Both the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate had new members sworn in on January 7. The House has 14 new members plus three returning former legislators, a lower amount of new members than the last General Assembly when 33 new members were added. The Senate has only two new members, Senators Gardner and Uecker, both of whom served in the House last General Assembly. Republicans have a super majority in both the House (60-39) and Senate (23-10).
The House is currently announcing committee chairs and assignments and we've learned that the Chair of the House Health and Aging Committee will be Rep. Lynn Wachtmann with Rep. Anne Gonzales as vice chair.
Speaker Bill Batchelder announced that for the first time Ohio House Committee hearings, particularly those dealing with the biennial state budget, will be broadcast live online and on public-access TV. Here is a link to the House website: http://www.ohiohouse.gov/
The Senate announced committee chairs and the Medicaid, Health & Human Services Committee will be chaired by Senator Shannon Jones (R-Springboro) and Senator Dave Burke, RPh. (R-Marysville) will serve as vice chair. The Senate Finance Committee will have a new process this year, with the creation of three subcommittees: Education, Medicaid, and General Government. Any Senator, regardless of whether they serve on the Finance Committee, will be allowed to participate on the subcommittees. Here is a link to the Senate website: http://www.ohiosenate.gov/senate/index
Governor Kasich is expecting to release his proposal for the SFY 14-15 budget to the Ohio General Assembly on Monday, Feb. 4, followed by the State-of-the-State address in mid-February.