COLUMBUS— The Ohio Senate today gave overwhelming bipartisan approval to Senate Joint Resolution 5, which revises the process by which Ohio draws its legislative and Congressional districts. Co-sponsored by Senators Frank LaRose and Tom Sawyer (D- Akron), it passed by a vote of 32-1.
“We came together as a bipartisan group and worked to draft a plan which is not designed to benefit one party or the other but truly to set up a better method of drawing districts that is in the best interest of all Ohioans,” LaRose said. “This resolution creates a process that is fair and accountable, and establishes a solid foundation from which to build in the next General Assembly.”
Under the resolution, a seven-member redistricting commission would be established, consisting of the Governor, Auditor of State, Secretary of State and four members appointed by the legislative leaders in each chamber. The commission would elect bipartisan co-chairs, and none of the members could be a sitting member of the state Legislature or Congress. Any plan proposed by the commission must receive five votes – including at least one vote from the minority party.
“Transportation issues touch the lives of all Ohioans," said LaRose. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft a transportation budget that invests in Ohio's diverse transportation infrastructure to enhance prosperity and improve safety for Ohio’s families.”
"The concept is pretty straightforward," said Senator LaRose. "This bill will update Ohio's campaign finance law to allow local entities to join a system that has operated smoothly for over 15 years. There is no good reason to deny the public the opportunity to view local campaign finance reports online when state reports are already available."
"Our county boards of elections work hard to stretch every taxpayer dollar as far as it will go to ensure efficient, fair elections," said LaRose. "Forcing them to hold uncontested primary elections is a clear waste of time and taxpayer resources. This commonsense, bipartisan bill would remove the unnecessary cost burden placed on local communities and improve efficiency in the administration of our elections."
"This stuff is lethal and it affects every corner of our state. Our fellow Ohioans want us to address this scourge on our communities," added LaRose. "I believe that addicts need to be in treatment and drug dealers belong behind bars. This legislation was crafted to punish traffickers without ensnaring addicts."