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The lame-duck session to-do list

Windows are boarded up at the Ohio Statehouse on May 29, 2020, following protests.
David Holm

It’s the most wonderful time of the year... the lame-duck session at the Ohio General Assembly. So many bills. So many important issues. So little time to consider them before they become law. It’s anything but lame.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the bills quickly moving through the capitol. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow joins the show.

Lame-duck dynasty

State Rep. Cindy Abrams pushed a bill trying to stop distracted driving. Niki Clum with the office of the Ohio Public Defenders argued against a bill to increase penalties for swatting, which is calling 911 to cause panic or harm. And Jeopardy! champ Amy Schneider argued against a bill requiring counseling for minors seeking gender-affirming care.

Those are just some of the many bills that legislators are working to push during this busy time of year. A total abortion ban is expected, but it is unclear whether Republicans will choose to try to pass that now or in January.

Snollygoster of the week

The midterms saw three Democrats defeat conservative members of the Ohio State Board of Education. That means Democrats now have 7 members on the 19-member board.

Coincidentally, Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would eliminate most of the school board’s powers and give them to a member of the governor’s administration.

Republican lawmakers have tried for years to curtail the power of the board and give those powers to the governor’s office. Former Gov. John Kasich tried it several years ago.

But after all the state school board controversies over race and now transgender rights and the loss of three elected seats, it’s pretty shrewd of Republican lawmakers to try to quickly pass a bill in the lame-duck session that would basically gut the powers of the board.

If you have a suggestion for our Snollygoster of the Week award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.