In a move unusual in United States politics, the two party representatives have found common ground and have jointly unveiled legislation priorities. Although generally uncommon (especially in this day and age where the divide between the two political currents have never been greater), this comes in line with what Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder announced back in January. Back then, Householder was chosen as Speaker thanks to receiving an equal number of votes from both Democrats and Republicans. On that occasion, Householder promised more bipartisanship, and it’s become clear he’s sticking to his words.
In previous sessions, the two parties have separately announced their priorities. However, as the Democratic Minority Leader Emilia Sykes stated, they’ve managed to reach a compromise on bills that will positively affect the lives of Ohioans. After all, in Sykes’ words, they are more alike than different. Householder was also in good spirits about bipartisanship, stating that the Ohio House of Representatives have shown that there’s a better way of dealing with political issues than what’s currently going on in Washington D.C.
Republicans and Democrats have agreed on four bills. The major one concerns “H2Ohio”, a bill which was proposed by Governor Mike DeWine, a bill which Republicans removed from DeWine’s new state budget proposal that he published last week.
The new, bipartisan bill will establish a new advisory board for this $900-million project. The board will consist of governor’s office appointees and the legislature. They will have the power to take out a loan from other projects regarding water improvement.
The remaining three bills come in the shape of equally anodyne topics. Although it was easy to see how they came to an agreement, it’s still a positive sign that the two parties are ready to collaborate for the good of the people. The bills in question are:
- Creating a technology credit program on a state level which will have a goal to issue grants to those businesses which provide training for in-demand jobs.
- They intend to establish a statewide program regarding “kinship navigator” which will work with people who were forced to take in family members during a time of crisis. Thanks to this program, such people are meant to be connected with state resources.
- Finally, they will revise requirements that need to be fulfilled by families who are looking to become a part of foster parenting. The goal is to get more parents involved in the system. This bill comes as politicians’ aim to help the increasing number of children who get removed from their homes as a consequence of rising drug-addiction levels.