(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the following bills into law:
- House Bill 45, sponsored by State Representative Bill Roemer and former Representative Thomas West, makes appropriations and provides authorization and conditions for the operation of state programs.
- House Bill 458, sponsored by State Representative Thomas Hall, modifies the law governing voter identification and absent voting and other aspects of Ohio’s election laws and makes changes regarding driver's licenses and state identification cards.
Governor DeWine issued the following statement on HB 458:
"Elections integrity is a significant concern to Americans on both sides of the aisle across the country. At the same time, I have long believed that Ohio does a good of administering elections, as we have provided ample opportunities to cast votes while avoiding the problems we have seen in recent federal elections in other states.
"I appreciate the General Assembly working with my Administration on changes to House Bill 458 to ensure that more restrictive proposals were not included in the final bill. Legislators included our suggestions to expand access to valid photo IDs and to maintain Ohioans’ ability to cast absentee ballots without the more restrictive identification requirements that were debated.
"I believe with the enactment of the new election integrity provisions in House Bill 458, this matter should be settled, and I do not expect to see any further statutory changes to Ohio voting procedures while I am Governor."
- House Bill 507, sponsored by State Representative J. Kyle Koehler, revises specified provisions of agriculture law, defines green energy, excludes natural gas from receiving renewable energy credits, revises the law governing environmental health specialists and environmental health specialists in training, allows conservancy district police departments to take specified actions regarding the towing and storage of motor vehicles.
Governor DeWine issued the following statement on HB 507:
"The initial and primary purpose of House Bill 507 is important and worthy of passage.
"While the bill initially involved agricultural issues, amendments were added regarding drilling and natural gas issues. As my administration has analyzed this bill, I believe the amendments in House Bill 507 do not fundamentally change the criteria and processes established by the Ohio General Assembly in 2011 that first established the policy of leasing mineral rights under state parks and lands.
"In addition, I am instructing the Director of the Department of Natural Resources to continue to follow the processes first established by the General Assembly in 2011 in this area. This includes continuing my administration’s policy of prohibiting any new surface use access in our state parks."