Republicans aren’t going to pass an abortion ban until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. But they might move on a constitutional amendment to ban noncitizens from voting.
We break down what it all means on this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained.
It’s a podcast from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau where we catch you up on the state’s political news in 15 minutes or less. This week, host Anna Staver was joined by reporter Jessie Balmert.
1) Bully pulpit
Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman is well known around the statehouse, but he’s not someone who most Ohioans could “pick out of a lineup.” But they should.
The Lima Republican gets the final say on whether bills on abortion, marijuana, school choice, vaccine requirements and more ever come up for a vote.
2) Abortion access
A bill to ban all abortions in Ohio is on pause at the statehouse, at least until the U.S. Supreme Court releases its final decision on a landmark case about access to the procedure later this summer.
“I want it to be something that is sculpted constitutionally, and we don’t know really what the decision is going to say,” Huffman said. “I think it (an abortion ban) will pass. I think a substantial number of our caucus will support it. I just don’t know whether we can ascertain all of that in the next two weeks.”
3) Who gets a vote in Ohio?
Ohio Republicans are pushing a state constitutional amendment to prohibit non-U.S. citizens from voting in local elections.
It’s already illegal for noncitizens to vote in state and federal elections, but a New York law recently let those without citizenship vote for New York City mayor.
“It absolutely is a preventative measure,” state Sen. Bill Blessing, R-Colerain Township, said. “I’m sure there are a lot of people in New York that would’ve never envisioned this happening, and here we are.”
4) Traffic camera decision
Ohio can deduct state funding from local governments that use traffic cameras, according to a decision that came down this week from the Ohio Supreme Court.
The unanimous decision rejected the idea that withholding those dollars violated the “home rule” powers cities have.
Listen to “Ohio Politics Explained” on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and TuneIn Radio. The episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.
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