Lawmakers Accused Of Bad Behavior, And Changing Ohio's Criminal Code

Two weeks after the resignation of a Republican state senator because of sexual harassment claims, other reports have surfaced of inappropriate and concerning behavior by some other state lawmakers. The Ohio House voted to pass a bill banning abortion after a diagnosis of Down syndrome – Ohio would be the third state to do that if the Senate and Gov. John Kasich go along. And the House also passed a bill requiring electronic benefits cards for Ohio’s 1.6 million SNAP recipients to bear photos of them, which is estimated to cost around $2 million. There are now potentially five candidates in the Democratic race for governor, with Justice Bill O’Neill saying he'll file paperwork in February - but only if former Attorney General and current Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray doesn't jump into the race. Ohio’s attorney general says the state needs to be doing more to fight the opioid crisis, so Mike DeWine says he’s putting pressure on the drug companies the state is already suing.  Several Ohio cities are waiting to hear how their bids for Amazon's second headquarters went over, but Gov. John Kasich is teasing the possibility of a new tech giant moving into Ohio.

It’s been 43 years since Ohio’s criminal laws were updated, but some of them go back more than 60 years. For two years, two dozen people from a variety of backgrounds worked for two years to reform a criminal code that one member of the group called inconsistent and unfair because of layers of legislation added over time. The judges, prosecutors, attorneys, lawmakers, agency directors and law enforcement experts who comprised the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee came out with a four thousand-plus page report earlier this year. Two members of that committee, Sen. John Eklund (R-Geauga County) and Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) share their thoughts.

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