Following months of negotiation, the Ohio House today passed Senate Joint Resolution 5, bipartisan legislation that puts a constitutional amendment before voters in May to restrict congressional gerrymandering in the state.


"This is the start of a conversation regarding redistricting and developing a bi-partisan plan that involves fair representation of Ohio’s voters,” said state Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo). “One serious issue is addressing the split of congressional districts and keeping districts fair and whole."


Democratic House expressed concerns over several parts of the proposed plan that they see as loopholes that, in extreme cases, could still allow partisan congressional district rigging. Ultimately, most Democrats still supported the final language in the resolution.


If approved by voters in May, the reform plan will be the first time fairness criteria for congressional districts will be included in the state’s constitution. Included among the plan’s changes are the right for a citizen-led referendum on any map, the governor’s authority to veto a map, requirements to limit community and county splits, and bipartisanship requirements for a 10-year map.

 
 
 
  
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Ashford's Bipartisan Predatory Lending Reform Bill To Become Law

 

State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo), a joint sponsor of House Bill 123, today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Kasich’s signing of the bill to crack down on predatory short-term lenders in Ohio:



 
 

Crucial Consumer Protections Headed To Governor's Desk

 

House Democrats today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 123, a bipartisan effort to enact consumer protections for the thousands of Ohioans who utilize short-term loans every day. Borrowers in Ohio currently pay some of the highest rates in the nation for payday loans, with estimated average interest rates at over 500 percent.