COLUMBUS – State Rep. Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) and House Democrats slammed GOP lawmakers on the Controlling Board Monday for refusing to approve funds to cover the cost of absentee ballot postage for Ohio voters ahead of the November election.
“Today the Republican leadership on the Controlling Board and the Republican S.O.S's lack of leadership as the duly constitutional election official resulted in a no vote to pay for postage for returning a ballot results in a form of a 2020 style poll tax against voter access. We cannot turn our back on the sacred and precious act of voting,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo).
House Democrats have consistently called on Sec. LaRose to use existing funds to pay for postage if the legislature fails to address it. An earlier statement by Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) included a timeline of events concerning return postage and the Controlling Board.
While Republican members on the Controlling Board voted down the request for prepaid postage funding, lawmakers approved a number of other significant items Monday:
- $2 million in previously allocated funds to the Development Services Agency for the Minority Business Enterprise Loan program;
- $34.8 million to from the federal CARES Act to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to expand COVID-19 testing and other safety measures in prisons;
- $36.8 million in previously allocated funds to the Bureau of Worker’ Compensation for the continued purchasing of face coverings for Ohio workers.