Columbus -- Gov. John Kasich has signed into law legislation opening the door for concealed firearms at day care centers and public university campuses, blocking local restrictions on the sale of puppy mill puppies and quashing local efforts to raise the minimum wage higher than the state level.
In total, the governor added his signature to 17 bills Monday, behind closed doors and without additional comment.
The list included:
SB 199, which was amended to include the contents of HB 48, separate legislation allowing permitted individuals to carry concealed firearms into day-care centers, on the campuses of public universities and in unsecured governmental buildings.
Universities' governing bodies will have to authorize concealed carry, however. And the bill does not cover police stations and other secured facilities, including the Ohio Statehouse.
SB 331 originally was informally called the Petland Bill, with language blocking local governments from passing ordinances that restricted the sale of puppy mill puppies.
The bill was amended to include other measures to preempt local laws, including language blocking communities from establishing a minimum wage that is higher than the rate set the Ohio Constitution and state law.
Cleveland voters were set to decide next year on a $15 minimum wage; the state's rate, as of Jan. 1, will be $8.15 for non-tipped employees, up from the current $8.10.
Other language added by the House outlaws bestiality and prohibits betting, attending or otherwise associating with cockfighting, bearbaiting or any other activities pitting one animal against another.
HB 185, which included language allowing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to contract with private prisons to house inmates.
The provisions will enable the state to take advantage of inmate beds left vacant when the federal government ended contracts to house federal prisoners at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown.
HB 580, which included an amendment designating May 15 as All for the Kids Awareness Day, drawing attention to families with children suffering from chronic or life-threatening injuries.
Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) offered companion legislation establishing All for the Kids Awareness Day at the request of the Hope Foundation of the Mahoning Valley.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.