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House Democrats lay out legislative priorities ahead of lame duck session

Democrats look forward to working across the aisle to pass meaningful bipartisan bills, but warn against waging culture wars during session
November 15, 2022
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS – House Democratic Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton), Rep. Dontavius Jarrells (D-Columbus) and Rep. Jessica E. Miranda (D-Forest Park) today held a news conference at the Ohio Statehouse where they detailed the caucus’ top priorities ahead of the 134th General Assembly lame duck session.

“We look forward to working with Republicans on a series of bipartisan sponsored legislation that I know we can pass together to put working families first,” said Leader Russo. “We are here to work for all Ohioans, to ensure Ohio is the greatest state to start a family and start a business. We are not here to start any fights over cultural issues. But we will not sit idly by this session and watch bills pushed through that in any way jeopardize someone’s fundamental freedoms to live and work with dignity.”

House Democrats are optimistic that a series of bipartisan bills in their Families First Agenda aimed at lowering rising costs can be passed during the lame duck session. 

“We’ve all felt the sting of rising prices the past year, and in the House, we’ve been doing whatever we can whenever we can to bring down prices for households,” said Rep. West. “Bipartisan bills we could pass to help families do just that include House Bill 695, which would eliminate the sales tax for child and adult diapers, and House Bill 135, which would reduce the costs of prescription drugs for chronic conditions.”

The caucus will prioritize the billions of dollars of remaining federal Covid-19 relief funds, including the almost $2 billion remaining from the American Rescue Plan Act, to expand career opportunities, elevate mental healthcare services and strengthen our caregiving infrastructure. 

“Professional caregivers are the backbone of our nation’s economy, the workforce behind our workforce. Without them, our economy simply could not run. But too often, they are unseen and undervalued,” said Rep. Jarrells. “We can show our caregivers how important they are by allocating federal relief dollars to increase wages for developmental disabilities workers and workers in nursing facilities, and funding the PACE program for older individuals in need of care.”

House Democrats warn that any legislation that limits people’s rights and freedoms, like HB 294, should be considered off limits, and that Ohioans should pay close attention to the lame duck process to make sure the bills being passed represent their values.

“The Ohio Anti-Voter Bill threatens your ability to make your voice heard by limiting ballot drop boxes, cutting the number of Early Voting days, and implementing convoluted voter ID requirements,” said Rep. Miranda. “We’ve stopped this extreme legislation before, and Ohioans and Democrats are ready to stop it once again.”

The House of Representatives will reconvene for the first lame duck session Wednesday, November 16 at 1p.