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Legislature forced to correct small business tax provision in Republican state budget
October 27, 2015

The Ohio House today passed Senate Bill 208 (SB 208), legislation to correct language enacted in the recently passed state budget that would have inadvertently raised taxes on many small businesses. House Democrats warned that the corrective measure is evidence that a rushed shift to a flat tax could unintentionally harm low and middle-income Ohioans.

“As it turns out, a simple flat tax may not be so simple after all,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “When we enact hastily created tax policy, it is little surprise when unintended consequences arise. A rapid shift to a flat tax has the potential to benefit the wealthiest Ohioans while hurting lower and middle class families.”

 
 
Legislation will avert small business tax hike, restore education funding
October 26, 2015

State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) issued the following statement today regarding the passage from committee of Senate Bill 208 (SB 208), legislation to restore tens of millions in education funding and fix an unintentional tax hike on many small businesses due to provisions in the state biennial budget: 

“As a former small business owner, I am pleased to have worked in a bipartisan way to fix mistakes in the Republican budget that would have raised taxes on the many small businesses. In addition, SB 208 will restore much-needed funding to schools around the state, including several in Hamilton County. I believe our small businesses and schools are the backbone of Ohio, and I am proud to support the people and institutions that make our state a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”  

 

 
 
Bipartisan legislation will require written policies, public investigatory reports
October 23, 2015

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) joined with Republican Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) this week to introduce House Bill 380, legislation to create a more transparent investigative process with deaths that result from a law enforcement officer’s use of a firearm.

“Perceptions of injustice following an officer-involved shooting death – whether substantiated or not – can further erode a communities’ trust in the criminal justice system,” said Reece. “By requiring full disclosure and transparency, we can ensure honesty in the investigative process. This bill is a positive step in the right direction that will allow the public to get the answers and information they deserve.”

 
 

YOUNGSTOWN – Today, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) joined parents, educators, and local leaders to announce a community-based bill crafted in response to the so-called “Youngstown Plan,” which went into effect on Thursday.

“It is our responsibility to strengthen Youngstown City Schools to let children have the greatest opportunity to succeed,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan said. “With the highest concentration of poverty in the state, Youngstown faces significant challenges that can be addressed through the Community Learning Center model. Unlike the top-down CEO takeover, the CLC model leverages parent, teacher, and community involvement to provide critical wrap-around services such as health and dental care, dentistry and mental health services, and additional tutoring. By working together, we can transform our schools into true the hubs of our community.”

 
 

Ed Schultz visits Lorain, Ohio to see what the illegal dumping of steel by the likes of China and South Korea has done to the industry there. Ed speaks with laid off workers who are feeling the effects in their pocketbooks. He is also joined by State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain).

 
 
Say administration is picking and choosing who gets critical nutritional aide
October 13, 2015

State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) today criticized Gov. Kasich’s ill-timed and poorly targeted SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) restrictions that have forced 128,452 Ohioans off food stamps since October 2013.

 
 
Restriction could destabilize retirement system, create uncertainty for teachers
October 7, 2015

The Ohio House today agreed on changes to House Bill 2 (HB 2), a bipartisan education bill to increase transparency and accountability in Ohio’s troubled charter schools. Despite a monthslong process of public debate, a number of Democratic lawmakers objected to a last minute restriction blocking new teachers at charter schools from being a part of the state pension system. The change came as part of negotiations during Tuesday’s conference committee.

 
 

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released the following statement on the introduction of a new bill to create an Address Confidentiality Program for Ohioans impacted by domestic violence. 

“I am very pleased that the Address Confidentiality Program is closer then ever to becoming a reality for the many Ohioans whose lives are impacted by domestic violence and the sometimes paralyzing fear of an abuser. An ACP program will offer a lifeline to these individuals, allowing them to engage in simple acts like voting without fear for their lives or the lives of their children. I have worked on legislation to create such a program for six years. ACP legislation was approved unanimously by the House in 2010, and we should work to pass it in both chambers and send it to the Governor before the end of 2015.”

 
 
Delegation to research Cuban economy, bolster Ohio-Cuban trade relationship
October 6, 2015

State Rep. Sean J. O’Brien (D–Bazetta) and U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (D- OH 13) will travel to Cuba this month to meet with Cuban officials and study ways to strengthen Ohio’s economic ties with the island nation. Joining O’Brien and Ryan on the research mission will be Atty. Luis M. Alcalde of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter and Vista Trade Group, and several northeastern Ohio business leaders.

 
 
Legislative solutions will counter extreme GOP barriers to care, legislators say
October 1, 2015

Ohio House Democratic members hosted a press conference today to speak out against the recent attacks on women’s access to healthcare. Led by State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), the lawmakers introduced a package of bills aimed at securing and expanding women’s access to comprehensive healthcare services.

“The women and families of our state deserve better and need not apologize for demanding access to comprehensive healthcare,” said Johnson. “We are not damsels in distress tied to the train tracks, waiting to be rescued. We have the fundamental right to make healthcare decisions about our own bodies.”