A controversial ‘stand your ground’ bill was voted on by state lawmakers in the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon in a flurry of emotions and chaos.
7News Ohio Statehouse Reporter Jason Aubry reports that the bill did pass after a very emotional moment that forced the Speaker of the House to call one of the Democratic members to order, shut off her mic, and then proceed immediately to call for a vote on the bill.
For months Governor John Kasich made himself clear on his position and did so again last week at an event at Buckeye Lake.
“I’m not going to be in favor of any ‘stand your ground’ bill or any extreme, you know, any of those,” Governor Kasich said. “I don’t know what all is coming, but there’s been talk about a Stand Your Ground bill. I’d veto any bill like that. I want the Red Flag Law to be passed.”
State lawmakers in the House sent a message of their own. Only needing 60 votes to override a veto, the bill got 64.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle attempted to attach a number of amendments to the bill, including a Red Flag Law, which failed.
One Republican tried to send the bill back to committee for more work. That also failed.
Representative Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) became emotional while testifying and was silenced.
She released a statement after Wednesday’s events saying in part:
“Black voices will not be silenced. We belong here and we deserve to be heard and have a seat at the table. Republicans have been unwilling to have an honest conversation about race and the disproportionate affects their extreme policies have had on minority communities across Ohio, and sadly, we saw that playout firsthand in the ‘People’s House.’
“Disparities in health, employment, education and within the criminal justice system have stacked the deck against black and brown Ohioans. Instead of coming together to face these challenges and to hear the perspective of marginalized communities, the Speaker decided to double down on the same tactics that have left minority communities on the sidelines for too long.
Democrats say the bill is dangerous.
“This bill today, House Bill 228 commonly known as Stand Your Ground, is not necessary,” said House Minority Leader Representative Fred Strahorn. “This is only going to escalate violence, It’s gonna make people engage in more aggression.”
The bill will soon be in the state Senate’s hands and Senate President Larry Obhof was non-committal when asked about it.
“Whether we’ll pass it or not or whether we’ll amend it or not remains to be discussed with the caucus,” Senator Obhof said.
Stay with 7News for continued updates.