House votes on abortion bans, pay raises, tax dollars for special projects

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The lame-duck session always comes with Christmas Tree Bills of all shapes and sizes.

This week we saw several Christmas tree bills to one extent or another.

The Reagan Tokes Act had two bills added to it that had recently passed through House Committees but had not been voted on by the full House of Representatives, nor been worked on by the Senate.

Within the last 24 hours, a bill that seeks to extend the benefits to surviving spouses of fallen first responders was coming to the end of its legislative journey and all it needed was a vote off the floor of the House.

It got that vote, but not before lawmakers added an amendment that calls for a pay raise for government officials by more than 11 percent over the next three years.

Governor John Kasich is expected to veto such a measure. As such, lawmakers were disgusted by the amendment’s inclusion to the original bill.

The Senate will have to vote to agree with those changes or the bill could die.

Those same lawmakers are expected to vote on whether they agree with another Christmas Tree Bill that calls for the appropriation of millions of dollars to pay for several projects.

The Statehouse parking garage is slated to get $20 million for reconstruction. The Governor’s Mansion is slated to get $2 million. And $15 million is slated to go toward the construction of the Columbus Crew’s soccer stadium.

As of the publishing of this article, the House of Representatives still haven’t voted to agree with the changes to Heartbeat Abortion Bill.

Once all bills waiting on concurrence are agreed to they will be prepared to be sent to the governor for his signature.

If he receives them on Friday, he will have until Christmas Day to veto them.

Lawmakers will then have less than a week to organize a session to override the vetoes they want.

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