Last week, my colleagues in the Ohio Senate and I were eager to kick off the new year with an opportunity to pass meaningful legislation during our first Senate Session since the holiday break. In our continued effort to make Ohio a better place to live, work, and raise a family, staying committed to serving our constituents remains our top priority.
Honoring Our First Responders
It was an honor to vote alongside my colleagues in unanimous support of House Bill 44, sponsored by Representative Bill Patmon (D–Cleveland), which designates May 24 as First Responders' Appreciation Day.
Each day, our first responders risk their lives in the service of others. This legislation is a small reflection of our gratitude for their sacrifice, and offers the recognition they deserve for keeping our families and communities safe.
Waiving Requirements for Veterans
The Ohio Senate also voted to support a bill sponsored by Senator Lou Terhar (R–Green Township), which would allow the active and retired members of the armed forces and veterans, who have relevant military training, to obtain concealed carry permits without paying fees or requirements to participate in training.
Specifically, the bill waives the license fee for those retired or honorably discharged from the military, accepts military experience as proof of competency with firearms, permits a licensee to renew a license at any time, and requires the attorney general to track and cap the number of fees waived at $1.5 million. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, we worked hard to ensure Senate Bill 81 took into consideration the safety of Ohioans, while also recognizing the experience and training of our veterans.
Respecting the Dignity of the Unborn
Also passed by the Ohio Senate was Senate Bill 28, sponsored by Senator Joe Uecker (R–Miami Township). This critical legislation addresses the abortion industry practice of desecrating aborted fetal remains by disposing of them via public landfills. Provisions of the bill state that an abortion facility can only dispose of aborted remains through the use of cremation or interment and grants the mother the right to determine the final disposition of the remains.
Ensuring Integrity in Our Courts
Lastly, the Senate approved a resolution calling for Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill to testify before the legislature to justify why he should not be removed from office in light of his active interest in the Ohio gubernatorial race. Justice O'Neill announced in October that he is pursing the Democratic nomination for governor. The adoption of the Senate Concurrent Resolution 20 is an effort to ensure Mr. O’Neill is not violating a judicial cannon forbidding a sitting judge from being a candidate for a partisan office.
Starting again this week, my colleagues and I will continue our work here in the Ohio Senate as we look forward to addressing more important issues and focus on keeping our commitments to the people of our great state.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns about the matters we are discussing at the Statehouse, and I hope to hear your ideas about how we can improve the state of Ohio. I can be reached by phone at (614) 466-6026, by e-mail at, or by writing State Senator Scott Oelslager, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215.
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