Ohio House Vote Set To Resolve Impasse Over Next Speaker

Jun 6, 2018

The inert Ohio House is ready to vote on a new speaker. But even if they do, none of the bills held up by the delay will receive a vote.

Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring, acting House leader, has called a vote Wednesday. The vote follows weeks of stalemate during which GOP representatives failed to agree on a successor to former Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Rosenberger resigned last month amid an FBI investigation, reportedly into his association with lobbyists.

House Finance Chairman Ryan Smith, a Gallia County Republican, is the leading speaker candidate. A faction led by former Speaker Larry Householder opposes Smith in favor of term-limited Rep. Andy Thompson, of Marietta.

Householder aspires to be speaker next year, as does Smith. Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn also is running.

If no candidate wins a majority of those present after 10 rounds of voting, the one with the most votes on the 11th vote wins.

There are 150 bills that have passed through House committees or have come from the Senate, awaiting a House vote. Among those on hold are the so-called “Stand Your Ground” bill and measures to crack down on payday lendersbuy new voting machines and ban forced overtime for nurses.

A spokesman for Schuring said the election of speaker is the only item on the agenda for Wednesday's session. It will be up to the new speaker to decide a schedule to consider future legislation.