STRS Ohio Legislative News

At the Statehouse

Republicans maintain majorities in the Ohio House and Senate

As the dust settles on the 2020 elections, it is clear that control of Ohio’s 134th General Assembly remains with the Republicans. In the House, a three-seat pickup brought the Republican advantage to 64 seats to the Democrats’ 35 seats. With the exception of the 128th General Assembly (2009–2010), Republicans have controlled the House since after the 1995 elections.

In the Senate, one race remains the subject of a recount, as only 41 votes separated the two candidates on election night. The numbers still favor the Republicans, who, heading into the elections, had a 24–9 majority. Provided they keep the seat in question, the party that has controlled the Senate since the elections of 1984 will add to their numbers by one, as one of their challengers was able to defeat a sitting member of the Democratic caucus.

With lame duck session commencing after the elections, this is also typically the time when the respective caucuses choose their leadership teams. The Senate Republicans were the first of the four caucuses to announce their leaders for the 134th General Assembly on Nov. 10. The Senate Republican leadership team is as follows: Senate President Matt Huffman (Lima), Senate President Pro-Tem Jay Hottinger (Newark), Senate Majority Leader Kirk Schuring (Canton) and Majority Whip Rob McColley (Napoleon). It is interesting to note that should Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp remain in that position, both the Senate President and the Speaker of the House would be from Lima.

Ohio congressional incumbents win

The power of incumbency can be difficult to overtake as challengers to Ohio’s 16 members of the U.S. House would likely attest. Every member of Ohio’s congressional delegation was re-elected and in a number of cases by large margins. When the 117th Congress convenes in January, Ohio’s 12 Republican and four Democratic members will be amongst a House that still tilts in favor of the Democratic party, albeit by slightly fewer members. Across the Capitol, Ohio’s U.S. senators, neither of whom were up for re-election this year, will be joining a body that, as of the writing of this report, the majority is in question. The split is currently 50–48 with Republicans having a slight advantage following the projected wins in North Carolina by Sen. Thom Tillis and in Alaska by Sen. Dan Sullivan. The two outstanding races are in Georgia, where both seats were up for election and since no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, there will be run-offs in January.

Ohio Retirement Study Council cancels Nov. 12 meeting

The Ohio Retirement Study Council meeting scheduled for Nov. 12 was canceled at the call of the chairman, Senator Kirk Schuring (R-Canton). The Council is tentatively scheduled to meet next on Dec. 10, 2020.

Appendix

View a report from the National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) on reforms to public pension plans in progress around the country. We will include this report monthly as part of the Legislative News.