From The Vindicator
Lame-duck legislative sessions are a dangerous combination of legislators rushing to clear the decks of a backlog of bills — some of them of the flawed special-interest ilk — and the lack of accountability that comes when the lawmakers know they won’t be facing the voters for at least two years (or know that they won’t be coming back in January).
To his credit, out-going GOP Senate President Tom Niehaus blocked lame-duck action on three potentially divisive issues: a clearly unconstitutional limit on 1st and 2nd trimester abortions, restrictions on funding for Planned Parenthood and tighter voter ID requirements. Any sighs of relief, however, are likely to be short-lived, because the General Assembly that will take office in January is more conservative than the one now finishing up its work.
Still, among the measures that this General Assembly is working on are a few that have the potential of ruffling some feathers.
… Storage wars
We mentioned that some of the legislation pushed through in the final days of a session is driven by special interests, and one of those has captured the attention of Ohio’s newspapers.
Most people are familiar with “Storage Wars,” a cable TV reality show that centers on a group of people who bid on the contents of storage lockers on which the rental fee is overdue.
Given the great degree of public interest in such auctions, logic would seem to dictate that the more publicity these sales get in Ohio, the better. And yet, in a bill that rewrite the law governing several aspects of such sales, an amendment was slipped in that effectively negates the current requirement that an impending sale be advertised once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the self-service storage facility is located. Instead, HB 247 would require notice by “any other commercially reasonable manner” and then makes a bizarre leap by saying that the advertising “is deemed commercially reasonable if at least three independent bidders attend the sale at the time and place advertised.”