The Ohio Senate today unanimously elected State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore, the second highest leadership position in the State Senate.

Obhof represents the 22nd Senate District, which includes Medina, Ashland and Richland counties and portions of Holmes county. Obhof previously served as Majority Whip, the fourth-highest position in the Senate, since January 2013. The opening for President Pro Tempore was created by the retirement of State Senator Chris Widener last month.

“I am grateful for this new opportunity to serve the people of the 22nd District and the State of Ohio,” said Obhof. “We have made great strides over the past five years, and I look forward to building on that progress as I serve the 22nd District and Ohio in this new capacity."

In response to Senator Obhof's election, Senate President Keith Faber said, "Senator Obhof has been a trusted and influential member of our Senate leadership team, and I look forward to continuing our work together to make Ohio the best place to live, work and raise a family."

As President Pro Tempore, among other things, Senator Obhof will be responsible for serving temporarily as the leader of the Senate in the absence of the Senate President. Newspapers have described him as "a lawmaker with a willingness to work across party lines," and have observed that he is "instrumental in passing key bills."

In other business, the Senate passed Senate Bill 264, cosponsored by Senator Obhof, which would create the Ohio Sales Tax Holiday in time for back-to-school shopping in August. Ohio had its first Sales Tax Holiday this year as a pilot project. The sales tax holiday provides a sales and use tax exemption for customers purchasing certain retail items during the first weekend in August and is intended to boost sales while giving taxpayers a break.

“A sales tax holiday will benefit Ohio families, who are already strained during the back-to-school shopping season,” said Obhof. “This will help parents afford school supplies and other necessities."

Senate Bill 264 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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