Barry Sheets, Legislative Consultant
February 15, 2019
The first month of the 133rd
Legislative activity has kicked in and
the Heartbeat bill is right at the center of the action.
NEWS AND VIEWS
1. Representatives Ron Hood (R-Ashville) and Candice Keller (R-Middletown) filed the House version of the Heartbeat bill on Monday with the House Clerk. They have a total of 50 co-sponsors of the bill. It has been numbered House Bill 68. The bill is assigned for hearings in the House Health Committee, chaired by Rep. Derrick Merrin. Speaker Larry Householder has indicated that the House anticipates the Senate sending their version to the House to be used as the vehicle for hearings.
2. Senate Bill 23, the upper chamber’s version of the Ohio Human Heartbeat Protection Act (Heartbeat Bill) received it’s first hearing in the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid committee on Wednesday afternoon. Bill sponsor Senator Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) gave a detailed presentation on the need for an unambiguous medical standard (heartbeat) for determining “viability” of the unborn child versus the sliding scale of gestational age or the access to biomedical technology. The chairman of the committee (Senator Dave Burke of Marysville) has indicated that there will be a total of three hearings on the bill, and supporters and opponents of the bill will have full and equal access to present testimony (3 minute time limit per witness) in the upcoming hearings.
3. The Senate Health Committee has also been assigned another key bill supported by RTLACO: the Humane Disposal of Fetal Remains legislation sponsored by Senator Joe Uecker of Clermont County. It has been numbered as Senate Bill 27. It has been designated as one of the priority bills for the Senate, along with the Heartbeat bill. It should move through the Assembly fairly quickly, as it was almost completed during the previous session but ran out of time to complete.
4. The Assembly is now in full gear, as committee assignments have been made, and a large number of bills have already been introduced (80 bills in the House this week; 52 in the Senate). This will mean full weeks of committee hearings and regularly scheduled House and Senate floor sessions. As always, should RTLACO member organizations be interested, “shadowing” opportunities can be scheduled for your members with RTLACO’s legislative consultant.
5. The recently-passed Dismemberment Abortion ban law (SB 145 of the 132nd GA) had a lawsuit filed against it’s enactment today in the US District Court, Southern District (Cincinnati). Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Med Center of Dayton (Martin Haskell’s abortion facility in Kettering) are asking the court to overturn the law due to their contention that it places an “undue burden” on women seeking abortion.
Click HERE for a special commentary from Cincinnati Right to Life’s Director about why the pro-life movement should care about sexual orientation gender identity issues.
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Each installment of the Friday Five will bring thumbnail profiles of key policymakers. One statewide office holder or agency director, one Senator and three House members will be profiled each time.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose
A Republican and former two-term Senator from Hudson, LaRose was elected to be Ohio’s 51st Secretary of State in November. LaRose is a former Green Beret with the 101st Airborne and he is the Jr. Vice Commander of the Fairlawn VFW. LaRose, an Eagle Scout, also is a member of his local executive board of the Boy Scouts of America Council. LaRose graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Consumer Affairs and Business. He and his wife, Lauren, live in Hudson with their three daughters.
Senate Majority Whip Jay Hottinger (R)
Hottinger, from Newark, represents the 31st Senate District (Licking, Coshocton, Tuscarwaras and parts of Holmes County), and is the newly-elected Senate Majority Whip. Hottinger has been a consistent pro-life vote and a leader on family issues such as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). A veteran legislator, Hottinger has served in office since the age of 21 at both the local and state levels.
Representative Tom Brinkman (R)
Tom Brinkman of the 27th House District in Cincinnati is a strong pro-life leader and veteran legislator serving his second (non-consecutive) cycle as a member of the Ohio House. He has been named Chairman of the House Insurance Committee for the 133rd GA. Brinkman has co-sponsored Heartbeat every time it has been introduced, and during his first cycle in the House introduced a bill to ban abortions entirely, the precursor to the Life at Conception legislation.
Representative Richard Brown (D)
Brown is an attorney from Canal Winchester in the 20th House District who is serving his first full elected term in the Assembly, having been appointed to the seat during the 132nd Assembly. His voting record exhibits opposition to pro-life priorities, voting against all pro-life initiatives introduced during the 132nd GA.
Representative Jim Butler (R)
The veteran legislator in his fourth term serving the 41st House District is from Oakwood (a Dayton suburb), and has recently been elevated to the position of Speaker Pro Tempore (#2 office in majority leadership). A former Naval officer and attorney, Butler has been a steady pro-life voice and vote in the Assembly. He is the author of the CURES Act, a bill supported by RTLACO, which would incentivize the discovery of cures for diseases while establishing strong pro-life standards for the research.
Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati is a member organization of the