But the Republicans scored their wins for 63 percent of the seats while collecting just 50.3 percent of the total vote. Exner explores what happens next in redistricting. 

Brown roasts Republicans: Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said in a speech to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network that if Stacey Abrams loses the gubernatorial race in Georgia, then the Republicans stole it, reports Ian Schwartz of RealClearPolitics.  President Brown? Brown is getting a lot more media attention since he acknowledged this week that he’s considering running for president in 2020. Sydney Ember of the New York Times has a backgrounder on Brown and his presidential prospects.

Lobbying the legislature: Ohio Attorney General and Gov.-elect Mike DeWine told the Cincinnati Enqurier’s Jessie Balmert he may have to ask the Ohio General Assembly for money to help Pike County try the capital murder case in the deaths of the Rhoden Family. DeWine has been mum on the investigation’s details but shared this: ”“It’s just a bizarre story. When this case goes to trial, people are just going to shake their heads.”

School math: A new legislative committee wants to come up with a new charter e-school funding system after the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s collapse, the Columbus Dispatch’s Jim Siegel reports. Currently, the schools get money based on enrollment. Lawmakers looked at funding models in which schools get paid based on student performance or a combination of performance and enrollment. 

No-bids blunder: In 2017, the Columbus Dispatch did an investigation into the Ohio Department of Administrative Services breaking policy in the awarding of over $15 million in no-bid contracts. To remedy this situation, the department hired a consulting firm and – wait for it – improperly used a no-bid contract, reports the Dispatch’s Randy Ludlow. 

Pathways to graduation: The Ohio Senate is working to create “alternative pathways” to high school graduation, reports The Plain Dealer’s Patrick O’Donnell. “Those alternate pathways let students avoid test score requirements to graduate by reaching some career training goals, having strong attendance or classroom grades their senior year, doing a senior capstone project or working at a job or on community service,” O’Donnell writes.

Five Questions

Democrat Bride Sweeney, 26, is the newly appointed state representative for Ohio’s House District 14. She also was elected to the job for a two-year term beginning in January. She succeeds her father, Martin Sweeney, and is the both the youngest person and the first woman to represent the district. 

1) Why did you run for state representative?

“I grew up in a political family, and I watched my father make government work for people. I always knew I wanted to work in government in some capacity. ... After working [as a legislative aide] in Ohio’s Senate and hearing my words in speeches and bills, I thought ‘why can’t this be me?’” 

2) What do you hope to accomplish as a state representative?

“It boils down to how we impact the future and how we work for the prosperity of Ohio. I have friends who have moved from Ohio because of the problems our state faces. We need to curb the opioid crisis, provide access to health care and invest in education. That way people from all across the country will want to come to Ohio and make a family and a life here.” 

3) How does it feel to be the first woman and the youngest person to represent House District 14?

“It is the greatest honor of my life and that is not lost on me. I think my election speaks to the Year of the Woman. It also speaks to what young people can do. We are young, but we can be an avenue of change.”

4) What advice do you have for young adults looking to work in politics?

“My mother instilled in me that you should never let anyone make you feel less than yourself. Campaigning was very challenging, and many people made personal attacks and tried to tear me down. They said my dad was forcing me to run for his position, as if it would be ridiculous that a young woman could have ambitions of her own. My best advice would be to stay true to yourself and have a close group of friends and family. Don’t let others get you down.”

5) What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

“Traveling. I have been to India, Thailand and Europe. I love experiencing cultures. Even traveling throughout Ohio I saw different backgrounds. It is one of my favorite things.”

Birthdays

Saturday, 11/17: Ex-U.S. House Speaker John Boehner; Return J. Meigs, Ohio’s 4th governor (1764-1825); Andrew L. Harris, Ohio’s 44th governor (1835-1915)

Sunday, 11/18: Christopher Dalton, legislative aide for state Rep. Catherine Ingram

Straight from the Source

“I say it to everybody, come on in, the water’s warm.”

- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when asked about a possible challenge for House speaker by U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge of Warrensville Heights.

Capitol Letter is a daily briefing providing succinct, timely information for those who care deeply about the decisions made by state government. If you do not already subscribe, you can sign up here to get Capitol Letter in your email box each weekday for free.

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