Racially-tinged debate erupts in Ohio Senate

A seemingly civil debate about history while discussing a feel-good, no-impact bill quickly devolved into a shouting match and accusations of racism that interrupted Ohio Senate business for two hours last night. The fracas ended with an apology from the Senate president. Minority Democrats in the Senate say frustration has been building for months over the perception that they are not allowed to speak freely on bills while Republicans get more leniency on the floor.Those feelings boiled over as Democratic Senator Ray Miller debated Republican Senator Jeff Jacobson about President Lincoln’s attitudes toward blacks and slavery. Senate President Bill Harris cut Miller off, touching off a shouting match. Both parties have pledged to mend fences over the summer break.

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