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Majority Republicans in the Ohio House said the economy would be their chief focus this year, in the second session of the state's 129th General Assembly.
"The focus of this body will be the economy and to help the private sector create jobs," Rep. Matt Huffman, the majority floor leader, said at a news conference at the Statehouse to roll out this year’s party agenda.
House Republicans proclaimed the same message last year after they reclaimed the majority in the 2010 fall election.
But state Rep. Armond Budish, the minority leader in the house, would beg to differ. He asserts that House Republicans instead pushed an agenda to diminish workers’ rights, voting rights and abortion rights.
"We've seen more anti-women's choice bills introduced in the first half of this session than we've seen in the last three General Assemblies," Budish said at a Jan. 31 news conference announcing his party's priorities.
PolitiFact Ohio asked Budish's office for the numbers.
They provided a list identifying legislation that would restrict abortion that was introduced last year and from previous General Assemblies. We checked that list ourselves, too, using the search engine for laws, acts and legislation on the legislature's website.
The list, we noted, includes such measures as HB 125, prohibiting abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected, and HB 153, the state operating budget, which contained two provisions restricting access to abortion.
It did not include such measures as HB 180, creating the "Massillon Tiger Football Booster Club" license plate and prohibiting any money raised by it to go to "abortion-related activities."
The list showed 11 bills that would affect abortion rights from 2011, the first session of the 129th General Assembly. That’s more than any of the three previous two-year sessions. There were eight bills in 128th General Assembly, nine in the 127th and six in the 126th.
We rate Budish's statement as True.
The Plain Dealer, "Ohio House Republicans roll out this year's agenda; collective bargaining reform not a priority," Jan. 18, 2012
OhioCapitalBlog, "House Dems Priorities," posted to YouTube Jan. 31, 2012
List of anti-abortion legislation emailed from State Rep. Armond. Budish's office, Feb. 1, 2012
129th Ohio General Assembly
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