Democratic Lawmakers Urge Action Next Week On Bipartisan House Bill 6 Repeal
Will file discharge petition to bring repeal up for a vote on the House floor
Posted August 28, 2020 by Minority Caucus
 
 

COLUMBUS—House Democratic lawmakers Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Michael J. O’Brien (D-Warren) today announced they will file a discharge petition to bring bipartisan legislation to repeal House Bill (HB) 6 to the floor for a vote next week. The passage of HB 6 in 2019 has come under scrutiny in recent weeks following the arrest and indictment of former Republican Speaker Larry Householder and several close associates in an alleged $60 million bribery and corruption scheme to pass the bill.


“Corruption has no place in our government, regardless of political party. When corruption is revealed, it is important we as lawmakers act quickly to fix what has been broken,” said Skindell and O’Brien in a letter* to members of the entire House of Representatives on Thursday.


“Our constituents are telling us that this issue requires our immediate attention and action, and every day that passes further erodes the public’s trust in this institution and in each of us. We believe this crisis calls for a seldom-used parliamentary maneuver to fix what has been broken in the timely manner that is needed: a discharge petition.


“Let this be the first step toward a new era of the Ohio House. Let’s discharge HB 738 and repeal HB 6 on Tuesday. It’s the right thing to do.”


Reps. Skindell and O’Brien introduced repeal legislation, HB 738, on July 29, where it has yet to be referred to a committee. The Democratic lawmakers plan to use a provision within the House Rules that allows the discharge of a bill from a committee after 30 days of inaction. The discharge petition needs support from a majority of House members.


Democrats plan to file the petition Monday, August 31, so that the bill can be called for a vote during Tuesday’s scheduled session. Democrats hope for cooperation from the Majority Party to bring HB 738 to the floor.


*Full text of the letter is below:


To All Members of the House of Representatives,


Corruption has no place in our government, regardless of political party. When corruption is revealed, it is important we as lawmakers act quickly to fix what has been broken. We now know that House Bill 6, whether good policy or not, was founded on and funded by a scheme to defraud taxpayers and circumvent the will of the people of our state. HB 6 should be repealed immediately and we write to you today to request your help in this endeavor.


Last month, House Democrats introduced bipartisan House Bill 738 - legislation to repeal this tainted bill. However, HB 738 has been sitting in the House Rules and Reference Committee since July 29 without any movement. Our constituents are telling us that this issue requires our immediate attention and action and every day that passes further erodes the public’s trust in this institution and in each of us. We believe this crisis calls for a seldom-used parliamentary maneuver to fix what has been broken in the timely manner that is needed: a discharge petition.


House Rules say a bill can be discharged from a committee with the signatures of a majority of members (50) once the bill has sat in committee for 30 days (Rule 87). Tomorrow is the 30th day HB 738 has been in Rules and Reference Committee. We wish to file a discharge petition on Monday morning in order to allow it to lay over one day (Rule 86) so that it can be brought up in Tuesday’s session.  


The matter is an urgent one.


Since we are filing bills electronically, we plan to also file this petition electronically. If you would like to help us get to the required 50 members and work in the bipartisan manner our constituents need us to in this historic moment, please share your electronic signature with our offices as soon as possible. We are currently working with the clerk on this and hope that he will allow us to go forth in this electronic manner to address the concerns of our constituencies. However, in the event that he will not, please be prepared to sign on in person.


Let this be the first step toward a new era of the Ohio House. Let’s discharge HB 738 and repeal HB 6 on Tuesday. It’s the right thing to do.


 


Respectfully,


 


Michael J. Skindell                                                            


State Representative                                                        


13th House District 


 


Michael J. O’Brien


State Representative


64th House District


 


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