Ohio’s 2013 Report Card: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Posted by Scott Landreth
As we begin a new year, it’s important to take a few minutes to review what was accomplished – and NOT accomplished – in Columbus in 2013.
For those of us who understand and appreciate that the role of government is to protect and preserve our natural rights, 2013 was a disappointment to say the least.
The unauthorized -and thus illegal – actions of the federal government since the turn of the century have been nothing short of astounding. “Laws” like The PATRIOT Act, No Child Left Behind, ‘Obamacare’ and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 are clear violations of the US Constitution and obvious attempts to further centralize power in Washington DC. Add the recent IRS and NSA spying scandals to the mix and we can clearly see that action at the state and local level is desperately needed if we’re going to return this country to its founding principles.
The Republican-dominated Ohio state government had a golden opportunity to pass meaningful legislation in 2013. The GOP controls all 5 statewide executive offices (Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Auditor and Attorney General), 6 of 7 Supreme Court seats and a veto-proof supermajority in both the Ohio House (60 of 99 seats) & Senate (23 of 33 seats).
So how did Ohio do in 2013?
- The Ohio General Assembly refused the Governor’s budget request to implement “Obamacare” by expanding Medicaid under the terms and conditions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
- Several liberty-protecting bills were introduced in 2013. Bills designed to protect & preserve our natural right to keep and bear arms (SB36, HB99 & HB340), stymie the implementation of Obamacare (HB91), restrict the use of Drones (HB207, HB364 & SB189) postpone the implementation of Common Core (HB237 & SB237) and prevent federal kidnapping (HB354 & HCR41).
- OGA members worthy of individual recognition for consistently supporting liberty-protecting bills include Representatives John Adams, John Becker, Ron Hood, Matt Lynch, Andy Thompson and Ron Young as well as Senator Kris Jordan.
- EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE AFOREMENTIONED PIECES OF LEGISLATION IS STILL GATHERING DUST IN COMMITTEE. NONE OF THEM HAVE EVEN MADE TO THE FLOOR FOR A VOTE!
- The 2014-2015 budget (HB59), which increased spending by more than $5 BILLION and also increased sales and real estate taxes, was passed. Only 7 Republicans voted against this tax and spend budget.
- Time and money was wasted in the introduction of STUPID, meaningless bills including, but certainly not limited to:
- HB43/SB33 which would make the Adena pipe the official state artifact!?!
- HB283 which would make “Hang on Sloopy” the official state rock song!?!
- HB330 which would make “Ohio” the official state country song!?!
- SB233 which would make Rascal Flatts the official country music group of Ohio!?!
- Governor Kasich, who campaigned as a fiscally conservative, anti-Obamacare candidate, betrayed the will of 66% of Ohio voters by expanding Medicaid and thus implementing Obamacare.
- Senate President Keith Faber helped the Governor by leaving an expected ‘Yes’ vote on the Controlling Board.
- Speaker William Batchelder helped the Governor by removing two expected ‘No’ votes from the Controlling Board.
- SB193, a partisan bill clearly designed to help Governor Kasich win re-election in 2014, was introduced, passed and signed into law in a matter of just 49 days!
- The Ohio Supreme Court upheld Governor’s Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid via the Controlling Board despite the board’s mandate to “carry out the legislative intent of the general assembly regarding program goals and levels of support of state agencies as expressed in the prevailing appropriation acts of the general assembly.”
OVERALL GRADE: F
Passing the 2nd largest budget in Ohio’s history, expanding the 3rd largest unconstitutional federal entitlement program and failing to pass significant, liberty-protecting legislation earns our elected officials in Columbus a failing grade for 2013.
Ohioans should demand more from the men and women that we send to Columbus. If we do, we may see positive change. If, however, we allow 2014 to be but a repeat of 2013, we’ll get exactly what we deserve.
Scott Landreth is the Ohio Chapter Coordinator for the Tenth Amendment Center, a national think tank that serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power as required by the Constitution. Send him e-mail to email@example.com.