COLUMBUS – State Representative Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) has announced that the Ohio House passed several important bills, which will affect some of our most valued rights and traditions, such as the right to life, guns and energy mandates.
Regarding gun rights, SB 199 will clarify and expand gun rights for law-abiding gun owners in Ohio. The bill modifies the prohibition against carrying a concealed handgun into certain public institutions and gives control to the local government. For example, if a college campus wishes to allow concealed carry on campus, the decision is now theirs to make. Local county government officials can now decide if they want to ban guns in taxpayer buildings. This returns control locally, which is good government. Gun owners are also protected from employment discrimination based on gun ownership.
“I told the district I would fight for your gun rights, and that is what I am doing,” said Representative Vitale. “As an NRA and conceal and carry instructor, the right to have and carry a firearm is important to me and many of you. The security of our state and nation has been changing, as shown with the recent attack at The Ohio State University. I will protect your right to defend yourself and your loved ones.”
Two pro-life bills passed in the Ohio House, including: the ‘The Heartbeat Bill’ and the ‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’. Both bills protect the life of an unborn child during different phases of pregnancy. With the passage of the Heartbeat Bill, killing of a baby would be banned after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Pain-Capable bill bans abortions after 20 weeks, when some experts say, an unborn child can feel pain and can, in certain circumstances, survive outside the womb.
In response to the passage of the pro-life bills, Representative Vitale said, “Human life is sacred and a gift from conception to natural death. We are hopeful that both of these bills will be signed by the governor and will save lives. They take a different legal approach to the protection of the unborn, the most innocent who deserve life.”
House Bill 554 modified energy efficiency standards, so that state energy efficiency standards are energy efficiency goals instead of mandates. Without state mandates, the free market instead of government will determine whether or not energy efficient technologies, such as wind and solar projects, are adopted in Ohio.
“Energy is a hot issue for our district, particularly with the Industrial Wind Turbine debate,” said Vitale. “With the election of Donald Trump, we hope we will have more common sense energy regulations and less government intervention. We will no longer have the constant war on coal, which has enabled Ohio and the U.S. to be some of the most stable economies in the world. While I am in favor of creating energy from any source, and in the cleanest way possible, creating artificial mandates and using taxpayer money for private, offshore, foreign companies, is simply the government picking winners and losers and tampering with the free markets. Let companies compete on a fair playing field. We think many things will change with a Trump administration and we don’t want to put Ohio in an economically disadvantaged position as compared with other states. This bill is a step toward helping make Ohio’s energy policy more competitive.”
This report was submitted for publication by state Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana).