COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – From passing bills like Tyler’s Law and House Bill 6 to hiring a Human Resources professional to deal with workplace complaints the Ohio House of Representatives has been a busy place.
Change was a big theme this year: a change in philosophy, a change in attitude — and it started with a change in leadership.
State Representative Larry Householder won his bid to be Speaker with the help of Democrats promising a different dynamic in the chamber.
“I think that we needed to make a change. I was seeing that the Ohio House was becoming more and more like Washington, DC,” he said.
With Republicans and Democrats working together, the chamber passed 68 bills – 25 of which had joint sponsorships.
“We started with a theme, just like the governor did, and our theme was taking care of families and communities just like the governor had proposed,” he said.
However, this year’s budget season saw deep disagreements between the House and the Senate — first with the transportation budget that increased the gas tax — then with the 69 billion dollar operating budget.
“We have good days and bad days, I mean, that’s what this is all about. This isn’t supposed to be one big kumbaya campground sing-a-long. We work really hard and they work really hard and we’re both passionate about the things we believe in and at the end of the day, we try to resolve our issues.”
Despite missing the constitutional deadline to pass the operating budget, Householder says the end result was worth it.
“Our budget absolutely addressed our problems that we were having with our communities and the family unit,” he said.
As for 2020, school funding, sports gambling, mental health services, surprise medical billing, and gun rights are all things brewing behind the scenes.
In addition to these issues just mentioned, lawmakers will need to pass a two billion dollar capital budget next year before going on summer break to campaign for re-election.