New state jobs numbers today show Ohio’s unemployment rate ticked down over the last month, though the state only added 1,000 jobs in October. Ohio is some 110,000 jobs short of pre-recession job levels, not accounting for population growth over the same period. State Rep. and Democratic Leader-elect Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) issued the following statement in response to the report:
“It is good to see the unemployment rate tick down, but our state only added 1,000 jobs last month. It is clear we have not even scratched the surface of a full recovery in Ohio. We are still 110,000 jobs behind 2007 employment, and with population growth, the significance of our job deficit is even more staggering.
“We have to make sure we are not just looking at the number of jobs, but also the quality of jobs. We must remain committed to investing in the industries of the future and the education of workers for those jobs. Ohioans need quality jobs that help families plan for the future, send their kids to college and improve their quality of life. In the next General Assembly, this will be our focus.”
State Reps. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) Friday discussed the suppression of a green jobs report that showed Ohio had significantly more jobs tied to renewable energy than the number estimated during the debate to freeze renewable energy standards.
State Reps. Connie Pillich (D- Montgomery) and Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) Thursday announced they will soon introduce the Ohio Military Lending Act, legislation to crack down on predatory lending targeting U.S. military members and their families.
With Black Friday just around the corner, two Ohio lawmakers are fighting to ensure the retail shopping extravaganza does not wreak havoc on families’ traditional Thanksgiving values. State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and State Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) Wednesday spoke in support of their bill that would shift the focus of the holiday back to spending time with family and loved ones.
State Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry (D-Austintown), the Dean of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, today announced the caucus has selected their new leadership team for the 131st General Assembly. State Rep. Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) was elected to the highest minority leadership position, House Democratic Leader, in a vote this evening.
Rounding out the Democratic leadership team will be Rep. Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D-Parma) serving as Assistant Democratic Leader; Rep. Kevin Boyce (D-Columbus), Democratic Whip; and Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), Assistant Democratic Whip.
“I am honored to have the support of my colleagues and constituents as we prepare for the challenges and opportunities our state faces,” said Rep. Strahorn. “In this time of rebuilding and growth, I look forward to working hard, hand in hand to improve the State of Ohio. Whether it’s the fight for good-paying jobs or investments in education, Ohioans need government that works for everyone, and we get that.”
Leader-Elect Strahorn returns to a leadership position in the House, having previously served as House Democratic Whip in the 127th General Assembly. Strahorn, now serving his second consecutive term, was initially elected to the House in 2000 after serving as an aide in the state legislature. Following four terms as a House lawmaker, Strahorn served in the Ohio Senate for two years, completing the term of Sen. Tom Roberts.
Along with his experience in public service, Strahorn has worked in real estate, government affairs and as a political advisor in Democratic politics.
The leadership team and incoming legislators are expected to be sworn in during the first week of January at the Ohio Statehouse.
During a University of Toledo Board of Trustees meeting Monday afternoon, State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and several leaders of the community presented a proposal for the establishment of a Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute within the College of Social Justice and Human Service at the University of Toledo.
“It was an honor to address members of the University of Toledo’s Board of Trustees,” said Rep. Fedor. “The Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute will build on the landmark research and prestigious work of UT Professor Dr. Celia Williamson, and it will have a profound impact, not just locally, but worldwide. As the only one of its kind, the work of this institute will go a long way towards rescuing and restoring victims, as well as aiding in the prosecution of the criminals.”
For the past nine years, Rep. Fedor has been a leading advocate in the fight to end human trafficking. Most recently, Rep. Fedor passed Sub. H.B. 130, the End Demand Act. In 2012, the General Assembly passed Rep. Fedor’s Safe Harbor Act – a victim centered bill aimed at providing protection, prosecution and prevention. And while in the Senate, Fedor passed Ohio’s first bill to define human trafficking and make it illegal, Senate Bill 235.
Veterans Day is more than just a day to say “thank you.” As elected officials, we owe our own service in return for our veterans’ sacrifices of time away from the home front—not just for one day, but for the lifetime of our calling.
State Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) today sent a letter to state school board members, urging them to reconsider a plan to overturn state standards for school faculty ratios in art education, music education, physical education, guidance counseling, library sciences and physical and mental health.
The text of the letter is below:
A leading organization in the fight against human trafficking, Shared Hope International, today released its 2014 “Protected Innocence Challenge” state ratings on human trafficking laws. Ohio improved slightly under the new rankings, up some 5 points from 2013, but still received a “C” or 78 out of 100.
“Despite receiving a “C” letter grade, I am pleased to see Ohio has made significant improvements in several areas that are critical to protecting children from sex trafficking,” said State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “I will continue to advocate for stronger anti-trafficking laws until Ohio is the standard-bearer for fighting this serious violation of human rights.”
With the passage of Rep. Fedor’s “End Demand Act” Ohio saw gains in the areas of Criminalization of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking; Criminal Provisions for Traffickers; and Protective Provisions for Child Victims.
Rep. Teresa Fedor’s “End Demand Act” is largely focused on tackling the black market-driven demand for purchasing commercial sex by:
-Increasing penalties from a misdemeanor to a felony for purchasing sex from a minor.
-Requiring offenders to register as tier two sex offenders.
-Prohibiting the advertisement of massage services that promise sexual activity.
-Terminating parental rights for those found trafficking their children.
The bill was signed into law in June of this year.