You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Abortion limits turn GOP lawmaker against budget


The Springfield Republican who broke with his party to vote against the $62 billion, two-year state budget did so because he called the last-minute addition of new abortion restrictions “a perversion of the process.”

Rep. Ross McGregor, in his fourth and final term in the Ohio House, told the Springfield News-Sun he warned his caucus that if amendments addressing social issues were tucked into the budget bill without giving Ohioans a chance to comment, he wouldn’t support it.

“They put in a version of the ‘heartbeat bill’ that they couldn’t get passed in the last General Assembly. This was the only way they could do it,” McGregor said. “The process has been twisted so egregiously that it put me over the edge.”

McGregor was one of seven Republicans in the GOP-controlled House to join with all Democrats to vote against the bill, which cleared both chambers of the Ohio legislature late last week. Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, was expected to sign the budget into law Sunday.

The new anti-abortion measures — added by the six-member conference committee tasked with working out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget bill — require physicians providing abortions to first try detecting a heartbeat, then to estimate the probability of bringing the fetus to term.

Physicians who don’t face jail time.

“Republicans have this fixation,” McGregor said. “This is an area where government doesn’t need to be inserting itself.”

“If you want to talk about the economy and finding people jobs,” he added, “I’m your guy.”

Speaker of the House William Batchelder, a Medina Republican, appreciated McGregor’s “honesty and candor.”

“Rep. McGregor has always voted in a way that he believes reflects the desires of his district, and the Speaker has the utmost respect for that,” said Mike Dittoe, Batchelder’s spokesman. “The Speaker always welcomes the opinions of members on how to improve the legislative process in the future.”

When the so-called “heartbeat bill” last appeared before state lawmakers, McGregor said, hearings were held, which gave the public a chance to participate.

“These budget bills have become the repository for policy decisions,” McGregor said. “It’s a lot more convenient to add these into the budget, because then you don’t have to be bothered by people expressing their opinions.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Showdown likely over health care after inauguration
Showdown likely over health care after inauguration

If the devil is in the details, one of the toughest tasks about repealing and replacing the 2010 Affordable Care Act may be the timeline. Some congressional Republicans want to repeal the bill now, and then spend two years instituting a replacement. During the transition period, they’ve said, no one would lose benefits. But President-elect Donald...
Clark County to buy old armory, possible site for new hotel
Clark County to buy old armory, possible site for new hotel

Clark County’s deal to purchase the Ohio National Guard Armory site for $125,000 site is expected to be finalized in the next two to three months — which could lead to new development near one of the county’s largest tourism generators. Ohio Department of Administrative Services officials verbally approved the deal last year for the...
Obama, Pence interviews on WHIO-TV Sunday
Obama, Pence interviews on WHIO-TV Sunday

With the inauguration just a few days away, Sunday will be all about politics on WHIO-TV Channel 7. Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. Vice President-elect Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be on Face the Nation. Following Pence’s interview will be a special edition of WHIO Reports with Jim Otte previewing the inauguration of Donald Trump. On the show will...
South Vienna adds income tax without resident vote
South Vienna adds income tax without resident vote

The new year brought a new income tax to South Vienna, in effect after the village council approved it last year but without a vote by residents. The village had no income tax before Jan 1. The one percent income tax didn’t need to be approved by voters, South Vienna Mayor Toni Keller said, because the law only requires council approval for an...
Springfield commission to vote to go back on ballot with tax increase
Springfield commission to vote to go back on ballot with tax increase

Springfield city commissioners will likely vote whether to place an income tax increase back on the ballot this spring, just months after a similar proposal was rejected at the polls. City staff members have recommended commissioners approve placing a 5½-year income tax increase on the May 2 primary ballot. The income tax rate in Springfield...
More Stories