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State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released the following statement in response to the passage of House Bill 238, which will allow the state to sell the North Central Correctional Institution and Turtle Creek Center.

“I oppose the sale of the North Central Correctional Institution and the Turtle Creek Center because privatizing state prisons is the wrong direction for Ohio.

“The state recently sold the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, and the results have been disastrous. Since this sale 18 months ago, there have been 248 security complaints, compared to 157 such complaints in the eleven years prior.  Also, after the sale, the facility immediately added 300 more beds, and has suffered serious overcrowding problems and hazardous conditions for inmates and workers.   

“Private prison management companies have bad track records in Ohio. For example, Corrections Corporation of America was fined $500,000 by the state because of a 300 percent increase in prisoner-on-staff assaults and a 187.5 percent increase in prisoner-on-prisoner assaults. The financial records for these private companies are not transparent, and we still aren’t sure if money is being saved or how these many problems are being addressed.

“These last-minute additions to House Bill 238 have not been vetted.  The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections did not provide testimony to the legislative committees hearing this proposal.  A lot of questions and concerns remain, and the governor should veto this rush authorization of sale.”

 
 

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The ruling leaves no doubt that Ohio could take a similar approach and assign the drawing of congressional districts to a new redistricting commission like the one slated for November’s ballot to reform state district drawing. Clyde issued the following statement in response to the ruling:

“Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court gives me hope that Ohio can reform the way we draw not only state legislative districts but congressional districts as well. Ohio voters deserve fair representation in the statehouse and in Washington.

“While my resolution, HJR 2, did not receive the consideration needed to be ready to put before voters this fall, I will continue to work to advance the cause of redistricting reform. We must eliminate gerrymandering in the Ohio statehouse and our U.S. Congress. Until these districts are redrawn, Ohioans will not enjoy their full democratic right to fair representation.”

 
 
Columbus-area educational visit coincides with recently introduced legislation
June 29, 2015
O'Brien tours CAR Technologies in support of alternative fuels

State Representative Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) traveled this week to Columbus-area “industrial-scale, commercial testing, modeling, and engineering partner,” CAR Technologies, in an effort to learn more about, and draw attention to, the use of alternative fuels in Ohio. The tour follows the recent introduction of House Bill 176, bi-partisan legislation from Rep. O’Brien and Rep. Dave Hall (R-Millersburg) that would provide tax breaks and other financial incentives for people to purchase vehicles which run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and other alternative fuels, or to convert their fleets or personal vehicles to do so. 

 
 

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

“The ruling is a victory for our nation and for Ohio,” said Rep. Kevin L. Boyce (D-Columbus). “This is an historic moment and a giant progressive step in our journey toward equality and tolerance.”

The 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. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) issued the following statement today on approval of House Bill 64, the state’s two-year operating budget bill:

“I fought hard to adequately fund Ohio’s historically black college, Central State University, and though I am pleased the state budget included more funding for the school—it was inadequate for the federal match. 

“Too many of my constituents are concerned about their families’ future and how they will find ways to make ends meet, let alone get ahead. It is unfortunate that the largest budget in our state's history has left too many Ohioans behind. The bad outweighs the good in this budget and that is why I voted no.”

 
 
Marriage equality declared fundamental right
June 26, 2015

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. Antonio issued this statement following the court’s historic ruling:

"I join all Ohioans in applauding today's decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to grant all couples the right to marry if they so choose. From this day forward, all families – including families like mine – have the opportunity to experience the full depth and breadth of constitutional equality and the freedom to celebrate the love that binds our family, and all families – including those of same sex couples.

“This ruling gives me hope that sometime in the near future, Jean Kosmac, my partner of 21 years, and I will gather our daughters, friends and family and legally marry - a decision the State of Ohio has denied to us until today. We have much work to do to achieve full equality for members of the LGBT community, but this decision affirms our families and grants them the dignity and respect we have sought for ourselves and our children.”

 
 
Restrictions on collective bargaining, access to healthcare will weaken middle class
June 26, 2015

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today 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 vision to grow the economy and offers little opportunity for average Ohioans to get ahead. Instead, Democrats argue the bill advances partisan attacks on working Ohioans and policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests.

 
 
Marriage equality declared fundamental right
June 26, 2015

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. Celebrezze issued this statement following the court’s historic ruling:

"Today's historic decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding marriage equality should be celebrated by all Ohioans and Americans.  As not only a legislator who has sworn to protect our nation's and state's constitution but also as an attorney I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court rendered this decision."

 
 
Partisan budget provides tax breaks for the wealthy, cuts funds for local communities
June 26, 2015

The Ohio House of Representatives voted this afternoon to approve the state’s two year operating budget, Substitute House Bill 64. Following the vote, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the following statement:

“Yet again, the ultra-conservative majority in the Ohio legislature has delivered a partisan budget that weakens middle-class families, prioritizes our state’s wealthiest individuals and attacks women’s health care.This budget cut 16 million dollars from local communities and increased taxes on working class Ohioans. I voted against House Bill 64 because it does not protect the best interest of everyday Ohioans, but instead continues to push our state in the wrong direction.” 

 
 
Amendment to the budget bill assists employment initiative for wounded veterans
June 26, 2015

Today’s vote on the state’s new two-year state budget included an amendment offered by State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus), which funds the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, an organization that assists military veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) recover and find employment. State funds will be used to support the foundation’s Employment Initiative and Community TBI Education Program.