Creating state status for the salamander, bullfrog and Bertram


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by Todd Franko (Contact)   | 340 entries"> Untitled document

It was a crazy night Thursday in the statehouse.


With it came a great lesson for Ohio middle schoolers on how difficult government leaders have made the process of government.

Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch did a super job keeping track of all the jockeying, including this bit below about the salamander vs. the bullfrog. Read the excerpt below. This will take you to Jim’s full story.


While lawmakers were unable to compromise on redistricting, they appeared on their way to putting to rest an 8-year-old battle about which creature deserves the honor of being named Ohio's official state amphibian.

With help from Sen. Jim Hughes, R-Clintonville, students at Grizzell Middle School in Dublin started lobbying for the bullfrog in 2002. A few years later, students from West Geauga Middle School, backed by Sen. Timothy J. Grendell, R-Chesterland, started pushing the spotted salamander.

The two sides reached a compromise many months ago to make the spotted salamander the official state amphibian and the rival bullfrog the official state frog. But it has taken awhile to get it passed.

The students have gotten a civics lesson in how a bill really becomes a law. In the final legislative rush yesterday, the salamander-bullfrog language was shoved into an unrelated bill dealing with township nuisance notices, and then it was nearly stripped back out of the bill on the Senate floor by an amendment from Sen. Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond.

But the vote was a very rare 16-16 tie, so the amendment failed. The House was likely to concur with the bill late last night.


I will attempt to work with State Sen. Joe Schiavoni to generate legislation making Bertram DeSouza Ohio’s official journalist.

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