Skip to main content

Senator Cirino Calls Out Stall Tactics on Higher Ed Reform Bill - Ends Negotiations with Speaker

"We are going to wait for a more favorable environment in the House"
By The Editors
June 28, 2024
On The Record

Senator Jerry Cirino has run out of patience with House Speaker Jason Stephen’s refusal to bring his Senate Bill 83 up for a vote.

Cirino met with statehouse reporters Wednesday to announce he will no longer negotiate with Stephens over any more changes to the Ohio Higher Education Enhancement Act.

"I respectfully decline to participate in any such discussions with the speaker," said the senator.

Instead, he said, "We are going to wait for a more favorable environment in the House."

A reporter asked if that meant waiting until current Senate President Matt Huffman becomes House speaker next year, as is widely expected.

“That certainly would be a more favorable environment,” replied Cirino. 

The senator indicated he has run out of patience over stalling by Speaker Stephens, stating, “The time to display leadership in the House on this bill has come and gone."

Cirino was visibly irked when explaining to reporters he had learned just the day before that SB 83 would not be on Wednesday’s House agenda, the last day of session before the summer recess. 

The senator said a “credible” third party relayed word to him that Stephens wanted to continue to negotiate changes to the bill with him over the summer.

Cirino dismissed that suggestion, noting the House has had the bill for more than a year now. And that he has already negotiated all the changes needed to get a majority of yes votes in the House. 

The senator noted Stephens told him back in December that SB 83 would be a priority bill.

But, "It's been crickets for seven months."

Cirino said, “I think we could have easily gotten in excess of 60 votes” needed to pass the bill in the House. But, Stephens “never decided to get behind” the bill.

“There's nothing for me to really talk about over the summer,” explained Cirino. "That's why I am not interested in, and will not participate in discussions, respectfully, during the summer."

Cirino added, "I don't think it would be productive, quite frankly" to meet again with Stephens or continue negotiations with him.

“We're going to let it sit and take it up again at the right time.”

Contrary to an abundance of false information in the state media, Senate Bill 83 is specifically designed to protect free speech on campus.

It will not ban any courses, subjects, or topics of discussion. It will simply guarantee the right of students and professors to speak their minds without fear of retribution.

Senate Bill 83 will:

•        Ensure intellectual diversity in the classroom and among the faculty.

•        Provide free speech protections for students, faculty, and staff.

•        Allow an education of free, open, and rigorous intellectual inquiry to seek the truth.

•        Eliminate requirements for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) courses or training for students, staff or faculty.

•        Require full syllabus transparency.

•        Ban political and ideological litmus tests in all hiring, promotion, and admissions decisions.

The need for higher education reform is needed now more than ever.

The level of discriminatory hiring by tenured faculty is radicalizing campuses and intimidating students who dare disagree with the narrative emanating from “Tenure Island.”

Last fall, Senator Cirino and Senate President Huffman hosted the Public University Trustee Symposium at the Ohio Statehouse. Trustees representing all 14 public universities attended. They listened to panels of professors targeted for rejecting the far left indoctrination and radical hiring practices that are pervasive throughout campuses.

Watch Senator Cirino take questions from statehouse reporters this week as he calls out the stall tactics by House leadership. 

Watch our three part series on the critical need for reform.

First, watch the panel of professors who were ostracized and retaliated against while simply sticking to their values of intellectual diversity.

Watch our story on why trustees need to empower someone other than the university president to tell them what is really going on at their school.

Watch our story on why DEI hiring by faculty is making university trustees vulnerable to million dollar lawsuits. And why DEI, really stands for Division, Exclusion and Inequality in the quality of professors who are teaching our children.