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After Issue 1's Defeat, Senate Leader Proposes New Drug Reform Plan

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) speaks to reporters in June 2017

The Republican leader of the Ohio Senate says while he and many others didn’t support Issue 1, the criminal sentencing and drug treatment reform plan that failed Tuesday, the issue had useful elements that the newly elected Senate will make a top priority next year. 

Senate President Larry Obhof says some of the components of Issue 1 were good. He says members are talking about reducing some felony drug charges to misdemeanors under certain conditions.

“One of the fatal flaws of Issue 1 frankly is, I think it would have disincentivized people going to treatment but if we do this statutorily and we do it right, we can use it as an incentive to get people into treatment.”

Obhof says the plan could include some other elements of Issue 1. Republican House leader Ryan Smith says the legislature has already passed some drug reform measures designed to get users into treatment over jail and says members are willing to consider more.