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Bipartisan legislation outlines body camera policies based on national best practices
December 7, 2015

State Reps. Kevin Boyce (D-Columbus) and Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) recently introduced new legislation to create consistent standards which must be included in a law enforcement agency’s body camera policy. 

 
 
Says latest effort is part of a growing trend of policies that hurt working men and women
December 1, 2015

House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today spoke out against anti-worker restrictions the Republican-controlled Ohio legislature continues to push this year. The latest attack on working families, Republican Tom Brinkman’s right to work” legislation – House Bill 377, would effectively weaken collective bargaining rights in the state by outlawing what are known as fair share fees, or costs stemming from the collective bargaining process that typically brings higher wages and better benefits for all employees, union and non-union alike. A Republican-led panel will consider Brinkman’s bill later this afternoon.

“So-called right to work restrictions do not create jobs – instead, they start a race to the bottom, lowering the quality of life for families by making people and communities poorer and workers less safe,” said Leader Strahorn. “Workers in right to work for less states take home less pay, face higher poverty and infant mortality rates, and are more likely to die on the job. There is a reason workers in Ohio are not lining up in support of right to work: because they know right to work is wrong. It is wrong for working families and it is wrong for our state.”

National studies show that workers in states with right to work for less restrictions have a 36 percent higher chance of dying on the job and are stuck in more low-wage occupations than workers in free-bargaining states like Ohio. The Economic Policy Institute calculates that workers in states with right to work restrictions earn $1,540 less a year, while U.S. Census Bureau data shows that median family income is at least $6,000 less compared to other states.

A study by The National Education Association also reveals that these same right to work for less states invest some $3,000 less per-pupil for public education than their free-bargaining counterparts. Children and families in right to work for less states are a

 
 
Nearly 900 absentee ballots in Summit County tossed due to lack of postmark
November 19, 2015

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) joined Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today in calling for a statewide investigation following troubling reports that hundreds of Akron voters had their absentee ballots voided because they lacked a postmark. 

 
 
Calls for hearing on bill to require written policies, public investigatory reports
November 18, 2015
Rep. Reece pushes for more transparency in officer-involved fatality investigations

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) and State Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Cincinnati) recently held a news conference to discuss House Bill 380, newly introduced legislation to create a more transparent investigative process with deaths that result from a law enforcement officer’s use of a firearm.

 
 
Lawmakers offer testimony on bill to require two-person crew
November 18, 2015

State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) provided sponsor testimony this week before the House Commerce and Labor Committee for House Bill 371 (HB 371), legislation to require freight train operating crews to consist of at least two people. 

 
 
Medical expert, conversion therapy survivor join legislators to recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 17, 2015
Dem lawmakers discuss legislation to prohibit the practice of conversion therapy on minors

State Reps. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) and Debbie Phillips (D-Albany) were joined by Dr. Jim Boyles, a licensed psychologist, and Jody Davis, a conversion therapy survivor, to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance and call for movement on a bill that would ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors.

 
 
House Bill 262 would help enforce local LGBTQ discrimination ordinances
November 17, 2015

State Reps. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) and Greta Johnson (D-Akron) offered sponsor testimony this morning on House Bill 262, legislation to allow  a municipal corporation to request assistance from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) in enforcing local discrimination ordinances.

 
 
Lawmakers, cities fear water contamination likely if recent change in law stands
November 16, 2015

State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) will provide sponsor testimony for House Bill (HB) 304 on Tuesday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. in the Ohio House Local Government Committee. The legislation will repeal a provision inserted into the most recent state budget that would allow certain residents to significantly alter the buffer zones that help protect public water supplies.     

 
 
Say next education chief should focus on cleaning up corruption at ODE, strengthening public education
November 6, 2015

Democratic lawmakers reacted today to the news that State Superintendent Richard Ross will step down from his post at the end of this year. Ross has previously fielded calls from Democratic lawmakers to resign due to the data-scrubbing scandal that occurred under his leadership and the lack of transparency and accountability that have characterized his tenure as top education official.

“Every child deserves equal access to a high quality education, and every parent deserves to know that there is honest and accountable leadership overseeing the schools that are responsible for educating their children,” said Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Under the current leadership, education officials have behaved with disregard for both the law and the best interest of Ohio’s children. I am hopeful that a change in leadership at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will help refocus our state toward preparing our students for success both inside and outside of the classroom.” 

 
 
Former congressman declares support for bipartisan reform efforts in Ohio
November 6, 2015

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed fundamental disagreement with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s assessment of congressional redistricting reform. The Plain Dealer yesterday quoted Secretary Husted as claiming that “the congressional delegation in the end will have the call on whether or not [congressional redistricting] will happen. I don't believe that the legislature would ever force something on them that they would not accept.”