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Ohio Education Funding Caucus hosts first legislative meeting
November 1, 2013

State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) organized and led the inaugural meeting of the Ohio Education Funding Caucus (EFC) on Wednesday. Discussion revolved around forming a general framework for how the group will operate and deciding what goals they should pursue.

 
 
Demand that Secretary Husted order counties to follow the law and stop scattered and unlawful approach
October 31, 2013

State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) and State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) along with their Democratic colleagues on Wednesday called on Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to order county boards of elections to open their doors to early voters through the Monday before the upcoming election. Counties across the state are currently scheduled to end early voting on different days for some or all voters in violation of the law.   

 
 
Lawmakers outline 5 bills to make state government more open and accountable
October 31, 2013
Secrecy and Dysfunction in State Government Prompt Need for Reform

State lawmakers recently announced the need for legislation to make state government more open and accountable. Citing recent controversial legislative maneuvers and continued reports of secrecy at JobsOhio, Democratic lawmakers say that economic growth and stability can’t happen with a dysfunctional and unaccountable state government.

“Ohio’s economic recovery has come to a grinding halt over the last year,” said State Rep. John Carney (D-Columbus). “If we are going to turn this around, we need stability to help foster economic growth and accountability to restore trust amongst Ohio taxpayers.”

In recent reports, Ohio ranks low on issues of integrity and accountability. Ohio scored well below the national average in the Better Government Association Integrity Index Report published in July of 2013.  Ohio scored a “D” in State Integrity Investigation. The Buckeye State had a near-failing grade in the Georgia PIRG, state-by-state study of spending transparency. And just last week, a new report was published, Creating Scandals Instead of Jobs, which outlined numerous problems at JobsOhio.

 
 
Troubling requirements disproportionately affect urban populations amid stagnant job growth
October 25, 2013

State Reps. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) sent a letter to Gov. John Kasich on Thursday requesting that he immediately rescind the decision to unfairly alter requirements for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Gov. Kasich recently extended the SNAP federal waiver to only 16 Appalachian counties, disproportionately affecting Ohio’s urban areas and other rural counties around the state. The federal waiver was preapproved for all 88 Ohio counties. 

 
 
Pledges to protect voters with a Voter Bill of Rights
October 25, 2013

State Representative and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) released the following statement in response to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s recently unveiled agenda. Husted outlined his proposed limits on voting rights in a letter to legislative leaders yesterday, showing his support for shortening early voting hours and limiting minor party candidates from being placed on the ballot. 

 
 
Secretary's recommendations would drastically reduce a proven, dependable and accessible method of voting
October 25, 2013

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D- Kent) responded to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s suggestion that the legislature again try to make drastic cuts to early voting with the following statement: 

 
 
Offers support of bill to broaden capabilities of Advanced Practice Nurses
October 24, 2013
Rep. Heather Bishoff Seeks to Streamline Health Care in Ohio

State Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) offered testimony on Wednesday for her bill to help streamline and update medication administration in Ohio, House Bill 301. HB 301 would allow certain Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) the ability to delegate the administration of medications to other qualified medical assistants.

 
 
Controlling Board action creates uncertainty, highlights Kasich's failed leadership
October 21, 2013

State Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) voted in favor of funding Medicaid expansion at today’s state Controlling Board meeting, but not without concerns regarding Gov. Kasich’s failure of leadership on the fundamental part of  President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

 
 
Encourage Ohio company to recognize importance of equal pay, propose bill to close state pay disparity loopholes
October 17, 2013
Women Democratic Legislators Announce Ohio Equal Pay Act

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.”

 
 
Election experts address Ohio's on-going problems implementing federal law
October 16, 2013
Rep. Clyde Hosts "The National Voter Registration Act in the  Buckeye State: What Ohio is Doing Wrong"

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.