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House Bill 137 adds law enforcement to list of mandated reporters of child abuse
November 2, 2017
Kennedy Kent issues statement on unanimous House passage of her bill to protect Ohio children

State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today released a statement after her bill, House Bill (HB) 137, passed the Ohio House. HB 137 would join Ohio with every other state to mandate law enforcement officials to report child abuse and neglect.

“As lawmakers, our duty is to pass laws that put the health, safety and well-being of Ohioans first—and that begins with our children. I was shocked and saddened to learn that Ohio was the only remaining state not to have law enforcement listed as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. Now, thanks to the tremendous support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, we are one step closer to adding another critical layer of protection for the most vulnerable in our society. I urge the Senate to move quickly and pass this common-sense legislation.”

The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

 
 

Take the time to stop by the Ohio Statehouse tomorrow beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Room 313 for the last opportunity to tell lawmakers that rigging the rules against voters is wrong.

We beleive all people should have a voice and that their vote should count in every election. Unfortunately, that's not always the case when legislative districts are rigged against voters with special boundaries that guarantee only one political party can win. 

 

 
 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today responded to the state Controlling Board’s re-approval of Medicaid care in Ohio.

“Putting politics over public policy at the Ohio Statehouse creates uncertainty in the marketplace and puts thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs at risk. In Ohio, more and more people report to work each day at hospitals, health centers and nursing homes, earning over eleven billion dollars that, in turn, are injected into our economy,” said Cera. “This kind of political brinksmanship injects uncertainty into our economy, for healthcare professionals and for the three million Ohioans who access healthcare through Medicaid. Taxpayers want certainty and stability in their everyday lives, not more politics. There’s enough turmoil in Washington, we don’t need to bring it back home to Ohio.”

The state panel’s reconsideration of Medicaid was the result of a partisan budget amendment that now requires the panel to re-approve Medicaid after the its approval in the state budget, setting up high-stakes showdown that could block some three million Ohioans from receiving care, cut thousands of jobs in hospitals, and end all Medicaid funding by 2018.

Rep. Cera serves on the seven-member state Controlling Board, which comprises four Republicans and two Democrats split between both Houses of the General Assembly, as well as the governor’s director of Budget and Management, who serves as the board president.

 
 

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President and state Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) responded to the report issued today by the Annie E. Casey foundation showing African-American children in Ohio are worse off and have less opportunity than children in most other states.

“Sadly, this report reflects what many of us already know: children of color, especially African-American children, have to face barriers that prevent them from opportunities that others are guaranteed,” Howse said. “It is both saddening and alarming to see that Ohio is especially horrific at providing conditions for black and brown people to live a decent life. I hope this new information inspires my colleagues on both sides to embrace policies that put family first like paid family leave, equal pay and pre-k for all.”

Of the 44 states that had enough data to analyze, Ohio ranked 42nd in the nation for the well-being of African American children.

 
 
Calls for greater statewide access to treatment, economic opportunities
October 25, 2017
Antonio responds to latest Ohio opioid crisis report

The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.

 
 
Bill will ensure healthcare coverage for all regardless of income, current health
October 24, 2017

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today introduced the Ohio Health Security Act, a bill to establish a single-payer health care plan in Ohio to universally cover medical, dental and vision services. Payments to health care providers for all eligible benefits will be made from a single public fund, called the Ohio Health Care Fund.

 
 
Tavia Galonski - Your State Representative in the 35th Ohio House District
October 13, 2017

Since taking office this year, state Rep. Tavia Galonski has set her sights on increasing the quality of life for the hardworking taxpayers of the 35th House District. Jobs, education and the safety of our children are just a few of the freshman lawmaker's priorities at the Statehouse.

See what drives her committment to our state and her dedication to serving you in this uniqe glimpse into Rep. Galonski's life with Rep. Emilia Sykes in "Get to Know Galonski."

As always, she wants to hear from you about issues that impact you, your family and your community. Be sure to tune until the end to see how you can reach out and make your voice heard!

 

 
 
More taxes mean employees take home less under new bill
October 12, 2017
House Dems respond to GOP's proposed wage-killing unemployment restrictions

The Ohio House Democratic Caucus today responded to the newly unveiled GOP unemployment compensation bill that freezes unemployment compensation for ten years, increases unemployment insurance tax rates from .02 to .03 percent for employers, and adds a new ten-percent tax on employees.

“As Americans we believe in getting paid for the work you do. But now, after helping to build our bottom line in Ohio, working people will take home less pay for doing the same job under this legislation,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “That’s wrong.”

The legislation also reduces the amount of time a person remains eligible for unemployment insurance by two weeks, from 26 to 24.

“An automatic pay cut is not what most families and people have in mind when I talk to them about the priorities at their statehouse,” added Leader Strahorn. “People are concerned about owning a home, sending kids to school and trying to save what they can to get ahead.”

 
 

State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the Ohio Senate’s unanimous passage of House Bill 94, marking its last legislative stop before Gov. John Kasich’s anticipated signature into law. Jointly sponsored by Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), the bipartisan legislation establishes February as Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month in Ohio in an effort to raise awareness around teen dating violence in hopes of preventing abuse and helping victims find safety.

“By designating February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we are giving light to something that is tragically effecting our youth at high rates,” said Sykes. “Increasing public awareness and raising the profile of this problem in schools, communities and throughout our state will help more people get the help they need to stop the cycle of violence.”

The Office of Criminal Justice Services Family Violence Prevention Center defines dating abuse as a pattern of controlling behavior that someone uses against his or her girlfriend or boyfriend. Abuse can cause injury or even death, but does not have to be physical. One in five children between the ages of 11-14 say their friends are victims of dating violence. Teens who are victims of dating violence are more likely to be depressed and do poorly in school.