The heavy pace at the Statehouse continued this week, as members met in regular session and most committees met. The Governor released his proposed $2.63 billion dollar capital budget bill, which finances various projects throughout the state. Meanwhile, CCV was busy early in the week holding a press conference to discuss some legislation we are working on to ensure the state can never take your children away because you do not consent to hormone therapy for “gender reassignment.”
FEATURED BILL OF THE WEEK:
ACLU OK WITH CENSORING STUDENT SPEECH
The ACLU’s Chief Lobbyist was the sole opponent this week testifying against House Bill 428, the “Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act.” This bill is important to us because too many schools are censoring student speech (click here for examples).
The ACLU says the bill is unnecessary and would violate the school’s duty of neutrality (even though none of Ohio’s dozens of schools groups opposed the bill). According to their testimony, the ACLU is afraid of teachers having to accept “Young Earth Creationist” answers on tests. Just as mind-boggling, the ACLU said they don’t want children, even when speaking on their own behalf (not the school’s) saying anything about their faith through “student newspapers, school assemblies, and public address systems.”
Historically, the ACLU is an organization that has stood for the free speech of all Americans, including even pedophiles and the KKK. Now, children apparently are not worthy of that advocacy as the ACLU is ok with the censorship of their expression in schools.
The House Health Committee passed Senate Bill 28 this week, a bill that would clarify an Ohio statute that requires aborted remains to be disposed of “humanely.” Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) was the only Republican to vote against the bill.
- As I’m sure most of you know the Reverend Billy Graham passed away last week. Today, Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) & Rep Glenn Holmes (D-Girard) are working on a resolution to honor his life and legacy.
- This week the House sent the Governor Senate Bill 1 which would greatly increase the penalties for crimes involving fentanyl. Rep. Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) has taken the lead on many issues related to this crisis and said that that the bill is one piece of a broader effort to stem the flow of illegal fentanyl from China and other countries.
- In 2008, by a nearly 2-1 margin, Ohioans voted to end the exploitative payday lending industries’ practices of charging upwards of 600% interest rates. However, since then, the payday lending industry has found a loophole, which is why Rep. Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) has legislation to close the loophole, and a ballot initiative was announced this week at the Statehouse to take on the issue as well.
- HB 512, which would consolidate the Ohio Department of Education and Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and would give the Governor more power over the State School Board. After careful consideration and analysis of the bill, CCV has decided to oppose the bill, as it would make Ohio’s already bureaucratic education system less responsive to the concerns of families and communities.
- Voter registration for the May 8th primary election is due by April 9th. Click here to register or update your registration.
- Governor John Kasich will be giving his State of the State speech from Westerville, OH on March 6th at 7pm. You can watch the speech at ohiochannel.org. You can apply for tickets here. We’ll be watching and hoping the Governor takes the opportunity to discuss the need to protect the unborn, families, and religious freedom in Ohio.
LAWMAKER PRAYER FOCUS:
Each week, we ask that you take a little time to get to know one of Ohio’s legislators and pray for them to have wisdom, moral guidance, and courage. Today, I want to mention my friend Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) whose office was next-door to mine when I worked at the General Assembly. She is a former Mayor and has introduced several bills as a result of her passion for addressing and reducing youth suicide. You can read her full biography here.