By Todd DeFeo
The Center Square

The Ohio House passed House Bill 341, legislation aimed at combating opioid deaths throughout the state.

“These fatalities come from each of our districts and it is our responsibility as legislators to work together to fight this epidemic,” state Rep. Tim Ginter, R-Salem, said in a news release.

In part, the bill authorizes pharmacists to administer by injection physician-prescribed long-acting or extended-release addiction treatment drugs. It also increases naloxone education for pharmacists in Ohio and naloxone access for anyone with an opioid-use disorder.

More than 11,000 Ohioans died from an unintentional drug overdose between 2017 and 2019.

Dems want action on COVID-inspired proposals

• Ohio House Democrats want Republicans to pass several COVID-inspired bills they introduced months ago, including measures to halt evictions and stop utility shut-offs.

“Ohioans can’t afford to wait another day,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said in a statement at the end of their Ohio Promise Virtual Town Hall Tour, which included more than two dozen virtual gatherings.

“Pressing issues like COVID-19 and racism didn’t take a break this summer, so neither did House Democrats,” Sykes added. “These conversations will help guide our efforts as we continue working for you to develop solutions to the issues that matter most to our communities.”

Senate committee begins hearings on campaign finance change

• A state Senate committee began hearings on Senate Bill 347, a bill to update campaign finance laws in the Buckeye State.

“Since the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court decision in 2010, which generally eliminated prohibitions against corporations and labor unions from making independent expenditures and electioneering communications, Ohio has yet to make any changes to state law in response,” state Sen. Nathan H. Manning, R-North Ridgeville, said in prepared testimony to the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee. “Senate Bill 347 allows these expenditures and communications by businesses and unions, and specifies that they will be regulated in the same manner as other entities.”