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During Election Year, 'Wedge Issues' Driving More Bills In Ohio Legislature

Ohio Statehouse Legislative Chamber
Bob Hall

The entire Ohio House and half the Senate are on the ballot this year – along with all members of Congress and the president.

During the election year, so-called "wedge issues," controversial ideas that can motivate ideological voters, are now coming up in proposed legislation.

Republicans have introduced bills to prevent doctors from using telemedicine in medication abortions, to ban treatment for transgender minors who want to transition, and to keep transgender athletes from female-only school sports. All of those proposals are supported by the conservative Christian group Citizens for Community Values.

Spokesman Barry Sheets says everything is a wedge issue now.

“It doesn’t matter what the issue is, some group might use it in order to try to generate support for what they’re doing," Sheets says. "And that’s fine. But we’re in the business of trying to make good policy that protects the vast majority of the people of Ohio from things that are going to be harmful to them."

On the other side, a pair of Democrats have a bill that would require presidential candidates to submit tax returns for publication on the secretary of state’s website. Meanwhile, a Democrat-sponsored bill to ban conversion therapy for minors has bipartisan support.