After 11 Rounds, A Speaker Is Selected - And Economic Issues Spark A Fiery Debate

After seven weeks of behind-the-scenes discussion and deal-making, it took 11 rounds of voting for the Ohio House to finally select a Speaker to replace Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned in April following news of an FBI inquiry into his activities, reportedly with lobbyists connected to the payday lending industry.  It was an unusual floor vote in that the Republican majority couldn’t agree on a nominee. A winner was finally chosen and won a standing ovation, but Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) takes over after receiving got votes from less than half the chamber he’s now charged with leading. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles has the rundown on the historic vote and why it took so long.

The House picked up with legislation the next day, working on some of the 150 plus bills that included the strict interest rate cap and other new regulations on payday lenders, a ban on forced overtime for nurses, and the proposal to spend millions on new voting machines. Other sessions are scheduled for later this month to try to get through more of the backlog before lawmakers recess to campaign for this fall’s election – all 99 House seats are on the ballot this year.

These last few months have been pretty good for the state, at least in economic terms. And the economy is always a leading issue in any election year, and those numbers suggest it’ll be a good one for Republicans in Ohio. But in recent history midterms have favored the party not in power in the White House, which hints at big wins for Democrats. Amy Hanauer from Policy Matters Ohio and Greg Lawson from the Buckeye Institute were on fire as they talked about how they view the economy right now.

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