House Bill 7
The Provisions: Long-debated legislation that backers say will lead to the closing of most of the sweepstakes parlors in the state, with bans on cash prizes, limits on prize values and increased registration and oversight requirements. The provisions will take effect in September, barring a ballot initiative.
The Votes: The House and Senate were split on the measure, with bipartisan support and opposition. In the Senate, the count was 27-6, with Sen. John Eklund (R-Geauga County) supporting. The vote in the House was 66-29, with Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) supporting and Rep. Matt Lynch (R-Chagrin Falls) opposing.
What They Said: Internet cafes are "illegal gambling under current law," Eklund said during the floor debate on the bill. "That is to say, they all involve, at the end of the day, the exchange of consideration for a chance to win a prize, and that is gambling."
Substitute Senate Bill 21
The Provisions: The legislation is a follow-up to the state's new third grade reading guarantee, which requires students to be proficient in reading before moving onto fourth grade. The bill includes record keeping, employment and other requirements for implementing the plan, including exemptions for disabled students and changes to teacher qualifications. The legislation was OK'd with an emergency clause, meaning provisions took effect as soon as it was signed by the governor.
The Votes: The bill passed on unanimous votes in the Ohio House and Senate with very little floor debate or discussion. Sens. Tom Sawyer (D-Akron) and John Eklund (R-Geauga County) were among the co-sponsors of the legislation. A drive is under way to place the law before voters in 2014. If successful, the initiative would postpone the legislation from taking effect for more than a year.
Substitute Senate Bill 9
The Provisions: Makes changes to health insurance regulations, including suspending enforcement of Ohio Open Enrollment Program and Ohio Health Reinsurance Program. The provisions will take effect on Sept. 4. Backers say the law changes are needed to help consumers better understand their insurance options with the implementation of the federal affordable care act.
The Votes: The Ohio House moved the legislation on a lopsided 95-3 vote, though Rep. Matt Lynch (R-Chagrin Falls) was among those who opposed. The Ohio Senate was split on the bill after it was amended by the House, with a final vote of 22-11. Sen. Tom Sawyer (D-Akron) was among those casting opposition votes.
What they said: "Every single word in this bill is changed," said Sen. Nina Turner (D-Cleveland), noting the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill. "And I believe that over here in the Senate we should do our due diligence to vet a bill. And if in fact the House needed a new bill, they should have introduced a new bill…"