Yesterday Rep. Sarah LaTourette introduced an amendment to the budget bill which removed amendment HC1793 in its entirety. LaTourette’s amendment was accepted in committee and, therefore, the House version of the budget bill will contain no changes to probate court authority over county park districts under ORC 1545.06.
While an obvious and encouraging victory for public participation in the legislative process, this is only round one. We will need to be very careful to monitor the progress of this bill as it goes to the Senate and then on to conference committee before finally being submitted to the Governor for his signature. A similar amendment could be added back into the bill at almost any moment—including in the conference committee—the last step before the legislation goes to the Governor.
Meanwhile, we should all be sending thank-you letters to those state reps who responded to our calls for removal of the amendment. John Boccieri, District 59, Youngstown, who alerted the public to the existence of the amendment, and Sarah LaTourette and John Patterson, Geauga County reps who worked to get the amendment removed.
Get the contact information for your Ohio House Representative at http://www.ohiohouse.gov/