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August 7-9 back-to-school sales tax holiday temporarily halts impact of state sales tax increases
August 5, 2015
Slesnick encourages Ohio families to take advantage of tax-free shopping this weekend

State Rep. Stephen Slesnick (D-Canton) today announced Ohio’s first-ever sales tax-free holiday scheduled for this weekend, August 7-9. The tax-free holiday runs Friday through Sunday and covers many back-to-school items, including clothing, school supplies and instructional materials. Not only will the temporary 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.

“Back to school shopping can be financially burdensome for many families in Stark County. My hope is that with this tax-free weekend we can ease the hardship for many Ohioans and better prepare our students for the upcoming school year,” said Rep. Slesnick.

Clothing priced at $75 or less per article, school supplies priced at $20 or less per item and school instructional material priced at $20 or less per item will all be exempt from Ohio’s sales and use tax this weekend.

Says widespread fraud, transparency issues make state ineligible
August 4, 2015

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today wrote to the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to request that Ohio not be awarded any federal grant money for charter schools. The Toledo lawmaker says she has learned that Ohio’s top education officials have applied for federal money through the Charter Schools Program for State Educational Agencies to boost funding for Ohio’s failing charter schools. Fedor cited the lack of adequate state regulations and minimum standards for charter schools-- in addition to recent violations of state law by top education officials --as reasons why Ohio should not qualify for federal charter school dollars. 


State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today praised the Board of Trustees of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) for its resolution condemning the fast-track takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. The resolution calls on the members of the Ohio General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and Governor Kasich to seek changes to the law that would “preserve and enhance democracy and local control.” 

Says drug testing welfare recipients has been proven ineffective, costly
August 4, 2015

State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) criticized today’s announcement of revived legislation from two Republican legislators to establish a pilot program to drug test state welfare recipients. 


State Representative and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) sent a letter Friday to Governor John Kasich urging him to work toward removing Ohio’s front license plate requirement and to implement a statewide mandate for body-worn cameras for law enforcement officials.

Lawmaker says infant mortality bill nothing more than political maneuvering
July 31, 2015

State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today criticized the introduction of legislation that restricts women’s access to critical healthcare services.  House Bill 294, sponsored by Rep. Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland) and Rep. Margaret Conditt (R-Liberty Township), would prohibit state and federal funds from funding any entity that performs elective abortions. Lauded by its sponsors as a way to address “infant mortality,” the bill dictates that state funds cannot be used to perform an abortion, which is already state law.

Says tighter regulations needed to protect Toledo drinking water from harmful toxins
July 29, 2015

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) joined local officials and conservation groups today to discuss ways to maintain momentum in the fight to protect the region’s drinking water. The collaborative event, which included a boat tour of Lake Erie to view conditions on the lake, comes one year after more than 400,000 people were left without safe drinking water for nearly three days because of a harmful algal bloom in Western Lake Erie.


State Representative and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) released the following statement on the indictment of University of Cincinnati Officer Ray Tensing:

Trumbull Co. lawmaker will discuss Ohio-Cuba business opportunities, future trade mission
July 27, 2015

State Rep. Sean J. O’Brien (D–Bazetta) will travel to the recently re-opened Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday for a first round of business and trade discussions with members of the Cuban government.  Conducted in concert with the office of Congressman Tim Ryan (D–OH 13th District) and designed to capitalize on the recent “thaw” in relations between the U.S. and its island neighbor to the south, the purpose of the high-level discussions is to foster economically beneficial business opportunities between Cuba and Ohio, and in particular Trumbull County.

Former school board member says superintendent conduct unacceptable
July 21, 2015

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today joined the growing chorus urging the state auditor to launch an official investigation into reports that officials at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) illegally manipulated a key evaluation of charter school oversight agencies by omitting failing grades from many online charters. 

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