Ohio's lame duck session resumes with voting, school board bills on the agenda
With the Thanksgiving break over, a busy lame duck session continues at the Statehouse this week, with lawmakers set to consider several bills in House and Senate committees.
Lawmakers are likely to vote on a bill (HB 294) that would limit ballot drop boxes to only three days and only at the 88 county boards of elections offices and shorten the early voting period by a day. Sponsor Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) has said a voter photo ID requirement could be added from a separate bill proposed earlier this year.
A vote is also expected on a bill (SB 302) that funds improvements in the unemployment compensation system and tightens security and ID requirements, but doesn’t change the way the unemployment system is funded.
Hearings are also set for a Republican-backed bill (SB 178) to take away most education duties from the state school board and putting them with the governor — just after Democrats won three of five state school board seats on this fall’s ballot. This isn't the first time such a proposal has been put forward. For decades, governors have sought to have more control over the state school board. Democratic Gov. Richard Celeste called for an end to the all-elected state school board in 1990, and Republican Gov. George Voinovich approved a budget creating eight gubernatorial appointees on the state school board in 1995.
A vote is also possible on a bill (HB 542) to reduce training hours for cosmetologists and barbers, and hearings are set for seven bills (HBs 547-553) dealing with regulations on speed and red light cameras.