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In State of the State response, Democrats outline plan to build a better, stronger Ohio

March 23, 2022
Michael J. Skindell News

COLUMBUS – Today, House and Senate Democrats issued a joint response to Gov. DeWine’s State of the State speech. During the press conference, Democrats outlined their plan to expand opportunity, invest in working people and families, and build an economy that works for everyone. 

House and Senate Democratic leaders highlighted several ways Democrats have already delivered results for Ohioans the past three years, including the American Rescue Plan to spur Ohio’s economic recovery and support working families, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to rebuild Ohio’s infrastructure. Democrats also helped pass the Fair School Funding Plan, a longtime priority to invest in our students, and secured $210.98 million for public transit and $250 million for broadband development in underserved areas in the state’s last budgets.

Cuyahoga County Democrats are especially proud of the successes they have delivered for constituents thus far in the 134th General Assembly. Members of the delegation have sponsored several pieces of legislation that have passed in the Ohio House, including HB 3, known as Aisha’s Law, to better protect those at risk of domestic violence. Additionally, bills sponsored by Cuyahoga County Democrats to reform the state report card system and Esther’s Law, to protect older Ohioans in long-term care facilities from abuse, have been signed into law. 

Democrats outlined their priorities for the remainder on the 134th General Assembly, including: 

Strengthening our democracy by enacting fair maps that best represent Ohioans and protecting the freedom to vote;
Continuing to stand with working people, to invest in our communities and grow good paying jobs that cut workers in on the deal and build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top
Making healthcare affordable and accessible;
Investing in working families by enacting paid family leave and expanding access to childcare;
Implementing commonsense gun safety reforms;
Implementing criminal justice reform;
Fixing the state’s broken unemployment system;
Tackling corruption and restoring integrity to state government;
Ending the coal plant bailouts within the corrupt HB 6 legislation and prepare Ohio for a clean energy future;
Reforming our state’s tax system so working people can get ahead.

Here’s what Cuyahoga County Democrats had to say: 

“Our state is at an important crossroads to make key investments in order to fulfill the Ohio promise that you can live the American dream as the state continues to recover from the worst days of the pandemic. We need more support for our teachers and schools as they help our students catch-up from remote learning and COVID-19 related absences of teachers and school staff. We also need to work towards expanding apprenticeships and workforce development, affordable healthcare, investing in local government, and other Democrat priorities. I hope the governor and our legislative colleagues across the aisle will help us work on the real, everyday issues that affect Ohioans,” said Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon).

Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) said, “I had hoped that Governor DeWine would reiterate his desire to see the repeal of the coal subsidies that are contained within the scandal plagued HB 6 legislation. I was surprised he did not ask the General Assembly to end the bailouts of two 1950's built coal plants - one of which is not even in Ohio - that are costing Ohioans $287,000 a day. Ohio needs to embrace the new energy economy to create good-paying jobs and build a cleaner, greener future.”

Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) said, “We may have differing visions for the future of Ohio, but we can all agree that we cannot move forward until Gov. DeWine and Jon Husted get serious about cleaning up the state's corruption problem. Ohio should be number one in the country for opportunity instead of number one in corruption.”

“There is no point in attracting people to Ohio if housing is not affordable for those that live here. Ohio has the second best hospital in the nation but is still a leader in health disparities. Additionally, if Ohio really wants to support police, let’s also add implicit bias training, cultural competency as a regular yearly training and provide social workers to go along with police in behavioral health circumstances,” said Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland).         

“I am proud of the work and progress put forth by the Democratic delegation over the past year. Through the remainder of the 134th GA, we must prioritize the voices of Ohioans by implementing legislation that directly invests and gives back to our communities,” said Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood). 

“As Ranking Member of House Finance Committee, I stand ready to work with Republicans and Democrats to invest in working people. Ohioans are counting on us to lead the way on critical issues from addressing our mental health crisis to fully funding our public education. I am here to work together on our shared priorities while doubling down in areas where we cannot afford for Ohio to fall behind,” said Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland). 

“While I appreciate the governor’s State of the State, my district is still suffering, and has suffered, before and during the pandemic. The governor’s agenda does not go far enough to eradicate racism, reduce poverty, remedy disinvestment in urban communities, and the myriad of other issues that plague District 11,” said Rep. Shayla Davis (D-Garfield Heights). 

Watch the full Democratic response HERE