NewsSTATEHOUSE CELEBRATION FOR HOUSE BILL 42303.30.2023COLUMBUS, March 30, 2023 – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine hosted a ceremony at the Statehouse in Columbus on March 29 to mark the designation of the Soap Box Derby as the state’s “official gravity racing program.” Following review and approval by the House State and Local Government committee, the bill was approved by the full House in late May and passed on to the Senate. The Ohio Senate approved the bill in mid-December and Gov. DeWine signed it into law on January 2. House Bill 423 was sponsored by Akron area House of Representatives Bill Roemer and Bob Young. Signing of the bill by the House last May coincided with the day that House members honored more than 100 Ohio boys and girls who had participated in the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby and the Gravity Racing Challenge STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) team championships. “Soap Box Derby racing sowed its roots in Ohio, more specifically Akron, and it has been a pleasure to carry this legislation designating the Derby as the official gravity-racing program of the State of Ohio,” Rep. Roemer (District 31) said at the time of Gov. DeWine’s signing the bill into law in January. “The Derby is an integral part of the community,creating an educational, economic and social boost for the area and those involved.” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine holds a racing helmet presented to him at a ceremony on March 29, at the Statehouse in Columbus to mark the designation of the Soap Box Derby as the state’s “official gravity racing program.” Gov. DeWine signed House Bill 423 earlier this year sponsored by Akron area House of Representatives Bill Roemer (back row, left) and Bob Young (back row, right). Joining in ceremony are Jeff Iula, president of the Akron local Soap Box Derby program, and Linda Hubbell, education director for International Soap Box Derby.