Today, Gov. Kasich signed the state’s $7 billion transportation budget bill, while striking a provision of the bill that would have made it harder for students to vote. Representative Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) was one of 13 Democrats who voted against the Senate changes to the transportation budget after voting for it weeks before.
“Weeks ago I voted for the House version of HB53: an effective, bi-partisan bill. Unfortunately, what came out of the Senate was undermining our fundamental freedom and most basic right in a democracy—the right to vote,” said Rep. Dan Ramos. “Our priority is to encourage talented students to stay in our state after graduation, and this sent the wrong message to those students.”
The vetoed budget provision would have required students who registered to vote in Ohio to surrender their driver’s license if it were from another state, and forced them to obtain an Ohio driver’s license and register their vehicle with the state. Failure to do so within 30 days resulted in a criminal offense.
“This is a huge win for voter rights in this state, and I truly appreciate Governor Kasich’s action in favor of student voting rights,” Ramos added. “I believe the governor would not have vetoed this section of the bill if not for pressure from Democratic legislators, as well as the voices of countless students.”
The transportation budget now requires those who declare their Ohio residency to surrender their out of state license and re-register their vehicle within 30 days.
Gov. Kasich signed House Bill 53 into law earlier today in Columbus.