Representative Bernadine Kennedy Kent - House District 25

05.10.19 - Rep. Kennedy Kent Message To Constituents On HB 180


Dear Constituent,

I wanted to let you know that I have received the emails, phone calls and messages regarding my support of House Bill 180. I want those who have taken the time to write and call to know that I do hear you.

As you all know, I ran for this elected position with one of my primary reasons being the protection of Ohio’s children; including those who identify as LGBTQIA. When adding my name as a co-sponsor in support of House Bill 180, I did it with the thought of protecting children from being sexually exploited in bars.  However, it appears this legislation, if enacted, could have unintended effects on transgendered youth who use their performances in drag as expression and a way to explore and evolve their identity.


12.20.18 - Representative Kennedy Kent Announces New Protections For Ohio's Children


“I am excited to have had Governor Kasich sign the bill that I, and others, have put so much into getting passed for the protection of our children. My motivation for introducing this bill was, in part, because of my own experience advocating on behalf of a Columbus family with five very young children between the ages of 8 months and 8 years of age. Police were frequently called to the children's home in response to domestic violence incidents. However, although officers probably had reasonable cause to suspect the children may be suffering or facing a threat of suffering abuse and/or neglect, they were not mandated to contact child protective services.


03.26.18 - Kennedy Kent Documents CPD Chief Alleged Wrongdoing, Calls On City Officials To Hold Jacobs Accountable


After a disturbing pattern of apparent retaliation, neglect and discrimination at the highest level of power within the Columbus Police Department (CPD), State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) is calling on Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Council members to hold Police Chief Kim Jacobs accountable for her blatant insubordination and dereliction of duty.


03.22.18 - Capital Investments Key To Growing Central Ohio Economy, Says Rep. Kennedy Kent


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today reported the passage of House Bill (HB) 529, the state’s $2.6 billion biennial capital budget. HB 529 includes $600 million for K-12 school buildings, $514 million for local infrastructure projects, $483 million for public colleges and universities, $234 million for public areas and $350 million for local infrastructure projects funded through the Public Works Commission. 


01.31.18 - Kennedy Kent, Fedor To Provide Testimony For Ohio Health Security Act


State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today provided sponsor testimony for House Bill (HB) 440, known as the Ohio Health Security Act, to establish a single-payer health care plan in Ohio. Medical, dental, mental health and vision services will be covered under the bill and payments to health care providers for all eligible services will be made from a single fund called the Ohio Health Care Fund. 

“Patients are dying because they can’t afford America’s costly health care. No one should have to worry about a necessary medical procedure bankrupting them,” said Kennedy Kent. “The Ohio Health Security Act will ensure all Ohioans are covered, and covered equally. The bottom line is the majority of our constituents want this type of plan to move forward.”


12.08.17 - Fedor, Kennedy Kent File Healthcare Freedom For All Ohioans Legislation


State Representatives Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) recently filed the Ohio Health Security Act, House Bill 440, which will establish a single-payer health care plan in Ohio. Medical, dental, mental health, and vision services will be covered under the act and payments to healthcare providers for all eligible services will be made from a single fund, the Ohio Health Care Fund.

“We need to be guided by the facts,” according to Fedor, “Sixty-two percent of bankruptcies in the US are linked to healthcare costs and seventy-eight percent of those families had health insurance.”

Under the plan, every Ohioan may receive full health care coverage, regardless of income or employment status, and may freely choose their own health care providers for services such as outpatient services to prescription drugs, medical supplies and medical transportation without costly co-payments or deductibles. There will also be no exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

According to Kennedy Kent, the two representatives are “putting together a concrete plan to make care affordable and flexible to work for you and your family.” The new plan will offer flexibility and affordability.

“Taxpayers deserve a plan that gives them a real choice and the freedom to pick a plan that works for them,” said Kennedy Kent.

The new health care plan will be administered by the Ohio Health Care Agency, which will operate under the direction of the Ohio Health Care Board. The board will consist of two elected representatives from seven regions across the state and the director of the Ohio Health Care Agency. The board will:

-          Negotiate or set prices for health care services provided.

-          Establish standards to demonstrate proof of residency.

-          Provide each participating individual with identification that can be used by providers to establish eligibility for services.

-          Seek all necessary waivers, exemptions, agreements, or legislation to allow various federal and state health care payments to be made to the Ohio Health Care Agency.

Versions of the bill have been introduced in the past but never before have received so much support, according to the lawmakers. The bill, which will be heard in committee in the coming weeks, has 18 cosponsors in addition to Reps. Fedor and Kennedy Kent. State Reps. Antonio, Boggs, Boyd, Cera, Galonski, Holmes, Howse, Ingram, Kelly, Leland, Lepore-Hagan, Miller, Patterson, Ramos, Reece, Sheehy, Sykes, and West have all signed on as co-sponsors to the bill.

The AFL-CIO, the American Public Health Association, the National Farmers Union, and Republicans for Single Payer in addition to dozens of other groups have also endorsed single-payer healthcare.

“Health is a human right,” Fedor said. “It is past time for Ohio to pass a law ensuring that people have access to affordable and sensible healthcare.”

Coverage from the Ohio Health Care Plan will be available two years after the passage of this legislation.


11.06.17 - Rep. Kennedy Kent Issues Statement On Texas Mass Shooting


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today released a statement following yet another mass shooting in the United States, which saw some 26 people killed and dozens more wounded at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.


11.02.17 - 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.


10.24.17 - Reps. Fedor, Kennedy Kent Introduce Ohio Health Security Act


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.


10.16.17 - Rep. Kent Statement On Deadly Bombing In Somalia


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today released the following statement in the aftermath of bombings in Somalia where some 300 people have been reported dead and many more injured: 


10.12.17 - Kent Bill Mandating Peace Officers To Report Child Abuse Passes Committee


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today announced that House Bill 137, legislation to require peace officers to report child abuse or neglect, was passed unanimously by the House Criminal Justice Committee.


10.02.17 - Kennedy Kent Grieves With Families, Heralds Work Of Law Enforcement Following Deadly Las Vegas Shooting


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today released the following statement in response to the deadly Las Vegas Strip shooting which claimed the lives of at least 50 people and injured hundreds:

"I am shocked and dismayed at the latest attack in Las Vegas. With more than fifty killed and 200 injured, the media is calling this attack the ‘deadliest’ shooting in U.S. History.  My heart goes out to the many victims and their families, who I can only imagine feel hopeless, alone, and motionless as they struggle to cope with the unbearably unexpected.

“I am thankful to law enforcement for fighting to protect one of our most basic human needs – safety. Though our instinct is to run away from gunfire and bullets, our law enforcement officers run toward the sound of gunfire to save lives; and for that, we are extremely grateful.”


09.22.17 - Kennedy Kent Announces Local Efforts Underway To Assist In Hurricane Maria Aftermath


In the face of massive devastation surrounding Puerto Rica from Hurricane Maria, state Rep. Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today announced local efforts in Franklin County to help provide some relief to the U.S. Territory residents.


09.08.17 - Dem Lawmaker Asks Kasich To Make Good On His DACA Call


In the wake of President Trump’s recent decision to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Ohio state lawmaker is asking Gov. John Kasich to make good on his call for immigrants to come to Ohio.

In a letter to Kasich today*, state Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) said immigrants with American-born children are being kicked out of the Buckeye State while the governor pleads with the nation to reject Trump’s divisiveness on national TV.

“I applaud you for separating yourself from President Donald Trump in front of a national TV audience, but taxpayers in Ohio need more than words,” Kent wrote in the letter. “The people we represent, and the people you called to come here, deserve a leader who will work hard with the legislature, or independently through executive order, to ensure that honest, caring people who are fighting for the American Dream have a safe place – a sanctuary – to call home in Ohio.”

The freshman is asking Kasich to issue an executive order in Ohio, “barring police and state resources from being used to enforce unstable federal immigration policy.”  


08.21.17 - Kennedy Kent Helps Victim Of Violent Crime Pursue Justice


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) is helping an Ohio woman finally achieve justice, 12 years after she was attacked and almost shot to death by her ex-boyfriend.

“I am shocked, because no one should be able to a shoot or try to kill someone and then not be held accountable in any shape, form or fashion,” said Kennedy Kent. “Any victim of a violent crime should be able to expect the justice system to fulfill its mission, but in this case that clearly did not happen.”

In 2005, Ms. Diona Clark’s estranged ex-boyfriend allegedly shot her in the chest and the wrist before turning the gun on himself. After falling into a coma for a month from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head, police never followed up with criminal charges.

In a recent meeting organized by Rep. Kennedy Kent that included Columbus Police Department Deputy Chief Richard Bash and Columbus Public Safety Deputy Director Kate Pishotti, Deputy Chief Bash apologized to Clark for the CPD “dropping the ball” before telling her that her “case was closed” because the statute of limitations for felonious assault had passed.

However, Rep. Kennedy Kent, having examined both the police files and reviewed Ohio law, pointed out that a kidnapping charge may be brought against Ms. Clark’s assailant, who allegedly physically restrained her from escaping the apartment where the shooting incident took place.

Clark, whose case has been re-opened since the July meeting, is currently awaiting word from the prosecutor’s office whether they will proceed with kidnapping charges against her attacker.

Clark has also used her experience to advocate on behalf of modernizing Ohio’s domestic violence laws. Earlier this year she testified at the Statehouse in support of House Bill 1, legislation to allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker. Currently, Ohio and Georgia are the only two states that do not cover victims of dating violence under intimate partner violence laws. 


08.16.17 - Democratic Lawmakers Introduce School Safety Drill Bill To Better Prepare Students, Local Communities For Emergencies


State Reps. Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) and Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) recently introduced new legislation titled the School Safety Drill bill to help improve emergency response readiness in school districts across the state.

“With a new academic year upon us, school safety is on the minds of parents and remains a hot-button issue in every state, but especially here in Ohio,” said Kennedy Kent, a former high school principal and longtime teacher. “When students, teachers and staff finally get together after summer break, I believe it is important to review emergency procedures as soon as possible to ease stress and ensure everyone in the facility is on the same page.”


07.31.17 - Ohio Democratic Lawmakers To Celebrate OLBC 50th Anniversary Event In Canton


State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced that Canton, Ohio has been selected to host the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus’ 50th anniversary celebration this fall. African American state lawmakers from all across Ohio will convene in Stark County for the two-day event on October 1-2 to recognize the important milestone and chart a course for the future for the historic legislative organization. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of many African American leaders who, against all odds, overcame years of discrimination and segregation, instilling in all of us the importance of the power of the black voice,” said second Vice President of OLBC Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus), statewide chair for the event. “I look forward to joining advocates from across the state to help empower more African Americans to follow their dreams.”


05.25.17 - Rep. Kennedy Kent: Seventh Annual Women's Lobby Day Empowers Women To Engage State Lawmakers


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. 

“We must highlight the importance of bringing more women to the table. When more of us get involved in our communities and help other women find their voices to advocate for what they believe in, we will not only create stronger neighborhoods, but we will help today’s children grow into tomorrow’s leaders,” said Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus). “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reduce Ohio’s increased violence and poverty rates to ensure women receive equal justice, equal social status and equal economic benefits.”


05.23.17 - Rep. Kennedy Kent Announces ODE Summer Food Service Program For Ohio's Youth


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) recently announced the Ohio Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program is underway to ensure children age eighteen and under receive free nutritious meals during the summer months when school is not in session.

Additionally, young adults ages nineteen through twenty-one that are currently enrolled in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are also eligible to use the Summer Food Services Program. The program is free and there is no sign up required. 


02.10.17 - Rep. Kennedy Kent To Serve On Ohio House Legislative Panels


Last month, I was honored to be appointed to the following Ohio House Committees during the 132nd General Assembly:

  • Community and Family Advancement
  • Criminal Justice
  • Health
  • Government Accountability and Oversight

I look forward to working with my colleagues to aid our communities and families in accelerating their opportunities and advancing their education and careers. 



01.30.17 - Bernadine Kennedy Kent Issues Statement On Trump's "Muslim Ban"


State Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) today issued a response to President Trump’s executive order banning inbound travel from certain Muslim-majority nations:  

“President Trump’s ban makes us all less safe by falsely portraying what we stand for as Americans. This anti-American act by design will nurture fear of differing ethnicities and religions here at home instead of seeking out terror where it exists abroad. 


01.06.17 - Bernadine Kennedy Kent Sworn In As State Representative


Bernadine Kennedy Kent (D-Columbus) was officially sworn in to the Ohio House of Representatives earlier this week as state representative for the 25th House District. Kennedy Kent, elected to her first House term in November, will serve the citizens in parts of northeast Columbus. 

“I am looking forward to advocating at the Statehouse for policies that will strengthen Ohio’s public education system and help prepare our young people and communities to not only succeed, but excel,” said Kennedy Kent.