Ohio House Bill 616 combines Florida so-called “Don’t Say Gay” and divisive concepts bills

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Ohio House Bill 616 combines elements of Florida so-called “Don’t Say Gay” and divisive concepts bills

Lawmakers in the Ohio House introduced a bill this week that brings together elements modeled after a Florida bill that opponents describe as “Don’t Say Gay” as well elements from a divisive concepts bill.

House Bill 616 says schools cannot teach Kindergarten through third grade students about sexual orientation or gender identity.  The bill also restricts how those topics are addressed for older students in fourth through twelfth grade.  The bill does not go as far as Florida’s bill that also prohibits classroom discussion on sexual orientation and sexual identity for elementary students.

The bill also includes topics dealing with race that would be banned from the classroom including critical race theory (which is a college-level topic), the New York Times 1619 Project, inherited racial guilt and any other topic determined to be racist or divisive by the Ohio State Board of Education.    

The bill is sponsored by Republicans Mike Loychik from Trumbull County and Jean Schmidt from the Cincinnati-area.  

Early voting began this week for the May 3rd primary but not for all of the races.  Voters will decide on statewide offices: governor, secretary of state, attorney general, auditor and treasurer.  Voters will also make their selections in congressional races and race to succeed retiring United States Senator Rob Portman.  Local issues and candidates will also be decided. The primary winners by party will square off for the November General election.  What will NOT be voted on in the May 3 primary are the Ohio House and Ohio Senate contests—because those maps are not finished. We are now on our fourth set of challenged maps and waiting on the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.

Ohio Republican 7th District Congressman Bob Gibbs says he will retire from Congress and he is blaming the messy redistricting process.

Gibbs who is from Holmes County came to Washington in 2010.  He announced his decision to retire on social media where he referred to the map-drawing process in Ohio as a circus.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to the United States Supreme Court.  Senators voted to approve Judge Jackson yesterday by a vote of 53 to 47.  She is the first African-American woman to be confirmed as an associate justice to the United States Supreme Court.

Ohio’s Senators were split on their support for Judge Jackson’s confirmation.  Democrat Sherrod Brown voted to support putting Judge Jackson on the nation’s highest court.  Retiring Republican Rob Portman voted against her confirmation.

Guests: 

Anna Huntsman, Health Reporter, Ideastream Public Media  
Ken Schneck, Editor, The Buckeye Flame  
Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV  
 

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