Ohio Senate

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

Tax cuts are the big feature in the Ohio Senate’s newly proposed two year budget, along with more than a billion in new funding for higher education and K-12 schools.

President Keith Faber says the proposed Republican Senate budget is smaller than the plans proposed by Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio House. But he says his chamber’s plan has one key goal.

“We are continuing today to build on our commitment to fund what matters and return to the taxpayers what’s not essential,” Faber says.

Ohio House, Senate hold opening day ceremonies

Jan 6, 2015
Andy Chow/Ohio Public Radio

Opening day for the new Ohio General Assembly Monday played out more like a ceremony than a typical House and Senate session. All the members --new and returning—were sworn-in.

The House held the official vote for its leadership teams which included new House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger—a Republican from Clarksville in Clinton County.

Rosenberger said legislatures in the past have worked on workforce development and creating employment for Ohioans—now he’d like to focus on what he calls “mobility.:

This election year was a relatively slow year for the Ohio legislature as lawmakers spent most of the year campaigning.  That changed in the last few weeks.

Several bills zipped through the lame duck session, but none in a more dramatic fashion than the last minute agreement on a way to change the process of drawing lawmakers’ district boundaries.

There were rumors of the resolution’s success and demise for days.  And after 17 hours of negotiations on the last day the Senate met, at 4 a.m. a vote was taken and it passed with only one "no" vote.  

Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Republican Bill Seitz of Cincinnati has long crusaded against red light and speed cameras.

His bill to ban them outright passed the House and Senate in 2006 – only to be vetoed by Republican Gov. Bob Taft in his last days in office, with the reasoning that a statewide prohibition on the installation of those cameras by cities violated the principle of home rule.

When Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley unveiled his city budget plan in mid-May, his hand-picked chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, Republican Charlie Winburn, vowed that the budget would be passed by June 4.

No waiting around until the last minute, Winburn said – which, in this case, would have been June 30.

And he did. Council passed that budget Wednesday, although they still have to deal with the issue of a water rate increase.

The 9th Ohio Senate District, which takes up most of the heavily Democratic city of Cincinnati, ought to be a slam dunk this fall for the candidate who emerges in the May 6 primary from a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

State Sen. Eric Kearney of North Avondale can’t run for re-election because of term limits. The 9th District – changed somewhat but not a lot in the last few re-drawings of district lines – was represented before Kearney by Mark Mallory, who left to become Cincinnati’s mayor; Janet C. Howard, and, for 25 years before that, the late William F. Bowen.

2012 was supposed to be a slow year at the Statehouse, with half of the seats in the Ohio Senate on the ballot, and with the two-year budget firmly in place. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler sat down with the departing Senate president and the minority leader to talk about the year that was – and what’s ahead.

Provided

Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus, the New Richmond Republican who is in his waning days as Ohio Senate president, was honored Tuesday night with the unveiling of an official portrait in the Senate Chamber where he has served the past eight years.

The Clermont County Republican's portrait was done by artist Leslie Adams, who has painted the state's official portraits of Bill Harris, Niehaus' predecessor as Senate president; and former governors Bob Taft and Ted Strickland.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich was among those attending the official unveiling.