COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, along with House leadership and members from both parties, today unveiled a series of bills to address issues related to domestic violence, infant mortality, economic development and drug addiction.
“Our job is to solve problems,” said Householder (R-Glenford). “We believe these bills, along with other legislation our members are working on, will make a difference in the lives and communities of Ohio.”
“Many of our priorities, like Aisha’s law, are critical to the safety and security of all Ohioans,” said Sykes (D-Akron). “No one should have to live in fear for themselves or their family, and more people should have more tools to build better lives and brighter futures in our state.”
The bills introduced today are:
Aisha’s Law (House Bill 3) – The legislation aims to reduce domestic violence by increasing support for victims, advancing preventative measures and toughening domestic violence penalties. The legislation is named for Aisha Fraser, who was killed Nov. 17, 2018. She was a victim of domestic violence prior to her death. Sponsored by Reps. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) and Sara Carruthers (R-Hamilton).
Prenatal Care (House Bill 11) – The goal of the legislation is to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of the mother and child. Mothers receiving Medicaid-funded services consistently face lower health outcomes, and Ohio’s infant mortality rate among African-Americans is three times that of white children. The bill would expand tobacco cessation and oral healthcare, increase lead education and support group prenatal healthcare programs to improve the health of the mother and decrease the chances of infant illness or death. Sponsored by Reps. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland).
Job Training (House Bill 4) – The legislation would streamline the process for businesses to create new workforce certificate programs. This will enable the state to more quickly respond to changes in job training needs. Businesses continually need growing and changing skillsets in the workforce, but need a team to help navigate the state’s education systems just to propose the creation of new job training certificate programs. Under the bill, businesses who believe a new job training certificate program is needed would be able to work directly with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, which would then vet the proposal and work with state education officials to develop curriculum, standards, or materials necessary for the credential or certificate program. Sponsored by Reps. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) and Phil Robinson (D-Solon).
Broadband Expansion (House Bill 13) – Approximately one million Ohioans lack access to broadband services. These gaps are typically in rural or low income areas of the state. House Bill 13 would create the Residential Broadband Expansion Program, which would provide grants to municipalities and townships to help fund projects that provide broadband to residential areas within their boundaries that are without broadband access. Sponsored by Reps. Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) and Michael O’Brien (D-Warren), along with co-sponsor Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville).
Governor’s Office of Drug Policy (House Bill 10) – Ohio is one of the states hardest hit by the drug crisis. The bill would create a permanent, centralized office within the governor’s office to coordinate the state’s drug-related efforts and help support local efforts, including sharing best practices that have made a difference and helping facilitate mutual aid across communities. Sponsored by Reps. Richard Brown (D-Canal Winchester) and Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Minerva).