After nearly two months of a Republican-led legislative impasse, the Ohio House is expected to resume legislative activity following today’s narrow, marathon election of new House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell). Chaos and dysfunction have plagued the legislature since the abrupt resignation of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), after he announced he was under FBI inquiry in April. Federal agents have since raided Rosenberger’s home, his state office and storage shed, as rumors of pay-to-play tactics on payday lending reform legislation continue to churn.


“Despite having drawn rigged district lines to create a 65 seat supermajority in a 50-50 state, it took 11 rounds of voting to elect Speaker Ryan Smith today," said state Rep. Dan Ramos (Lorain). "I’m proud to have cast my vote all 11 times for Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn because I believe he has the values to work on improving access to healthcare, providing our children with a top-notch education, protecting our environment and actually making higher education affordable. 


“Ohioans have real problems that require real solutions.  The majority Republican caucus has proven again today that they don’t deal in solutions, only dysfunction.  We need to do better for the people’s sake.”


Republican gridlock continued onto the House floor as the legislature held 11 rounds of voting to elect Smith, who becomes the first speaker in modern history to assume control of the Ohio House without securing a majority of votes. In a narrow vote, Smith was awarded the speakership under Ohio law with only 44 votes.

 
 
 
  
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Ramos Proposes Tuition Coverage For Ohio College Students

 

As Ohio college students don their caps and gowns this month, many will leave school with mountains of debt for four-year degrees. In fact, Ohio families and students face the highest burden of student loan debt in the nation, with the Buckeye State ranking 45th nationally for college affordability. With college out of reach for too many families and students, state Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) today introduced legislation to cover 90 percent of the cost for students to attend public college in Ohio. The Ohio Lets Everyone Achieve Right Now (LEARN) tax credit would make Ohio the first state to make college truly affordable for all students.