State Rep. Connie Pillich (D- Montgomery) joined female Democratic colleagues today to announce a proposal that would bring Ohio in line with the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Ohio Equal Pay Act would essentially close state loopholes that allow employers to engage in discriminatory and unfair gender-based pay practices.
“Closing loopholes to ensure that women have a pathway to restitution when they have been financially discriminated against in the workplace makes too much sense to ignore,” said Rep. Pillich. “This isn’t just about women—it’s also about middle class families. When working mothers lose out on hard earned pay, the whole family feels the effects. Our economy should reflect our values of hard work, fairness and equal opportunity.”
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) hosted national and Ohio election experts on Tuesday for a discussion of “The National Voter Registration Act in the Buckeye State: What Ohio is Doing Wrong.” The discussion highlighted multiple problems in Ohio’s compliance with the NVRA.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the following statement on the Preterm Cleveland, Inc. v. Kasichlawsuit, which challenges three of the attacks on women’s health care in Governor Kasich’s budget.
State Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) recently introduced House Bill 282, legislation to improve the security of Ohio’s small businesses that operate out of the owner’s home. Currently, the Ohio Department of Taxation publishes identifying information-- the type, location and contact information-- of all Ohio businesses online.
“Information of this nature being so readily available can leave individuals and their families more vulnerable to criminals with an interest in what might be found in the home,” said Rep. Rogers. “With internet driven start-ups becoming more and more popular, our state should address the safety concerns that arise from running a business out of your home.”
House Democrats announced today that they are introducing a House Concurrent Resolution calling on Speaker Boehner to end the political gamesmanship that has dominated the federal budget process and led to the government shutdown. The resolution is jointly sponsored by House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) and Rep. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown).
“To most Americans and Ohioans, it is clear that congressional Republicans have put ideology above people by leading our nation in to the shutdown,” said Rep. Hagan. “Aside from having tangible and detrimental effects for our economy—some of which are already being felt—the shutdown highlights how reckless Ohio Republicans are being with the needs and wants of average citizens. It is the shameful result of a desperate attempt to sabotage a healthcare policy they allegedly disagree with.”
The ill effects of the GOP-led shutdown have already been highly publicized during the first day of the halt in service. Some 52,000 federal employees in Ohio are now without paychecks. The Dayton Daily News reported that lost wages in the Miami Valley could total $5 million per day.
State Representative Nick Barborak (D-Lisbon) gave testimony for his criminal sentencing legislation, House Bill 251, in the Ohio House Judiciary Committee. HB 251 would restore discretion to judges in sentencing fourth and fifth degree felony offenders.
State Representative John M. Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) offered testimony for the “Ohio Graduate Debt Assistance and Employment Incentive Act,” House Bill 246. The Graduate Debt Assistance Act would adjust the taxable income of recent graduates based on their student loan debt load, and it would offer incentives to employers who hire recent graduates.
State Representative and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) was joined by OLBC members and statewide community leaders for a Day of Action against a proposed Stand Your Ground law in Ohio. The group held a press conference to address the dangers of Stand Your Ground; delivered petitions and municipal resolutions opposing the bill to Governor Kasich, Senate President Faber and House Speaker Batchelder; lobbied state legislators; and hosted a faith rally.
On Wednesday, a disturbing news report came out highlighting what Democratic lawmakers have believed for some time; JobsOhio is not even following its own lax ethics laws. According to JobsOhio’s own conflict of interest policy, recently renewed with the Development Services Agency (DSA) and on file with the controlling board, JobsOhio’s directors and officers are required to disclose any conflict or potential conflict to fellow board members for formal consideration of whether or not a conflict exists.
The Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) announced Wednesday that potential conflicts of interest do exist at the controversial state economic development entity. Yet records show that the JobsOhio board has not disclosed any potential conflicts.
State Rep. John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) filed a public records request in August with DSA to obtain documentation of the initiated conflict of interest policy. No such records were ever returned, and JobsOhio later publicized their belief that no potential conflicts of interest existed to ever trigger the ethics policy.
“It is one thing to have relatively low ethics standards at JobsOhio, but when they can’t even follow their own internal policies it’s a giant red flag,” said Rep. Carney. “This is proof positive for Governor Kasich and the GOP that it’s time for accountability and transparency at JobsOhio. JobsOhio has had numerous chances to do the right thing, but they just won’t play by the rules—even when they write the rules apparently.”
House Democrats have made numerous calls for transparency and accountability at the state’s controversial economic development entity, but Gov. Kasich and legislative Republicans have only passed legislation to further secrecy at JobsOhio. The JobsOhio