In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the flurry of activity from the Ohio General Assembly’s lame duck session. Dayton Daily News statehouse reporter Laura Bischoff joins the show.
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In this week's episode:
Ohio Lawmakers Go Into Overtime
Lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate held a marathon session Thursday and into Friday morning where they passed dozens of bills. The Senate continued to meet on Friday and the House is scheduled to be back in session next week.
Ohio lawmakers still have several big issues left to tackle, including how to proceed with the scandal-tainted nuclear bailout law, which is set to go into law in January. A repeal seems unlikely and lawmakers are considering delaying the $1 billion in subsidies for two nuclear power plant for a year.
An override of Gov. Mike DeWine's veto of a bill restricting public health orders also could happen, although an outbreak of COVID-19 among of Ohio House members could leave them short on votes.
Some of the bills that were passed during Thursday's marathon session included a ban on executing people with severe mental illnesses, and an override of DeWine's public health order that basically closed county fairs because of COVID-19. The governor could veto the latter.
Republicans also voted to close debate on a bill that bans telemedicine for the use of abortion medications, denying opponents an opportunity to speak.
The House passed a "Stand Your Ground" bill, which removes the duty to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense. The Senate appears to have the votes to approve this measure as well.
Lawmakers also passed a bill to allow licensed falconers to use owls to hunt small game.
Rob Portman Is Satisfied
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) finally offered his congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden after Electoral College voters officially gave him the White House on Tuesday.
The move occurred 37 days after Biden was declared the next president of the United States. Portman did acknowledge Biden's win before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Snollygoster Of The Week: Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost
Yost filled a friend-of-the-court brief in support of neither side of Texas' lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed by the high court, sought to have election results thrown out in four battleground states that Biden won.
In his brief, Yost said the Supreme Court should not keep those states from voting in the Electoral College.