2015 has all the elements of an exciting year in the state capitol.
2015 is a budget year, and that potentially means battles over priorities. And Gov. John Kasich knows it.
“As executive, I’ve got to tell you, I don’t care if I have to break some china. But that’s not the best way to do things,” Kasich said. “The best way to do things is to get cooperation out of the people you work with.”
Raising the tax on oil and gas drillers has been a major issue in Ohio. But just when it seemed like policymakers were poised to take a big step towards a change, other issues got in the way.
Going back-and-forth on the severance tax seems to be a new annual tradition between Gov. John Kasich’s administration and the oil and gas industry. Legislators from the House and Senate are also in the mix—falling into both camps.
It’s been a productive year for Ohio lawmakers, who passed bills dealing with redistricting, budget revisions and red light cameras. But many bills that got a lot of attention with the end of the two-year General Assembly didn’t pass.
Maybe the legislation needed more time for review or didn’t have quite enough support. Whatever the reason—this was the year those bills finally made it past state lawmakers.
The most recent example is the reform to Ohio’s redistricting process. For the past decade, critics of the process have said it creates maps that are aggressively gerrymandered, which is what happens when lawmakers redraw voting districts to benefit their political party.