As the clock ticks down to the New Year, Ohioans are setting goals for 2014. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow talked to a senior member of the legislature, who has already set his resolution for his last year in office.
To call House Speaker Bill Batchelder of Medina the dean of the General Assembly would be an understatement. Holding office for a total of 38 years, Batchelder is the second longest-serving legislator in the history of the Ohio House. He’s led the Republican Party as both the minority and majority caucus and through several gubernatorial administrations.
Through the decades, Batchelder saw many changes to state policy, including the implementation of term limits. This means a legislator can only serve in one chamber for eight consecutive years.
After three decades in the Ohio House, Batchelder left office to become a judge in the late 90’s, knowing term limits would soon end his time anyways.
His second round in the House started in 2007, which means this coming year is his last in office. And as people around the state declare their New Year’s resolutions, I asked Batchelder what he most wanted to accomplish in 2014.
“Oh boy, when you’re in your last term after 38 years, you kind of -- you have a lot of things you would want to do," Batchelder said. "Obviously I think one of the things we do have to solve is the term limit situation that we have here in Ohio -- and I’m not saying that they should be abolished at all. I would hope that when we have people come here by the vote of their public in their district that they would have the opportunity to serve as long as those people want them to serve. And that’s not the case presently. People go home.”
Batchelder is currently the co-chair of a bipartisan commission that seeks to revise the state’s constitution. One of the issues discussed in that commission is the possibility of asking the voters to extend term limits.