Here’s Governor Kasich during his State of State Address:
Republicans and Democrats have long favored sentencing reform. Oh, we didn’t get to this because we were afraid also. Forty-seven percent of our inmates sit in our state prisons for less than a year and they sometimes sit next to hardened criminals. It raises the recidivism rate, costs taxpayers a fortune. Again, to everyone who’s here, 47 percent of people are in that prison for less than a year and we’re sticking them in there next to somebody who’s been a hardened criminal, a murderer, or God knows what else. And then they get out and their lives in too many cases are ruined. It doesn’t even make any sense. And the reason we haven’t changed it is because of fear.
Well, Seitz, you didn’t work with me on the last bill, but you’re going to get some sentencing reform in this budget bill, and –(Applause)
And, Seitz, I have to tell you, if you whine or complain, I’m taking your name off this, okay? It’s wiped out.
But you know what? We need to restrain them in a setting — restrain them in a setting that makes sense. We’ve got to keep the public safe. But think about if we can keep them somewhere where we save money, reduce the recidivism rate and they can be rehabbed and go out and get a job.
Bill Seitz has pushed for two straight budgets for criminal sentencing reform that would, among other things, get rid of Ohio’s nonsensical disparity in treatment of powder cocaine and crack cocaine possession. A disparity that results in harsher sentences overwhelmingly for African-Americans that has no rational basis to exist.
Well, today the House Republicans unveiled their substitute bill to the Governor’s budget. Sentencing reform was totally removed.
Will Governor Kasich push back? Will the Senate? Or is this just further payback to Bill Seitz for so vocally opposing Senate Bill 5?