March 30, 2006

Ohio House moves on taxes, clergy sex abuse

Cleveland Plain Dealer

Thursday, March 30, 2006
Reginald Fields
Plain Dealer Bureau
Columbus- The Ohio House saved its busiest day of the year for its last day before a short break, moving a slew of bills on Wednesday that could affect high-profile issues such as taxes, clergy sex abuse and bad mortgage deals.

A $2.8 million budget correction bill won final passage and heads to Gov. Bob Taft's desk. Among scores of provisions, the bill allows Cuyahoga County to seek a cigarette tax to benefit the arts and appropriates $665 million for schools construction statewide.

The day got off to an emotional and bizarre start as people who said they were sexually abused by priests as children lined the main doorway into the House chamber, shouting and calling lawmakers names like "coward."

They were upset that House Speaker Jon Husted had removed a provision in a bill that would have allowed victims a one-year window to file lawsuits seeking monetary damages against clergy for alleged abuse from up to 35 years ago.

Most lawmakers ducked through another door behind an area where lobbyists and media were standing. Husted, Republican of Kettering, avoided the area altogether, taking a side door into the chamber.

Posted by kshaw at March 30, 2006 07:43 AM