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Ohio House Leaders Reject Yost's Opioid Settlement Plan

House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) unveil new cameras installed in a committee room in March.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) in March.

Both the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Ohio House say that voters won't see a constitutional amendment proposed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

The proposal, which would set up a way to distribute opioid settlement money through a statewide foundation, would have to be approved in the House by next week.

Democratic Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) said taking away lawmakers’ role in appropriating money is already problematic. But she argues that local communities filed these opioid lawsuits because the attorney general didn’t.

“And so to come in at the 11th hour and say, 'We’re going to come grab the money, we’re going to tell you how to appropriate it,' when this administrative function never happened in the first place is a totally ridiculous exercise in judgment,” Sykes said.

House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) pointed out that Yost, a fellow Republican, wasn’t the only attorney general who could have filed lawsuits. Householder says he's also concerned that settlement money could be squandered.

In the end, though, Householder said there’s just not enough time for this proposal.

“It’s not going to make the primary,” Householder said. “He needs a new plan.”

The proposal would have to pass both the House and Senate by December 18 to make the March ballot.