Posts Tagged ‘Ohio HB 164’

ALEC Gets Religion

December 9, 2019

For the past 6 plus years Analysis has uncovered the ALEC template followed on many legislative bills run through Ohio’s house and senate. For those still unfamiliar with the history, mission, intent and reach of ALEC, Analysis recommends a brief visit with Wiki (“The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a nonprofit organization of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives who draft and share model state-level legislation for distribution among state governments in the United States.’). ALEC is derogatorily remembered for all the times state bill sponsors have forgotten to remove another state’s designation from the generic ALEC bill template. But now there’s a new sheriff in town. Readers may recall this blog’s 11-13-19 posting (Free Exercise Of Faith Democracy) and its coverage of HB164 (Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act) and SB 155 (informing about a procedure to reverse a chemically induced abortion). Reporting for The Guardian, 12-9-19, Jessica Glenza headlines: ‘An outright lie’: Ohio lawmaker shown to be linked to group pushing rightwing Christian bills. “An Ohio legislator who said he had “no knowledge” of a rightwing Christian bill mill called Project Blitz is, in fact, the co-chair of the state branch of an organization behind the campaign. The Ohio state representative Timothy Ginter sponsored a bill called the Student Religious Liberties Act. Opponents argued the bill would provide students with a religious exemption to facts, and would frighten teachers and school administrators into including religion in school functions. The Guardian revealed the bill was nearly identical to one promoted by Project Blitz, a state legislative project guided by three Christian right organizations, including the Congressional Prayer Caucus (CPC), WallBuilders and the ProFamily Legislators Conference. Project Blitz aims to promote and help pass conservative legislation across the US to fulfil its rightwing Christian agenda. When initially approached, Ginter told the Guardian in an email from a legislative aide that he had “no knowledge of ‘Project Blitz’ and has not been working with WallBuilders or the Congressional Prayer Caucus”. However, a screenshot shows Ginter was listed as the co-chair of the Ohio Prayer Caucus, the state chapter of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, as recently as January 2019. Ginter’s former chief of staff, Chris Albanese, is currently listed as the state director of the state chapter of CPC, Ohio Prayer Caucus.” Butt weight, there’s always more. “The Congressional Prayer Caucus also circulated an Ohio Prayer Proclamation. Among its signers are Ginter; the former representative Bill Hayes, who originally sponsored the bill; and the former House speaker Cliff Rosenberger. Rosenberger resigned in 2018 after a search warrant and subpoena revealed the FBI was investigating Rosenberger for corruption involving three payday lending representatives, according to the Dayton Daily News.” Analysis finds current Licking County Prosecutor and former State Representative Bill Hayes to be one and the same. Analysis finds all this to indicate that this successful methodology of influencing state legislation shows ALEC has gotten religion (or is it religion has gotten ALEC?).

Free Exercise Of Faith Democracy

November 13, 2019

Newly re-elected Newark City Council Person Mark Fraizer has just been (s)elected to fill Scott Ryan’s Ohio House Representative position by a select elected group of Republican Party Leaders. This, after Scott Ryan conveniently chose to relinquish his position well after the November 4 election. Analysis finds it is all about democracy and choosing a party, not a person, to fill a representative post (City Council or Ohio House). As noted in this blog’s July 7, 2017 posting, Fraizer (who at that time was cohabiting with 7 “children with fur coats”) was successful in bringing the big top down, on insinuations of animal cruelty training. Now he is joining it (the big top, not the training) (well, OK, maybe the training too). Speaking of circuses and Republicans, Laura Hancock for cleveland.com headlines: “Ohio lawmakers clear bill allowing students to turn in inaccurate work in name of religion – second anti-science bill in a week” (11-13-19). “If public school students turn in work saying the earth is only 10,000 years old, they cannot be penalized under Ohio House Bill 164 if it’s their religious beliefs.” “Teachers can only grade on “substance and relevance,” according to an analysis of the bill by the legislature’s nonpartisan staff. House Bill 164 is the second measure lawmakers have advanced that flies in the face of science.” The bill has been sent to the senate according to Hancock. For those of you keeping score at home, the other bill, which has been sent to the house, is Senate Bill 155, “a bill that would require doctors to tell women 24 hours before a medication abortion that there is a procedure that can reverse it. The procedure is widely criticized by the medical community as unethical and lacking sufficient evidence that it works.” Hancock writes: “HB 164, known as the Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act of 2019, also:

Requires public schools to give students the same access to facilities if they want to meet for religious expression as they’d give secular groups.

Removes a provision that allows school districts to limit religious expression to lunch periods or other non-instructional times.

Allows students to engage in religious expression before, during and after school hours to the same extent as a student in secular activities or expression.

Prohibits schools from restricting a student from engaging in religious expression in completion of homework, artwork and other assignments.”

“Aaron Baer, president of the Citizens for Community Values, a Christian conservative organization, said that it will protect students from discrimination. “Speaker of the House Larry Householder is continuing to show his strong leadership and care for Ohio’s children and religious freedom,” he said in a statement. “HB 164 comes at a critical time in the culture and protects the right of Christian and non-Christian students alike to freely exercise their faith.” In the past, newly (s)elected Ohio House Representative Mark Fraizer has vehemently stood up for the rights of his furry friends. Will Mr. Fraizer likewise extend the same passion in fighting for the rights of young Pastafarians to “freely exercise their faith”?