COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate has passed a bill giving the legislature more control over whether a state agency continues to exist.

The proposal creates a process for state lawmakers to review and evaluate state agencies. It sets a schedule for departments to cease operations if the legislature doesn’t renew them.

The bill from Senate President Keith Faber (FAY’-bur) passed on a 22-8 vote Wednesday, the same day it cleared a committee. It now goes to the House for consideration.

Faber, a Celina (suh-LEYE’-nuh) Republican, says it seeks to improve accountability and efficiency in state government.

But Senate Democrats claim the fast-moving bill would let lawmakers hold departments “hostage” in political maneuvers.

The president of the largest state employees union criticizes the proposal as being “like the state budget process on steroids.”