Republicans in both the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House have retained their strong majorities. Republicans picked up one House seat giving them 66 seats to the Democrats’ 33 seats. In the Senate, Republicans picked up one seat bringing the makeup of the Senate to 24 Republicans and 9 Democrats. These are both veto-proof majorities.
There will be 29 new members in the Ohio House of Representatives and a new Senate president, so the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians will need to continue educational efforts as most of these new members have not been exposed to our issues.
Considering the veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate and the upcoming biennial budget being Governor Kasich’s last, House members will be emboldened on Medicaid issues including defunding Medicaid expansion. Ohio’s opioid addiction problems will be a primary theme for legislators on both sides of the aisle.
Committee chairs will not be named until January 2017, but there will be a new Senate Health Committee chair as the current chair, Senator Shannon Jones, was elected county commissioner. Current House Health Committee Chair Anne Gonzales is likely to retain her position in the new General Assembly.
In other Ohio races of interest, Rob Portman (R) was elected to the U.S. Senate. All of the Ohio Congressional incumbents were re-elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor ran unopposed and Republicans Judge Pat Fischer and Judge Pat DeWine won their races, thereby retaining their majority 6 to 1.