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What to Expect in Columbus When Lame Duck Legislative Session Begins This Week

photo of Statehouse
Senate President Larry Obhof has said he doesn't think the session will be too busy.

This week lawmakers are returning for a lame duck session, with hearings set on a so-called right to work bill and a Republican-backed bill on free speech on college campuses. Republican legislative leaders are talking about other priorities but suggesting action on controversial measures is possible.

Senate President Larry Obhof has said he doesn’t expect the lame duck session to be too busy, since the incoming governor is also a Republican. He said he wants to enact criminal justice, regulatory and occupational licensing reforms – but there could be more.

“We will be active. We will keep our promises to our constituents. We will keep Ohio moving in the right direction. And if we flag something as a priority, you can be certain that we’re going to pass it,” he said.

House Speaker Ryan Smith has talked about legislation on tracking rape kits and measures on the opioid crisis, but adds that – quote – “we’re also going to look at our opportunities.”

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.