Chairman of Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee retiring

A state senator from the Cincinnati area has resigned his post after serving eight years in the Ohio legislature.

State Sen. Lou Terhar, R-Green Township, served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives before his election to the state Senate. His resignation is effective Sept. 30, 2019.

In an Aug. 30 letter to Senate President Larry Obhof, Terhar cited health concerns as the reason for his resignation, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Terhar’s office declined to further comment on his retirement.

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity and honor I’ve had to represent the people of Hamilton County in the Statehouse, and my decision to retire did not come easily,” Terhar said in a statement. “I came to the legislature to advocate for a smaller, more effective government that is responsive to the needs of its citizens, and I’m proud of the work we accomplished to build a stronger Ohio for families in my district and across the state.”

Terhar chairs the Senate’s Ways and Means Committee and is vice chairman of the Education Committee. The Ohio Senate Republican Caucus will appoint a new member to fill his unexpired term.

Before joining the state Legislature, Terhar was president and CEO of Integris Metals. The company is the largest distributor of stainless steel and aluminum in North America.

“Lou has been a strong and reliable voice in the Senate for the people of Hamilton County, and his business sense and leadership on various issues, from education to veterans issues to economic development, will be missed,” Senate President Larry Obhof said in a statement.

“I appreciate his willingness to tackle tough problems and bring solution-oriented ideas to the table,” Obhof added. “On behalf of the Ohio Senate, we thank him for his service and wish him and Debe well as they begin the next chapter of their lives.”

In April, Obhof reappointed Terhar to the Governor’s Advisory Board of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Among the bills Terhar co-sponsored this year was Senate Bill 1, which would require state agencies to reduce the number of regulations by 30 percent by 2022. In addition to reducing the number of regulatory restrictions, the bill would prohibit any agency from adopting new statutory limits that would increase limitations in its rules.

The state Senate passed the bill. It is pending in the state House.

“I appreciate your kindness as I move to the next phase of my life as I celebrate my 70th birthday this month,” Terhar said in a Facebook post.

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