State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed disappointment over the lack of community ties of Governor Kasich’s recent appointee to the Youngstown State University (YSU) Board of Trustees, Dr. Charles R. Bush:
Democratic legislators in both the House and Senate today announced resolutions commemorating the 50th anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act. Passed in 1965 and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Voting Rights Act was a historic piece of civil rights legislation that guaranteed all Americans – regardless of race – the constitutional right to vote without unfair barriers. The honorary resolutions will be introduced by Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) in the House and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) in the Senate.
Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) released the following statement regarding the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act:
“Today, on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we are reminded of how paramount its passage was to the fight for equal access to the ballot box. However, 50 years later, we are still fighting to protect the right to vote against Republicans in this state who wish to disenfranchise voters by curbing early voting hours, limiting registration periods and establishing unnecessary voter ID laws. Progress has been made these last 50 years, but the fight must continue.”
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today praised the Board of Trustees of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) for its resolution condemning the fast-track takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. The resolution calls on the members of the Ohio General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and Governor Kasich to seek changes to the law that would “preserve and enhance democracy and local control.”
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) has urged Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger to convene a special session in order to hold a vote to override the governor’s veto of a budget provision related state developmental centers. Lepore-Hagan’s bipartisan provision in the recently passed state budget would have stayed the closure of the Youngstown and Montgomery Developmental Centers until further review by a 13-member commission.
Today, a standing room only crowd packed McGuffey Elementary School in Youngstown for a public meeting hosted by Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Youngstown Mayor John McNally to discuss the Youngstown School Plan. Parents, teachers and community residents protested the plan contained in House Bill 70 that gives broad and unprecedented powers to an unelected Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to run the district.
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today urged the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to consider House Bill 73, which establishes the State Facilities Closure Review Commission to review proposed closures of state developmental centers, including those in Youngstown and Montgomery County already set for closure.
The governor vetoed Lepore-Hagan’s bipartisan provision in the recently passed state budget that would have stayed the closures upon the review of a 13-member commission.
In a letter addressed to the chair of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, Rep. Lepore-Hagan wrote, “At minimum, there should be a robust and transparent review of all facts before the state decides to take action. House Bill 73 would ensure that such a review takes place, and it would provide the opportunity for residents, families, employees and the surrounding communities to have their voices heard.”
Text of the letter can be seen below:
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today lauded the securing of funds in the state budget for payments to Austintown Township and the other racino communities. House Bill 64, the biennial budget passed by the legislature last week, included a provision to make two annual $500,000 payments to each of the racino communities.
“While the budget does not include the annual payments originally promised to the racino communities, the funds that are allocated will help Austintown pay for the increased public safety and infrastructure costs related to the racino,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “I am pleased I was able to work in a bi-partisan fashion with elected officials from both chambers to help secure these critical funds.”
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed disappointment in the passage of House Bill 180, legislation that prohibits cities and other municipalities from setting minimum standards for hiring local residents for public works projects. The minimum residency standards, currently in place in cities and municipalities around the state, let qualified workers earn the opportunity to find rewarding employment in their own communities.
“HB 180 is a misguided measure that bans our communities from making decisions that put local Ohioans to work on public projects,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “Local hiring quotas represent a commitment by cities to combat unemployment and poverty by investing in their residents. Not only do these projects benefit the individual worker and their families, but also community as a whole as the workers reinvest their wages in the local economy. Ohioans deserve a fair shot at good-paying local jobs, not policies that benefit out-of-state contractors at the expense of Ohio families."
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The historic 5-4 decision overturns a 6th Circuit Court case brought by Ohio native Jim Obergefell and invalidates bans on same-sex marriage across the country, including the one in Ohio. Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) issued this statement following the court’s historic ruling:
“Today is a great day for equality in America and in Ohio. The Supreme Court reaffirmed what we knew all along: Love is love. Families with same-sex parents are families all the same. This has been true within the household and now becomes true in the eyes of the law. I am thankful for all of the people who have played a role in this fight for equality but now that progress has been made, we must not stop. We must continue to fight for anti-discrimination laws until all the promise and opportunity of equality is fully realized.”
On Friday, State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Ohio House Democratic Caucus members stood in opposition to House Bill 64, the state’s two-year budget bill. Democratic legislators voted against the measure, which they say lacks a comprehensive vision and offers little for hardworking Ohioans to get ahead. Instead, Democrats argue the bill advances policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests, such as charter schools, big utility companies and oil and gas companies, in addition to partisan attacks on working Ohioans.