Ohio Lawmakers To Tackle State Budget At Start Of 2013

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New and veteran state lawmakers are heading to Columbus to take their seats in Ohio's 130th General Assembly.

Opening day ceremonies are Monday at the Statehouse.

Passing a state spending blueprint for state programs over the two years beginning July 1 will be lawmakers' main focus for the first half of the year.

Gov. John Kasich is set to release his budget request next month.

Also on the spring agenda will be redistricting reform which could possibly change the way Ohio draws its state legislative and congressional district lines.

There will also be more debate on the controversial Heartbeat bill which would impose the most stringent abortion limit in the nation, prohibiting the procedure in most cases after the first fetal heartbeat.

Other bills that failed to clear the lame duck session may also resurface during the session, which spans two years.

Another closely wanted bill that failed to pass by the end of the last session proposed new regulations on storefront gambling-style operations known as Internet cafes.

Republicans still have an overwhelming majority in both the Ohio House and state Senate.

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