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Discussion and advocacy focuses on gender equality, opportunity in Ohio
May 24, 2017

State Rep. and Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), State Rep. and Vice Chair Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus today gathered with about 200 women representing nearly 30 counties from across the state to discuss and lobby for policy solutions to challenges Ohio women and families face.

“Women’s active participation in the political process is vital to ensure equal representation, especially after men dominated the polls up and down the ballot during the last election,” said OHDWC Chair Teresa Fedor. “When women in Ohio don’t have the same level of access to opportunity and prosperity, our entire state pays the price. By empowering women to engage with their elected officials and advocate for policies that advance gender equality in our state, we can help boost the quality of life for all Ohio families.” 

 
 

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today issued the following statement in response to a state ruling against ECOT, the state’s biggest, failing online charter school, for what amounts to embezzling some $60 million in taxpayer dollars by falsely inflating student attendance:

“ECOT and other charter schools have been fleecing taxpayers for years while GOP lawmakers turned a blind eye speaking at graduation ceremonies and building their campaign coffers on the broken promises to families, taxpayers – and most importantly – our children.

“With sixty-million dollars essentially being stolen from taxpayers, today’s ruling draws into question the massive amounts of cash GOP lawmakers have accepted from ECOT over the years. I am calling on GOP lawmakers to tally up and return all ECOT campaign donations in a check written to the state from their campaign.

“If we refuse to fully hold Ohio’s failed charter school experiment accountable through tougher laws and standards, lawmakers should at minimum hold themselves accountable for being complicit in the theft of tax dollars from our taxpayers. That starts with doing the right thing, and returning campaign donations to the state.”

 

 
 
Galonski sworn in as state representative of Ohio's 35th House District

Accompanied by family at the Ohio Statehouse today, Tavia Galonski, a previous Summit County Juvenile Court magistrate, was sworn in by retired federal bankruptcy court Judge Randolph Baxter, her uncle. The House Democratic Caucus voted on seating Galonski today during House session after a House panel recommended Galonski following eight applicant interviews for the 35th House district seat.

“We are excited to welcome Tavia into the caucus, and eager to work with her on some of the greatest challenges facing our state,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “From the creation of new, better-paying jobs to fully funding our schools and protecting our children, Tavia and the caucus share priorities that will benefit from her expertise and work.”

Galonski, a magistrate in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, has served the state in a legal capacity for over 15 years. Formerly appointed as magistrate of the county’s domestic relations court, she most recently served as magistrate of the county’s juvenile court.

“It is a privilege to represent the people of Summit County at their Statehouse in Columbus,” said Galonski. “I am eager to get to work on bills and ideas that increase our quality of life in the thirty-fifth and ensure state resources come back home.”

In addition to her extensive background in public service, policy and legal issues, Galonski is also a member of Leadership Akron, The University of Akron School of Law Alumni Association, the Barristers and the Ohio State Bar Association. She was appointed to serve as the juvenile court representative for the Summit County Fatherhood Initiative, which earned her the 2014 Ohio Fatherhood Center Achievement Award.

Galonski received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta. After attending the University of Nottingham in the U.K., she completed her Juris

 
 
N.E. Ohio lawmakers say "OhioSounds" tax incentive would attract recording industry projects, create jobs
May 10, 2017

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) gave sponsor testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday on a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state.  

“While other states, like Georgia which just signed their program into law on May 8, are also pushing for recording studio incentives, I believe Ohio should get ahead of the curve in attracting new music recording projects as well as growing our existing studios and musical talent,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds builds upon our proud music history and works to cultivate our state’s musical legacy moving forward.” 

 
 
Urges committee to hold further hearings to engage the public on issue
May 9, 2017

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) testified today on House Bill 93, the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (TRUMP) Act in its first hearing in the Ohio House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee. The TRUMP Act would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their five most recent years of tax returns to qualify for the Ohio ballot.

“I am encouraged that the TRUMP Act is moving forward,” said Rep. Clyde. “I urge the committee to continue to hold hearings on this important legislation so that the American people know those vying for our highest offices are honest, accountable and acting in the best interest of our nation.”

Rep. Clyde’s full testimony is below:

 

 
 
Kent lawmaker to testify in Statehouse committee on Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public legislation
May 9, 2017
Clyde to make case for taking up TRUMP Act

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) will testify on House Bill 93, the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (TRUMP) Act in its first hearing in the Ohio House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee, TODAYTuesday, May 2 at 4:00 p.m. in Statehouse room 115.  

The TRUMP Act would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their five most recent years of tax returns to qualify for the Ohio ballot.

WHO:               State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent)

WHAT:            Testimony on the TRUMP Act

WHEN:            TODAY, Tuesday, May 9 at 4:00 p.m.

WHERE:        House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee

Ohio Statehouse room 115

 
 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the lead Democratic member on the House budget committee, voted “no” on the House version of the state budget Tuesday, expressing concern the budget was unbalanced and fiscally irresponsible.

“The state has responsibility to balance the budget and pay its bills, just like the families and people in our community,” said Cera. “Not only is that responsibility important to the economic stability of the working people and families of our state, but it’s required under our constitution. This isn’t Washington.”

 
 
Ohio House Leader Strahorn issues statement on US House passing Trumpcare

Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) released the following statement in response to the Republican passage of Trumpcare in the U.S. House of Representatives by a razor thin margin today:

“Republicans are playing a dangerous game with the health, safety, and economic stability of millions of Americans and almost one-million Ohio families and children. Rolling back the Affordable Care Act takes us backwards to a darker time in our nation, when people who were sick with diseases like diabetes and cancer couldn’t get the lifesaving care they needed without going bankrupt or gambling their family’s financial future. Today’s vote puts more stress on millions of families across America. We can only hope cooler heads prevail, and the Senate does right by the American people instead of a political party.”

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to fully analyze the latest version of Trumpcare, but healthcare experts expect it to be similar to the previous version of the bill, under which 24 million Americans had little or no access to affordable healthcare. Under that version, Ohio also lost some $26 billion in federal healthcare funding, while one out of four Ohioans would have seen reduced healthcare eligibility and services. Costs also skyrocketed for the average Ohio enrollee by nearly $3,000, and by over $5,000 fo

 
 

Following Tuesday’s House passage of an unbalanced two-year state budget bill, the Kasich Administration today released the latest tax revenues for the current fiscal year, showing Ohio’s stumbling economy resulted in a nearly $160 million shortfall for April 2017 alone.

Ohio’s fiscal shortfall during the course of one year now climbs to negative $1.057 billion under GOP leadership. Today’s revenue returns suggest a serious financial problem for the state now, even before the upcoming state budget is finalized in June.

“Ohioans are looking to their elected leaders in Columbus to confront the greatest challenges facing our state – the opioid addiction crisis claiming thousands of lives each year, an unconstitutional funding model for our public schools, rising infant mortality and falling wages – but the state cannot afford to make meaningful progress to grow the middle class after years of tax-shifting have blown a hole in our fiscal future,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton).

 
 
After six years of GOP tax-shifting, Ohio's broken economy brings GOP promise of $800M in cuts
May 2, 2017

Before new state economic indicators come out Thursday, the Ohio House today passed a version of the state’s two-year budget, House Bill (HB) 49, that remains hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance, if not more. The vote comes a little more than two weeks after Gov. Kasich and GOP legislative leaders announced they would need to cut close to $1 billion from the bill to maintain a stable, balanced budget. Still, the final version of House Bill 49 approved largely along party lines today fell over $400 million short of being a balanced budget bill by that standard. 

“The inability to adequately invest in Ohio’s future due to vanishing revenues is a direct result of six years of failed GOP economic policies that shifted taxes onto local communities and middle-class families,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Republicans promised that tax cuts for the wealthy would deliver a thriving economy and vibrant communities, and yet Ohio has trailed the nation in job growth for fifty-one consecutive months, families bring home less income than the national average, and Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. Just hitting the brakes on tax-shifting in this budget is not enough to stop Ohio from falling over the fiscal cliff. We need a real plan that reverses the failed economic policies of the past and focuses the future so the next generation of working people can have economic stability and a clear path to the middle class in our state.”