Advocacy briefing, November 16, 2021

Advocacy briefing, November 16, 2021

Advocacy briefing, November 16, 2021 750 422 Episcopalians in Connection

Bills expanding gun rights and chilling protest reach Ohio House Floor

Call House Speaker today!

This is the time to call House Speaker Bob Cupp and your Ohio House Representative with your views on three bills that were voted out of committee last week and may be voted on by the entire House as soon as tomorrow, Wednesday, Nov. 17.  Speaker Cupp’s number is 614-466-9624. Find out how to reach your representative here.

  • HB 109 creates the risk of new criminal penalties for organizers (including congregations and other religious organizations) and participants in peaceful protests.
  • HB 227 allowing Ohioans over the age of 21 to carry concealed firearms without a permit or safety training.
  • HB 99 allowing school districts to arm teachers or other staff with only a few hours of safety training

For more background on these bills, please read last week’s advocacy briefing post.

Redistricting process arousing great concern

As I write today, Fair Districts Ohio is holding a statehouse rally protesting the process by which the State Legislature is driving towards the adoption of Congressional maps with virtually no opportunity for public scrutiny and discussion, after hearings crammed into the schedule in early November. Next week I’ll try to summarize the state of legal challenges to the state district maps and how the process is playing out in the Congressional maps.

Creation Care

Ohio Energy Policy has some positive developments from the perspective of Creation Care and Environmental Justice. The House Public Utilities Committee held a hearing for proponent testimony on HB 450 to authorize community solar. The Rev. Craig Foster and I both testified in support of the bill, as private citizens. Tomorrow, the committee will hold a fifth hearing with possible amendments and a vote on HB 389, which would restore a modest energy efficiency program which has particular potential to benefit low-income ratepayers including seniors on fixed incomes.

Advocacy briefings are compiled by Ariel Miller, a member of Ascension & Holy Trinity, Wyoming, and a member of the diocesan Becoming Beloved Community Leadership Team. Connect with her at arielmillerwriter@gmail.com