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New Ohio Legislature Has Busy Session Ahead

The Ohio Statehouse
Andrew Meyer
The Ohio Statehouse

While they’re not scheduled to meet again this month, the new Ohio General Assembly has been sworn in. There are a total of four more Republicans than the last two years, as the state heads into the process of creating a new two-year budget.

Republicans dominate the House 64-35. The GOP lost a House seat, but gained four others. Republican Mike Loychik knocked off incumbent Democrat Gil Blair in Trumbull County and in Ravenna, incumbent Democrat Randi Clites lost to Gail Pavliga. Republicans also picked up two seats held by term limited Democrats.

In the Senate, Democrats now have 8 of 33 seats, with Youngstown area incumbent Sean O’Brien’s loss to Republican Sandra O’Brien.

Twenty two members of the Ohio House – almost a quarter – are new. But two – Republican Jean Schmidt of southwest Ohio and Democrat Daniel Troy of northeast Ohio – are returning after holding other elective offices.

Six Senators are new to the chamber – but four were state representatives.

Two thirds of the Ohio House are men, and three quarters of Senators are men.

Andrew Meyer is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.
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.