COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With a few weeks left until the new year, Ohio lawmakers are pushing their bills through the statehouse and Gov. Mike DeWine has voiced support for several pieces of legislation.
One is Senate Bill 178 which reforms the responsibility of state education offices. While the bill was not his idea, DeWine said it is a good one.
“I think virtually every governor for 40 or 50 years have wanted to have more control in regard to the department of education,” DeWine said. “Kind of a joint control between the governor’s office. The governor, on certain areas, and other areas be the state board of education, I think is a very significant improvement.”
In addition, while abortion legislation has not been deliberated in committee meetings or sessions yet this lame-duck session, DeWine said wording matters.
“It’s important that when we look at things like what the life of the mother exception is, that it is easy to understand and that there is clarity there,” DeWine said. “Whatever law gets passed, we are in state where you can have referendums, where the people can ultimately make a decision. So, I would hope that the general assembly would pass something that will last and not be overwritten by the vote of the people.”
Another bill moving through lame-duck could change laws for transgender athletes. However, DeWine did not give his exact position on that legislation.
“We know what the bill’s going to be, I don’t think we know what the language is going to be at all,” DeWine said. “Here again, language matters, we are going to wait and see, if there is a bill at all, what the language is.”
DeWine said something he’d like to see an increase in is the number of behavioral health workers. He said the way to do that is by making Ohio a research hub.
“Smart people attract smart people,” DeWine said. “And, if Ohio can become a go to state for research, we’re going to attract a lot of people in this field who come here in the state of Ohio.”
There are also a few election-related bills moving through the statehouse changing the amount of time and requirements needed to cast a ballot.
“The burden would be on those who want to argue about making changes. We just do a very good job,” DeWine said. “Of course, anything can be improved but we will see what comes out and what they’re moving forward on.”