Final SB 5 Scorecard

Based on our latest information, it appears that today’s Omnibus Amendment (and whatever behind-the-scenes horsetrading has gone on) the Republican-controlled State Senate will pass SB by roughly an 18-15 vote.  That’s in a chamber where the Republicans control by 23-10.  Flip two more Republican votes, and the bill would have been defeated.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has already reported Seitz as a definite “No” vote.  It claims that LaRose and Manning are still undecided, but we’ve been told otherwise.

We’ve been told that Gilmor has flipped from a likely no to a yes, and Stewart is off the fence, too.  We have it on good authority that Senator LaRose has informed his caucus that he will support SB 5 after the Senate Committee passes the Omnibus Amendment introduced today that will be voted on tomorrow morning.

This is after LaRose went to extraordinary lengths to suggest he was a no vote, leading us to change his rating on our scorecard.  Reviewing his campaign Facebook page, though, and you’ll see LaRose has been noncommittal.  We’d welcome LaRose to correct this impression, but we’re assured that LaRose is going to vote yes tomorrow.

Senator Manning today reportedly joined the company of fellow freshman Senator Beagle (R-Dayton) as announcing that she already has no intention to run for re-election in 2014.  That makes two GOP freshman in the Senate who have declared not run again after only one month in office essentially.

Some of you may have remembered that I said weeks ago:

However, three of the Republicans on the Committee are Senators Bill Seitz, Bill Beagle, and Jim Hughes.

These just happen to be three of the seven Senators the Dispatch identified as saying that SB 5, as it currently stands, goes too far and they are on the fence over supporting.

But with Seitz and Hughes as no votes, doesn’t that mean that SB 5 fails in committee on a 6-6- tie vote?

Well, it would mean that, if tomorrow Seitz and Hughes were actually allowed to vote in the committee.  Gang, meet Senate Rule 20, which states:

“The President may be substituted as a voting member of any committee and the committee records shall reflect such fact and the committee member for whom the President has been substituted.”

That means without any prior notice, Senate President Tom Niehaus may replace himself with any committee member he chooses at any time he feels like it.  Well, he feels like it tomorrow.  In order to avoid defeat of SB 5 with a tied vote in committee, Senate sources have confirmed that Niehaus will invoke Senate Rule 20 to remove, likely, Seitz from the committee tomorrow.

So SB 5 passes the Senate Insurance, Labor and Commerce Committee by one vote and then will pass the full Senate tomorrow afternoon by a projected 18-15 vote.

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