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Bipartisan Bill To Protect Sports Officials Easily Passes Ohio House

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The Ohio House has passed a bipartisan bill that increases penalties on people who are convicted of assaulting sports officials. 

Republican Rep. Bill Roemer (R-Richfield) says youth soccer coaches have told him they have a problem. 

“They said soccer games are being cancelled because there’s no officials to officiate and they said over 70% of new officials quit within three years, mostly citing spectator abuse," Roemer says.

Roemer’s bill, co-sponsored by Democrat Joe Miller (D-Amherst), would punish first time offenders with a fine of up to $1500 and 40 hours of community service. Subsequent offenses could be fifth-degree felonies that could result in prison time.  The bill passed overwhelmingly and now moves to the Ohio Senate. 

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.