State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today announces House Bill (HB) 1, her bipartisan legislation to modernize Ohio’s domestic violence laws, will officially become law tomorrow, Friday, July 6. HB 1 will allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker, a protection currently allowed in every state except Ohio and Georgia.
“I am thrilled that House Bill 1 will become law tomorrow,” Sykes said. “By working together with advocates, survivors and fellow lawmakers, we have closed this outdated loophole in Ohio that will not only help victims to live without fear of their abuser, but also save lives.”
Regional lawmakers state Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Glenn Holmes (D-Girard), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Michael O’Brien (D-Warren), Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Sen. Sean O’Brien (D- Bazetta) today sent a letter* to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors Company (GM), expressing disappointment and concern in light of the recent layoffs of second shift employees at its Lordstown Assembly plant.
“The Valley wants to continue to support GM. As this great American company evolves to meet the demands of the future, the workers at Lordstown want to evolve with the company they have devoted themselves to,” wrote the lawmakers. “There is a will to double down and train the current workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Our workers and our communities want to continue to be a partner in a mutually beneficial relationship with GM.”
The second shift cut comes after the company cut the plant’s third shift in January 2017. In addition to the elimination of the two shifts, hundreds of workers across the supply chain have been laid off. A total of 2,700 well-paying jobs have been lost. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has been an outspoken advocate for Ohio GM jobs, calling on the company to invest in Ohio and to invest in Lordstown.
“We have people in our districts who want to go back to work and continue making a living for their families with pride and dignity. We hope GM will continue to invest in the Mahoning Valley, just as our state and our communities have invested in your company,” the lawmakers continued. “We urge you to reconsider your decision to reduce opportunities in Lordstown and throughout Ohio and instead utilize the current Lordstown location and collaborate with our creative and committed Valley workers to create a vision for the GM of tomorrow.”
The Lordstown plant has been an integral part of the Youngstown area for 52 years, with unwavering support fr
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today responded to reports that a number of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) have been charging Ohio taxpayers three to six times as much as the industry standard to process prescription drugs for Ohio Medicaid recipients. For prescriptions that should cost between 95 cents and $1.90, PBMs CVS Caremark and Optum Rx have been charging Ohio taxpayers $5.60 and $6.50 per script, respectively.
Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the below statement in response to today’s final passage of Senate Bill 135 providing funding to counties to purchase voting systems. The Senate concurred today in House amendments and now the bill goes to the Governor’s desk.
“Ohio has been in desperate need of voting system upgrades to meet the elections cybersecurity challenges we face today and to modernize our aging machinery. I am happy to see our boards of elections finally getting the resources they deserve after years of state budget cuts to local government funds. I was happy to support this bipartisan bill and will continue to ensure our counties are prepared for every elections challenge.”
Ohio House Democrats today voted against Senate Bill (SB) 216, a Republican-led education reform bill, saying it gives a free pass to the Republican’s fatally flawed charter school design, which lacks accountability and transparency for Ohio taxpayers. Democrats offered an amendment on the floor that would have strengthened schools and held Ohio’s charter schools and elected officials accountable, but the House’s GOP majority rejected that effort.
“The same politicians, like Keith Faber, who stalled charter school reform efforts for one year to allow more cheating time, now are looking for a quick fix to cover for decades of profiting off their failing charter school scheme,” said State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), the lead Democrat of the House education committee. “Now, with this hijacked bill to provide political cover, the state can continue the GOP charter design as a revolving door of campaign cash and political influence. They have taken in millions in campaign donations from charter school operators who were receiving millions in taxpayer funds. It is still clearly not about the kids. It has to stop.”
Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME to strike down public sector union fair share, essentially bringing so-called “right to work” to public sector workplaces across America:
The Ohio House of Representatives today unanimously passed House Bill (HB) 126, sponsored by state Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Jeff Rezabek (R-Dayton). HB 126 would create a statewide system of kinship navigators that will help keep families together and provide needed assistance for Ohio’s most vulnerable populations.
State Reps. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today expressed disappointment with the passage of House Bill (HB) 36, which writes discrimination into Ohio law by allowing ministers not to solemnize marriages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.
State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced the unanimous House passage of House Bill (HB) 479, the Prescription Drug Co-Pay Integrity Act, his bipartisan legislation that would save consumers money by prohibiting gag rules that prevent pharmacists from informing consumers when they are overpaying for prescription drugs.
State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today asked* Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to turn over records related to a sexual harassment investigation of Rep. Bill Seitz conducted by Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm where Seitz worked for 36 years. DeWine retained the law firm, which has made significant campaign contributions to the AG including one on December 1, 2017, to investigate claims made by a female House employee that Seitz’s public statements at a Republican going-away party had worsened an already hostile work environment at the Statehouse.
“The selection of Taft Stettinius & Hollister tainted the inquiry from day one,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan said. “The firm was clearly conflicted on two levels – Seitz had worked there for decades and the firm has contributed thousands of dollars to the AG. I refuse to believe that, in a city with hundreds of law firms, Taft Stettinius & Hollister was the only one qualified to conduct this investigation.”