Ohio lawmakers push to pass bill addressing coronavirus impact


By Andrew Welsh-Huggins - Associated Press



COLUMBUS (AP) — Mandatory state testing for schools would be ditched this year and the deadline for filing state income taxes would be extended until July 15 under legislation being crafted Wednesday by lawmakers to address the impact of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus bill would also tackle confusion caused by the postponement of the March 17 primary, with some proposals limiting voting to absentee ballots to be submitted by April 28.

The legislation was also expected to suspend evictions and foreclosures, prohibit utility cut-offs and create a grace period for people unable to renew their driver’s licences with nearly all BMV offices shuttered. A House proposal would also push any changes in the Ohio school voucher system to April 2021.

Both the GOP-Controlled House and Senate scheduled sessions Wednesday for a possible vote to be carried out with strict rules for social distancing. The House plan divides its 99 lawmakers into eight rooms around the Statehouse.

Senate President Larry Obhof discouraged business attire, “which is cleaned less frequently than casual clothing.”

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Associated Press