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Says state proposal will harm vulnerable, low-income children
August 17, 2016

State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) today called on Gov. Kasich to put a stop to an administrative rule change that would leave child care centers across the state with fewer resources to provide critical enrichment opportunities to vulnerable, low-income Ohio children and their families.

The state estimates the rule change will cut $12 million in state funding to pre-school providers throughout Ohio, not counting hundreds of millions of lost dollars in federal grants for early childhood programs. 

 
 
Panelists engage citizens, offer insight prior to start of new school year
August 12, 2016

State Rep. Heather Bishoff  (D-Blacklick) this week joined former First Lady Dr. Frances Strickland, President of the Reynoldsburg City School Board Joe Begeny and Innovation Ohio Education Policy Fellow Stephen Dyer for a public forum to discuss the state of education in Ohio as students, teachers and parents prepare for the upcoming school year. The local community leaders discussed education funding for Ohio schools, public school oversight vs. charter school oversight and statewide testing standards.

 
 
Says Ohio must lead national effort to create environmentally-friendly policies
August 11, 2016

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) recently joined more than 100 state legislators from 32 states and both major political parties to learn about emerging environmental issues at the 2016 National Issues Forum hosted by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). The event promoted collaboration between state legislators and provided essential educational resources regarding the pressing environmental and conservation issues currently facing the country.

 
 
National Institute for Civil Discourse recognizes lawmaker for civility, bipartisanship
August 10, 2016

StateRep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) was recently presented with the National Institute for Civil Discourse Award for Civility in State Governance yesterday evening at the National Conference of State Legislators 2016 Legislative Summit. Ted Celeste, Director of State Programs at the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), presented Rep. Howse with the award in recognition of her commitment to working in a civil, productive manner for the good of her constituents.

 
 
Bill will help keep jobs in Ohio
August 4, 2016

Today, Democratic legislators from both the House and Senate announced the introduction of legislation aimed to protect Ohio’s call center jobs. The Consumer Protection Call Center Act of 2016 would ban state grant or loan opportunities for companies that transfer or relocate call centers from Ohio to overseas for five years.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative to protect Ohio jobs that pay above the minimum wage,” said Representative Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood). “If passed by the Ohio General Assembly, this legislation would help pave a path to economic stability for working families by keeping call center jobs from being shipped overseas. The end goal of the Consumer Protection Call Center Act is to keep Ohio jobs in Ohio, with a workforce of Ohioans.”

 
 
Says pattern of selective enforcement makes Yost part of the problem in Ohio
August 4, 2016

The highest ranking Democratic member of the House Education Committee, Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), today responded to news reports that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) fails to maintain critical documentation related to students’ offline work and that Auditor of State Dave Yost failed to conduct a comprehensive audit after receiving allegations of attendance fraud at the online charter school.

The Toledo lawmaker has called on Yost in the recent past to investigate Ohio Virtual Academy, the state’s second largest online charter school, for the same attendance scrubbing allegations taking place at ECOT. Fedor again called on Yost to reopen the investigation into the data scrubbing scandal that led to the resignation of David Hansen.

 
 
Panelists will lead discussion on funding, public vs. charter oversight, and testing standards
August 3, 2016

State Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) will join former First Lady Dr. Frances Strickland and President of the Reynoldsburg City School Board Joe Begeny for a public forum to discuss the state of education in Ohio Wednesday, Aug. 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Reynoldsburg.

“In light of recent changes and controversies surrounding Ohio’s education system, including new testing and charter school oversight standards, I wanted to engage citizens in a meaningful way on the state of Ohio education before the start of the new school year,” said Bishoff, a former Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education member. 

 
 

State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today offered their condolences following the passing of Summit County Executive Russ Pry. Pry’s death comes just two days after announcing that he would not seek re-election due to ongoing health issues.

 
 
Recent report shows the virus is being transmitted by mosquitos in US
July 29, 2016

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) sent a letter to Governor Kasich urging him to take action and set aside $50 million from the Budget Stabilization Fund—which currently holds over $2 billion—to create a Disaster Preparedness Contingency Fund. The new disaster relief fund would be available to local counties and communities to exclusively plan, prevent and respond to mosquito-borne diseases.  

 
 
August 5-7 back-to-school sales tax holiday temporarily halts impact of state sales tax increases
July 28, 2016

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced Ohio’s second-ever sales tax-free holiday scheduled for next weekend, August 5-7. The tax-free holiday runs Friday through Sunday and covers many back-to-school items, including clothing, school supplies and instructional materials.

“The recent tax shifts under Gov. Kasich may drive shoppers in border areas to purchase back-to-school items in a neighboring state,” said Cera, who co-sponsored the bill to create this year’s sale tax holiday. “The sales-tax holiday is an opportunity for Ohio parents and teachers to shop at local businesses and save money on important purchases before the start of the new school year.”