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Gov. John Kasich threatens vetoes on abortion and gun bills

As John Kasich wraps up his eight year run as governor, he’s planning to go out of office fighting with his fellow Ohio Republicans over two controversial bills.

This week, Kasich told reporters at the Ohio Statehouse that his opposition to the “heartbeat” abortion ban bill and the “stand your ground” gun legislation hasn’t changed. Two years ago, Kasich vetoed the heartbeat bill and more recently he has promised to veto the gun bill if it were to reach his desk.

“I don’t do hypotheticals about this or that but I see nothing coming that will change my position,” he said.

Last week, the Ohio House passed both bills, sending them to the Senate where they are expected to be considered before the end of the two-year legislative cycle.

Related: Ohio House passes ‘heartbeat’ bill

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The heartbeat bill would make it a felony for physicians or anyone to perform abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around six weeks gestation before some women even know they’re pregnant. House Bill 258, which passed 60-35, allows for abortions if there is a medical emergency but doesn’t provide exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

Two years ago during the lame duck session, Kasich vetoed a heart beat bill but signed into law a ban on abortions after 20 weeks gestation. Lawmakers did not return to Columbus to try to override the veto.

The stand your ground bill would eliminate Ohio’s current duty to retreat from danger in public places and allow citizens who feel threatened to use deadly force. It would also shift the burden of proof in self-defense cases from the defendant — current law — to the prosecution. This would put Ohio in line with the vast majority of other states.

House Bill 228 passed on a 65-32 vote last week.

Related: ‘Stand your ground’ gun bill passes Ohio House

Once a bill passes both chambers, it goes to the governor, who has 10 days to sign it, veto it or let it go into law without his signature. Overriding a veto requires 60 votes in the House and 20 in the Senate.

Lawmakers recently showed a willingness to defy the governor. The Senate last week voted to override a Kasich veto of a bill addressing government rule making.

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