COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With a February 7th deadline looming, Republicans, Democrats, and citizen groups have come to an agreement on a plan that has some bi-partisan support, at least for now.
The plan, which has been negotiated fiercely for several weeks was passed out of the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee unanimously.
One of the negotiators for the deDemocratsSen. Vernon Sykes, was temporarily assigned to the committee; he and fellow Democrats Edna Brown and Joe Schiavoni voted to pass the bill on to the Senate floor.
The measure passed the Ohio Senate by a 31-0 vote Monday night. It now goes to the Ohio House for approval.
House members will have two days to work on the bill before they will have to get it passed if they hope to put the measure on the May primary ballot for the voters to have the final say.
This all comes after citizen groups pressured the legislature to act by gathering nearly 200,000 of the slightly more than 300,000 ballot petitions needed to add their plan to the November General Election ballot.
Members of the citizens coalition are tentatively appeased by the plan, but say anything can happen between now and Wednesday night.
They also say that the future of their ballot initiative is unclear; as they are not yet ready to scrap it altogether.
There are some major differences between the legislatures plan and the citizens plan, but they do align on several aspects.
Now everyone will turn their eyes toward the House and watch for any last minute deals, changes, and of course the all-important final vote.
Specifics of the current plan as presented to the Senate are still being examined.