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Carey: Legislature ends year by passing single primary, other bills

December 19, 2011

By Rep. John Carey

If you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains, according to the Bible. Likewise, I had the faith that we, in the state legislature, could agree to have a single primary election for 2012.

The House voted overwhelmingly to establish a single primary and to finalize the congressional district maps, which are redrawn every 10 years based on census numbers. The primary election that Ohio will be holding will be on March 6of next year. To make this happen, Republicans and Democrats had to work together.

Many legislators were criticized by factions in their own parties because a compromise was reached. I believe that seeing legislators on both sides of the aisle who are courageous enough to stand up to others within their parties is a good sign and beneficial for Ohio. A single primary reduces voter confusion and saves the State of Ohio more than $15 million.

The legislature also passed many other bills this week. A sample of the bills includes incentive payments to nursing homes in providing care, utility regulation, and aquaculture.

Of particular note is legislation that will allow Ross, Vinton, and Hocking counties to partner in providing services for Jobs and Family Services. The partnership will preserve current employees and save these counties more than $1 million.  Rep. Bob Peterson, from Washington Court House, and Rep. Al Landis, from Dover, sponsored this bill.

Finally, I included an amendment in House Bill 207 that designates Ohio Coal Miners Week to coincide with the Wellston Coal Festival. If Ohio is going to have a week to honor our coal miners — which it should — having it the week of the coal festival makes great sense.

That wrapped up session days at the Statehouse for 2011. The House will resume its voting sessions in January.

Rep. Carey may be reached by calling (614) 466-1366, e-mailing, or writing to State Rep. John Carey, 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215.

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