Lawmakers Return To Columbus For New Session
New and veteran state lawmakers are heading to Columbus to take their seats in Ohio's 130th General Assembly. Opening day ceremonies are Monday at the Statehouse. Passing a state spending blueprint for state programs over the two years beginning July 1 will be lawmakers' main focus for the first half of the year. Other bills that failed to clear the lame duck session may also resurface during the session, which spans two years. Among them is a proposal to impose the most stringent abortion limit in the nation, prohibiting the procedure in most cases after the first fetal heartbeat. Another closely wanted bill that failed to pass by the end of the last session proposed new regulations on storefront gambling-style operations known as Internet cafes.