Democratic Lawmakers Say Unemployment Compensation Bill Will Harm Vulnerable Ohio Families
One-sided legislation will reduce benefits, increase qualification barriers
November 24, 2015

House Democratic lawmakers today called for significant changes to be made to House Bill 394 (HB 394), legislation to address the insolvency of Ohio’s unemployment compensation system. After hearing hours of testimony that highlighted the detrimental effects the bill will have on Ohio workers, Democratic lawmakers on the House Insurance Committee reiterated that they believe Ohio should pursue a more balanced approach to unemployment compensation reform.

“The purpose of unemployment compensation is to help families make ends meet while they try to get back on their feet,” said Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo). “Unfortunately, this bill slashes unemployment benefits and erects barriers to receiving unemployment. Instead of working in a balanced way to correct insolvency issues in Ohio’s unemployment compensation system, this bill will disproportionately benefit employers while hurting vulnerable Ohio families.” 

Among the most drastic changes proposed in House Bill 394 include cutting unemployment compensation eligibility down from 26 weeks to a minimum of just 12, depending on the state unemployment rate, and requiring unemployed workers to wait longer after applying before they can receive unemployment benefits. The extra waiting period required by HB 394 would make it more difficult for temporary and seasonal workers with intermittent work histories to qualify for unemployment benefits. 

“I have deep reservations regarding several provisions of this legislation. For instance, this bill creates disincentives for Ohioans to pursue short-term work,” said Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Columbus), ranking minority member on the House Insurance Committee. “Under this proposal, individuals seeking unemployment compensation may have to wait an additional week to gain access to their unemployment benefits. This disproportionately affects labor groups that may only have projects lasting short periods of time.”

Lawmakers also expressed concern regarding the impact the bill will have on the poorest communities with high unemployment rates, such as Appalachian counties and struggling urban centers.

“Under the stated goal of making the unemployment trust fund solvent, HB 394 will actually make Ohioans more vulnerable to being thrust into poverty by drastically reducing eligibility for benefits,” said Rep. Christie Kuhns (D-Cincinnati). “In addition, this bill does not consider local variations in the unemployment rate, the disproportionate impact on industries like manufacturing and construction or the fact that some populations – such as African Americans – have an unemployment rate triple the state average. Provisions of HB 394 will make Ohio one of the most difficult states in the nation in which to qualify for unemployment benefits. This bill in its current form is bad for Ohio.” 

Yesterday, Democratic members of the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee sent a letter to the sponsor of HB 394, questioning the lack of transparency surrounding the creation of the bill and urging that input from organizations that represent Ohio employees be included – rather than only recommendations from the business community.

“As a member of the bipartisan study committee, I spent months considering testimony that included reasonable reforms to help strengthen our state’s unemployment compensation system,” said Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus). “I believe any efforts to solve the unemployment compensation debt crisis must include both employers and organizations that represent workers. I am disappointed that this legislation lacks a more balanced approach.”

After months of considering testimony from a wide range of interested parties on how to solve Ohio’s unemployment compensation debt crisis, Democratic members of the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee submitted recommendations to the committee chair for inclusion in a final report. However, no final report was ever produced, and the legislation currently being debated in the House Insurance Committee does not reflect any recommendations from the minority study committee members and represents little of the testimony heard by the study committee. 

Dem Lawmakers On Study Committee Call For Balanced Approach To Unemployment Compensation Reform
Say HB 394 lacks transparency, measured approach to fix state fund's debt crisis
November 23, 2015

Democratic state lawmakers today voiced concerns over House Bill 394 (HB 394), legislation aimed at reforming and bolstering Ohio’s unemployment compensation system. In a letter from Democratic members of the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee, lawmakers questioned the lack of transparency surrounding the creation of HB 394 and urged the bill’s sponsor to include input from organizations that represent Ohio employees, rather than relying solely on recommendations from the business community.

After four months of considering testimony from a wide range of interested parties on how to solve Ohio’s unemployment compensation debt crisis, Democratic members of the study committee submitted recommendations to the committee chair for inclusion in a final report. However, no final report was ever produced, and the legislation currently being debated in the House Insurance Committee does not reflect any recommendations from the minority study committee members and represents little of the testimony heard by the study committee.

Full text of the letter is included below:

November 23, 2015

The Honorable Barbara Sears

Ohio House of Representatives

77 S. High Street, 14th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215

Representative Sears:

As members of the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee, we are concerned about the provisions included in House Bill 394 and the lack of transparency in the process following the conclusion of the study committee. The study committee was meant to examine ways to address the state’s unemployment compensation system's debt and maintain the trust fund's solvency, and release a final report of recommendations. Despite submitting a letter including several policy recommendations based on testimony to your office in November of 2014, we never saw a final report. Each of us participated in the study committee, believing that it was a good faith effort to come to a bipartisan solution to our unemployment compensation debt crisis. We are disappointed that HB 394 was ultimately introduced without input from the study committee members and resembles little of what we heard throughout the hearings.

We are also troubled by the lack of input from organizations which represent employees in the drafting of this bill. HB 394 appears to have been solely developed by a small coalition of the business community. However, the AFL-CIO, Policy Matters Ohio, the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and the Jennings Center for Older Adults are among the non-business groups which testified before the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee last year. It is concerning that none of the recommendations offered by these groups were included in the unbalanced HB 394.

The Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council would have provided an excellent venue for labor and business groups to develop a balanced approach to solving this debt crisis together. Unfortunately, HB394, in addition to making it harder to be an unemployed worker in Ohio, abolishes this body at a time when it is most needed. The governor’s failure to appoint council members should not be an excuse for its termination.

Because of the effects of this bill on workers and their families, we urge you to strongly consider including input from non-business organizations which represent the workers affected by the provisions in this bill. Ohio’s economy still lags behind the national rate of growth. While the state’s unemployment rate has held steady, the overall rate does not diminish the struggle felt by individuals seeking employment. We have also attached our previously submitted recommendations for further review, and look forward to working with you to correct this bill to address the needs of all Ohioans 


Rep. Denise Driehaus

Rep. Jack Cera

Rep. Michael Sheehy

Rep. Mike Curtin

Rep. Michael Stinziano

House Dems: Limited Debate On Controversial Gun Bill Prevents Democratic Discourse
Say constituents' voices deserve to be heard on bill that will make Ohio less safe
November 19, 2015

Democratic state lawmakers today commented on the highly irregular nature of the House floor proceedings this week that saw limited debate on a controversial measure to weaken Ohio’s gun laws. Democrats contend that House Bill 48 will make Ohio a less safe state by easing restrictions on where concealed guns can be carried, and that an open debate on such a contentious measure should have been allowed.

“One of the greatest vessels of bipartisan democracy is debate,” said Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron). “We have just voted on confusing language that allows guns into our daycare centers, college campuses, police stations, and other vulnerable areas, without having a conversation on the floor. I am deeply concerned, not only by the bill’s troubling content, but by the majority’s decision to limit debate, which I believe was a disservice to my constituents and to all Ohioans.”

House Bill 48, sponsored by Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon), will allow concealed guns to be carried in daycare centers, universities, airport terminals, government buildings, and police stations. The bill would also reduce the penalty for violating a public university’s ban on carrying a gun on campus down to a minor misdemeanor, eliminating jail time.

“Our communities are less safe and secure when weak gun laws make it easier for people to carry guns and harder to prevent gun violence,” said Kevin Boyce (D-Columbus).“This legislation, which allows concealed firearms to be carried near our children, at our universities, and even in our police stations, will undoubtedly make Ohio less safe.”  

Despite the controversial nature of the legislation, only the bill sponsor offered comments on the House floor before the bill was brought to a vote. Several Democratic lawmakers stood to speak to the bill but were not recognized before the roll was called.   

“I did in fact stand on the House floor in opposition to HB 48, in order to argue the implications of the bill. However, the speaker chose not to recognize me and my remarks went unheard,” said Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights). “I am deeply troubled by the irregular process followed in session this week and the majority’s decision to cut off debate on a controversial bill that will have a profound impact on my constituents.”

“It was absolutely unacceptable for the speaker to cut off debate on HB 48, particularly when members were clearly standing, with the intent of voicing opposition,” said Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “I, along with other community members, already have concerns with the high levels of gun violence in Akron. This bill does nothing to address those concerns— instead, it will likely exacerbate the existing problems. We’re elected to speak on behalf of our constituents, and I am frustrated that I was unable to do so on Tuesday.”

House Bill 48 now goes to the Senate for consideration. 

Reps. Reece, Sykes Call For Statewide Investigation Into Voter Disenfranchisement Issues
Nearly 900 absentee ballots in Summit County tossed due to lack of postmark
November 19, 2015

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) joined Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) today in calling for a statewide investigation following troubling reports that hundreds of Akron voters had their absentee ballots voided because they lacked a postmark.

Under current Ohio law, absentee ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day and be received within ten days of the election in order to be counted. Nearly 900 ballots – roughly nine percent of total absentee ballots received by the Summit County Board of Elections – were thrown out for not having a postmark.

“When a voter places their absentee ballot in the mail, they should be able to have confidence that their vote will be counted, not tossed out through no fault of their own,” said Sykes. “Hundreds of Summit County voters – and likely even more across the state – have been disenfranchised this election, and they deserve answers. I call on the secretary of state to launch an investigation immediately.”

Sykes also expressed concerned over whether the state’s election laws adequately reflect the diminishing footprint of the postal service system in Ohio, saying, “the secretary of state is responsible for ensuring our election processes take into account conditions on the ground. This year’s election calls that into question.”

The postmark issues in Akron are just the latest in a string of troubles that have plagued this year’s election. In Hamilton County, voting hours were extended by 90 minutes after poll worker confusion and technical problems with the new e-poll books led to voters being turned away or forced to vote provisionally.

“It is growing clear that Ohio’s voting problems are not contained to a single city or county. Indeed, the problems in Hamilton and Summit Counties may well be just the tip of the iceberg,” said Reece. “Access to the ballot box is our most fundamental right as citizens in a free and open democratic society, and elections officials – from the secretary of state on down – must be adequately prepared come Election Day. With the presidential election just around the corner, all eyes will soon be on Ohio once again. It is imperative that we investigate and resolve these issues as soon as possible.”

Reece is a long-time voting rights advocate and spoke at the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

The OLBC is currently holding a Legislative Action Tour across the state to discuss issues important to the African American community, including voting rights and access to the ballot box. On Monday, November 23, 2015 the action tour will stop in Cincinnati from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, 3458 Reading Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229.

The action tour will stop in Akron on Thursday, December 3, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Alpha Center, 662 Wolf Ledges Parkway, Akron, Ohio 44311

Rep. Reece Pushes For More Transparency In Officer-involved Fatality Investigations
Calls for hearing on bill to require written policies, public investigatory reports
November 18, 2015

State Rep. and President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) and State Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Cincinnati) recently held a news conference to discuss House Bill 380, newly introduced legislation to create a more transparent investigative process with deaths that result from a law enforcement officer’s use of a firearm.

“Perceptions of injustice following a police-involved shooting death – whether substantiated or not – can further erode a community’s trust in the criminal justice system,” Reece said. “This bill will begin the process of rebuilding that trust between members of the community and the law enforcement officers who are sworn to protect them.”

House Bill 380 will require outside investigators chosen from a database that is to be managed by the Attorney General’s office to participate investigations for police-involved shooting death cases. It also will require information on the investigation be provided to the victim’s family members.

The bill has garnered widespread bipartisan support in the House of Representatives and awaits a first hearing. 

Reps. Sheehy, Lepore-Hagan Fight To Improve Train Safety In Buckeye State
Lawmakers offer testimony on bill to require two-person crew
November 18, 2015

State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) provided sponsor testimony this week before the House Commerce and Labor Committee for House Bill 371 (HB 371), legislation to require freight train operating crews to consist of at least two people.

“Having spent 43 years in the railroad industry, I can affirm the absolute necessity of requiring a two-person crew on all freight trains that run through Ohio,” said Sheehy “Public safety demands it.”  

The introduction of HB 371 comes just months after a train-related incident near Philadelphia that took the lives of eight people and injured 200 others. The train was traveling at 102 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone and derailed after barreling into a curve. Only one engineer was on board.

“The focus of this legislation can be summed up in one word: safety,” said Lepore-Hagan. “This legislation will improve the safety not just of railroad workers, but also the surrounding communities through which these trains travel.” 

Both Ohio SMART – Sheet Metal, Air, Rail Transportation Union - Transportation Division officials and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers have expressed support for House Bill 371. The legislation now awaits its second committee hearing in the House. 


Democratic state lawmakers today stood in opposition to a Republican sponsored resolution urging the President to halt the settlement of Syrian refuges in Ohio and the United States. Democrats argued that states have no political authority to dictate federal refugee and asylum policies and that recent Republican attempts to deny entry are antithetical to long-held American principles that welcome those seeking safety and a better life.

Below are comments from Democratic members regarding the last-minute resolution:

“Sometimes tragedy brings out the best in people, sometimes it brings out the worst. We are a great nation because of our principles,” said Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “When you let someone scare you so much that you turn your back on your principles, you are letting terrorists win. The American people expect us to be much braver than what this resolution demonstrates.”

“There are no exceptions to the inscription upon the Statue of Liberty that reads, ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ There is no caveat that says ‘unless we’re afraid of you’,” said Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus). “To turn away refugees seeking religious freedom is an affront to who we are as a nation.”

“Akron has welcomed thousands of refugees and immigrants from around the world, and I am proud to be from a community that welcomes people in their time of need,” said Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “We need to help people gain their freedom, not help keep them in bondage.”

“Men and women putting their lives on the line right now have principles and beliefs about everything which this nation was founded on,” said Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), who iscommander of the 757th Airlift Squadron in Youngstown and who has been deployed seven times to the Middle East.“America is the light of the world. Are we really being exceptional by offering this resolution? We have to make sure we are doing this for the right reasons rather than the fear in the moment.”

“I served with Americans from all backgrounds and ethnicities. We are the melting pot of the world,” said Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick). “Of the 12 million refugees that have fled Syria, roughly six million are children. What are we teaching our kids by not helping other children who have been forced from their homes by violence and whose family may have been killed? We cannot turn away people who are fleeing for their lives.”

“The Daesh wants to scare the West into telling refugees that they have nowhere left to go, that they only have Daesh to turn to,” said Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain), referring to the acronym based on ISIS’ full Arabic name. “By encouraging a nation of immigrants to turn their backs on immigrants with fewer and fewer places left to go, this legislation plays right into their evil hands.”

Ohio House Move Puts 80,000 Ohio Women At Risk Of Losing Access To Comprehensive Healthcare
Dem lawmakers say defunding bill highlights out-of-touch, politically motivated agenda
November 17, 2015

Democratic lawmakers today stood in opposition to House Bill 294 (HB 294), which passed the Ohio House this afternoon along largely partisan lines. The legislation will implement restrictions that redirect public funds away from providers who perform or promote legal abortions in Ohio. The bill comes amid a national right-wing effort to defund Planned Parenthood, a move that could leave thousands of women in the Buckeye State with limited or no access to affordable preventative healthcare.

“Planned Parenthood provides low-cost preventative care to those in underserved communities. Defunding these programs threatens to cut off care to tens of thousands of Ohio women, many of whom will have nowhere left to turn,” said House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Instead of playing politics and defunding proven, cost-effective programs, we should focus on expanding healthcare access for all Ohioans. Defunding Planned Parenthood is not only irresponsible, but harmful to thousands in our state.”

In Ohio, Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive healthcare to some 80,000 patients each year. HB 294, and it’s companion legislation, Senate Bill 214, will strip away federal grant money from the organization, leaving tens of thousands of Ohioans with limited access to critical healthcare services.

“Planned Parenthood has provided quality, critical healthcare services to generations of Ohio women, men, and families. Many of the women and individuals who rely on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare are low-income and can’t afford to go elsewhere,” said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “HB 294 is reckless and irresponsible legislation that will jeopardize the health of tens of thousands of Ohio women, who will then be collateral damage.”

Currently, the legislature faces multiple anti-care measures, including bans on abortion after 20 weeks and on pregnancies with a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis. Recent general assemblies have also instituted a number of anti-abortion restrictions, including mandatory waiting periods and private transfer agreements, which have forced a number of healthcare providers to close.

“I’m extremely disappointed in the majority’s actions to defund programs aimed at combatting infant mortality, addressing dating violence, providing sexual education, and other services critical to maintaining a healthy Ohio,” said Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron). “It is a misinformed assumption that other providers can step in to immediately deliver these services as completely and effectively as Planned Parenthood. Ohio already does not permit public dollars to be used for abortion services, despite abortions being legal healthcare procedures. All that this bill will do is make Ohio a less safe and less healthy place to live and raise a family.”

Due to the numerous restrictive policies approved by the Kasich administration, nearly half of the state’s abortion clinics have closed since 2013, from 14 down to 9. Provisions in the latest state budget threaten to shutter another two clinics in southwest Ohio, potentially making Cincinnati the largest metro area in the country without access to safe, legal abortions.

The GOP-controlled House's passage of House Bill 294 comes amidst nationwide Republican push to defund Planned Parenthood after heavily edited, politically motivated videos surfaced appearing to show the organization discussing the sale of fetal tissue for research. The videos have since been widely discredited, and two Republican led investigations into Ohio's Planned Parenthood also showed the organization's activities are only in furtherance of Ohio women's access to comprehensive healthcare. 

Here is what other Democratic lawmakers are saying about the passage of HB 294:

“Ninety-eight percent of Planned Parenthood services in Ohio are not abortion related, and one-third of their patients are at or below the poverty line. Today's action is an attack on Ohio woman and the working poor who need basic health care,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “House GOP lawmakers are attempting to legislate their religious beliefs onto the entire state population, regardless of what the U.S. Constitution guarantees. I believe important healthcare decisions should be left to women and their families.”

“Defunding programs like Planned Parenthood will not end abortion – it will only make abortion dangerous by sending the procedure underground,” said Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights). “Rather than legislating the personal affairs of women and their families, my colleagues would better serve the whole state by restoring the budgets cuts made to local communities; keeping their promise to foster care children by extending their benefits to the age of 23; and by ensuring that programs which provide safe sex education, STI services, and other services that prevent unwanted pregnancies – like those provided by Planned Parenthood – remain adequately funded.”

“By cutting off access to healthcare, Ohio is making a very clear statement that our state does not value the safety and health of our women,” said Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland). “It is a shame that instead of combatting our abysmal infant mortality rate or fighting the growing opioid addiction epidemic, we’re passing politically-motivated bills that will put women’s health in jeopardy.”

“Healthcare is a basic need for survival. HB294, plain and simple, strips away Ohioans’ access to affordable, preventive care,” said Rep. Stephen Slesnick (D-Canton). “I’m saddened to see the state of Ohio once again adhere to political rhetoric as opposed to the fact-based, numbers-oriented success of Planned Parenthood’s operation. HB294 is not only an attack on women, but all healthcare patients alike. I look forward to legislation that increases care for Ohio patients, not takes it away.”

Dem Lawmakers Discuss Legislation To Prohibit The Practice Of Conversion Therapy On Minors
Medical expert, conversion therapy survivor join legislators to recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance
November 17, 2015

State Reps. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) and Debbie Phillips (D-Albany) were joined by Dr. Jim Boyles, a licensed psychologist, and Jody Davis, a conversion therapy survivor, to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance and call for movement on a bill that would ban the practice of conversion therapy on minors.

“Conversion therapy can cause great harm to those children struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Driehaus. “House Bill 247 will keep our children safe and strengthen families, by allowing them to make informed decisions based on evidence-based, therapeutic practices.”

Introduced in June, HB 247 would prohibit certain health care professionals from engaging in conversion therapy and sexual orientation change efforts when treating minor patients. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Ohio Senate by Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus).

“No child should be forced to change who they are or how they feel. Instead, they should be given the tools to understand their emotional and psychological well-being,” said Phillips. “It is time to bring Ohio into the 21st century by ending practices that falsely portray sexuality and gender identity as mental illnesses.”

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), conversion therapy does not follow the fundamental principles of psychoanalytic treatment and often results in substantial psychological pain by reinforcing damaging internalized attitudes. The APA, which has formally opposed conversion therapy since 1998, has also noted that the practice can pose serious health risks to patients, especially minors.

Jody Davis, a registered nurse and licensed therapist from Columbus, Ohio, spoke about the harm inflicted by the year she spent in conversion therapy as a young person.

“As a transgender woman who spent a year in reparative therapy as a young person, I can tell you that the approach did not help me,” said Davis. “The basis of [conversion] therapy reinforced my own self-hatred. The therapy ultimately failed and set me back even further away from real healing, which came as I began to accept who I was, who I am as a transgender person.”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is held across the country on or around November 20 each year to remember those in the transgender community who have been killed and lost due to violence. The transgender community experienced nearly twice as many murders in 2015 over the previous year in the United States, while the suicide rate also rose.

Reps. Stinziano And Johnson Seek To Help Municipalities Fight Discrimination
House Bill 262 would help enforce local LGBTQ discrimination ordinances
November 17, 2015

State Reps. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) and Greta Johnson (D-Akron) offered sponsor testimony this morning on House Bill 262, legislation to allow  a municipal corporation to request assistance from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) in enforcing local discrimination ordinances.

“As the state has been slow to enact much-needed anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation and identity, it is wonderful to see municipalities stepping up and creating their own local ordinances,” said Johnson. “However, not all localities are properly equipped to enforce these important laws and it is crucial that we ensure additional assistance is readily available.”

Under current law, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission can only enforce state anti-discrimination laws. HB 262 would allow residents whose municipalities may not have the resources to provide their own local civil rights commissions to also rely on the OCRC when a local anti-discrimination ordinance has been violated.

“While large cities have the resources to enforce these new rules through the creation of citywide civil rights commissions, the costs of these commissions are sometimes restrictively high for smaller cities with limited resources,” said Stinziano. “This bill would serve as a tool for municipalities throughout our state to ensure that no Ohioan can be discriminated against.”

Ohio is currently one of 28 states without clear, inclusive, non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. Legislation to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of classes protected from discrimination under Ohio law is currently awaiting its first hearing in the Ohio House of Representatives. 

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Ohio Rep. Greta Johnson On Women's Access To Healthcare: "We're Not Damsels In Distress Tied To Railroad Tracks, We Are The Train Carrying The Message."


Ohio House Democratic members hosted a press conference today to speak out against the recent attacks on women’s access to healthcare. Led by State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), the lawmakers introduced a package of bills aimed at securing and expanding women’s access to comprehensive healthcare services.

WATCH Rep. Johnson deliver her powerful closing above.


Dem Lawmakers Push Proposals For Women's "access To Healthcare Without Apology"


Ohio House Democratic members hosted a press conference today to speak out against the recent attacks on women’s access to healthcare. Led by State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), the lawmakers introduced a package of bills aimed at securing and expanding women’s access to comprehensive healthcare services.

“The women and families of our state deserve better and need not apologize for demanding access to comprehensive healthcare,” said Johnson. “We are not damsels in distress tied to the train tracks, waiting to be rescued. We have the fundamental right to make healthcare decisions about our own bodies.”


Reps. Howse, Clyde Introduce The Ohio Equal Pay Act


State Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced the introduction of House Bill 330, the Ohio Equal Pay Act. The legislation aims to address the persistent problem of unequal pay between women and men. 


Secret Youngstown Plan Meetings Likely Violated State Sunshine Laws, Say Lawmakers


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today called for the resignation of State Superintendent Richard Ross after leaked minutes of secret meetings showed the superintendent deliberately kept secret the plan to takeover the Youngstown City Schools. Ross’ intentions were first reported Tuesday by the Youngstown Vindicator.