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12/11/2011

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Ohio ProLife Action said Monday that it will begin airing television ads supporting passage of the so-called "heartbeat bill" Wednesday in the Cincinnati and Cleveland areas. The ads for the bill, HB125, which bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, have already been running in the Dayton and Columbus markets. The 30-second ads encourage viewers to call state senators in their areas, asking them to pass HB125, which was passed by the House in June.

The turnover in the Ohio House continued Tuesday when it was announced that Rep. John Carey (R-Wellston) will be resigning in Jan. 1, 2012 to take the position of assistant to the president for government relations and strategic initiatives at Shawnee State University. Carey's departure will give the House GOP three vacancies to fill in the next two months, while the House Democrats have two vacancies. Carey, a staple of the General Assembly since 1995, has had stints in both the House and Senate and is the only legislator to have chaired both the House and Senate finance committees.

The Senate Democratic Caucus said Wednesday that it has selected Rep. Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) to replace Jason Wilson in the 30th Senate District after Wilson left to join the Kasich administration as head of the Governor's Office of Appalachia. Gentile had been endorsed by the Democratic chairmen of Belmont, Harrison and Jefferson counties -- the only counties in the current and redrawn 30th Senate District.

The Senate passed the following bills this week: SB223 (Bacon) to give the attorney general and local law enforcement officials new tools to help them investigate and prosecute instances of cyber fraud; SB139 (Hughes), which updates and modernizes Ohio law regarding professional employer organizations (PEOs); SB40 (Kearney), which designates the month of November in Ohio as "Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Awareness Month"; HB302 (R. Adams), which provides for the clerk of courts of Miami County to also serve as clerk of the Miami County Municipal Court; and HB209 (R. Adams), which enables short-term deposits of more than $250,000 made by counties and other local government entities to receive full coverage by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The Senate also accepted House amendments to SB117 (Seitz-Schiavoni) which makes changes to Ohio's probate law.

In other action, the Senate officially elected Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Austintown) as the new assistant minority whip, replacing former Sen. Jason Wilson.

The Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting said is looking toward a 2012 constitutional amendment ballot campaign to change the way Ohio draws congressional and General Assembly lines.


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