The public corruption trial of former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder began this week. Current House Republicans remain divided over who will be in charge of the caucuses. Also, the state Senate is considering changing rules for Ohioans who test positive for marijuana while driving.
In this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained, we break down what that means. Podcast produced by the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau to catch up on state political news in 15 minutes or less.
This week, host Anna Staber is joined by reporter Haley Beamer.
1) Parliamentary Regulations
The ongoing strife among Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives emerged on Tuesday as they fought over the rules that govern how their Congress will run.
“That disrespect. It’s unnecessary. It should never happen,” said R-Dayton Rep. Phil Plummer. “He should resign for behaving like that.”
What upset Plummer was that the current Speaker of the House, Stevens, R-Kitts Hill, would not allow his party members to propose amendments to House rules.
Stevens told reporters on Tuesday that he didn’t enjoy their proposal because it was time to move forward.
“I am the Speaker of the House,” Stevens said. “I am the leader of the Republican Caucus, and we have a group of members ready to work for Ohio.”
2) Opening Week at Householder Trials
Federal prosecutors this week filed a fee-based lawsuit against householders, alleging that the former speaker “sold the state capitol.”
They accuse Householder of being the mastermind behind a scheme to defraud $1.3 billion from Ohio utility customers and hand it over to a company called First Energy. In exchange, the Akron-based firm reportedly paid the “company” more than $60 million of him.
But lawyers say the government made a mistake.
“Larry never took a bribe to advance this law,” Householders’ attorney Stephen Bradley said in an opening discussion.
People in Ohio who have marijuana in their bodies may soon be able to debate whether they were under the influence of marijuana while driving.
Senate Bill 26, proposed by Senator Nathan Manning (R, North Ridgeville), would create a way for drivers to claim their sobriety after testing positive for marijuana and to file a costly OVI. may avoid. The idea is that marijuana stays in the body for days to weeks after ingestion, unlike alcohol and other drugs.
Defense attorneys say this could lead to innocent people being convicted of driving while intoxicated, and if Ohio legalizes recreational use, the problem will only get worse.
4) Voter ID Law
Ohio’s new election law, which goes into effect this spring, sets some of the strictest voter ID rules in the country, according to an analysis by the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau.
The law requires voters to show photo ID at the ballot, but it also makes state ID available free to all Ohioans 17 and older.
Proponents say this and other changes will boost confidence in Ohio’s election, but opponents say voter fraud is rare and that this is a “solution to a problem that has been called for.” says.
Listen to “Ohio Politics Explained” on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn Radio. This episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.
USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves The Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal, and 18 affiliated news organizations in Ohio.