State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today announced a new proposal to fight pay discrimination in Ohio by establishing a toll-free equal pay hotline, an easily accessible, anonymous resource for Ohio workers to report wage discrimination and gather more information to find out if they could be victims of pay discrimination.
In a letter sent last week to Speaker Rosenberger and other state leaders*, Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) called on the legislature to convene a task force or special legislative committee to establish a unified statewide strategy for addressing heroin and fentanyl addiction and abuse in the state. The letter comes amidst numerous overdoses that claimed the lives of citizens in Akron last week and in Columbus over the weekend.
“We have begun to address the opiate addiction epidemic destroying our communities, but not at a rate fast enough or with an approach thoughtful and thorough enough to successfully reduce the pain and burdens faced by families and communities across the state,” said Johnson. “We must bring everyone to the table – elected officials, lawmakers, law enforcement and healthcare professionals, advocates, and community members to coordinate an effective and unified strategy to take back our state.”
House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today issued the statement below regarding the introduction of House Bill 583, legislation to limit the rights of public employees to collectively bargain:
“Five years ago, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected Senate Bill (SB) 5, an attack on working families across the state that would have limited workers’ ability to speak with one voice to negotiate for fair wages and safe workplaces.
State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his frustration over Congress’ majority vote against funding efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus after county health department officials announced that two Mahoning County residents have tested positive for the harmful virus. Federal legislation that reached the Senate floor Tuesday would have appropriated $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika, but Republican lawmakers inserted several various last-minute provisions that forced their Democratic colleagues to block its passage.
“This dangerous virus is in our homeland now – it’s past time to get serious about this epidemic,” said Boccieri. “We’ve got to be able to test people and prevent the virus from spreading. Part of the funding that the majority of Congressmen and women voted against would have been appropriated for testing, which could involve utilizing our mass aerial spray mission at the Youngstown Air Reserve Base. While citizens back home are getting sick, Congress is scoring political points. I believe we need to vote on a clean bill, with no other unrelated provisions on Obamacare or anything else.”
State Reps. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today joined families, youth, advocates and colleagues from across the aisle to announce the release of the Joint Legislative Committee on Multi-System Youth Recommendations, a bipartisan action plan on how the state can better deliver behavioral and developmental services to children and families in need while reducing the need for custody relinquishment.
Democratic state lawmakers today called for the state legislature to consider three bills they say will guarantee equal opportunity for gay, lesbian and transgender Ohioans. The renewed push for consideration comes in the wake of the tragic Orlando massacre that targeted the LGBT community and in advance of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to guarantee marriage equality in America.
“Our state and our country have taken great strides toward true equality over the past several years, but there is still much work to do to ensure LGBTQ members of our community have an equal opportunity to work, have a safe place to call their home and – most importantly – be who they are without fear of intimidation, coercion or violence,” said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “Ohio has an opportunity to create a more inclusive society that promotes freedom and opportunity for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today issued the following statement in response to data found in the 2016 Kids Count Data Book, which shows that Ohio’s rank for overall child well-being has dropped from 23rd to 26th in the nation:
“Unfortunately, it should come as little surprise that nearly one in four kids are living in poverty and young adults cannot afford to pay the rising tuition to attend college. Instead of passing policies to benefit working families and their children, the legislature has repeatedly shifted taxes to benefit the wealthiest Ohioans and steered hard-earned taxpayer money to failing, for-profit charters schools.
State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) today joined elected officials and advocates at a press conference to call for a restoration of civility to American politics and public discourse.
“It pains me to see that some of our nation’s political leaders are more focused on advancing a partisan agenda and trading insults instead of working to resolve the real challenges facing American families,” said Driehaus. “We hope to help reengage the public by encouraging a more productive and constructive dialogue based on mutual respect and cooperation.”
State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded ridesharing company Uber’s decision to offer its services in the Youngstown area. The expansion allows the Valley to join other Ohio population hubs like Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron that all already have access to the service.
State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today applauded Columbus City Council’s anticipated passage of a local ordinance to establish a 15-foot “buffer zone” around reproductive health clinics in the city. The Akron lawmaker attended a Columbus news conference with Councilwoman Liz Brown to draw statewide attention to the local initiative.
“Healthcare in America must include safe access to the doctor’s office – access free from intimidation, free from fear, and free from the threat of physical violence,” said Johnson.
Johnson is a co-sponsor of House Bill 408, state legislation she helped introduce earlier this year to create “buffer zones” similar to what the Columbus city ordinance proposes. The House Bill was part of a larger effort by Johnson to ensure “Access Without Apology” to women’s healthcare in Ohio.
“I congratulate Columbus and Councilwoman Brown for leading the charge to protect women’s safety and access to healthcare,” Johnson added.