Lawmakers Set Agendas For 2016, And Stopping Toxic Algae By Moving People Between State Agencies
The new year has been quiet so far at the Statehouse. Lawmakers won’t be back till next week for only one scheduled hearing – on the controversial bill to make some changes rules on unemployment benefits. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate will soon be meeting for retreats to talk about their priority items. And members of both caucuses in the House are also talking with leadership about their top issues in this election year – in which the entire Ohio House and half the Senate are up for election, along with a president, a US Senate and Ohio’s entire Congressional delegation.
The year is beginning with some “dirty” business – the transfer of soil and water conservation and storm water issues from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Agriculture. Talking about what the movement of these programs between these two agencies means are the directors of those agencies, both Republican former state representatives. David Daniels heads up the Ohio Department of Agriculture. And Jim Zehringer leads the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
For a different perspective on this move of soil and water conservation and storm water issues are two experts from the Ohio Environmental Council. Adam Rissien is the Director of Agricultural & Water Policy with the OEC, and Jack Shaner is the OEC’s Deputy Director and Senior Director of Legislative and Public Affairs.