Take Action Today

We are in the final days of "lame duck" in our statehouse, with a few critical bills that are languishing just as they are about the cross the finish line! We could use your help to make phone calls on the following issues:

SB 256: Regards sentencing offenders under 18 when committed offense

We're hearing several committee members aren't sure how to vote on SB 256. SB 256 would ban life imprisonment without parole for children under 18 The bill has likely one final hearing to come to a full vote of the committee at next week's hearing, otherwise, it might have to start over in the next General Assembly. Tell members to vote yes!

WHY THIS BILL MATTERS: The United States is the only country in the world that sentences children to life in prison with no chance of parole.
ℹ MORE INFO on SB 256:
  • Lehner (R) speaks about her Support 
  • Status of Bill in Committee  
  • Opinion Piece - Columbus Dispatch: Evelyn L. Stratton - retired justice of the Ohio Supreme Court and chair of the Ohio Conservative Juvenile Justice Network - speaks in favor of the bill in the Columbus Dispatch (must read)
  • Victim's mother testifies about bill (Columbus Dispatch)

SB 3: Reform Drug Sentencing Laws

Senate Bill 3 reclassifies some low-level, drug possession crimes from felonies to misdemeanors to ensure that people struggling with addiction receive treatment rather than jail time. Tell the members of the House Criminal Justice Committee to pass Senate Bill 3!

WHY THIS BILL MATTERS: This legislation (and others) are needed to address our mass incarceration crisis.  

Send a message to the members of the House Criminal Justice Committee urging them to vote YES on SB 3 with a few changes:

  • Don't include the new language using prisons for overflow of low-level misdemeanors when local jails are full.
  • **Do include language that improves the "Good Samaritan Law,"** so people calling to save a life during an overdose have protection against arrest -- even if they are on probation/parole, or if they have had to make multiple 911 calls. Post about it too: #GetGoodSamIn. 

We think these Good Samaritan additions can be still made on SB 3 (many legislators support!) -- we just need to make it a priority and use this moment to get it done! 

 ℹ MORE INFO on SB 3:

📣📣 Tell these House Criminal Justice Committee members: 
1) vote YES on SB 256;
2) Vote YES on SB 3 --- with the following change on prison overflow, and adding in Good Samaritan expansion! 
Rep. Lang (Committee Chair) (R): (614) 466-8550 
Rep Phil Plummer (R): 614-644-8051*(key to move in support of SB 256)
Rep David Leland (D): 614-466-2473 *(key to move in support of SB 256)
Rep Jim Butler (R): 614-644-6008
Rep Jeff Crossman (D): 614-466-3485* (key to move in support of SB 256)
Rep Al Cutrona (R): 614-466-6107 * (key to move in support of SB 256)
Rep Diane Grendell (R): 614-644-5088
Rep John Rogers (D): 614-466-7251
Rep Todd Smith (R): 614-466-2960
Rep Thomas West (D): 614-466-8030
Rep Seitz (R): (614) 466-8258** (key person to move with the above asks regarding SB 3 -- he is very influential on this legislation!)

Death Penalty Update

The Ohio Senate voted 27-3 Wednesday (12/9/20) to pass HB 136. legislation that ends the death penalty for persons who suffered from a “serious mental illness” at the time they committed murder. 
House Bill 136, sponsored by state Rep. Brett Hillyer (R., Uhlrichsville), now returns to the House of Representatives, where a prior version passed last year by a 76-17 vote. In addition to applying to future cases, it would open a one-year window for some already sitting on death row to ask judges to commute their death sentences to life in prison without parole. (click here for the full article from the Toledo Blade)