Author: Sarah Khan-Williamson, Author at ACLU of Ohio

  • 12.04.19

    The “Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act” Explained

     

    Books, Chalk, Cross and Atom

     

    In March 2019, House Bill 164 aka “The Ohio Student Religious Liberties Act,” was introduced.  In November, it passed the Ohio House and is now on its way to the Senate.

    Recently, HB 164 has received lots of statewide and national attention. 

  • 11.20.19

    Senate Bill 140 – Proponent Testimony (Written Only)

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Senate Bill 140. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on November 21, 2019.


    To Chairwoman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, I write to express the ACLU of Ohio’s support for Senate Bill 140.

  • 11.06.19

    House Bill 263 – Proponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 263. This was delivered to the House Commerce & Labor Committee on November 6, 2019.


    To Chairwoman Manning, Vice Chair Dean, Ranking Member LePore­ Hagan, and members of the House Commerce & Labor Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 263, The Fresh Start Act of 2019.

  • 10.23.19

    Substitute Senate Bill 18 – Proponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Sub. Senate Bill 18. This was delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 23, 2019.


    To Chairman Eklund, Vice Chair Manning, Ranking Member Thomas, and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on Substitute Senate Bill 18.

  • 10.22.19

    Senate Bill 155 – Opponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Senate Bill 155. This was delivered to the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee on October 22, 2019.


    To Chairman Burke, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Antonio, and members of the Senate Health, Human Services & Medicaid Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on Senate Bill 155.

  • 10.15.19

    Senate Bill 40 – Interested Party Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Senate Bill 40. This was delivered to the Senate Education Committee on October 15, 2019.


    To Chairwoman Lehner, Ranking Member Fedor, and members of the Senate Education Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present interested party testimony on Senate Bill 40.

  • 10.10.19

    Senate Bill 55 – Opponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on Senate Bill 55. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on October 10, 2019.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on Senate Bill 55.

  • 09.23.19

    House Bill 285 – Proponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 285. This was delivered to the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee on September 17, 2019.


    To Chairman Green, Vice Chair McClain, Ranking Member Sheehy, and members of the House Transportation & Public Safety Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 285.

  • 06.25.19

    House Bill 158 – Proponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 158. This was delivered to the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee on June 25, 2019.


    To Chairman Green, Vice Chair McClain, Ranking Member Sheehy, and members of the House Transportation & Public Safety Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 158.

  • 06.20.19

    House Bill 205 – Proponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 205. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on June 20, 2019.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 205.

  • 06.13.19

    House Bill 3 – Opponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on House Bill 3. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on June 13, 2019.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on House Bill 3.

  • 06.04.19

    House Bill 90 – Opponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ opponent testimony on House Bill 90. This was delivered to the House Health Committee Committee on June 4, 2019.


    To Chairman Merrin, Vice Chair Manning, Ranking Member Boyd, and members of the House Health Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present opponent testimony on Amended Substitute House Bill 90.

  • 05.30.19

    House Bill 1 – Proponent Testimony

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Below is our Chief Lobbyist Gary Daniels’ proponent testimony on House Bill 1. This was delivered to the House Criminal Justice Committee on May 30, 2019.


    To Chairman Lang, Vice Chair Plummer, Ranking Member Leland, and members of the House Criminal Justice Committee, thank you for this opportunity to present proponent testimony on House Bill 1.

  • 03.04.19

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

    Criminal Justice Reform Efforts

     
    The ACLU of Ohio sent a letter to Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, in response to his public solicitation for thoughts and ideas regarding sentencing and criminal justice reform in Ohio.

    “To the extent any of these plans, legislation, or additional input from other stakeholders improves Ohio’s criminal justice system the ACLU of Ohio will be at least generally supportive.

  • 01.16.19

    Turn On The Cameras

    Turn On The Cameras

     
    The ACLU of Ohio is encouraged by Speaker Householder’s stated plan to broadcast committee hearings in the Ohio House. Greater transparency and increased understanding of the legislative process will surely benefit all Ohioans. We hope the Senate will follow suit and do the same for all, instead of just some, of their own committees.

  • 08.09.18

    Letter to the Editor: Sexting Reform Should not be Legislative Priority

    Originally published in the Youngstown Vindicator.

    It was very unfortunate to read The Vindicator editorial (“Ohio Senate Should Act to Approve Sexting Bill,” July 23, 2018) pushing Ohio’s juvenile sexting bill, as that opinion mirrors the same misguided, counterproductive thinking continually coming from our Statehouse.

  • 05.15.18

    When Politicians Use Social Media to Silence Their Critics

    It took many decades of lawsuits and court decisions to establish the parameters and boundaries of free speech in this country.  As a result, society has reasonably clear guidance on who can speak, when they can speak, where they can speak, and what they can say without running afoul of interference or punishment from their government.

  • 03.14.18

    Sunshine Week and the Importance of Government Transparency

    Ohio Supreme Court in session
    Photo: Supreme Court of Ohio

    Once again, Sunshine Week has arrived. This is the week advocates, activists, academics, the news media, and others call attention to the importance of laws that keep government records and official meetings open to the public.

  • 04.08.16

    Ohio is Asking the Wrong Questions about the Death Penalty

    Execution Room

    Earlier this month, members of the Ohio General Assembly gathered to receive information about capital punishment in Ohio. The Joint Legislative Study Committee on Victims’ Rights listened to a representative from the Office of the Attorney General while he discussed the problems Ohio is having obtaining the needed drugs to execute people.

  • 01.29.16

    2016 Must Not Be a Missed Opportunity for Police Body Cameras

    Police Body Cameras

    Police body worn cameras are now a reality in Ohio. Law enforcement rapidly continues to purchase and use them, and before we know it they will be an afterthought as part of everyday policing.

    Striking a Balance

    Body cams are also a complex issue for organizations like the ACLU of Ohio because they raise issues of police accountability, personal privacy, surveillance, and government transparency. 

  • 10.15.15

    A Fresh Start is Needed for Those Left Behind

    Marijuana Handcuffs

    With early voting now underway in Ohio, the potential that marijuana may be legalized remains the hottest political topic in our state. With Colorado reporting sales of $100 million in just the last month, it’s ensured that legalization will remain on peoples’ minds here and everywhere else.

  • 09.25.15

    Issue 3: Now’s the Time to Legalize Marijuana

    I Stock photo. Use for Issue 3

    Almost 40 years ago, long before the issue took off around the country, Ohio legislators decriminalized the possession of marijuana up to 100 grams, a not insignificant amount. This was welcome progress, and the hope was lawmakers and police across Ohio would soon focus their attention elsewhere.

  • 09.04.15

    Time for Voters in Toledo to Get Sensible about Marijuana

    Marijuana leaves

    If you live in Ohio and are inclined to follow political news and developments, you are already aware voters will be asked in November whether or not they favor legalizing marijuana in Ohio.

    What you probably do not know is Toledo voters have a similar issue on their citywide ballot. 

  • 07.27.15

    Transparency Is Key for Police Body Cameras

    Body Cameras

    In a trend I hope will last, the public is paying much more attention than it once did to how law enforcement operates.  As a result, on any given day there are various community discussions, debates, and media analyses on topics, such as uses of force, racial profiling, targeting of communities of color, and police militarization.

  • 06.30.15

    Summer Break at the Statehouse: A Review of the First Six Months

    Statehouse

    The Ohio General Assembly has now passed the state budget, and the first quarter of the two-year legislative session is over. As always, the ACLU of Ohio has been very active at the Statehouse in what was a very busy first six months.

  • 05.08.15

    Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Creates, Not Solves, Problems

    Ohio Statehouse

    If you spend enough time at the Ohio Statehouse you quickly learn bad ideas have a habit of never going away.

    Such is the case with the drug-testing of welfare recipients. Legislation to accomplish this has been introduced in previous legislative sessions, but stalled for unknown reasons.

  • 04.17.15

    Ohio Poised to Censor Crucial Guardianship Information

    Censorship Stamp

    Almost a year ago, The Columbus Dispatch began a series covering alarming gaps and abuse in Ohio’s guardianship system. It didn’t take long for lawmakers to respond and soon we had legislation to help bring reform in Ohio.

    Ohio House Bill (HB) 624, sponsored by Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-District 86) during the 2013-2014 legislative session, would have allowed for the distribution of a ward’s “bill of rights,” and to require that a guardian receive the Ohio Guardianship Guide, prepared by the Ohio Attorney General, and acknowledge its receipt.

  • 03.13.15

    “Heartbeat Bill” Returns, Along With Our Promise to Sue

    Reproductive Freedom

    Last December, Ohio’s so-called “Heartbeat Bill” ultimately expired when a majority of members in the Ohio House of Representatives voted against it as the legislative session wound down.

    However, Statehouse watchers knew to expect it back some time after the new session started in January.

  • 03.04.15

    Police Body Cameras Are Promising, but Need Protections in Place

    Police body cameras
    Photo: West Midlands Police via Flickr Creative Commons

    Every so often, new or updated technology is introduced to law enforcement. The list includes tear gas, pepper spray, stun guns, dashboard cameras, and automatic license plate readers, among other things.

    These tools greatly assist police.

  • 02.20.15

    Ohio Votes: Real Versus Imagined Problems

    Jon Husted

    There are those who operate under the theory that if something is said long enough and loud enough it becomes reality.

    The more cynical among us believe it doesn’t matter if the something said is true or not, so long as people believe it is.