Leading Democrat of the House transportation budget committee, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President and State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) today applauded Gov. Kasich for using his veto authority to strike a line in the state’s transportation budget that would have made it harder for college students to vote in Ohio. The provision, inserted into the bill late by Senate Republicans, would have forced students from other states to get a driver’s license and register their vehicles in Ohio within 30 days of registering to vote.
“Thanks to the work of my Democratic colleagues, the governor, voting advocates and students around this state, cooler heads have prevailed and the controversial restriction that would have made it harder for students to vote has been removed from the this bill,” said Reece. “Instead of getting caught up in a legal fight over ballot access, we can continue to focus on jobs and economic development in our state. It’s the right thing to do.”
Reece and the Ohio House Democratic Caucus asked the governor to veto the voting restriction last week. Reece also penned a letter to the governor on her own last week, a copy of which can be seen below.
You can hear Reece’s comments during the House floor debate by clicking the video.
March 26, 2015
Dear Governor Kasich,
I write to you today to formally request that you veto line Driver’s license and motor vehicle registration requirements for new Ohio residents (DPSCD73) of the House Bill 53 of the transportation budget.
The OLBC members have worked hard in a bipartisan way to produce a transportation budget that focuses on jobs which is consistent with our Prosperity Action Agenda 2015 that was unveiled on February 18th at our Day of Action. Our organization worked hard in the House and the Senate to eliminate hiring barriers and to assure equal access to employment of Ohioans and African-Americans who are already leading the state with a 15% unemployment rate.
While we were successful in our efforts, we are also concerned about a last minute and divisive provision that was added to the transportation budget that would target college voters without public hearings, cost analysis, and proper vetting. As indicated during our presentation for our Action Agenda to your cabinet this week, we recommend a line item veto of this provision of the transportation budget and ask that there be a moratorium on all new voting legislation until there is a Voter Bill of Rights Constitutional Amendment (signed by over 100,000 Ohioans) and is consistent with our Action Agenda.
It’s time to take politics out of voting and allow citizens to determine their voting rights and have them enshrined in our Ohio Constitution.
Thank you for your consideration.
Rep. Alicia Reece