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State Rep. Kevin L. Boyce (D-Columbus) today asked Gov. John Kasich to veto recently passed House Bill 294, legislation that seeks to defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio.

 
 
Five years after SB5, Ohio workers still face attacks

Five years ago this month, Senate Bill 5 was introduced in the Ohio Senate to strip workers of their right to come together and speak with one voice to negotiate fairer wages and safer workplaces.

In the months that followed, tens of thousands of Ohioans from all walks of life traveled to Columbus to rally against the extreme measure, and that fall voters sent a clear message to politicians at the Statehouse when they soundly overturned Issue 2 at the ballot box.

Despite the overwhelming rejection of SB5/Issue 2, Ohio’s working families continue to face legislative attempts by Republicans to gut the prevailing wage law, slash workers’ unemployment compensation benefits to give employers a tax cut, and restrict workers’ right to collectively bargain for fair wages and safe workplaces.

 
 
Legislation would increase penalties for importuning a minor
February 10, 2016

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 405, legislation to increase the safety of Ohio children by strengthening penalties against sexual predators.

“This legislation will help protect Ohio’s most valuable asset – our children,” said Smith, a primary sponsor of the bill. “Internet predators in Ohio need to know there will be consequences for their despicable actions. This legislation will put predators behind bars and help keep our kids safe.”

 
 
Says tax-free shopping weekend will help families save hard-earned dollars
February 9, 2016

State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) today announced the introduction of legislation to establish a three-day sales tax “holiday” during the first weekend of August for “back-to-school” clothing and school supplies. Not only will the holiday help offset Ohio’s 4.5 percent sales tax increase enacted by the 2013 state budget, but for three days shoppers will pay no sales tax on itemized purchases as they prepare their children for the coming of the new school year. A similar proposal launched Ohio’s first temporary sales tax holiday in August 2015.

 
 
Rep. Hearcel Craig recognized as a leader in the advancement of the African American community

The Central Seventh-day Adventist Church of Columbus, Ohio honored Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) Saturday with the Black History Achievement Award. Rep. Craig received the award during the Church’s Worship Experience.

 
 
State Leaders Working to Replace Incivility with Compromise and Cooperation
February 5, 2016

Ohio State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) has been selected to co-chair a national network of state legislators, a program of the National Institute of Civil Discourse (NICD), which is committed to returning civility, rationality and respect to American politics. The new leadership will work to expand the Network just as the presidential primary season opens and with new polls showing American are fed up with hyper-toxicity in politics.

 
 
Lawmaker urges adoption of her full slate of fixes on the postmark problem
February 3, 2016

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) sent a letter to Secretary of State Jon Husted today urging him to issue an additional directive to ensure all ballots with missing postmarks are counted. 

 
 
Several amendments requiring the use of local workers tabled on party lines
February 3, 2016
Sykes offers changes to lessen local blow of proposed local hiring ban

A House legislative panel today came one step closer to passing legislation, Senate Bill 152, that prohibits cities and other municipalities from setting minimum standards for hiring local residents for public works projects. The minimum residency standards, currently in place in cities and municipalities around the state, let qualified workers earn the opportunity to find rewarding employment in their own communities.

Some Ohio communities use local hiring requirements on publicly financed projects as a way to strengthen local workforce participation and, in turn, strengthen local economies. The City of Akron – currently in the midst of a $1.4 billion sewer system upgrade project – has a local hiring target of 30 percent, with that goal increasing to 50 percent by 2018.

“I am very disappointed that the legislature continues to ignore The City of Akron and our freedom to make decisions that get people back to work and stabilize our local economy,” said State Rep. Emilia Sykes. “My colleagues and I worked diligently to present alternatives that would employ city residents.”

 

 
 
Environmental lab documents confirm state agency notified of elevated lead levels in August
February 2, 2016

State Rep. John Boccieri today wrote to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) regarding outstanding concerns over when the agency claims it first learned of test results revealing water contamination in Sebring, Ohio. Boccieri's office recently received documentation from the state's water testing vendor, Ream and Haagar Environmental Lab, that confirms the vendor first notified the Ohio EPA in August of test results showing elevated lead levels in Sebring's water.

 
 
Says EPA accepting responsibility is a step in the right direction to correct notification process, puts forward legislation to prevent water crisis repeat
February 1, 2016

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced legislation to establish clear standards for water testing and public notification procedures in cases of lead contamination. The legislation comes in the midst of the Sebring water crisis, in which records have revealed that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to notify residents of Sebring, Ohio that area water had higher-than-normal levels of lead for almost five months.