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What started off as an admirable effort to curb Lake Erie pollution and to enforce Ohio oil and gas laws ended up including language to weaken recently passed legislation against puppy mills, as well as provisions possibly endangering basic land-line telephone services.    H.B. 490, as passed by the Ohio House this November, includes all those items.  According to commentator Thomas Suddes,

“A bill to weaken the puppy mill law couldn’t pass on its own, so it’s catching a ride on the must-pass Lake Erie bill. So much for the Ohio Constitution’s one-subject rule (Article II, Section 15(D)). In theory, it forbids making a bill a junk-drawer for legislators. In practice, the one- subject rule is ignored — as, way too often in Ohio, is cruelty to animals.”

Dayton Daily, Ignoring the One Subject Rule and More.

HB 490 must still be passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor.  Governor Kasich threatened to veto House Bill 490 if the telecommunications language remains.  See Toledo Blade, Kasich Could Veto Algae Bill if Telephone Aspects not Removed.  The  telecommunication language is problematic because it would leave senior citizens in rural areas without basic land-line service and without reliable cell or Internet service to replace it.

If the bill is not passed by the end of the year, it dies because a new General Assembly starts in January.




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