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State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today released a statement following the Ohio House passage of House Bill (HB) 228, the so-called Stand Your Ground bill, a Republican-sponsored effort to loosen gun safety standards by reducing firearm offenses, making it harder to prosecute gun violence cases and preempting local authority to enact commonsense safety protections for Ohio families.

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Wed, Nov 14, 2018

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), Thomas West (D-Canton) and David Leland (D-Columbus) will deliver remarks in a mural dedication ceremony honoring the nation’s first professional African American baseball player, Moses Fleetwood Walker, on Sunday, October 7 at 1:30 p.m. in Steubenville. Legislation sponsored by the lawmakers naming October 7, Walker’s birthday, as “Moses Fleetwood Walker Day” in the state of Ohio was signed into law last year.

“Walker’s life story is a perfect example of how we must continue working together to create a world in which everyone has the opportunity to reach their God-given potential,” said Cera. “I’m glad that Jefferson County is memorializing such a gifted athlete and brave American.”

Walker began his professional baseball career with the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1883, but his career was cut short in 1889 when both the American Association and the National League unofficially banned African American players. It was not until 1947 when the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson finally broke the color barrier.

“Honoring Moses Walker is more than just remembering a baseball player,” said Leland. “It is a reminder of who we are as a Nation, whose Constitution vows to protect everyone’s inalienable rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. It is also a cautionary tale, because sometimes, after we get something right, we lose our way. So as we honor Moses Fleetwood Walker, we remember that the battle for equality and justice is never finished.”

The mural was painted by artist Ruston Baker. An exhibit on Walker, housed in the Jefferson County Historical Association Museum, will be open to the public that day.

“Moses Walker is yet another hidden figure that is owed the respect for breaking color barriers during the era of Jim Crow and violent raci Read Full Story

Fri, Oct 5, 2018

State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today issued the following statements in response to the release of a U.S. Department of Justice subpoena into allegations of Ohio House Republicans’ pay-to-play culture of corruption at the Statehouse:

“As this investigation into the Republican culture of corruption unravels at highest levels of power in the Ohio House, Republican House leadership is working overtime to distance themselves from their involvement while trying to paint Cliff Rosenberger as the sole actor in any illegal, pay-to-play schemes.

“Though Rosenberger was the first House speaker in history to resign amid a federal corruption investigation, his leadership team and former roommate, Speaker Ryan Smith, is still in control of the Ohio House and potentially illegal campaign funds, creating more questions than answers as to how deep this river of corruption runs at the Statehouse.”—Rep. David Leland

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Mon, Aug 27, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today announced Ohio’s back-to-school sales tax-free holiday scheduled for this weekend, August 3-5, as a result of the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 226. This bill helps lessen the sting of the statewide sales tax hike passed by Republican lawmakers in the 2013 state budget that cost taxpayers almost $2 billion.

“This tax holiday helps working families find necessary school items at a lower cost,” said Leland. “Most of the tax cuts enacted by this Republican legislature favor the wealthy— here is one tax cut that benefits everybody”

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Wed, Aug 1, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today issued the following statement after House agreed to Senate changes on House Bill 123, a bipartisan plan to enact consumer protections and crack down on predatory payday lenders. The bill now heads to the governor to be signed into law.

“Amid months of rumors, speculation and corruption that have rocked the Statehouse, I can say that this reform is the one good thing to come out of the Rosenberger scandal. The sad reality is we wouldn't be having this discussion about protecting consumers today if not for the FBI investigation into the Cliff Rosenberger scandal.”

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Tue, Jul 24, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today applauded concerned citizens and gun safety organizations who contacted Ohio Republican lawmakers and asked them to cancel their planned vote on House Bill 228, so-called “Stand Your Ground” legislation, this week.

“By standing their ground and raising their voices, thousands of citizens’ calls and letters let the Statehouse Republicans know that voting to increase the potential for gun violence is completely unacceptable,” said Leland. “I applaud concerned citizens and gun safety groups for staying engaged and forcing Republican lawmakers to pull down a vote on this dangerous and divisive bill that would make Ohioans less safe.”

House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) last week indicated to reporters that Republican members of the House would bring the gun-safety loosening bill up for a full House vote Wednesday before the legislature recesses for summer.

“Until Republicans in the legislature get serious about Ohioans’ calls for commonsense gun safety reforms, we must all keep the pressure on them to do the right thing,” Leland added.

Numerous gun safety bills, some championed by Republican Gov. John Kasich, sit idle continue to sit idle in the Ohio legislature.

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Tue, Jun 26, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) issued the following statement in response to House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) today telling reporters the House would likely vote on extremist “stand your ground” legislation, House Bill 228, next week:

“Now we know what Rep. Smith had to promise to get his paltry 44 votes for Speaker. Sadly, as a result, Ohioans will be less safe and local communities will be unable to protect their citizens from gun violence. As The Who said, ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss.’”

Leland, the lead Democrat on the House Federalism Committee, has spoken out against restrictions in the bill that will prevent local communities from passing gun safety laws. The Columbus lawmaker is encouraging citizens to contact Republican legislators using the following link to voice their opposition to a full House vote on the legislation:


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Tue, Jun 19, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) issued the following statement in response to today’s House narrow, 11-round marathon vote to elect Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) Speaker of the Ohio House. Chaos and dysfunction have plagued the legislature since the abrupt resignation of former speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) in April, after he announced he was under FBI inquiry related to his official duties. 

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Wed, Jun 6, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) issued the following statement in response to today’s session cancellation notice from House Republicans hours before the House was scheduled to vote on a new Republican speaker:

“In the wake of reports of FBI raids of the house of disgraced former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Republican leadership cancelled yet another session today. The majority remains haunted by the Rosenberger scandal. When we put partisan politics above the people, it’s the taxpayers who suffer. Ohioans deserve better. There is important work left for this General Assembly to do this year, and instead of holding the people’s work hostage, we should be coming together to defend the integrity of this institution and get back to the work we were sent here to do.”

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Wed, May 23, 2018

State Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) today issued the following statement in response to House Republicans’ decision to cancel scheduled session today after failing to reach consensus on electing a new House Speaker:

“It is important that the House continue to do the work the people of Ohio sent us here to do. It is clear that there are rules in place that would allow the House to move forward and not be impeded by this Republican internal struggle to elect a Speaker.”

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Wed, May 16, 2018