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.
"I'm excited to see the construction of Amazon's new Twinsburg facility move forward," said LaRose. "The investment in this new site is an investment in the local families who will benefit from the 150 high-quality jobs the project will bring to our community."
"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."
"Last fall, I had the opportunity to meet with senior government officials in Botswana and Namibia and discuss the devastating impact of poaching in sub-Saharan Africa," said LaRose. "Elephant poaching produces major profits for organized crime, militant groups and terrorist organizations that launder illegal ivory through U.S. markets. By focusing on reducing demand for illegal ivory, the federal government can improve security around the globe while protecting a truly majestic species from extinction."
"Today our community mourns the loss of a truly outstanding public servant," said LaRose.