Through legislation, local ordinances, ballot initiatives, executive orders, and constitutional amendments, states across the country continued to modify their criminal justice rules and procedures in 2020. Changes ranged from new rules for searches and seizures to pardons and voting rights for convicted felons. Although not an exhaustive list of every new criminal justice rule or legislation, the following overview accounts for the most common and significant state and local criminal laws enacted in 2020.
The Ohio Supreme Court announced that it will hear Schaad v. Alder, one of The Buckeye Institute’s five municipal income tax cases challenging Ohio’s emergency-based system. “The Ohio Supreme Court finally has the opportunity to correct this Orwellian system in which the state forced people to work from home under threat of criminal penalties, but then also absurdly deemed that same work to have been performed where it wasn’t—often in higher-taxed office locations.”
Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued a statement reacting to a new ad campaign by Ohio Conservatives for Bail Reform, saying, “Changing Ohio’s constitution to expand cash bail will not prevent dangerous, violent offenders from buying their way out of jail and preying on our communities. As currently written, House Joint Resolution 2 simply does not provide the level of public safety Ohioans deserve, and we can do better.”
Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, testified before the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee on House Joint Resolution 2, which “does not provide a meaningful guarantee of public safety.” In his testimony, Alt reminded lawmakers that “[c]hanging the state constitution to expand cash bail in the name of public safety would be an unfortunate and tragic mistake that distracts from the serious business of keeping Ohioans safe.”
The Buckeye Institute: Don’t Amend Ohio’s Constitution, Reform Cash Bail System to Ensure Public Safety
Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued a statement reacting to a proposal to amend Ohio’s constitution rather than reform the state’s cash bail system, saying, “Ohio would be far better served by reforming cash bail through the expansion of preventative detention for dangerous offenders rather than using cash bail as a proxy for safety, which pending legislative proposals—Senate Bill 182 and House Bill 315—would accomplish. The General Assembly should look to these legislative proposals to address the very serious challenge of ensuring public safety.”
Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued a statement reacting to Governor Mike DeWine’s State of the State speech applauding the governor for highlighting pro-growth tax cuts and regulatory reforms, offering assistance to the administration in efforts to move Ohio away from incarceration to treatment for so many with addiction and mental health issues, and urging caution when it comes to new and increased spending.
The Buckeye Institute’s Robert Alt and our client Eric Flannery, Navy veteran and co-owner of The Big Board, join Matt Kibbe on his podcast, Kibbe on Liberty, to discuss Eric’s case against the District of Columbia, which has suspended Eric’s operating and liquor licenses for refusing to enforce the city’s contrived mandate that the city itself has already ended.
Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute, issued the following statement on the passing of Ohio Speaker William G. Batchelder III, saying, “If Bob Taft was Mr. Republican, Bill Batchelder was Mr. Conservative. Ohio Speaker William G. Batchelder III graced all of us with his insight, wit, and leadership as the standard bearer of intellectual and personal integrity and he embodied conservative principles in action.”
Rob Portman's legacy on crack sentencing disparities: The EQUAL Act would end unjust mandatory minimum sentencing disparity
On FoxNews.com, Robert Alt, president and CEO of The Buckeye Institute, looks at U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s work on ending “unjust mandatory minimum sentencing disparity between the two pharmacologically and chemically similar versions of cocaine—smokable crack that comes in rock crystal format and the more expensive powder variety.” Alt writes, “Under Portman’s steady leadership, Congress finally appears ready to acknowledge and fix a glaring 35-year-old legislative mistake.”