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Ohio Faith Leaders Demand a Full Vote on Senate Bill 3


December 16, 2020


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org, (540) 280-3393

Ohio Faith Leaders Demand a Full Vote on Senate Bill 3

Columbus, Ohio — Ohio Senate Bill 3, a bill that would modestly reform Ohio’s drug policy, passed through the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee today. Legislators, experts, and advocates have spent countless hours crafting a compromise bill, and they have done so successfully. However, Speaker Cupp is now indicating that he might not bring SB 3 to a full vote, effectively killing the bill. 

Our current approach to drug policy is unacceptable. We needlessly bury and incarcerate thousands of people every year. The children of God deserve better. Ohioans deserve care, not incarceration. 

Faith leaders demand that Speaker Cupp bring Senate Bill 3 to a vote. We are tired of watching families and communities be torn apart when solutions are available. 

Rev. Ray Greene, Jr. Executive Director, The Freedom BLOC, Akron: 

“In 2018, the people spoke and said we need and want criminal justice reform in Ohio. As COVID has highlighted the inhumane conditions of prisons in Ohio, I am pleased that SB3 has finally passed out of committee. Speaker Cupp’s refusal to bring SB3 to the floor would be another travesty of justice inside our state house. Killing this bill would be a firm stance in favor of racism and continuing to harm one of our most vulnerable populations.” 

Pastor Josh Lawson, Faith in Public Life, Portsmouth:

“It is imperative now more than ever to enact genuine criminal justice reform in Ohio to remove the barriers that prevent people from getting the help they need. Speaker Cupp must bring SB3 to the floor now that it has finally passed through committee. Our representatives owe it to the people of Ohio to deliver real, lifesaving solutions on this important issue.” 

Pastor Kyle Earley, City of God, Cleveland:

“Speaker Cupp: We ask you to bring SB3 to the floor for a vote. This is a step in the right direction for criminal justice reform and saving lives. This is an opportunity to show Ohioans you care about saving and preserving life.” 

Minister Blyth Barnow, Faith in Public Life, Newark:

“Every day I work with faith leaders, people who use drugs, and their loved ones who are pleading for care over incarceration. These Ohioans witness firsthand the deadly consequences of our current approach to drug policy. Speaker Cupp, I urge you to act faithfully and bring SB 3 to a vote. This legislation has passed out of committee after multiple hearings in both chambers and many compromises. In a year of overwhelming grief, we know that our time is precious, as are our loved ones. Speaker Cupp, do not waste legislators’ hard work or our loved ones’ lives by refusing to bring SB 3 to a vote.”


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, we are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level. Our network of 50,000 leaders engage in bold moral action that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.

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