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Ohio House Speaker Supports Pay Hike For Elected Officials

Rep. Smith speaks during Ohio House session on April 11, 2018.
Ohio House
Ohio House Speaker Speaker Ryan Smith

State lawmakers could return during their holiday break to override vetoes on the 'Heartbeat Bill' abortion bill and on a so-called "Stand Your Ground" self-defense bill, though removed the "stand your ground" provision opposed by Gov. John Kasich.

The Republican leader of the House is suggesting there may be another veto in the works that they could push back on.

Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) told a statewide gathering of county commissioners that he’s backing a plan to hike the pay of all local, county and state officials and state lawmakers starting next year. But he says Kasich might oppose it.

“It’s also not welcomed by this administration that we take on a pay raise bill right now – probably to the extent that they’ll try to veto that,” Smith said.

The speaker suggested that the relationship state lawmakers will have with incoming governor Mike DeWine will be better than the one with Kasich.

“I think the conversation going forward is going to be much more amenable to how we can do things together instead of just being told how we’re going to do it,” Smith said.

Lawmakers have overridden 12 Kasich vetoes in the last two years, and Smith is hinting that they won’t try to override any of Kasich’s 36 remaining vetoes, but could be called back to override new ones.

Last week, the Ohio Senate removed the "duty to retreat" language for people who find themselves in threatening situations from the "Stand Your Ground" bill. HB 228 primarily focuses on other parts of self-defense law, including a shift of the burden of proof from the defense to the prosecution in such cases.

Committees in both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly also put the "Heartbeat Bill" on hold last week. Kasich has promised to veto the bill, which would ban abortions at the point a fetal heartbeat is detected.