Senator Cliff HiteMultiple media outlets reporting that SB 5 opponent Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) was taking off the Senate Insurance, Labor & Commerce Committee and replaced with Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), who is expected to vote for SB 5… obviously.

Senate Rule 19 suggest the President of the Senate can change the makeup of a Committee, at will, but only by first issuing a Message (parliamentary term of art) that changes the membership.  Yesterday, Niehaus issued no such message.  He may issue one during the floor session, but that’s after the fact.  There’s probably a parliamentary scramble to figure out if Niehaus’ replacement of Seitz for Hite complies with the Rules of the Senate.

This gives the committee a 7-5 vote to approve the bill out of committee and avoid defeat by a tie vote.

We’ve already received clarification from our post this morning about Senator Karen Gilmor.  The Republicans won’t make the committee changes immediately so that it’s not as apparent, but they’ll likely move Bacon down to Vice-Chair (reportedly he never wanted to Chair the committee in the first place) and place Gilmor as Chair.  Even if she were moved into a Vice-Chair in that or some other committee, we’ve confirmed that she would gain financially from this arrangement. 

[UPDATE:]  Seitz had to be removed because like Hughes, he also planned on opposing the Omnibus amendment the GOP concocted to get the votes necessary to pass the bill on the floor, too.  So Hite was added to make sure the amendment passed, too, because for some odd reason it’s made changes to the bill to get the necessary GOP support.  How the Omnibus amendment makes this bill more political palpable to support is beyond my comprehension.