Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish (D- Beachwood) called on legislative leaders to convene the General Assembly next week to repeal Senate Bill 5 and take the serious first step to finding a compromise solution. Budish also instructed the Legislative Service Commission to begin drafting repeal legislation, which is expected to be ready for consideration early next week.
“If Gov. Kasich and Republican legislative leaders are serious about compromising on Senate Bill 5, they will take the first necessary step and reconvene the legislature to completely repeal this bill,” said Budish. “Upon the complete legislative repeal of SB 5, we can then begin to do what should have been done 8 months ago, and have an open and honest discussion with those affected by these proposed law changes.”
Senate Bill 5 was passed into law earlier this year with bipartisan opposition and heavy criticism in an extraordinarily controversial process. In addition to shutting out stakeholders and interested parties, the process also exploited legislative rules to remove members from committees that would not support this legislation. Final changes to the bill were made behind closed doors which added several hundred pages to the bill. Democrats were then forced to vote on the measure with little opportunity for review.
“I’m pleased that Gov. Kasich and Republican legislative leaders recognize that this is a flawed bill, but asking for a compromise without taking the first concrete step to repeal this bill is disingenuous,” said Budish. “Given the very limited time frame, I’m concerned that their request to meet is more of a publicity stunt than a sincere effort to reach common-ground.”
The deadline to remove the Senate Bill 5 referendum from the Nov. 8 ballot is August 30, less than two weeks away. Leader Budish indicated his willingness to work together to get members back to Columbus and support repeal efforts.