GREATER TOLEDO RIGHT TO LIFE & RIGHT TO LIFE ACTION COALITION OF OHIO "Friday Five" Barry Sheets, Legislative Consultant April 5, 2019
NEWS AND VIEWS
1. Senate Bill 27, the Humane Disposition of Fetal Remains legislation, has been assigned in the House to the Civil Justice Committee, chaired by Rep. Steve Hambley of the 69th District (see profile below). Senator Joe Uecker’s bill to require abortion providers to arrange for humane burial or cremation should the woman decline to choose one, may be scheduled for hearings in the near future. This is the third time this bill has passed the Senate and been sent to the House, with both previous times being later in the session. Pray that this earlier time frame will ensure the bill’s ultimate passage into law.
2. The House Health Committee accepted on a party-line vote a substitute bill for Senator Kristina Roegner’s Senate Bill 23, which incorporates a large number of amendments that should, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, make one of the nation’s strongest pro-life measures even stronger. One change includes a title change: The “Human Rights Protection Act” will now be what the Heartbeat bill will be known as at the Statehouse. It is anticipated that the bill will be marked for a committee vote next week, and likely floor action as well.
3. The Second District Court of Appeals has handed abortionist Martin Haskell of Dayton notice that they have rejected his appeal of an Ohio Department of Health action to revoke his licensure for violations of health and safety standards. Barring an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court (which must be filed before the end of this month), this could mean that the Women’s Med Center in Kettering will be closing for business and ending their butchering of unborn children. Please pray that newly-appointed Director of the Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, will act swiftly once the appeal deadline has passed to finish the closure of this facility.
4. Liberty Counsel, headed by attorney Mat Staver, has publicized findings showing that the Ohio State University, through the state-budget funded Cooperative Extension Program, has been promoting pro-LGBTQ+ programming for Ohio’s county 4-H programs. Interim 4-H Ohio director Kirk Bloir is quoted, as responding to the question of what parents who believe in traditional values might think, thusly: “If parents or volunteers don’t like that, then we are not the program for them.” Note to our legislators: look carefully at the significant amount of funding being directed to Ohio State and the Extension program—and what you are buying with that funding.
5. In a rather quiet way, the biopic “Unplanned” is shifting the debate on life issues. It has been receiving very positive reviews, even from those who are most definitely not pro-life. Read one very honest and thought-provoking one here.
Each installment of the Friday Five will bring thumbnail profiles of key policymakers. One statewide office holder or agency director, one Senator and three House members will be profiled each time.
Ohio Department of Administrative Services Director Matthew Damschroeder—Heading the Department that makes sure that the physical plant of state government operates correctly, interacts with the private sector efficiently, and hires the right personnel, Matt Damschroeder is no stranger to Ohio government. Previously, he served eight years under then-Secretary of State Jon Husted, first as state elections director and then as assistant Secretary of State and chief of staff. Damschroeder holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Ohio State University, and was the former Franklin County Board of Elections director.
Senator Steve Wilson (R)—Steve Wilson, appointed during the 132nd General Assembly, is serving his first full term in the Ohio Senate representing the citizens of the 7th District in Warren County. Wilson, from Maineville, is a former CEO of LCNB National Bank and on the board of trustees for Miami University. Wilson has been a consistent pro-life vote, and was a co-lead sponsor of Senate Bill 145, the Dismemberment Abortion ban law currently being challenged by pro-abortion groups in court.
Representative Steve Hambley (R)--The chairman of the House Civil Justice Committee is serving his third term representing the 69th House District, which includes his home base of Brunswick. Hambley formerly served as a Medina County Commissioner and is an adjunct professor of Government and History at Lorain County Community College. Hambley has been a consistent pro-life vote during his tenure in office.
Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson (D)--Toledo’s first African-American female mayor now represents the 44th House District in Lucas County and is the ranking member of the Finance subcommittee for Agriculture, Development and Natural Resources. She also serves on the House Civil Justice Committee. A graduate of Spellman College, Hicks-Hudson has degrees in Political Science and Journalism, as well as obtaining her Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa. She has worked with Legal Aid Society, and as and assistant county prosecutor, and chief legal counsel to the Ohio OBM under Governor Strickland. She is on the board of the NAACP, the YWCA, and is past president of the Thurgood Marshall Law Association. Married with two adult daughters, Hicks-Hudson serves as the minister of music at Redeemer Lutheran Church. She has not yet cast a vote on pro-life legislation in the 133rd Assembly.
Representative Brett Hillyer (R)--The first-term Representative from the 98th House District calls Uhrichsville home. The former city law director of his hometown, Hillyer is an attorney and joint owner of title services businesses. Hillyer serves as the vice-chairman of the House Financial Institutions Committee, and sits on the Civil Justice Committee. He has introduced legislation to prohibit the death penalty for aggravated murder offenders who suffered from serious mental illness at the time of the offense and one that would prohibit challenges to laws under the single-subject rule after a certain time period has elapsed (these are the type of challenges pro-abortion groups file in court against pro-life measures in other bills such as the state budget bill). He has yet to cast a vote on pro-life measures during this session.
Greater Toledo Right to Life 5726 Southwyck Blvd., Ste. 120 Toledo, Ohio 43614 phone: (419)535-5800