Friday, November 30, 2012

GUEST COLUMN: "Quarter Auctions Should Be Legal"

St. Rep. Danny Bubp
By: St. Rep. Danny Bubp

Throughout my time in the Ohio House of Representatives, I have tried to be as responsive to the constituents I serve as possible. There are many times I talk with people like you to see where you stand on the particular issues of the day. There are also times that a new issue is brought to my attention so that I can draft legislation on the topic.

House Bill 569 is certainly an instance of acting on the concern of some of those back home. It deals with quarter auctions, which I admit I had never heard of before being told about them this year. These are auctions where people bid with quarter coins to purchase a numbered paddle that corresponds to a particular item. You can win the item by that number being drawn from a bin of chips or tokens, much like bingo.

In fact, the bill I introduced would classify the quarter auctions as bingo under Ohio’s gambling laws. Why is this important? Because without classifying the quarter auctions as bingo, they are technically illegal under current law.

Jessica Little, the Brown Country prosecutor, was one of the people who brought this issue to my attention, because these auctions take place in our area. Quarter auctions aren’t used to win big bucks, though. They are typically a type of charitable activity to raise money for non-profits, and we don’t want to prosecute those who are trying to do good.

House Bill 569 recently had a hearing by the Ohio House State Government and Elections Committee. Prosecutor Little, along with Jean Pieper, from St. Michael’s Church, and Pat Hopkins, from the Brown County Hospital Foundation, were gracious enough to testify in favor of the bill at the Statehouse, and I’m thankful that they were able to make it.

This is the type of situation in which legislators are counting on the people they serve to bring issues to their attention, and I’m hopeful that we can get the legislation dealing with quarter auctions passed by the end of this General Assembly.

During the past eight years, I have done my best to be your voice in Columbus, and I am optimistic that I will be able to serve you at another point in time. Until the end of the year, please remember that you can contact me with any questions, concerns, or problems you have relating to state government.

After the first of the year, I will be very pleased to be able to call Doug Green my state representative, and he will be sworn into the 130th General Assembly on January 7th. Congratulations, Doug!