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Criminal Justice Update

Here’s a quick look at some of the high-profile  Criminal Justice bills moving through the Ohio House.

Good legislation signed into law:

House Bill 8 ­­– To make it mandatory to record interrogations for most felony charges. This new law will protect both wrongly-accused suspects and law enforcement from false charges about what goes on during interrogations.

Collin’s Law – Named after Collin Wiant, who died during a hazing incident at Ohio University, will require greater transparency from colleges about their anti-hazing policies, create a statewide curriculum for college students regarding anti-hazing practices, and create harsher penalties for those who engage in hazing or enable it to occur. 

Good legislation that should become law:

House Bill 3 – Comprehensive legislation to ensure victims of domestic violence are protected from their abusers, and increases penalties for repeat Domestic Violence offenders. 

House Bill 150 – Legislation to provide student loan subsidies for law grads who sign up as Public Defenders in underserved areas of Ohio.

House Bill 315 – Comprehensive Bail Reform legislation to save Ohio taxpayers $250 million each year, ensure public safety, and keep people from being stuck behind bars because they can’t afford a payment

Pending Legislation that’s bad for Ohio:

House Bill 22– Legislation  that would criminalize bystanders “mentally interfering” with police officers. 

House Bill 99 – Allows any school employee to carry concealed firearms in schools. This would be done without notifying parents, without requiring sufficient training for those carrying guns in the classroom, and without providing safe storage guardrails. 

House Bill 109 – Creates new penalties for those exercising their rights under the 1st Amendment and would allow for the collective punishment of community organizations if random crimes were committed during the demonstrations. 

House Bill 286 – Allows public officials accused of corruption to choose to be prosecuted in their home county or where the offense occurs. Public corruption would then be the only crime where the accused gets to choose who prosecutes them, literally giving corrupt public officials a “home court” advantage.

Clearly there is much to do! As Ranking Member of the House Criminal Justice Committee, I will keep striving to make the last four words of our Pledge of Allegiance “and Justice for All” a reality. 

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