Ohio lawmakers returned to Columbus on Wednesday for housekeeping business: picking leadership teams in each chamber and electing minority party leaders.
State Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, will be the number two leader in the Ohio House, serving as speaker pro tempore. Rounding out the House GOP team will be Bill Seitz of Cincinnati as floor leader, Anthony DeVitis of Uniontown as assistant floor leader, Jay Edwards of Nelsonville as whip and Laura Lanese of Grove City as assistant whip.
State Rep. Emilia Sykes, the daughter of two Akron area lawmakers, will take over as House Minority Leader.
In the Ohio Senate, Republicans Bob Peterson will continue as president pro tempore, Matt Huffman of Lima will be floor leader and Jay Hottinger of Newark will be majority whip. Democrat Kenny Yuko of Richmond Heights will continue as minority leader.
But five weeks into the new year, legislative leaders have yet to name committee chairs or roll out the top priority bills for the new two-year session.
Initially, House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford, and Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, will be focused on the upcoming transportation and operating budget bills.
Ohio’s two-year transportation budget needs to be signed into law by March 31. The two-year operating budget is due by July 1 when the next fiscal year begins.
Lawmakers also set March 5 as the date for Gov. Mike DeWine to deliver his first State of the State address to the General Assembly.