COLUMBUS— The Ohio Senate today gave overwhelming bipartisan approval to Senate Joint Resolution 5, which revises the process by which Ohio draws its legislative and Congressional districts. Co-sponsored by Senators Frank LaRose and Tom Sawyer (D- Akron), it passed by a vote of 32-1.
“We came together as a bipartisan group and worked to draft a plan which is not designed to benefit one party or the other but truly to set up a better method of drawing districts that is in the best interest of all Ohioans,” LaRose said. “This resolution creates a process that is fair and accountable, and establishes a solid foundation from which to build in the next General Assembly.”
Under the resolution, a seven-member redistricting commission would be established, consisting of the Governor, Auditor of State, Secretary of State and four members appointed by the legislative leaders in each chamber. The commission would elect bipartisan co-chairs, and none of the members could be a sitting member of the state Legislature or Congress. Any plan proposed by the commission must receive five votes – including at least one vote from the minority party.
"The concept is pretty straightforward," said Senator LaRose. "This bill will update Ohio's campaign finance law to allow local entities to join a system that has operated smoothly for 15 years. There is no good reason to deny the public the opportunity to view local campaign finance reports online when state reports are already available."
"By this point, most of us have seen or heard about the horrific videos that expose the practice of selling aborted fetal tissue for a profit," said LaRose. "At the heart of this legislation is a respect for the human dignity of the unborn and a sincere desire to ensure that no individual or organization can profit from selling the bodies of aborted babies. Colleagues on both sides of the aisle can agree that deriving financial benefit from the termination of lives is morally reprehensible."
"I've had the wonderful opportunity to spend the summer working in my district and learning more from my constituents about the issues that affect their everyday lives," said LaRose. "I look forward to continuing these conversations at office hours."