Following today’s announcement of the state’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award winners, State Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) congratulated the four Lucas County award recipients, two of which are from the 46th House District which is represented by Sheehy in the legislature.
“I was thrilled, but certainly not surprised to see our communities recognized statewide for their bold, pioneering work towards a culture of justice,” said Sheehy, “I extend hearty congratulations and deep gratitude to my neighbors, and look forward to working with them to build bridges between all Ohioans.”
State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron), a vocal proponent of devoting more resources to fighting Ohio’s infant mortality crisis, today responded to Gov. Mike DeWine’s creation of an advisory panel to potentially expand home-visitation programs, which have been shown to increase infant life expectancy and maternal health.
“After years of fighting for opportunities that let families and children have brighter futures, we are glad to see this Governor is making kids a priority,” said Sykes. “We look forward to working with him to push for funding in the budget that makes the lives of Ohio's children and families better.”
State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today released the following statement applauding Gov. Mike DeWine’s tone and work ethic as he begins his first day of service to Ohioans as the state’s 70th governor:
“By embracing new ideas, building bridges and surrounding himself with a majority-woman cabinet and people that know the meaning of hard work, Governor DeWine has sent a message that today is a new day in the State of Ohio.
Ohio House Democratic Caucus Whip and state Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) today issued the following statement announcing she will leave her leadership post with the caucus at the end of Jan:
“I’m proud of the progress the House Democratic Caucus has made during my time in leadership, welcoming an historic number of women and minority lawmakers and adding nearly a half-dozen new seats to our ranks—efforts nearly a decade in the making.
“I look forward to working with the new leadership team and my colleagues to continue to find commonsense ways to come together and give working people the tools they need for a better life.”
House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today issued the following statement announcing his plans to step down as House Democratic leader at the end of January, after four years of serving as the Ohio House’s top ranking Democrat:
“I don’t take today’s announcement lightly, because I’m proud of the rebuilding and growth Ohio House Democrats have experienced under my leadership. After a decade of being denied a seat at the table with Republicans, we changed our direction in the legislature by engaging better with the majority on the official side and working overtime on the political side, which resulted in a net gain of five Democratic legislators in the House. Ultimately, 11.5 million Ohioans have a stronger voice and a more responsive government because of that approach.
The National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) today named state Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) to its inaugural Maternal and Child Health Fellowship program. Sykes joins 24 other lawmakers and health policy experts from across the country who will work together to improve public policy and practices related to better maternal and child health outcomes.
The Ohio House met today in a rare session to override a number of vetoes by Republican Gov. John Kasich. Democrats largely backed a proposal to extend benefits to spouses and children of public safety personnel killed in the line of duty, but fought back as GOP lawmakers pushed to override vetoes on measures to restrict abortion access and loosen gun safety laws.
State Reps. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) today announced the Gov. John Kasich’s signing of House Bill (HB) 454, their bipartisan legislation that would require townships to offer compensation to owners of certain unused cemetery lots or rights before they are reclaimed. Under previous law, townships have the right to resell unused cemetery lots that were sold after 1986, though not those sold before that date, leaving many vacant lots unavailable to families wishing to be buried close to loved ones.
“Families of lost loved ones deserve peace of mind and the opportunity to plan for their family member’s final wishes and burial arrangements,” said Patterson. “Our new law will provide more families with that peace of mind while creating a stronger process for families and local communities to better manage their respective needs. Nothing is more important than honoring the final wishes of a person or grieving family, and by working together in the legislature, we were able to do just that.”
State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the legislature’s Dec. 13 approval of House Bill (HB) 411, her bipartisan legislation to streamline access to justice for victims of wrongful imprisonment in Ohio.
“Protecting the rights and freedom of our citizens is my top priority, and when those rights are violated we have a responsibility to take action,” said Sykes. “Thanks to this bipartisan effort, Ohioans who have been wrongfully imprisoned will soon have a better path forward to reclaim their lives and receive the justice they deserve.”
State Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced the House passage of part of the Reagan Tokes Act, Senate Bill (SB) 201, which will provide indefinite sentencing for felony-one and two-level offenders. The bill is named for Reagan Tokes, a student at The Ohio State University who was brutally kidnapped, raped and killed after leaving work at a Columbus restaurant in 2017.
“This legislation is the first step to make Ohio safer by ensuring that the most violent offenders who have demonstrated while in prison that they continue to pose a danger to society, are not automatically released back into our neighborhoods,” said Boggs.