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Group plans action, petition drive against HB 203
July 19, 2013

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus announced their opposition today to House Bill 203, Ohio’s version of the recently criticized “Stand Your Ground” law. The group plans to initiate a petition drive and to work with government and community leaders throughout Ohio to draw attention to the controversial bill, with hopes of preventing any legislative action on the measure.

“Ohio already has reasonable self-defense laws,” said Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Alicia Reece. “The shooting of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy that should have never occurred. Our constituents are outraged over this Stand Your Ground Law.  We will stand up with Ohioans across the state and oppose this dangerous legislation."

 
 
House Democrats say Gov. Kasich should focus more on solutions, less on public relations
July 9, 2013

Today, Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) was joined by State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) to urge Gov. Kasich to take meaningful action on Medicaid expansion. The call to action came just before Gov. Kasich was scheduled to appear at a public relations rally in the Ohio Statehouse.

“Public-relations rallies alone will not move Medicaid expansion forward,” said Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard.  “We are urging Gov. Kasich to join us in focusing on constructive solutions that will advance this broadly supported effort to expand Medicaid coverage in Ohio.”

 
 
Tax increases, new tax code spending will disproportionately benefit the wealthy
June 20, 2013

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) released the following statement upon news that House Republicans have unveiled a new budget tax proposal.  The tax shift overhaul was announced today, only days away from a scheduled floor vote on state’s two year operating budget.

“Increases in our sales tax and property taxes will only hurt the elderly and working families in our state. I am disappointed that legislative Republicans are proposing some $1.5 billion in tax increases to pay for a tax cut that favors the wealthy.

 
 
Scope of audit should include scrutiny of resources used in promotional plan, says Columbus lawmaker
June 20, 2013
 
House Bill 190 to virtually eliminate prevailing wage, reduce pay for middle class workers
June 19, 2013

Today, Ohio House Democratic Leader and State Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) denounced House Bill 190, a bill to dramatically increase the prevailing wage threshold to $3.5 million for state funded construction projects. Ohio will soon be in the third phase of raising the prevailing wage threshold to $250K, as prescribed by HB 153 of the 129th General Assembly.

“This bill would encourage disreputable out of state contractors to flock to Ohio, bringing their undertrained, underpaid workers with them and depressing the wages of hard working Ohio men and women-- union and non-union alike,” said Leader Heard. “For Republicans in the Statehouse to talk about the importance of creating Ohio jobs, then propose a bill that directly undercuts quality jobs for Ohioans is both derisive and hypocritical.”

 
 
Rep. Hagan proposes community investments through oil and gas severance
June 19, 2013

State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced his plan to capitalize on the boom in horizontal shale drilling by using an updated severance tax model to invest in communities through resources for public education, infrastructure and community services.

House Bill 212, introduced this week, would enact a 7.5% severance tax on oil, natural gas and condensate extracted from horizontal drilling. The bulk of the revenue raised from the tax would be reinvested in Ohio’s communities, with an emphasis placed on counties most impacted by drilling activity.

“Ohio’s severance tax is a pittance compared to other states with major shale drilling activity,” said Rep. Hagan. “We need to update the severance tax rate on horizontal drilling to ensure that our precious natural resources are not extracted without appropriate compensation.” 

 
 
Tax cuts for wealthiest, secret economic development deals fail our middle class
June 17, 2013

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard released the following statement in response to a Pew Charitable Trusts report that highlights Ohio’s pitiful job growth over the last year. Ther report can be found here: http://www.pewstates.org/research/data-visualizations/how-many-jobs-did-your-state-create-85899483589

“The fact that we have had one of the lowest job growth rates in the nation over the past year is disturbing. Clearly, such a troubling trend underscores the failure of Governor Kasich’s ‘trickle-down’ approach to job creation in our state.

“Prioritizing our schools, communities and middle-class families will create a strong environment for job growth. Yet, Gov. Kasich has turned his back on those priorities. Instead, he has made deep cuts to our schools and communities while at the same time he’s given tax breaks that favor the wealthy and taxpayer funded handouts to large corporations. This report is a clear indication that Gov. Kasich’s top-down economic policies aren’t working.

“It’s a recovery for the rich and a recession for the rest of us. A nearly jobless recovery is not what Ohio needs from its Governor and Statehouse.”

 

 
 
House Republicans introduce another bill to limit women's healthcare choices
June 13, 2013

COLUMBUS- Representative John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) released the following statement after learning of the introduction of House Bill 200, which would restrict a woman’s healthcare choices, force doctors to share factually incorrect information, and redefine “medical emergency” possibly putting women’s lives at risk. 

 
 
Proposal includes $2 million over next two years, trust fund and victim advocates
June 12, 2013

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) released the following statement upon House passage of Sub. HB 108, which would create a funding mechanism for Rape Crisis Programs administered by the Attorney General and funded through registration fees of sex offenders, new fines for sexually oriented offenses and donations.

“I applaud the creation of a state funding mechanism for the 27 Rape Crisis Centers in Ohio.  These centers provide critical care and assistance to rape survivors.  Rape is a heinous crime that happens all too often, and can have life altering effects on the victims and their families.  This fund is a step in the right direction but we must do more to prevent rape – not just deal with the aftermath.”