State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) provided sponsor testimony this week before the House Commerce and Labor Committee for House Bill 371 (HB 371), legislation to require freight train operating crews to consist of at least two people.
State Reps. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) and Debbie Phillips (D-Albany) were joined by Dr. Jim Boyles, a licensed psychologist, and Jody Davis, a conversion therapy survivor, to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance and call for movement on a bill that would ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors.
State Reps. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) and Greta Johnson (D-Akron) offered sponsor testimony this morning on House Bill 262, legislation to allow a municipal corporation to request assistance from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) in enforcing local discrimination ordinances.
State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) will provide sponsor testimony for House Bill (HB) 304 on Tuesday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. in the Ohio House Local Government Committee. The legislation will repeal a provision inserted into the most recent state budget that would allow certain residents to significantly alter the buffer zones that help protect public water supplies.
Democratic lawmakers reacted today to the news that State Superintendent Richard Ross will step down from his post at the end of this year. Ross has previously fielded calls from Democratic lawmakers to resign due to the data-scrubbing scandal that occurred under his leadership and the lack of transparency and accountability that have characterized his tenure as top education official.
“Every child deserves equal access to a high quality education, and every parent deserves to know that there is honest and accountable leadership overseeing the schools that are responsible for educating their children,” said Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Under the current leadership, education officials have behaved with disregard for both the law and the best interest of Ohio’s children. I am hopeful that a change in leadership at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will help refocus our state toward preparing our students for success both inside and outside of the classroom.”
State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed fundamental disagreement with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s assessment of congressional redistricting reform. The Plain Dealer yesterday quoted Secretary Husted as claiming that “the congressional delegation in the end will have the call on whether or not [congressional redistricting] will happen. I don't believe that the legislature would ever force something on them that they would not accept.”
State Rep. Sean J. O’Brien (D–Bazetta) and U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH 13) will hold a press conference at 11:00am on Friday, October 30, at Congressman Ryan’s office, 197 West Market St., Warren, Ohio, 44503 to recap their recent research and trade mission to Cuba. The lawmakers will discuss future trade opportunities within Cuba and detail how a cultural exchange of ideas and innovative practices would benefit both Ohioans and Cubans. They will be joined by Dr. Milton Sanchez-Parodi of Vista Trade Group, who helped organize the trip, as well as local business leader Ron Sewell, CEO of Quality Switch in Newton Falls and one of the trip participants.
State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) announced today that she will be reintroducing legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing or public accommodations. Dubbed the Ohio Fairness Act, the legislation will add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the lists of classes protected from discrimination found in the Ohio Revised Code.
The Ohio House today passed Senate Bill 208 (SB 208), legislation to correct language enacted in the recently passed state budget that would have inadvertently raised taxes on many small businesses. House Democrats warned that the corrective measure is evidence that a rushed shift to a flat tax could unintentionally harm low and middle-income Ohioans.
“As it turns out, a simple flat tax may not be so simple after all,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “When we enact hastily created tax policy, it is little surprise when unintended consequences arise. A rapid shift to a flat tax has the potential to benefit the wealthiest Ohioans while hurting lower and middle class families.”
State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) issued the following statement today regarding the passage from committee of Senate Bill 208 (SB 208), legislation to restore tens of millions in education funding and fix an unintentional tax hike on many small businesses due to provisions in the state biennial budget:
“As a former small business owner, I am pleased to have worked in a bipartisan way to fix mistakes in the Republican budget that would have raised taxes on the many small businesses. In addition, SB 208 will restore much-needed funding to schools around the state, including several in Hamilton County. I believe our small businesses and schools are the backbone of Ohio, and I am proud to support the people and institutions that make our state a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”