Senate Veto-Override Outlook

On November 27, Senate President Doug White told Dan Williamson of Columbus' The Other Paper "his most recent survey of senators revealed 'a very, very thin ability to override a veto on the bill.'"

On December 10, in the hours before the final House and Senate vote, White told the Lee Leonard of the Columbus Dispatch he "absolutely does not have enough override votes."

By December 12, White was back to saying he is unsure if the votes are there, indicating that he has not officially polled the Republican Caucus on the matter.

Earlier in the year, Senator Jim Carnes indicated he and certain other Senators would be unwilling to override Taft due to Republican "party solidarity."

Now that the House and Senate are preparing to override Taft on an unrelated bill, they no longer have that excuse.

Of the MR/DD bill, State Sen. Steve Austria, R-Beavercreek, said there are enough votes in the House and Senate to override the veto.

"That's exactly what we intend to do," said Austria, predicting action almost as soon as the legislature returns in January.

"These are individuals who are severely handicapped . . . we're talking about
human lives here," Austria said.

HB12 is about protecting human lives too. And the bottom line is, 25 Senators voted to pass HB12. In order for a veto override to fail, six Senators would have to be unwilling to stick with their votes in an override scenario.

Do the six exist? Who are they if so?

The following Senators voted YES for the HB12 Conference Committee Report. OFCC is working to obtain their public position on a veto override.

Teresa Fedor (D) 11th District

The following Senators voted YES for the HB12 Conference Committee Report, but have stated* they are not willing to commit to a veto override.

Jeffry J. Armbruster (R) 13th District - 614/644-7613

James E. Carnes (R) 20th District - Carnes was 2004 term-limited, and took a Taft appointment, effective next month. OFCC has learned his replacement will be former House Rep. Joy Padgett.

Robert A. Gardner (R) 18th District - 614/644-7718 - 2004 term-limited

Bill Harris (R) 19th District - 614/466-8086

Steve Stivers (R) 16th District - 614/466-5981 - appointed to position in 2003, up for re-election in 2004

Doug White (R) - 14th District - 614/466-8082 - 2004 term-limited

Kimberly A. Zurz (D) - 28th - 614/466-7041 - Appointed to position in 2003, up for re-election 2004

NOTE: Sen. White admitted to Ohio Public Radio on December 17 to the existence of HB12 vote trading by term-limited Senators, for Taft job appointments.

The following Senators voted YES for the HB12 Conference Committee Report, and have already committed*, either verbally or in writing, to voting YES on a veto override.

Ron Amstutz (R) 22nd District

Steve Austria (R) 10th District

Louis W. Blessing (R) 8th District

John Carey (R) 17th District

Kevin Coughlin (R) 27th District

Gregory L. DiDonato (D) 30th District

Marc Dann (D) 32nd District

Robert F. Hagan (D) 33rd District

Jay Hottinger (R) 31st District

Randy Gardner (R) 2nd District

Jeff Jacobson (R) 6th District

Jim Jordan (R) 12th District

Larry A. Mumper (R) 26th District

Scott R. Nein (R) 4th District

Robert Schuler (R) 7th District

J. Kirk Schuring (R) 29th District

Lynn R. Wachtmann (R) 1st District

* Vote count completed via OFCC and Gannett News surveys.

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