Week in Review > Week in Review 06-18-2021

Posted by on June 18th, 2021


The same criticism senators leveled at the House’s school funding plan about substantial cost increases in the out years applies to the Senate’s rival formula, economist Howard Fleeter wrote in an analysis commissioned by school management groups. Fleeter reviewed the Senate plan unveiled recently in its version of HB110 (Oelslager) for the Ohio Education Policy Institute, work commissioned by the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) and Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO). Fleeter dings the Senate plan for not using the most up-to-date data on property values, resident income and teacher salaries for calculating the formula. “Property value data is currently available through 2020 and income data through 2019. It is not clear why the Senate’s FY22-23 funding proposal did not update to 2018, 2019 and 2020 property values and 2017, 2018 and 2019 income data,” he wrote. The Senate plan is also in the temporary law section of the budget.

The HB110 Conference Committee held a very brief organizational meeting on Tuesday at which time it was agreed they would work from the 3,307-page Senate version of the budget. Members of the committee include Reps. Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton), chair; Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and Erica Crawley (D-Columbus) and Sens. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Vern Sykes (D-Akron).

Telling the HB110 (Oelslager) Conference Committee that “the best-case scenario has been realized on almost all fronts,” Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks updated the agency’s FY22-23 revenue forecasts by almost $3 billion Thursday, but cautioned lawmakers that the forecast includes one-time resources and is affected by boosts to spending that will not last indefinitely.


The House State and Local Government Committee Tuesday held the first hearings on two bills that would create new provisions for how certain “divisive concepts” are taught in schools and elsewhere. Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) said his HB322 pertains only to K-12 education. Saying that classrooms are not “indoctrination centers,” Jones explained his bill would prevent schools from teaching concepts such as “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex”; and “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”

The other bill presented Tuesday was HB327 (Grendell-Fowler-Arthur), a more wide-ranging bill. Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur, pertains to K-12 education, higher education, local government entities and state government entities. The provisions in the bill regarding education are essentially the same as those in Jones’ bill, but HB327 also has language that would prohibit requiring teachings or training on “the concept that one race or sex is inherently superior or inferior to another race or sex” as a prerequisite for or to retain employment.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that the Ohio School Safety Center will award a total of $10 million in grants to fund security enhancements at K-12 public schools and institutions of higher education in Ohio. “It’s important that we work proactively to ensure that our school buildings and grounds are as safe as possible to protect both students and staff,” said DeWine in a statement announcing the grants. “Two new grant programs offered through the Ohio School Safety Center will help schools and universities pinpoint any weaknesses in their physical security and make needed improvements and upgrades.” The 2021 Campus Safety Grant Program began accepting applications on Wednesday and will award $5 million to qualifying public colleges and universities for improvements to physical security on their campuses. The 2021 K-12 Safety Grant Program, administered by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC), will award an additional $5 million to qualifying public K-12 schools for similar school safety expenses.


The House voted 75-21 Wednesday to expel Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford), determining his actions in the scandal around 133-HB6 amounted to “disorderly conduct” warranting removal under constitutional procedures. A defiant Householder, predicting his acquittal on the federal bribery charges against him, argued the move was in fact unconstitutional and disrespectful to the voters who re-elected him knowing fully of his legal woes. But Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and other supporters of the expulsion resolution said Householder’s conduct in developing and moving the controversial energy law was unethical and stained the reputation of the chamber. Though the final vote to expel passed by a margin beyond the two-thirds majority required, the procedural maneuver to bring up HR69 (Stewart-Fraizer) succeeded with no room for error, 66-31.The floor debate covered much of the same ground as the committee hearings on HR69. Supporters said even without a criminal conviction, the evidence in the federal case demonstrated Householder’s abuse of his position. Opponents said the “disorderly conduct” standard for expulsion refers to violence and threats and argued a more expansive definition would set a bad precedent. Judging from lengthy comments he made outside the House chamber following his expulsion, Ohioans have likely not heard the last of Householder, though in the short term he said his plans were to return to his farm and help his wife plant vegetables — corn, tomatoes, lettuce and cabbage. “I can tell you this much, fellow elected officials who didn’t like public citizen Householder are really not going to like private citizen Householder,” he said. House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) Thursday announced the application process for the open 72nd House District Seat formerly held Householder. According to Cupp, residents of the district who are interested in being considered for appointment to the seat should submit a cover letter and resume to HD72Appointment@ohiohouse.gov by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 23. Cupp said a screening committee will conduct interviews on Thursday, June 24.

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