COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on bills moving through the Legislature in its final 2016 sessions (all times local):
The Ohio House has approved a bill that would prohibit local municipalities from setting minimum wages higher than the state level.
Republican backers say a patchwork of minimum wage laws would create an uncertain business environment that could hurt current companies and drive those considering Ohio to look at other states.
Democratic opponents say local communities should be allowed to set minimum wages above Ohio’s current level of $8.10 to help workers.
The bill was included in legislation overriding local ordinances that regulate pet stores, requiring them to purchase animals from shelters and rescue groups as opposed to buying them from high-volume breeders, which critics say are often puppy mills that treat animals poorly.
The legislation also includes bans on bestiality and a crackdown on cockfighting and “bearbaiting.”
In the final days of their two-year session, Ohio lawmakers hope to vote on bills that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, permit concealed weapons in more places including day cares and outlaw puppy mills.
The 20-week ban would be added to legislation already on its way to Republican Gov. John Kasich that would prohibit abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
House lawmakers heard testimony about the 20-week ban Wednesday morning with a scheduled committee vote in the afternoon and a goal to put it on the House floor later in the day.
Another bill would regulate pet stores and require them to purchase animals from shelters and rescue groups. Another measure would expand the state’s concealed-weapons law to allow guns at places like day cares and colleges.
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