AP Explains: Why Speaker-Less Ohio House Can’t Pass Bills

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Parliamentarians are having their day at the Ohio Statehouse with Republican House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s resignation last month creating a historic mid-session vacancy.

Ohio House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring, a Canton Republican, has handled daily operations since Rosenberger’s April 12 departure amid an FBI investigation. But Schuring’s leadership role only goes so far.

Under governing rules and parliamentary procedures, the speaker pro tempore doesn’t automatically ascend to the speakership. The 99-member Ohio House can’t pass any bills until its speakership is “filled by election.”

Confusing matters, Schuring presided over one voting session after Rosenberger resigned.

A House spokesman said that was allowed because Rosenberger hadn’t left yet. He was considered merely “absent” that day, which allowed his No. 2 to fill in.