State Reps. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Niraj Antani (R-Miami Township) today called for an end to capital punishment in Ohio and introduced bipartisan legislation to abolish the death penalty and replace it with a life sentence without parole.
Today, a standing room only crowd packed McGuffey Elementary School in Youngstown for a public meeting hosted by Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Youngstown Mayor John McNally to discuss the Youngstown School Plan. Parents, teachers and community residents protested the plan contained in House Bill 70 that gives broad and unprecedented powers to an unelected Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to run the district.
State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) announced the Ohio School Facilities Commission today approved Classroom Facilities Assistance Program funds for the construction of a new middle/high school in the Firelands Local School District.
In a letter sent today to The University of Akron President Scott Scarborough, Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) expressed her concern over the recent announcement that UA will begin charging an additional $50 per credit hour for upper level classes.
State Rep. Michael J. O’Brien (D-Warren) announced the Ohio School Facilities Commission today approved funding for a Champion Local Schools building project through the state’s Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.
Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece today hosted the Second Chance Job Fair in her district at the New Prospect Baptist Church in Cincinnati. The event features employers from manufacturing, non-profits, restaurants, government agencies and construction industries who have immediate job openings. During the kickoff, Rep. Reece announced that she will seek the creation of a community Reentry One Stop in Cincinnati.
State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) joined with community leaders this afternoon to announce the launch of a new resource guide, Youth Pages Toledo. Youth Pages Toledo is a prevention tool for at-risk youth that provides information and assistance on issues that make youth vulnerable to human trafficking.
“The importance of actively reaching out to and educating at-risk youth cannot be overstated,” said Fedor. “Youth Pages Toledo extends life-saving information directly into the hands of those who need it most.”
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today urged the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to consider House Bill 73, which establishes the State Facilities Closure Review Commission to review proposed closures of state developmental centers, including those in Youngstown and Montgomery County already set for closure.
The governor vetoed Lepore-Hagan’s bipartisan provision in the recently passed state budget that would have stayed the closures upon the review of a 13-member commission.
In a letter addressed to the chair of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, Rep. Lepore-Hagan wrote, “At minimum, there should be a robust and transparent review of all facts before the state decides to take action. House Bill 73 would ensure that such a review takes place, and it would provide the opportunity for residents, families, employees and the surrounding communities to have their voices heard.”
Text of the letter can be seen below:
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released the following statement in response to the passage of House Bill 238, which will allow the state to sell the North Central Correctional Institution and Turtle Creek Center.
“I oppose the sale of the North Central Correctional Institution and the Turtle Creek Center because privatizing state prisons is the wrong direction for Ohio.
“The state recently sold the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, and the results have been disastrous. Since this sale 18 months ago, there have been 248 security complaints, compared to 157 such complaints in the eleven years prior. Also, after the sale, the facility immediately added 300 more beds, and has suffered serious overcrowding problems and hazardous conditions for inmates and workers.
“Private prison management companies have bad track records in Ohio. For example, Corrections Corporation of America was fined $500,000 by the state because of a 300 percent increase in prisoner-on-staff assaults and a 187.5 percent increase in prisoner-on-prisoner assaults. The financial records for these private companies are not transparent, and we still aren’t sure if money is being saved or how these many problems are being addressed.
“These last-minute additions to House Bill 238 have not been vetted. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections did not provide testimony to the legislative committees hearing this proposal. A lot of questions and concerns remain, and the governor should veto this rush authorization of sale.”
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The ruling leaves no doubt that Ohio could take a similar approach and assign the drawing of congressional districts to a new redistricting commission like the one slated for November’s ballot to reform state district drawing. Clyde issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
“Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court gives me hope that Ohio can reform the way we draw not only state legislative districts but congressional districts as well. Ohio voters deserve fair representation in the statehouse and in Washington.
“While my resolution, HJR 2, did not receive the consideration needed to be ready to put before voters this fall, I will continue to work to advance the cause of redistricting reform. We must eliminate gerrymandering in the Ohio statehouse and our U.S. Congress. Until these districts are redrawn, Ohioans will not enjoy their full democratic right to fair representation.”