The House Higher Education Committee sent out a notice this morning that the meeting for this Wednesday is now CANCELLED. As such, there will be no testimony accepted on Senate Bill 83 this week.
We know that this is frustrating for those who already have submitted testimony, are working on testimony, or may have made arrangements to be at the Statehouse on Wednesday. The good news is that this further delays any potential action on the legislation.
Despite the fact that the bill was not marked for a possible vote on the initial committee notice, it may have been the intent to call for a vote after the testimonies were heard. The meeting cancellation may indicate that there continues to be insufficient support among committee members for the latest version. We also have heard that the bill sponsor, Sen. Cirino, is trying to arrange for out-of-state parties to travel to Ohio to testify as proponents, another obvious sign that Ohioans don’t want this legislation.
After this week, the Ohio House of Representatives has five more session days scheduled for the rest of the calendar year: November 29 and December 5, 6, 12, 13. We believe there is going to be a big push from Sen. Cirino and House Higher Education Committee Chair, Rep. Young, to vote SB 83 out of committee and try to force the Speaker to put it on the House floor during one of those session dates, even though Speaker Stephens has remained leery of the bill.
If you already submitted testimony, hang onto it for the next time. You will have to resubmit it for the next hearing, if there is one. If you haven’t worked on testimony yet, now you have even more time to compose your statement.
Click here to read about the latest version of SB 83, as well as ways that you can help as we await further action. We will keep you apprised of additional details when we have them. Thank you for your continued engagement and activism!