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State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) today introduced legislation, House Bill 127, to stop the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The legislation follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools, Lorain City Schools, and, most recently, East Cleveland City Schools. Ohio Department of Education reviews of these districts post-takeover show the districts are still failing to meet key state education standards.

 

“House Bill 70, which created state takeovers, was poorly designed, rushed into law, and done with zero public input,” said Rep. Smith. “School districts that were headed in the right direction have had their voices silenced, their students harmed, and their communities upended by a ‘Columbus’knows-best’ approach that has made the situation worse, not better.”

 
 

State Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) today announced he will soon introduce bipartisan legislation with Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) to repeal portions of House bill 70, the 2015 bill that brought on state takeovers of local schools in Lorain and throughout the state.

 

“Placing these districts under state control has been a disaster,” said Miller. “In each case, the Academic Distress Commission has been unable to work effectively alongside the district’s teachers, school leaders and community at large. After three years, we haven’t seen any evidence that state takeovers improve academic achievement. It’s time for us to restore local control and give struggling schools the support they need to succeed.”

 
 

State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today released a statement following the House passage of House Bill 62, the two-year state transportation budget:

 

“Though there were significant Democratic improvements to the state transportation budget, I don’t believe supporting a tax increase today can make up for the Statehouse failures of the past. We owe it to our fellow citizens to work together to find permanent solutions to permanent problems that have held back communities like ours for too long. I will continue to push for long term solutions that bring home steady and sustainable funding for our community.”

 
 
Win historic investments in public transportation, local community support
March 7, 2019

House Democratic lawmakers today voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 62, the state’s bipartisan, two-year budget that largely funds road and bridge improvements and public transportation throughout the state.

“I am proud of our Democratic wins that secure historic investments in public transportation and local community funding,” said Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “Good government rarely means one party gets everything they want, but by working together we shaped a stronger blueprint to improve lives, grow our economy and help restore our state’s promise to taxpayers.”

 
 

The Ohio House Budget committee’s lead Democrat, state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), tonight voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 62 during the panel’s final hearing on the bill before its anticipated full-House floor vote tomorrow.

 

“The transportation budget we helped shape today is more of a blueprint for our future than anything we’ve seen yet,” said Cera. “Through our work, Ohioans will see a real return on investment in their local communities while our economy will be better positioned to grow and expand.”

 
 
Commit to working together for better jobs, brighter futures
March 5, 2019

Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today responded to Gov. DeWine’s first State of the State Address. Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to working with the governor to deliver real results, but noted that the state has more to do to turn around years of below average quality-of-life standards that have kept too many people from getting ahead.

 
 
Says governor missed opportunity to address uncertainty during State of the State address
March 5, 2019

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today issued a statement in support of the more than 1,300 workers who will be affected by the closure of GM’s Lordstown, Ohio production facility, which is scheduled to take place as soon as Wednesday, March 6. An Ohio House panel today unanimously passed a resolution urging GM to allocate a new product to the plant, which has employed Mahoning Valley workers for more than 50 years.

 
 
To back budget improvements that invest in local communities, people
March 1, 2019

Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today announced they will push for a better state transportation budget that brings more taxpayers dollars home to local communities throughout the state.

 

The priorities members are considering for House Bill (HB) 62, the state’s two-year transportation budget, include lowering the Republican proposed gas tax hike, phasing in any gas tax increases, increasing local public transit, and directing more resources to local communities instead of state agencies in Columbus.

 

“A strong transportation plan means a stronger economic future for the people of our state,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “It’s clear Republicans are planning to raise the gas tax, so we need to be strategic about directing more resources back home for working people, small businesses and families. Taxpayers want their money to work for them, not some state agency in Columbus.”

 
 

State Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) today issued a statement following reports that teachers at the Summit Academy Parma reached a deal with school administrators to end the ongoing teacher strike at the school.

 
 
Say push would help working people get ahead, save for future
February 27, 2019
House Dems introduce Working Families First tax incentive

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) joined state Reps. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Erica Crawley (D-Columbus) today to discuss the Working Families First tax incentive, an initiative that would reform Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to let more working families across the state keep more of the money they earn.

The discussion from Democrats comes as the Ohio Republicans consider increasing the gas tax by more than $2 billion in the state’s transportation budget. Some GOP leaders have called for more income tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy to offset the any gas tax increases.