I think it is important to look at the Ohio General Assembly from time to time to note its progress in lawmaking in Ohio.
In 1992 the public voted with a 68.4% majority to amend the Ohio Constitution making term limits the law of the state. All state senators and representatives were limited to eight years in office. This was no problem for many of our proud legislators as they quickly determined, that due to the language in the law, when their term limits occurred in one house of the General Assembly, they could run for office in the other house. This had the effect of lifetime service. Once elected always elected.
How have these lifetime legislators performed? The DeRolph case regarding education funding was decided by the Ohio Supreme Court. The court decided in 1997 that the Ohio educational funding formula was unconstitutional. The court affirmed that decision a total of three times. Our elected officials looked at those decisions and said,” who cares”. Through a labyrinth of quasi-legal mumbo jumbo, they failed to follow that decision and the problem still exists.
Larry Householder, a Perry County member of the Ohio House of Representatives, was elected Speaker of the House a second time in 2019. He was later indicted in a $60 million bribery case, the biggest in Ohio history. He resigned as Speaker but retained his seat until the House finally expelled him a year after the indictment.
To date, more than 23,000 Ohio citizens have died in the still-raging Covid Pandemic. Do not think for a minute that our lawmakers have not noticed this tragedy. They have, and because of this problem, passed a law limiting the governor’s ability to impose mask mandates or any type of mercantile closings. This assured that the pandemic would continue spreading, especially in our schools. Our legislators were not sitting idly by as they, after identifying the real problem in the state, created a new license plate. The lawmakers are also proposing election laws that limit voting for those who choose to vote by mail and reduce the time to allow for early voting. There has never been any proof of voting irregularities in the state. Interestingly, these lawmakers proposed laws that limit the ability of those who are over sixty-five in mail-in voting. Seniors are the largest group of conservative voters in the state.
Ohio was late to the table in the multi-state lottery causing a huge jump in business in West Virginia and other border states for two years. Ohio also was several years late in approving casino gambling. This nearly crippled Ohio’s Pari-mutual racetrack business.
Do not worry West Virginia and Indiana, Ohio is still pumping money into your school systems through sports betting, not approved in Ohio.
As you can see, your Ohio legislators are hard at work opposing all positive steps for the state while protecting their livelihood through jumping from house to senate and back in elections. The Ohio Legislature is the heart of it all, or some other body part.
Write Mike Sussman at [email protected]