The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session this week, but most of the action will be happening behind the scenes at conference committee meetings this week. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler has a preview.
Three representatives and three senators on the two conference committees will have to work out the differences in two big parts of the governor’s budget update.
On the big appropriations bill, the conferees will have to deal with the Senate’s additions to the House bill an accelerated phase-in of an income tax cut, an increased small business tax deduction and a doubling of the state’s earned income tax credit for low-income Ohioans.
And on the education budget bill, the Senate made changes involving teacher evaluations and added a one-year freeze on some decisions that are made through the results of testing. House Speaker Bill Batchelder says it sounds difficult, but this happens all the time.
“This is kind of like a bad horse race," Batchelder said. "Obviously we’re going to have a lot of work in the conferences.”
There also could be committee votes on a bill to allow for Breathalyzer-type devices to lock down ignitions for first-time drunk drivers, to allow police officers to pull over drivers solely for not wearing seat belts or securing kids in child seats, and to double the mandatory prison terms for repeat offenders who use guns to commit crimes.