The state operating budget, which lays out the spending priorities for Ohio over the next two years, will soon be coming to the House floor for a vote. From the e-mails and phone calls I have received from constituents, I know that people have been following the process and understand its importance.

I appreciate all of your feedback. It makes my job as a legislator easier when there is so much involvement from people in the district. There are also resources available online with a lot of different kinds of information.

For the first time, House Finance and Appropriations Committee hearings were filmed and streamed on the Internet. Video of committee hearings is archived at under the “Committees” tab at the top of the screen. The website also contains links to the testimony that was heard during committee, as well as agendas and minutes of each hearing.

While I do not serve on the Finance Committee, these resources have been extremely helpful and educational. Further committee hearings will be recorded in the future, and personally I would like for this to be extended to all committees at some point. It is a great way for the public to stay up-to-date with what is happening at the Statehouse and to keep government more accountable. As I wrote last month, the importance of government accountability is something that cannot be understated.

I could tell from the moment I joined the House of Representatives that transparency and accountability of government was an important issue to many state legislators. Over the past two years, we have crafted legislation that will accomplish these goals, from expanding performance audits on state agencies to creating the Common Sense Initiative to look at the effects regulations have on our state’s businesses.

I believe using technology to share what is happening at the Statehouse with Ohioans is in line with what we are trying to accomplish.

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