LIMA — State Sen. Matt Huffman was officially sworn-in as majority whip of the Ohio Senate this past Monday after being elected to the position this past fall. He is expected to serve in that position until 2020.
“The concept of the majority whip will be talking to people to see how they feel on particular issues,” Huffman said. “That is really what this position is about. Some of it’s urging people to vote — that is the whipping part of it — but it’s more about communications.”
The majority whip is one of four Senate leadership positions selected by the Republican majority. For Ohio’s 133rd General Assembly, Sen. Larry Obhof, R-Medina, was elected Ohio Senate president, Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Washington Court House, as president pro tempore and Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, as majority leader.
Huffman is serving his first term as Ohio’s 12th District senator after representing the area in the Ohio House of Representatives since 2007. Ohio’s 12th Senate District is comprised of Allen, Champaign, Mercer and Shelby counties, and parts of Auglaize, Darke and Logan counties.
Huffman said the majority whip position differs from his earlier leadership position he held in the House when he served two terms as speaker pro tempore.
“With (speaker pro tempore), you literally have to stand in place of the speaker. On a daily basis, you’re representing the speaker and so you have those additional duties. As the majority whip, it’s more of a communication position,” Huffman said.
As Ohio prepares for the leadership of its newly-elected governor, Mike DeWine, Huffman said Senate leadership will be concentrating on setting priorities during a retreat scheduled for next week and working to align those with DeWine’s priorities.
As for Huffman’s personal initiatives, he said he’ll be working to move forward bills, such as an anti-SLAPP bill, that had not been passed by the 132nd General Assembly. He also said he will be working to push for a number of deregulation bills affecting small businesses, schools and the career tech industry.
“These are regulations created through the years that may have been a good idea then but aren’t particularly helpful,” Huffman said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.