COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A Republican-dominated legislative panel has passed a slew of changes to Ohio's budget, including a last-minute abortion regulation requiring doctors to provide written notice to pregnant women of a detectable fetal heartbeat.
The six-member conference committee moved the spending bill along party lines Tuesday night. The 4-2 vote sends the finalized budget bill to the floors of both legislative chambers, which are likely to take action Thursday.
Lawmakers face a Sunday deadline to pass the almost $62 billion, two-year spending bill.
One committee change would ban doctors from purposefully performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant woman before determining the presence of a detectable fetal heartbeat unless there is a medical emergency. It would create criminal penalties for violating the rules.
The panel also dropped a proposal that would have required casinos to keep patron photos for five years. The casino proposal was aimed at making it easier for law enforcement to track and clamp down on money laundering. Instead, the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering will study the issue and prepare a report of its findings and recommendations by the end of the year.
Other changes to the budget bill Tuesday would direct $1 million annually to a fund at the Ohio attorney general's office to be used to assist rape crisis centers.