RACINE — Legislative affairs dominated the recent meeting of Racine Grange.
The Governor is proposing to consolidate the state board of education with two other boards and eliminate election of any members to the board by the public. This would create the ability of the Ohio Governor to control education in the state. Members objected to the elimination of local control over education and passed a resolution to oppose this proposal.
Concern over the statement of Congress due to the rule in the U.S. Senate that allows forty percent of Senators to stop any legislation in that body was discussed. This rule is not a Constitutional one, but one created in 1922. A resolution was passed calling for a simple majority to determine the passage of a Senate bill.
It was revealed that it is currently against Ohio law to start a vehicle and then leave it running without a driver. Members expressed their need to start vehicles in winter to get them warm before driving. Therefore, members passed a resolution calling for a repeal of this law.
Members spoke of concerns about the U.S. Postal System’s decline in service. There is no longer any one- or two-day delivery of first class mail. Mail now takes three to five days even to the same post office where the letter was mailed. A local postmaster revealed that despite technology, the cuts in the number of employees in the post office have caused this. When the U.S. Postal Service was created, it was required to operate on a break even basis. Since the U.S. post office is a requirement in the Constitution, members approved a resolution asking the federal government to provide subsidies to the post office in order to improve service.
The legislative agent revealed that a power plant was proposed for Letart Falls three times since 1911 with none ever occurring. Power companies have the power of eminent domain to force property owners to sell out. This was done in Great Bend in the 1960s and again in Letart Falls a few years ago. These power companies then tear down all the homes and buildings, destroying the tax base. Members felt that these companies should have to divest themselves of property obtained for unbuilt power plants and approved a resolution asking that the state put this into law.
The lack of barbers was a concern. A local barber said that old certificate rules required an extensive internship. However, new certification requires barbers to follow certification rules for cosmetology that have shorter internships but require knowledge of other cosmetology areas that have nothing to do with barbering. This is causing a lack of new barbers. The Grange approved a resolution asking the state to return to the former certification rules for barbers.
Members discussed the governor’s proposed new gun laws as a knee-jerk reaction to the recent school shooting in Florida. One of the proposals would allow anyone to complain about a gun of another person causing him to lose his gun and then have to defend himself to get it back. The legislative agent was asked to look more into this and report back.
There was a discussion on the opiate crisis. It was also revealed that the Fairness Doctrine of the Federal Communications Commission is likely to be overturned.
The next meeting of Racine Grange will feature annual inspection with a dinner at 6:30 p.m. preceding the meeting. There will be election of delegates to the state grange convention.
Olivia Yost has been asked by the state grange to attend the National Grange Fly-in in Washington D.C. in April. This features discussions on current legislative topics followed by visits with each ones respective members of Congress. She is also going to be assisting the Ohio State Grange Juniors Camp.
Under community service, Grange members are obtaining children’s books to be donated to the library for the Easter Egg Hunt. The chairman will also look into a possible safety program to be used in schools.
Degree day, where all four degrees will be given to new members, was set for April 28 at Waterford Grange in Waterford.
Information submitted by Keith Ashley.