Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) and the Democratic lead on the House budget panel, state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), today released the following joint response regarding the House changes to Gov. Kasich’s proposed two-year state operating budget, House Bill 49:


“With the House’s revised budget, we were able to press pause on six years of Republican tax shifting that forces the middle class and working people to pay more for giveaways to the top one-percent. Through public pressure and awareness, we were also able to get Republicans to bring more resources to the statewide fight against heroin and opioids. But the simple fact is, the state is in trouble today because of the GOP’s failed economic policies of the last six years.


“Because of failed tax shifting policies, the state has less money today than what was expected six years ago – less money to devote to schools, making college affordable, fighting the opioid epidemic, and investing in our communities. Instead of making our state stronger for generations to come, working people and families are feeling the squeeze of these upside-down economic policies, and now the results are becoming real for lawmakers who are under a constitutional oath to pass a balanced budget.


“With new revenue numbers coming out Thursday, we have serious concerns about the bill we are expected to vote on prior to the release of that new economic data. We are also concerned that failing to invest in schools, college affordability and our communities will only make Ohio’s economic outlook worse.


“We take our fiscal and constitutional responsibility to the people and families of Ohio seriously, and believe the legislature could be risking further economic and financial instability by passing a state budget built on bad assumptions.”

 
 
  

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the House Democratic screening panel tasked with finding a replacement for the 35th House district seat, previously held by Greta Johnson (D-Akron), has recommended Tavia Galonski to fill the remainder of Johnson’s term.


The panel recommended Galonski after interviewing eight applicants for the 35th House district seat.


“Among the many qualified applicants, Tavia’s leadership and experience make her the best possible representative for the thirty-fifth district,” said Cera. “We are confident constituents will have a real advocate for their future in Mrs. Galonski.”


Galonski, a magistrate in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, has served the state in a legal capacity for over 15 years. Formerly appointed as magistrate of the county’s domestic relations court, she currently serves as magistrate of the county’s juvenile court.


“I believe my professional experience will enable me to be an effective advocate in Columbus for the families, children and working people of the thirty-fifth,” said Galonski. “Everyone deserves to be heard, but too often Ohio children and families feel like they do not have a voice at the Statehouse. I look forward to working with Democrats and Republicans to promote innovative policies that put people back to work, improve our education system, instill fairness in our justice system, and create good-paying jobs.” 


In addition to her extensive background in public service, policy and legal issues, Galonski is also a member of Leadership Akron, The University of Akron School of Law Alumni Association, the Barristers and the Ohio State Bar Association. She was appointed to serve as the juvenile court representative for the Summit County Fatherhood Initiative, which earned her the 2014 Ohio Fatherhood Center Achievement Award.


Galonski received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Emory University in Atlanta. After attending the University of Nottingham in the U.K., she completed her Juris Doctorate at the University Akron School of Law in 1995. Galonski worked as a judicial attorney in Summit County for several years before being appointed as a magistrate.


The screening panel that recommended Galonski was led by Democratic Caucus Dean Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and included Reps. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake), Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus), Assistant Minority Leader Nick Celebrezze (D-Parma) and Assistant Minority Whip Emilia Sykes (D-Akron).


The screening panel’s recommendations will be presented to Democratic legislators on the House floor Wednesday, May 10 for an official vote of appointment. 

 
 
  
 
OLBC Day Of Action Champions Causes Of Black Ohioans
Legislators, advocates and citizens gather for inspiration, reflection and advocacy
April 26, 2017
 
 

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President and state Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) joined fellow OLBC lawmakers Tuesday for the group’s annual Day of Action. The event provided an opportunity for Ohioans to interact with state legislators and discuss issues that affect their families, communities and everyday life. The theme this year, “Still History, Still Black: Championing the Causes of African-Americans in Ohio Year-Round,” focused on struggles that disproportionately affect the black community.


“Black history is more than one month,” said Howse. “The problems and triumphs black Ohioans experience are year-round. We must nurture and encourage more engagement between black people and their elected officials to make sure all Ohioans feel connected and empowered to advocate for their own interests. We also need lawmakers to be more aware of the obstacles we all experience as Ohioans but that disproportionately affect black families. Together we can make sure black Ohioans are stronger, because when black Ohioans are strong – our state is strong.”


According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, nearly 33 percent of black Ohioans live in poverty, double the state’s average poverty rate. In addition, black high school students graduate less often than their peers, with a 61 percent graduation rate compared to the state average of 81 percent.


Still, there has been a significant uptick in the number of Ohio’s black-owned businesses, rising to over 81,000 in 2015. OLBC believes that growing development opportunities for black Ohioans could aid in addressing issues such as poverty, lack of access to health care, lagging education rates and high infant mortality.


NY Assemblyman Michael Blake was a keynote speaker for the Day of Action, delivering a message of hope and persistence to the crowd of roughly 100 community leaders, business owners and citizens. Blake recognized the significant challenges African Americans face, but also said African Americans’ “progress in America deserves celebration.”


As part of the program, community advocates held workshops examining topics such as healthcare, entrepreneurship and the state budget.


“More Ohioans should know how the state budget process works,” said Howse. “I believe it is in everyone’s best interest if we help empower the voices of everyday people—that’s how a real democracy functions, and that’s what fosters a more equal and fair society.”


To further facilitate such engagement, the OLBC plans to coordinate more events throughout the year, including a celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary in October.

 
 
  
 
Lawmakers Push Colleagues To Restore Ohio Drinking Water Protection
Citizens, cities fear water contamination likely if last-minute law change stands
April 26, 2017
 
 
Rep. Kristin Boggs and Rep. David Leland

State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) testified Tuesday during Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Statehouse on House Bill 29, their legislation to prevent the destruction of natural buffer zones growing around municipally owned drinking-water reservoirs throughout Ohio.


The Columbus lawmakers’ legislation will repeal a provision surreptitiously included in the state’s last biennial budget that allowed residents to significantly alter those zones.


“This provision, which was inserted into the previous State Budget at the last minute without public input or participation, is a potential threat to the health and safety of residents throughout Ohio,” said Leland. “Our reservoirs are a vital source of public water for Columbus and other cities, and the strips of land encircling these reservoirs act as a natural filter that removes contaminants that would threaten our water supply. Given the drinking water issues Ohio has faced in the last couple of years, we should be doing more to protect our drinking water, not less."


“It is of the utmost importance to protect our water supply and ensure that it remains clean and safe for our community to drink." Boggs said. "It is simply bad policy to give a few people the power, without any oversight, to alter landscape in a way that could have a negative impact on our water quality."

 
 
  

The lead Democrat on the House budget panel State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Assistant Democratic Whip Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), also a budget committee member, issued the following statements in response to Ohio GOP leaders call for close to $1 billion in state budget cuts due to stagnant economic growth and opportunity in The Buckeye State after six years of unchecked Republican tax shifting and deep budget cuts:


“After six years of Ohio GOP policies that continue to shift taxes to working people and local communities to fund giveaways for the wealthiest one-percent, Ohio is now faced with a serious budget crisis, one that will force us all to pay the price for the failed economic policies of the past. We were promised that deep cuts to communities, deep cuts to schools, privatizing job creation and shifting taxes to give millionaires breaks would grow our economy and create jobs, but today’s announcement is proof Governor Kasich and other leaders have broken that promise.”


State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire)


“Now – after having it their way without compromise for six years has brought us to the ‘verge of recession’ – schools, communities, the opioid fight, healthcare for developmentally disabled people and children, and other essential services will be defunded because politicians in Columbus don’t have the courage to do what’s needed to recession-proof our state. Instead of shoring up self-made shortfalls with Rainy Day money that was essentially stolen from schools and communities, Ohio will likely continue on it’s terrible economic trajectory with fewer resources to fend off this deteriorating economy.” –State Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron)

 
 
  
 
House Dem Leaders Show Path To Ohio Recession Paved By GOP Economic Policies
Say years of tax cuts for the wealthy threaten to push Ohio over fiscal cliff
April 11, 2017
 
 

As the Ohio House of Representatives enters the next stage in state budget deliberations, House Democratic leaders today warned that GOP economic policies are blowing a hole in the Ohio budget and threatening the economic stability of working people and families.


“Six years of Republican tax shifting and cuts brought us to the ‘verge of a recession,’ and now are threatening to take us over Ohio’s fiscal cliff,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the Democratic leader on the House Finance Committee. “Working families in Ohio are already feeling the pinch of GOP property tax and sales tax increases. We cannot let partisan ideology destabilize our budget and the future economic growth of our state.”


Tuesday’s news conference comes on the heels of troubling news reports that revealed Ohio is facing a half-a-billion dollar budget hole after state revenue estimates missed the mark yet again in the month of March. The Democratic Caucus says that shortfall is even bigger, likely closer to one-billion dollars after looking to past July 2016 Kasich Administration revenue revisions of some negative $280 million.


The lawmakers today said the news, coupled with records showing that 2016 was the worst year on record for job creation and job growth since the Great Recession in 2009, raise serious, legitimate questions regarding the impact of Republicans’ continued commitment to trickle down, tax shifting economic policies. Even with limited job growth many new jobs pay poverty wages, adding to the Buckeye State’s grim job market outlook where close to one-third of all jobs pay below poverty wages.


“During the worst global economic recession since The Great Depression, Republican lawmakers called for the state budget director – at the time, a Democrat – to step down,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “In the governor’s own words, Ohio is now on ‘the verge of a recession’. However, we are not demanding pink slips be delivered today. Instead, we believe that state leaders must take steps to recession-proof the state by investing in communities and schools, rather than approving yet another round in tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.”


House Republican lawmakers are expected to unveil an updated version of the state budget in the coming weeks. 

 
 
  
 
Reps. Clyde, Howse Announce Ohio Equal Pay Act
Lawmakers seek to end economic discrimination based on gender
April 06, 2017
 
 

State Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today announced the introduction of the Ohio Equal Pay Act, a bill that would help close the longstanding gender pay gap between men and women in the Buckeye State.


“Too often, women with the same jobs as men and with the same education as men are paid less than men, see fewer opportunities for career advancement and are more likely to struggle to meet the basic needs of their families,” said Rep. Clyde. “The Ohio Equal Pay Act works to address the systemic undervaluing of women in the workplace and aims to ensure women are treated as what they are— equal.”


In Ohio, the average working woman is paid only 75 percent of what her male counterpart gets paid, regardless of educational background and job description. For women of color, the discrepancy is worse. African American women are paid only 63 cents and Latina women are paid only 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.


“The Ohio Equal Pay Act is important because women across Ohio are giving their all, both in the workplace and in the home, and are being paid less than they’re worth,” said Rep. Howse. “More women than ever before are the primary breadwinner for their families. Without equal pay, these families are living with a financial deficit they will never make up. Equal pay isn’t just right for women, it’s right for families and our economy as a whole.”


The Ohio Equal Pay Act will require businesses who contract with the state of Ohio to obtain an Equal Pay Certificate, which would certify that the employer offers the same opportunities to its employees, regardless of gender. The bill will also prohibit gag orders on employees that keep them from discussing their salaries with each other. Finally, the Ohio Equal Pay Act will require government entities to evaluate their pay scales to ensure compensation is similar across job categories for positions requiring similar skills, responsibilities and working conditions.


“Women in Ohio deserve to know what they’re making in relation to their peers. That’s why the Ohio Equal Pay Act is so important,” said Erin Ryan, policy analyst at Innovation Ohio and manager of the Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network. “Knowing that your contributions are valued and compensated based on your skills and responsibilities rather than your gender should be a given in the workplace.”


Earlier this week, the United States observed Equal Pay Day, the symbolic date that represents how far into the new year the average woman needs to work to make what her male counterpart did the year before. It took until April 4, 2017, 94 extra days, for women to earn what men earned in 2016. Equal Pay Days for black and Latina women won’t occur until much later this year.


“Our research at The Women’s Fund definitively shows that women suffer economic insecurity because of unequal pay,” said Nichole E. Dunn, president and CEO of The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. “This bill will provide opportunities for Ohio women to be on equal footing by breaking down antiquated barriers to equal pay. I applaud the creative work of these women leaders in the statehouse. When women lead, we all do better.”


After introduction, the bill will be referred to a House committee, where it will await its first hearing.

 
 
  
 
With Ohio "on The Verge Of Recession" Dems Hope Kasich Addresses Real State Of The State
Say too many Ohioans struggling under governor's tax-shifting policies
April 03, 2017
 
 

House Democratic lawmakers today called on Gov. Kasich to address the real state of the state in his annual remarks tomorrow night in Sandusky, arguing that the governor owes 11 million Ohioans an explanation on why the state is on “the verge of a recession” after six years under his leadership. The lawmakers also noted that the governor’s budget failed to adequately address the real state of the economy, education, healthcare and recent drastic state cuts to communities in Ohio.


“The last time the governor addressed the legislature he warned that Ohio was “on the verge of a recession’, but weeks later introduced a budget that doubles down on the tax-shifting policies that have harmed so many working families and brought us to this point,” said House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Ohioans deserve to hear honest remarks from the governor on his plan to address the economic and other challenges facing our state, because so far his plan just seems to be more of the same.”


Under Gov. Kasich, Ohio’s job growth has trailed the national average for 51 consecutive months, and 2016 was the slowest year of Ohio job growth on record since the Great Recession in 2009.


In fact, the last time Ohio led the nation in job creation in 2010 was under a Democratic governor and a Democratic House of Representatives.


For many struggling families, the jobs that are available do not provide enough to help make ends meet. The average household in Ohio is bringing home thousands of dollars less than the average household in America, ranking 32nd for income nationally. Roughly one in seven Ohioans are living below the poverty level, a rate slightly higher than the national average for poverty.


“Republicans promised the economy would grow and good jobs would be created with trickle-down tax shifting policies, but these policies of the past have held Ohio back from growth and opportunity,” said Rep. Nick Celebrezze (D-Parma). “Instead of a highly-marketed self-promotion campaign tomorrow night, Ohioans want to hear the governor’s plan about how he will put them back to work and drive economic growth.” 


Since taking office, Gov. Kasich has cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding, money that cities and towns use to pay for police and fire, keep the roads paved and the water clean, and provide a quality public education to our children. 33 Ohio cities are on the state’s fiscal distress list because of inadequate finances needed to provide basic services and meet fiscal obligations.


“Communities across the state are struggling to pay for the police and fire that keep us safe, to keep teachers in the classroom and to keep roads and bridges from crumbling – all due to drastic cuts made by the governor and his legislative partners to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest Ohioans,” said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “If we expect our workers to compete in the 21st century and our state to attract the best and brightest of the next generation, we have to invest in our communities, not starve them of critical resources.”


During Kasich’s tenure, Ohio’s education rankings have tumbled from fifth in 2010 to 22nd nationally, according to the education-industry trade publication, Education Week. School funding is still lagging behind pre-recession levels, with $1 billion dollars less for public schools since 2008 while Ohio charter schools have received an historic $1 billion in taxpayer dollars.


“The legislature has failed to find a constitutional model of supporting our public schools for two decades, but continues to throw good money after bad at failing, for-profit charter schools,” said Strahorn. “Cutting public education while funneling more taxpayer dollars to a charter industry beset by scandal only hurts our children and will leave them unprepared to compete in the 21st century economy.”


Though Kasich expanded Medicaid in Ohio under the Affordable Care Act, many Ohioans continue to face barriers to good health. According to the United Health Foundation, Ohio ranks 39 out of 50 nationally for population health and the average Ohioan’s life expectancy is a full year below that of the average American. Instead of pursuing policies to increase access to care, however, Kasich – in his new budget – is kicking some 40,000 vulnerable Ohioans off of healthcare through new taxes and fees.


In addition, while the nation’s infant mortality rate has dropped to an historic low, Ohio has lagged behind other states in improving its abysmally high infant mortality rate. The Buckeye State has consistently fallen near the bottom of state rankings of infant mortality rates under Kasich’s watch, and a pronounced racial gap in the rate means black babies in Ohio are three times as likely to die before reaching their first birthday.


Meanwhile, Ohio leads the nation in heroin and opioid overdose deaths under Kasich’s watch. Despite repeated calls from Democrats, the governor has refused to recognize the statewide opioid epidemic as the statewide emergency that it is and release emergency funding to support law enforcement, treatment providers and first responders struggling to address the crisis at the local level.

“From our high infant mortality rate to the growing opioid addiction crisis, Ohio’s challenges to our health and well-being hold us back from full growth and opportunity,” said Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “Unfortunately, the governor has ignored the calls for him to lead with resources, especially in terms of combatting the statewide heroin and opioid emergency that is claiming more lives with each passing day.”

The governor will deliver his seventh State of the State address tomorrow, Tuesday, April 4 in Sandusky, Ohio. 

 
 
  
 
Lepore-Hagan Elected As Vice Chair Of Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus
Lawmaker seeks to improve women's opportunities in government and workforce
March 31, 2017
 
 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) was recently elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus (OHDWC), a position that plays a vital role in advancing the caucus’s agenda. 


“I am honored to be elected to this leadership position by my colleagues to help advance more Ohio women,” said Lepore-Hagan. “It is so important for each and every woman to have equal opportunities and representation at home, at work and more importantly: at the state level. I look forward to working with those that share this sentiment to help build a better and brighter future for women across the state.”


The OHDWC develops key policy initiatives relating to women’s rights, including access to comprehensive healthcare, equal pay for equal work and protections from domestic abusers, among others. The caucus hosts several advocacy events throughout the year, including Equal Pay Day on April 4 this year and the annual Women’s Lobby Day.


While women make up over half of America’s population and workforce, they are still disproportionately underrepresented in many other areas. During the previous Ohio General Assembly, only 24 percent of lawmakers were women, including 27 percent of women lawmakers in the House chamber and only 15 percent of women lawmakers in the Senate chamber.


The mission of the OHDWC is to develop and pass policies and legislation that improve the lives of Ohio women and their families; to identify and support emerging women leaders by serving as mentors; to educate and empower women; and to increase women’s involvement in public life and in the Ohio General Assembly.

 
 
  

House Democratic lawmakers today criticized the passage of House Bill (HB) 114, saying legislation that changes the state’s advanced energy standards to unenforceable “goals” will harm consumers and jeopardize thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry and other industries that increasingly want and rely on advanced energy sources. 


“If Ohio’s economy is on the ‘verge of a recession,’ as the governor has claimed, rolling back state renewable energy standards will threaten future job growth and could harm consumers, workers and the environment,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Advanced energy technologies are helping create the manufacturing jobs of the future, and we would be wise to invest now to become a leader of this emerging industry instead of falling behind the rest of the nation.” 


The nation and world’s leading companies are increasingly turning to advanced energy sources to power their businesses. On Tuesday, global home furnishing retailer Ikea announced it has completed a 213,000 square foot solar array on its soon-to-open store in central Ohio, one of the largest such arrays in the state. 


“We owe it to future Ohioans to make sure we leave behind a state that is thriving, healthy and safe,” said Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “Rolling back the opportunity to be a leader in the emerging renewable energy industry is not only harmful to our environment but also our economy.”


Some of the largest corporate brands – including Apple, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Facebook, General Motors, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Cincinnati-based Proctor & Gamble, Starbucks, Walmart and more – have all publicly pledged to procure 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by a certain date in the near future. 


“If we really care about job creation and positioning Ohio for a 21st century economy, then we should promote such a vision and plan – but HB 114 does nothing of the sort,” said Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson). “I cannot support a bill that impedes the creation of new jobs and endangers the environment for our people and our children.” 


Amazon Web Services, Inc., an Amazon.com subsidiary, recently announced plans to build a $300 million wind farm in Hardin County, Ohio, in addition to their 100-megawatt wind farm in nearby Paulding County that is expected to start producing electricity this May. 


“This legislation threatens thousands of current and future jobs in the renewable energy industry, including jobs connected to wind-power projects here in Northwest Ohio,” said Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon). “HB 114 will hurt consumers, workers and the economy by squandering Ohio’s opportunity to be an advanced energy leader in the 21st century.”  


In addition to changing the state’s energy efficiency standards to goals, HB 114 also allows corporations to bypass additional charges on Ohio consumers from utility companies designed to recoup the cost of advanced energy. 


“This legislation takes Ohio backwards rather than advancing 21st century innovation and puts job growth and the environment at a disadvantage,” said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). “The biggest losers with this bill are the people of Ohio.” 


Ohio’s energy efficiency standards were originally passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2008. According to various reports, the standards have since saved consumers over $1 billion in energy costs, helped create thousands of jobs in the state’s advanced energy industry, and were on track to reduce an estimated 23 million tons of annual carbon pollution by 2029, helping prevent thousands of lost work days, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature deaths. Just this week, a new report showed that Ohio gained more than 1,000 jobs related to solar power alone in 2016, though that rate of growth ranks slightly below the national average. 


“This is our time, and this is our moment,” said Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus). “We are the first generation to understand the human causes of climate change – and the last generation to be able to stop it.” 


Due to the state energy efficiency standards, Ohio had an opportunity to position itself as a leader in the burgeoning renewable energy industry. Roughly 7,200 businesses and approximately 89,000 workers are directly employed in Ohio’s clean energy sector. 


Here is what other Democratic lawmakers are saying about House Bill 114: 


“If the Department of Defense – the nation's largest consumer of energy – is expanding the use of renewable energy systems to save our soldiers’ lives by utilizing on-the-go solar panels and electricity-generating backpacks to cut down on refueling trips to the battlefield; if Michigan, the home of the Wolverines, can hit their 10 percent level of renewable energy – why can't Ohio?” said Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights). “I oppose HB 114 and the Republican majority's desire to set Ohio’s energy standards back even further.”


“The passage of HB 114 and repealing of Ohio's energy standard sends the message that Ohio is not interested in creating new jobs and attracting businesses to Ohio,” said Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus). “As other states continue to surpass their standards we have instead chosen to take a step backwards. This is a huge disservice to our economy, our environment, our public health and our national security.”


“In the Mahoning Valley in general and Youngstown in particular, we’ve seen first-hand the ways in which innovation, research and development can drive economic growth and job creation,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown). “Now, unfortunately and inexplicably, Republicans lawmakers want us to walk away from one of the most vibrant and exciting industries of the 21st century – an industry that will drive economic growth, provide our universities an opportunity to monetize their advanced energy technology research, create good jobs and save consumers billions of dollars, all while protecting our environment. Here’s the bottom line: HB 114 isn’t just bad policy, it’s pure folly.”


“My GOP colleagues have sent Ohio backward by rolling back our state's renewable energy mandates,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “By not passing my amendment in support of Ohio's wind energy sector, the Republican chamber continues to maintain an artificial market barrier that stifles Ohio's wind industry, therefore depriving our state of potentially $3.4 billion dollars’ worth of economic activity. This legislation is short-sighted and harmful to both present-day Ohioans and our future generations.” 


“The Department of Defense recognizes that our economic and national security are directly related to our ability to find alternative energy sources,” said Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland). “Ohio has increased jobs, efficiency and cost savings with our renewable portfolio and instead of driving innovations, new technologies and multiple sources of energy, this bill sounds the trumpet of retreat.” 


“Ohio’s strength has always come from building what the world wants – from cars, to ships, to steel. Now, the world also wants alternative energy technologies, and I want them to be built here in Ohio, by Ohioans,” said State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain). “Unfortunately, the passage of this bill makes that a whole lot less likely. Policies that are good for the planet are in fact good for job growth. Ignoring that reality hurts Ohio’s economy, health and future.”

 
 
  
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Lawmakers Push Solution To Stabilize 31 Fiscally Distressed Communities Hit Hard By Kasich's Budget Cuts

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.



 
 

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. 



 
 

Cleveland-area Lawmakers Say Ohio Could "amp Up" Economic Growth Through Music Industry

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”

“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”