Fate of Ohio referendum uncertain as repeal delayed
COLUMBUS, Ohio: After passing the state Senate on March 28, the repeal of HB 194 has been delayed in the Ohio House of Representatives. On April 25, lawmakers delayed a floor vote on SB 295--the partial repeal measure targeting the embattled bill.
On December 9, a referendum was certified placing HB 194 before voters this fall. As as consequence of the certification, the bill's provisions are suspended until it is voted upon. This has prompted legislators to consider repealing and revising the bill. If repealed, it would be the first time a bill subject to referendum has been repealed in Ohio. As such, a repeal may trigger a lawsuit to determine the fate of the referendum vote.
Speaker of the House William Batchelder (R) said the delay will allow lawmakers to negotiate with proponents of the referendum. The proponents are expected to drop their referendum effort if SB 295 restores in-person absentee voting during weekend preceding the election.