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Ohio legislature challenges Governor John Kasich’s vetoes
Ohio legislature challenges Governor John Kasich’s vetoes

Although Ohio Governor John Kasich’s term is expected to end in January, he vetoed a number of bills that reached his desk right before Christmas. Ohio lawmakers have now attempted to override two of the bills.

The legislature successfully overrode House Bill 228, which broadens gun owners rights. Kasich vetoed the bill partly because of a provision that shifts the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor for self-defense cases.

“If, at the trial of a person who is accused of an offense that involved the person’s use of force against another , there is evidence presented that tends to support that the accused person used the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person did not use the force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person’s residence, as the case may be.”

The Governor was also frustrated that the lawmakers refused to debate on a “red-flag” provision to temporarily restrict gun access to people who show signs of violence. The bill expands conceal and carry rights to off-duty officers and also contains substantial “stand-your-ground” language. However, the Ohio legislatures successfully overrode the governor’s veto in both the House and Senate.

The Ohio Congress was not as lucky with the “heartbeat” abortion bill that the Governor struck down. House Bill 258 would have banned abortions at the first sign of a fetal heartbeat, which can be as early as six months. Kasich vetoed the bill believing that it was unconstitutional and to avoid the costly court battles. Although the House managed to get the necessary votes for an override, the Senate was one vote short from the needed 20 votes. Supporters of the bill are hopeful to try again during the next legislative session which starts in January.