COLUMBUS- Ohio House Democrats today announced the end of their Ohio Promise Virtual Town Hall Tour, which comprised of more than two dozen virtual town halls since June on topics including COVID-19, jobs and the economy, racial justice, gun safety, back to school procedures, and voting access. Across the state, over 20,000 Ohioans tuned in to these town halls to hear from their elected officials and ask questions.
“Throughout the Ohio Promise Virtual Tour, we heard from everyday Ohioans worried about their futures as our state continues to face unprecedented crises like a global pandemic, an economic recession and reckoning with systemic oppression,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “Pressing issues like COVID-19 and racism didn’t take a break this summer, so neither did House Democrats. These conversations will help guide our efforts as we continue working for you to develop solutions to the issues that matter most to our communities.”
The top issue during the tour was the impact COVID-19 has had on everything from our economy to our schools and even our election. Everyday Ohioans expressed concerns about what the legislature is doing to support working people and families.
“Now more than ever, Ohio needs leaders that will fight on behalf of working people and families,” said Leader Sykes. “That’s why we’re again calling on Republicans to immediately pass several coronavirus-related bills we introduced months ago, including efforts to halt evictions and prohibit utility shut-offs. Ohioans can’t afford to wait another day.”
The Ohio House returned to session on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and House Democrats were ready to address the rent and mortgage crisis, unemployment compensation and recovery for both COVID-19 and the economic crisis that has followed. However, Speaker Robert Cupp (R-Lima) and House Republicans brought no relevant bills to the floor. This was the first time the Ohio House had convened in over a month.
When Democrats readied to offer several amendments that would have repealed House Bill (HB) 6, the $2 billion corporate bailout tied to an ongoing FBI investigation into an alleged $60 million scheme to pass the bill, Speaker Cupp abruptly ended House session rather than hear the Democratic amendments. Former Speaker Larry Householder, who was present during the September 1 session and voting on legislation, has been arrested and indicted for his role in the alleged corruption scheme.