Legislative Watch – November 19, 2021

Urge DeWine to Veto Unconstitutional Redistricting Plan

Despite passage of a Constitutional amendment aimed at ending partisan gerrymandering, the Ohio legislature has passed a Congressional that heavily favors Republican candidates. In 2018, Ohio voters passed redistricting reform. The Constitution calls for an open and bipartisan process for drawing districts. That did not happen. Instead, Republican leadership rammed through a map that unduly favors their party in violation of the Constitution. The statewide voting preference of Ohioans is roughly 55% Republican and 45% Democrat. However, the proposed map would favor Republicans in 80% of the districts.

An amended version of SB 258 emerged on Monday night and was passed by the Senate on Tuesday (24-7) and by the House on Thursday (55-36). The bill is now headed to Governor DeWine for his signature. Gerrymandering, done for the benefit of either party, subverts our democracy. Click here to urge the Governor to stand up for the Constitution and the will of the voters by vetoing the bill.

If signed by Governor DeWine, the Congressional map would be in effect for four years instead of ten because it did not have bipartisan support. There is also certain to be a court challenge to the proposal.

Bill to Change Training Requirements for Armed School Staff Passes Ohio House
House Bill 99, a bill that would significantly decrease the current training hour requirements for armed school staff, passed out of the Ohio House by a vote of 59-33. Former educator, and Republican Representative Gayle Manning joined Democrats in voting no.

Prior to passage, Representative Leland (D-Columbus) offered an OEA supported amendment that would have strengthened training requirements and public notification portions of the bill.

OEA continues to be opposed to House Bill 99. The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate for deliberation.