Rep. Fedor Hosts Eighth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Statehouse summit helps raise awareness, spur dialogue on modern day slavery
February 02, 2017
 
 

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) hosted the Eighth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day today at the Ohio Statehouse, as lawmakers, law enforcement officials, advocates and survivors from across the state and nation gathered for a day of discussion on ways to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking in Ohio.


“While we have made great strides at the state level to halt the spread of human trafficking, we cannot let up now. Law enforcement, advocates, families and survivors must continue to work together to raise awareness and protect vulnerable men and women from being ensnared by modern day slavery,” said Fedor. “I am confident that by bringing diverse voices from all across the state to the same table, we can make positive progress toward finally ending human trafficking in our state.”


This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Elaine Richardson, an author, artist, Ohio State University professor and human trafficking survivor. 


Human trafficking is estimated to affect more than 1,000 Ohio children every year, and more than 3,000 Ohio children are considered to be at high risk for trafficking. According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Information Crime Reports, Ohio has ranked as high as fifth among all states in total reported human trafficking cases, with Toledo ranking as the fourth highest city in the nation for recruiting victims into the illegal trade.


This year’s event will also include the first ever Ohio Youth Trafficking Prevention Summit focused on prevention and protection strategies for young people tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 3 from 9:30 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.


“We can all agree that to protect our young people from becoming victims of human trafficking, we must educate them on prevention and protection strategies,” said Fedor. “Through events like the Youth Trafficking Prevention Summit we also have the opportunity to prepare the next generation of advocates and activists to pick up the torch and continue the fight against human trafficking into the future.”


The youth summit is free to attend but tickets are required. Those interested can register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-ohio-human-trafficking-awareness-day-youth-summit-tickets-28770533440


For the past ten years, Rep. Fedor has been a leading advocate in the fight to end human trafficking. Most recently, Rep. Fedor passed legislation to address the demand-side of the illegal sex trafficking trade, End Demand Act, Sub. H.B. 130. In 2012, the General Assembly passed Rep. Fedor’s Safe Harbor Act— a victim centered bill aimed at providing protection, prosecution and prevention. And, while in the Senate, Fedor passed Ohio’s first bill to define human trafficking and make it illegal, Senate Bill 235.


Editor’s note: photos from today’s event are attached. In Photo 1: Rep. Teresa Fedor updates attendees on state progress in fight against human trafficking. Photo 2: House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn gives welcoming remarks at Eighth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Photo 3: Ohioans from all across the state gather at Statehouse for Eighth Annual Human Trafficking Day.


Here is what other House Democratic Lawmakers are saying:


“The community gathered at the Statehouse today is the community we need if we want a real chance at ending modern day slavery. We will only be successful in our efforts if we marshal the collective strength of the entire community and address human trafficking from every angle and at every turn,” said Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “I want to thank Rep. Fedor for her tireless work, both here at the Statehouse and out in the community, against human trafficking in Ohio. Throughout her legislative career, Rep. Fedor has been the leading advocate against modern day slavery and has championed numerous measures that have been passed and enacted with bipartisan support and are now making a real difference in people’s lives.”


“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Rep. Fedor and countless others around the state, we are making significant progress and offering concrete solutions to end modern day slavery in Ohio,” said Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton). “Moving forward, we must ensure law enforcement officials and advocates have the proper resources and support that they need to protect victims and end the scourge of human trafficking.”


“I am proud to see so many people from across the state come together to engage in an open dialogue about how to end human trafficking here in Ohio,” said Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon). “This annual event is a powerful reminder that we all need to stay committed in the fight against modern day slavery in our state and across the nation.”


“Sadly, in 2017 we still live in a world where humans are exploited on a daily basis through human trafficking,” said Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson). “While we have indeed made great strides in combatting the scourge of modern day slavery, we still have much work to do to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable Ohioans – and I stand ready to do my part as an Ohio lawmaker. I applaud the efforts of those who organized this important day of awareness and hope that together we can bring an end to this abomination once and for all.”

 
 
  
 
Dem Proposal To Modernize State Domestic Violence Laws Opens New General Assembly
Bipartisan legislation will close loophole that leaves victims vulnerable to intimate partner violence
February 02, 2017
 
 

State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 1, bipartisan legislation to modernize Ohio’s dating violence laws. The bill is modeled after HB 392 of the 131st General Assembly, legislation that passed the House unanimously last spring and as an amendment during the lame duck session. House Bill (HB) 1, co-sponsored by Rep. Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville), would allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker, a protection not allowed under current Ohio law.


“It is past time we pull Ohio out of the dark ages by modernizing our laws to protect all victims who are impacted by dating violence,” said Sykes. “By allowing this measure to become House Bill 1, we are sending a clear message that now is the time to close the loophole in Ohio’s dating violence laws. With every day we wait, more women and men in Ohio are placed in serious danger.”


If enacted, HB 1 would close a loophole in existing state law that leaves thousands of Ohioans without recourse in the event of dating violence. Current Ohio law only recognizes domestic violence, defined as violence occurring between spouses, family members, those cohabiting, or family members. People in ongoing, substantial, intimate and romantic relationships are not included in Ohio’s definition, leaving them without necessary protection.


Ohio and Georgia are the only two states that do not cover victims of dating violence under intimate partner violence laws. Kentucky, the last Ohio border state to expand protections, signed a dating violence modernization bill into law in 2015.


The National Dating Violence Hotline defines intimate partner violence, which includes dating violence, as a repetitive pattern of behaviors – including physical or sexual violence, threats, intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation – used to maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Women aged 18 to 34 face the highest rates of intimate partner violence. In the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds.

 
 
  
 
Teresa Fedor To Host Eighth Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day
Statehouse summit to raise statewide awareness, spur dialogue
February 01, 2017
 
 

State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) will host the eighth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Thursday, February 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. The annual event will bring together law enforcement officials, advocates, experts and survivors for interactive educational workshops and informational and inspirational presentations regarding ways to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking in Ohio. This year’s special guest is Dr. Elaine Richardson, an author, artist and inspirational professor.


“I believe that by bringing diverse voices from all across the state to the same table, we can help raise awareness and collaborate on strategies to combat modern day slavery,” said Fedor. “While we have made great strides at the state level against the spread of human trafficking, the real work is done out in the community by law enforcement, advocates, families and survivors.”


This year’s event will also include the first ever Ohio Youth Trafficking Prevention Summit focused on prevention and protection strategies for young people on Friday, February 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


“Unfortunately, human traffickers often target young and vulnerable children,” said Fedor. “By educating our youth on prevention and protection strategies, I believe we can help keep our children safe from predatory criminals.”


The youth summit is free to attend but tickets are required. Those interested can register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-ohio-human-trafficking-awareness-day-youth-summit-tickets-28770533440


For the past ten years, Rep. Fedor has been a leading advocate in the fight to end human trafficking. Most recently, Rep. Fedor passed legislation to address the demand-side of the illegal sex trafficking trade, End Demand Act, Sub. H.B. 130. In 2012, the General Assembly passed Rep. Fedor’s Safe Harbor Act— a victim centered bill aimed at providing protection, prosecution and prevention. And, while in the Senate, Fedor passed Ohio’s first bill to define human trafficking and make it illegal, Senate Bill 235.


 


 

 
 
  

The lead Democratic legislator on the state’s budget and finance panel, state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), released the following statement in response to today’s state budget unveiling:  


“Trickle-down tax promises of the last six years haven’t come true, and it’s dangerous to expect they will by shifting even more taxes onto working people. As our nation grows and realizes new opportunities since the recession, Ohioans have been running in place instead of getting ahead. We don’t just need to bring Ohio back from the recession - we need to make Ohio first in growth and opportunity. The economic underpinnings of this budget represent the governor’s plans from the past, not a plan for our future. 


“Ideology and belief has been our biggest obstacle to economic growth and job creation in Ohio. The Republican majorities and governor continue to govern based on a flawed belief that working and middle class people can afford to shoulder a larger share of funding necessities like schools, police officers, roads and safe drinking water. We can’t continue down the same path expecting things will change. We have to work together to create a clear path to the middle class, and that starts with a new way forward that rebalances taxes and reinvests in schools and communities.”

 
 
  

Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) released the following statement in response to today’s state budget unveiling:  


“Though Governor Kasich has said Ohio is on the verge of a statewide recession, his budget proposal is largely built on the same failed economic ideology that has been holding Ohio back from sharing in the economic growth and stability our nation has experienced since the recession. Tax shifting from the wealthy few to the working and middle class has sidelined Ohio, and predictably failed to bring back middle-class jobs. 


“To help Ohio get ahead we need to look to the future and recession-proof against uncertainty by rebalancing taxes and investing in our students. There is a way that works, but it requires a different approach, one that recognizes our economy grows only when all Ohioans have an opportunity to succeed.” 

 
 
  
 
Antonio Cites Mounting Legal Barriers In Renewed Call To End Ohio Death Penalty
New three-drug lethal injection method ruled unconstitutional
January 26, 2017
 
 

Ohio House Democratic Whip Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) issued the following statement today in response to a ruling by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Merz that declared Ohio’s new three-drug lethal injection process unconstitutional. Merz also indefinitely suspended three planned executions of Ohio inmates, including one scheduled in February.


“When the proposed drugs for lethal injection are found to be unconstitutional because they may cause ‘substantial risk of serious harm’, it is immoral for the state to continue to fight to use them,” said Antonio. “I believe it is long past time we abolish the death penalty in Ohio and replace it with a sentence of life without parole.”


Antonio has repeatedly introduced legislation to end capital punishment and replace it with life without parole, citing research that shows the death penalty does not deter violent crime and is administered with disparities across economic and racial lines. In the 131st General Assembly, she sponsored Ohio House Bill 289 with Dayton-area Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miami Township) and plans to reintroduce the bill in the coming months.

 
 
  
 
Ohio Seeks To Join National Popular Vote Interstate Compact To Restore Citizen's Democracy
Lawmakers say electoral college does not respect the will of the people
January 26, 2017
 
 

State Reps. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and David Leland (D-Columbus) earlier this week announced the reintroduction of legislation that proposes Ohio join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a group of states that pledge their entire Electoral College delegation to the winner of the national popular vote during the general election.


“This is a change that is long overdue. Two-thirds of the presidents elected in my adult life will have been chosen by the Electoral College in their first term without receiving the majority vote,” said Ramos. “Our current framework does not respect the direct will of the people. This is patently undemocratic and undermines confidence in the people that we are truly a democracy.”


The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact allows for states to apply the national popular vote through the Electoral College, without dictating how states choose their electors and without the need for a constitutional amendment. Instead, it would allow states to award all electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the popular vote – the vote of the people.


“On the weekend following the 2017 inauguration, with millions of people taking to the streets to protest the presidency of Donald Trump, we witnessed the largest outpouring of dissent this nation has ever seen,” said Leland. “Part of the energy that fueled this protest was the belief that Trump was not a legitimately elected president because he lost the popular vote by a landslide— nearly 3 million votes. This legislation is not a re-litigation of the recent general election. Instead, it will change the way we elect future presidents, so that never again will someone be elected without winning the popular vote of the people.”


During the 2016 general election, two-thirds of the presidential campaign events were in only six states. This legislation seeks to restore true democracy in America by ensuring the presidential candidate that receives the greatest total of votes is the candidate that ends up in the White House.


Since 2007, 10 states and the District of Columbia – a total of 165 electoral votes – have joined the compact. Should Ohio join, the compact’s electoral total would jump to 183 electoral votes. The compact will automatically go into effect when enough states join to represent an absolute electoral majority – 270 electoral votes.

 
 
  
 
Valley Lawmakers Pen Letter To Governor: 'Cuts To Revenue Share Are Devastating'
Lawmakers voice concerns about June deadline for Medicaid tax fix
January 23, 2017
 
 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) last week wrote a letter to Gov. John Kasich urging him to preserve the revenue local governments and public transit systems receive from the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have given Ohio a deadline of June 30, 2017 to remedy its MCO tax structure so that it complies with CMS policy, but any changes may threaten the millions of dollars local communities currently receive from the tax. 


“Our concerns need to be heard on this issue and I want to work with the governor to include a fix to the MCO tax revenue in the upcoming state budget,” said Boccieri. “If local revenue sharing isn’t preserved, the legislature will cripple our communities with another unbearable budget hit.” 


Ohio has been out of compliance with CMS healthcare tax policy since a 2014 letter from the federal government clarified that the MCO tax must be broad-based, uniform and hold no payer harmless from the impact of the tax. According to CMS, Ohio’s tax still does not meet the broad-based requirement because the fact that it is embedded into the larger sales tax base does not exempt it from the obligation to apply to non-Medicaid providers. Should Ohio fail to fix its formula by June, it risks losing critical state matching funds that serve as a fundamental revenue stream for local communities and transportation systems. 


“As a former mayor, I know that communities across Ohio depend on MCO tax revenue to keep their public transportation networks, local infrastructure projects and police and fire departments afloat,” said Holmes. “I’m looking forward to working with the governor and my colleagues in the legislature to find a replacement revenue stream, as further cutbacks to these vital services are unacceptable.” 


Other states previously in violation of this rule – such as Pennsylvania and California – have found CMS-approved solutions to the problem, including broadening the MCO tax base while lowering other taxes to offset the impact, and changing the scope of distribution for MCO tax funds while implementing new financing arrangements for matching funds. 


“Our community has already suffered from severe state budget cuts over the past few years and cannot afford to lose another round of millions in shared revenue,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I hope that governor will show leadership on this issue and offer a formula fix that preserves the valuable resources communities rely on to deliver services to their residents.” 


The full list of signatories on the letter to the governor were as follows: Reps. John Boccieri, Michele Lepore-Hagan, Glenn Holmes and Mike O’Brien, and Sens. Joe Schiavoni and Sean O’Brien.

 

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Columbus - 

COLUMBUS— Democratic state lawmakers today unveiled an ambitious economic agenda focused on laying a foundation for economic stability and paving a path to the middle class for the next generation of working people in the state

The leaders of both the House and Senate Democratic Caucuses said the eight bills that make up the legislative package – which includes legislation on paid family leave, equal pay for equal work, and raising the minimum wage – underscore the need to refocus state government's efforts away from chasing political headlines and instead toward policy solutions that create economic stability and pave a clear path to the middle class for the next generation of working people.

"Too many working families are struggling to make ends meet. We have the ability and responsibility to improve the lives of everyday Ohioans by passing legislation that provides economic stability for working people and paves a clear path to the middle class for the next generation of Ohioans," said House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). "By valuing work, putting family first and reinvesting in our communities and infrastructure, we can help build a brighter future for the next generation of Ohioans."

Legislators pointed to paid family leave as an example of a forward-looking policy that will have a real positive impact on working families. Introduced as companion legislation by Rep. Christie Kuhns (D-Cincinnati) and Sen. Capri Cafaro (D-Hubbard), the bills provide for 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave through the creation of the Family and Medical Leave Program.

Other priorities on the Democratic economic agenda include college affordability, reinvesting in community infrastructure, and propelling Ohio's workers to the forefront of the country's advanced energy sector.

"I believe Ohio's economic future is tied to building opportunities for the middle class, not chasing political headlines or national campaigns," said Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni. "Too many Ohioans are just getting by and feel the economy is out of balance. We must work in a bipartisan way to make sure our children can prosper in a state that puts families first and lays the foundation for success well into the future."


Here is what other Democratic legislators are saying about the economic agenda:


"Too many working families are struggling to make ends meet. We have the ability and responsibility to improve the lives of everyday Ohioans by passing legislation that provides economic stability for working people and paves a clear path to the middle class for the next generation of Ohioans," said House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). "By valuing work, putting family first and reinvesting in our communities and infrastructure, we can help build a brighter future for the next generation of Ohioans."

"The legislature must act on its obligation to the working people of this state by paving a clear path to economic stability and the middle class," said Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood). "I believe we must focus firmly on the future and lay the groundwork today for the next generation of Ohioans, so that through hard work and perseverance our children and our children's children will have a fair shot at success and the American Dream."

"After returning to the House floor four short weeks after delivering my son, I developed a very personal understanding of the impact paid family leave can have on a family. Working Ohioans should not have to worry about losing their job or falling behind financially just to take care of a sick child or relative, address their own serious health condition, or welcome a newborn into their family," said Rep. Christie Kuhns (D-Cincinnati). "By allowing working people the freedom to support and grow their families, we can truly make Ohio a better place to live, work, and raise a family."

"Too many Ohio families are struggling to make ends meet, and in recent years, the deck has been increasingly stacked against them," said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). "We can level the playing field for all Ohioans by implementing fair taxes that strengthen the economy for the long term and lay a foundation for success for future generations."

"Recent state budgets have taken money out of the pockets of middle class families in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Ohioans, shifting the responsibility of paying for goods and services to those who can least afford it," said Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). "We have the ability to value work in our state with fair tax policies that invest money back into the pockets of consumers when they purchase every-day living essentials."

"Ending pay discrimination for Ohio workers isn't just a women's issue, it's a family issue," said Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland). "As long as pay discrimination persists, we are cheating families out of their full earning power."

"Equal pay for equal work is a simple matter of fairness. Should our daughters earn less than our sons for doing the same job?" said Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati). "We have the power to make sure our economy reflects the value of work, fairness and equal opportunity for all citizens, regardless of gender."

"With nearly half of Ohio families reportedly being financially insecure, the money lost without equal pay makes it harder to save money for financial emergencies and pay monthly bills, let alone save for retirement or a child's college fund," said Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent). "That's bad for families and it's bad for our economy."

"In today's world, higher education is no longer a luxury for the well-off, but a necessity in order to thrive in a competitive global economy," said Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain). "Paving a clear path to the middle class and ensuring the next generation's opportunity for economic success means opening the doors of higher education to more Ohioans, and turning a young person's dream of going to college into a reality."

"Working people in Ohio should have the freedom to keep every penny they earn and get paid for the work they do. Unfortunately, some corporate CEOs cheat workers out of their earnings through loopholes and paperwork tricks," said Rep. Debbie Phillips (D-Albany). "Treating middle class families fairly – so that they take home what they earn – strengthens our communities and builds the economy."

"Our state's infrastructure provides the foundation that creates good-paying jobs, generates revenue, grows the economy, keeps us competitive at both the national and global level, and enhances our quality of life," said Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake). "But Band-Aids won't fix our crumbling infrastructure – we have to invest now to be ready for our future. And if we do, more people will be back to work in good paying industries and be able to provide for their families."

"Working Ohioans should not have to worry about losing their job or falling behind financially to care for their newborn, sick loved one, or address their own serious health conditions. Paid sick leave is good for Ohio families and our state's economy," said Sen. Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard). "My bill proposes a voluntary insurance program paid for by employees, causing no undue burden to employers and allowing families to have the flexibility they need. As a former caretaker for my late grandfather who had Alzheimer's, I understand that not everyone has the luxury to stay home without pay, which is why we need to take care of those who cannot."

"The prescription for economic health on the Republican side is like the doctor who would only prescribe penicillin for every conceivable illness," said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). "I would say that we need to take a different approach. We need to grow the economy from the middle out, because the top down has been tried over and over and over again for 35 years and what we've seen is that inequality in wealth has grown drastically and the only folks that have benefited have been at the top of the income spectrum."

"For the sake of public health, to protect our children and to ensure that Ohio businesses and workers can compete and succeed in the global economy, we must begin fixing our state's crumbling infrastructure today. We just learned that lead is poisoning the water in Sebring and we all know that is just the tip of a very dangerous iceberg," said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown). "The EPA estimates that we must invest $15.5 billion in our wastewater treatment facilities and another $12.2 billion to ensure that our drinking water is safe. HJR 5 will provide the funds we need to make these critical improvements – improvements that will keep us safe, create tens of thousands of jobs and drive economic development in Ohio for decades to come. Now is the time to protect our kids and strengthen our economy. Too much is at stake. We simply can't afford to wait."

The full economic package includes the following priorities:

-Raise The Bar For Wages

-Putting Family First

-Reducing The Cost Of Everyday Essentials

-Equal Pay For Equal Work

-Turning The College Dream Into A Reality

-Paycheck Freedom

-Powering Our Future With Advanced Technologies

-Better Roads For Brighter Futures

 
 
  

As Americans reflect today on the impact and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s important we remember one often understated piece of that historic legacy: the reverend’s resolute advocacy for economic justice.


Dr. King professed that economic opportunity is the foundation on which disenfranchised groups may achieve social and political empowerment. He understood that without a job or an income, a worker “has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness.”


King’s message transcends the issue of race and suggests that any American who suffers under economic inequality is without the promises guaranteed to them by the American Dream. Understanding this, Dr. King campaigned for political changes that would not only benefit the black civil rights movement but also ensure a decent quality of life for all working class Americans. In sum, the issues Dr. King fought for weren’t black or minority issues alone, they were and are AMERICAN issues.


Dr. King’s message of economic justice still resonates today, as working men and women from all walks of life in Ohio struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table for their families.   


So, in celebrating Dr. King’s legacy it is important that we not simply reflect on his lessons as if they apply only to the past. Instead, we must embrace and utilize the meaning of Dr. King’s work to address the economic challenges that remain, in order to chart a brighter path to the future for all Ohioans. 

 
 
  
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Dem Lawmakers Call On Kasich To Declare Opioid Crisis A Statewide Emergency

 

Democratic lawmakers today called on the Governor John Kasich to recognize the devastating opioid addiction epidemic for what it is: a public health emergency. At a statehouse press conference this morning the lawmakers said the state must have a strong, unified response and release emergency state funding to combat the statewide opioid crisis that is claiming lives in rural areas and urban centers alike.    

“The first step in any road to recovery is admitting that you have a problem, and it’s time for the administration to recognize the opioid addiction crisis as the public health emergency that it is,” said Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron). “Too many Ohio families are losing loved ones to drug addiction and overdoses. We must marshal all available state resources and attention to fight back against this rapidly growing threat to our communities.”



 
 

Johnson Pushes For Statewide Opioid Response

 

State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron), today responded to Gov. John Kasich’s Thursday comments at the Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative and the state’s actions to combat the opioid epidemic. The governor’s optimistic comments came on the same day the Ohio Department of Health released the report on 2015 Ohio Drug Overdose Data stating fentanyl-related drug overdoses more than doubled from 2014 to 2015. And the numbers continue to climb. For July 2016, Summit County alone experienced an estimated 395 overdoses, which matched the total number of overdoses in the county for the four months prior combined.*

“State leaders still refuse to call the opioid epidemic what it is: a public health crisis,” said Johnson. “It is imperative we remain hopeful and positive, but only if we are also employing all available resources to the law enforcement officers and treatment providers on the front lines. There has yet to be a coherent, statewide response to this devastating public health crisis that is killing more Ohioans than ever before. Summit County is doing a tremendous job at treating and preventing overdoses in my district, but with greater funding and direction from the state, we could be doing far more.”



 
 

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.



 
 

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.