Dems Tell LaRose To Pay Return Postage For Voting Materials
Election Working Group presses for responsible use of CARES Act funds
June 18, 2020

State Representatives Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Frank LaRose urging him to include return postage on absentee ballot application forms that will be mailed to all voters and on absentee ballots that are ultimately mailed to voters who request them. State law prohibits board of elections from making such an expenditure, but the secretary is not similarly barred. The federal CARES Act included funding to the states for unanticipated increased expenses due to COVID-19. The Controlling Board approved on Monday the state’s use of federal CARES Act funding for this year’s election.

See the letter below:

June 17, 2020

Dear Secretary LaRose,

We write to ask that you include return postage on the absentee ballot applications that we authorized you to send to every registered voter in last year’s state budget bill, HB 166, and to use federal CARES Act funding for this purpose. We also ask that your office use federal CARES Act funding to include return postage on the absentee ballots themselves. This is not just a matter of an extra step or the cost of a stamp, although we should always strive to remove even small obstacles from Ohioans’ path to the ballot. This is a matter of health and survival.

Prior to this year and the unprecedented dangers of COVID-19, voting by mail was a convenient option for those who desired to vote that way. Now, it is a matter of protecting one’s health and life. Now, going to the Post Office or the store and picking up stamps is not just an easy errand people run. Now, people are limiting their trips and disinfecting everything they bring into their homes. That’s why we must make absentee voting by mail as appealing and easy to use as possible. That’s why we urge you to ensure that all ballot application forms and ballots are sent with the return postage pre-paid.

The federal CARES Act provides for the expenditure of federal funds granted to Ohio for this purpose. And the payment of return postage for applications and ballots is permitted under state law as well. In your most recent Task Force meeting, you called for suggestions on how to make the application form user-friendly. Including return postage is the single most important thing you can do to maximize Ohioans’ use of this safe voting opportunity.

We would also welcome the opportunity to review the draft ballot application form and other new ballot paperwork that your office may be developing so that we may give feedback on whether our constituents like the forms and how it might be improved. Good design of voting materials should be an interactive process with diverse input.

Secretary LaRose, recall the history that finally spurred Ohio to make the changes that gave us this decade plus of expanded early and mail voting. The election of 2004 was a tragic event in our state. People waited three hours, four hours, eight hours to cast their votes. There weren’t cell phone videos of it then, but many of us were there, helping people in out of the rain and cold, helping them find chairs to rest and weave through church basements for the chance to vote on one of the five machines set up for thousands of people. This scene repeated itself throughout our state. Many people left the lines because they could not wait any longer. They had to tend to jobs, school, children. We must not repeat this awful treatment of Ohioans. We must do everything in our power to not be like Georgia last week or Ohio in 2004.

We owe Ohio voters an extra duty to ease voting this November after the chaotic and disenfranchising primary election with historically low turnout and historically high rejection of ballots. Improving Mail Voting with common sense will take pressure off of Early Voting and Election Day voting. Please let us know soon that you will include return postage with Ohio voters’ ballot applications and ballots as the law allows. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Paula Hicks-Hudson, State Representative, District 44, Chair, House Democratic Caucus COVID-19 Elections Working Group 

Michele Lepore-Hagan, State Representative, District 58

Catherine D. Ingram, State Representative, District 32

Bride Rose Sweeney, State Representative, District 14

Leader Sykes Reacts To DeWine's Police Reform Recommendations
Says governor neglected to consult or seek input from Black lawmakers
June 17, 2020

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement following Gov. DeWine’s announced police reform recommendations Wednesday:

“The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus has for years been calling for police reforms. We sat on task forces; we offered suggestions; we introduced legislation—and we were met with inaction,” Leader Sykes said.

“Black lawmakers weren’t consulted or given the opportunity to offer input on the governor’s recommendations. In fact, the first contact the governor had with OLBC regarding these recommendations was on a conference call just hours before today’s announcement.

“These are not the recommendations of Black lawmakers—far from it. What we want is to uplift the voices of Black Ohioans who we have heard from at protests, community meetings, and in everyday interactions. Statehouse Republicans, from the governor to the speaker, don’t seem interested in truly listening to Black Ohioans. They think they have the answers to hundreds of years of racism, brutality and oppression. They do not.”

While the governor’s recommendations focus primarily on policing, Democrats say that is just one aspect of needed reforms, pointing to their HCR 31, which would declare racism a public health crisis in Ohio.

HCR 31 would provide tools to engage with communities of color on issues of racism as well as promoting racially equitable economic and workforce development practices. The resolution also calls for a promotion and encouragement of policies that prioritize the health of people of color, among other provisions. Republican House leadership has refused to hold a single hearing on the resolution.


Additionally, House Democrats last week announced they will introduce a comprehensive bill package to address both police and civil justice reform. Some of the proposals include:

  • Demilitarizing police;

  • Prohibiting law enforcement agencies from profiling and requiring annual racial or other biased-based police training;

  • Prohibiting the use of arrest or citation quotas by all law enforcement agencies;

  • Expanding de-escalation and mental health training;

  • Requiring independent investigations of all officer-involved shootings and other misconduct;

  • Creating a centralized excessive use of force database;

  • Requiring the Attorney General to maintain a database showing the employment history of police officers;

  • Requiring police officers to wear clearly visible and easily traceable identification;

  • Prohibiting the use of tear gas by law enforcement.

OLBC President Reveals Repeated Requests To Former Speakers To Address "hostile Work Environment" In The Ohio House
Rep. Howse renews call to have racial equity and implicit bias training for lawmakers and staff
June 17, 2020

COLUMBUS— Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today revealed ignored requests dating back several years to three different Speakers of the House – Larry Householder, Ryan Smith and Cliff Rosenberger – to show the repeated attempts of the OLBC to get the Majority party to address a hostile work environment in the Ohio House.

“The fact remains that racism is the bedrock by which our country was built and it pervades our institutions, including the Ohio Legislature. A denial of that fact does not make it any less true and recent events prove how deeply engrained it truly is,” Rep. Howse said. “Just because some members of the Majority party may have an aversion and discomfort to talking about race, this does not make the problem go away.

As we have seen this past week with Senator Huffman’s comments, implicit bias and racial prejudices persist in 2020. And we will never be rid of them if we do not first acknowledge and discuss them. My workplace is no different than most other workplaces in America and these problems did not just arise. I have repeatedly asked for racial equity and implicit bias training for lawmakers and staff and my requests have been ignored by three different Speakers of the House. If recent events prove anything, it is the immediate need for these conversations to be happening in not only this workplace, but in all workplaces.

So OLBC calls on the Ohio House and Senate to be an example of how Ohio can lead these difficult workplace discussions by holding racial equity and implicit bias training for lawmakers and staff as soon as possible. Let’s turn what has happened recently into a teachable moment and grow as a more compassionate governing body together.”

This statement and renewed call for action follows an emotional June 11-12 floor debate in the Ohio House where Democrats’ pleas for societal change fell on deaf ears as House Republicans voted to protect the sale of the Confederate flag at Ohio’s county fairs.

Earlier that same day, news broke that state Senator Steven Huffman’s (R-Tipp City) was fired from his job as an emergency room physician at Upper Valley Medical Center for his line of questioning during a hearing of the Senate Health Committee where he asked Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, if the “colored population” were more susceptible to COVID-19 because “they did not wash their hands as well as other groups.”  Rep. Howse responded to the news by pointing out that “there is something very wrong with a world where a lawmaker can be fired from his place of employment for being racist but keep his seat as Vice Chair of the Ohio Senate Health Committee. The private sector has deemed his behavior unacceptable, however, he faces no penalty or public rebuke from Senate leadership and the Republican party.”

House Republicans have also refused to hold a single hearing for HCR 31 which would declare racism a public health crisis. This is a resolution that is not just symbolic, but that contains numerous substantive steps to address racism including providing tools to engage actively and authentically with communities of color on issues of racism as well as promoting racially equitable economic and workforce development practices. The resolution also calls for a promotion and encouragement of all policies that prioritize the health of people of color, and support local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systematic racism and mitigate exposure to adverse childhood experience and trauma including a training of all elected officials, staff, funders and grantees on workplace biases and how to mitigate them.



COLUMBUS – House Democrats announced Monday the state Controlling Board approved another round of funding to support Ohio’s efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak and to ensure safe and secure elections this fall.

“We don’t know what this fall will look like regarding the pandemic, so it’s important we provide commonsense safeguards for Ohio voters, including expanded mail-in voting and making in-person voting as safe and accessible as possible. This federal funding is just a small piece of a greater effort to ensure every Ohioan has the opportunity to have their voice heard and ballot counted this November,” said House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “As the COVID-18 pandemic continues, this funding is essential to Ohio’s ability to protect our right to vote and our most vulnerable populations.”

The Controlling Board Monday approved federal funds from the CARES Act to the following agencies to respond to the COVID-19 crisis:

  • $40.3 million to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ohio’s prisons;

  • $2 million to the Ohio EPA to conduct epidemiological studies regarding COVID-19 trends in wastewater;

  • $4.7 million to the Ohio Department of Agriculture to aid local fairs in holding events in accordance with public health guidelines this summer.

The following federal funding amounts were approved to offset multiple state agencies’ costs in responding to the pandemic:

  • $12 million to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services;

  • $3.95 million to the Ohio Department of Health;

  • $4 million to the Ohio Adjutant General;

  • $22.8 to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

The Controlling Board approved $12.8 million from the Help America Vote Act to the Secretary of State to implement a safe and secure 2020 election. These funds will go to county boards of elections to ensure polling locations have adequate cleaning supplies, PPE, and safe environments to conduct in-person voting, as well as helping the state cover the cost of sending absentee ballot requests to voters.

Last month, House Democrats introduced legislation to ensure a safe and accessible presidential election this November as the global pandemic continues, which includes protecting safe and accessible in-person voting opportunities.

“Amid revenue shortfalls, these federal dollars are needed to keep our state agencies afloat as they play a key role in responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire).



Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued a statement following today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held LGBTQ workers are protected from workplace discrimination under federal law.

“I was delighted to read the words, ‘An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.’ This decision is an important first step in ensuring our friends, family, and neighbors who identify as LGBTQ have the opportunity to fully realize their American Dream. However in order to live that dream in Ohio we must ensure discrimination based on gender identity and expression is ended through passing the Ohio Fairness Act. I call on my colleagues Speaker Householder and Senate president Obhof to immediately pass the necessary protections to ensure everyone Ohioan can live their American Dream, right here in Ohio,” Leader Sykes said.

Democrats have pushed the bipartisan Ohio Fairness Act, which would expand LGBTQ protections to include not just employment, but also housing and services in Ohio. The then-Democrat led Ohio House passed similar legislation in 2009, but Republicans have stalled the legislation in subsequent General Assemblies.

Additionally, House Democrats last year called out Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) for not extending anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ House employees—the only state employees without explicit protections.  

House Democrats: "House Republicans Vote To Protect The Confederate Flag"
Dems say symbols of racism, white supremacy, and treason have no place in Ohio
June 12, 2020

While Ohioans were sleeping, House Democratic lawmakers were offering two amendments on the House floor late Thursday and early Friday that would have prohibited the sale, display, possession or distribution of Confederate memorabilia at county and independent fairs, following a similar rule instituted by the Ohio State Fair in 2015. The motions came during floor debate on House Bill 665, which made several other changes to laws on local and county fairs. The U.S. MarinesU.S. Navy and NASCAR recently announced similar bans on Confederate memorabilia. Republicans rejected the amendments largely along party lines, voting instead to protect the sale of the Confederate flag. 

“The Confederate flag is a banner of white supremacy and a reminder of our nation’s original sin of slavery,” said Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland), the Ranking Democrat on the Agriculture Committee and sponsor of the floor amendments. “That Republicans in the Ohio House cannot bring themselves to vote to condemn and prohibit these displays of white supremacy and outright racism at our local and county exhibitions—the places where we go to celebrate the best of Ohio—is a real shame, and a black eye on this institution. If you don’t stand up to white supremacists, you stand with them.” WATCH HER FLOOR SPEECH

The amendments come amid continued demonstrations in dozens of cities and towns across Ohio where protesters have called for an end to police brutality, white supremacy and racism in the United States following the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

“Ohio was a part of the Union. The failure to oppose a symbol of treason is absurd,” said Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “The symbolism that the Confederate flag represents is racism and oppression of Black and indigenous people. The Republican-led legislature should not be using taxpayer funds to promote hate and treason. Ohioans deserve better. The fact that Republicans are unwilling to listen to the diverse voices of  Ohioans requesting to respect Black lives goes to show the disconnect between what the people want, and what the republican-led legislature is willing to do. ” WATCH HER FLOOR SPEECH

One of Brent’s amendments would have cut state funding to county and independent fairs who allow the sale of Confederate memorabilia. Republicans tabled that amendment as well.

House Bill 665 passed the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration. 

Here is what other Democrats said on the amendments:

“31,000 Ohio Union soldiers sacrificed their lives to fight that flag and everything it represents. To fly it here or anywhere in Ohio is a flagrant disrespect of those men,” said Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson). “When the Allies defeated the fascist Nazi regime, they banned the public display of the Nazi flag, a flag that like the Confederate flag represented the systematic destruction of human life. For Nazism to die, the flag had to die. That same understanding has been coming for a long time in the United States and in Ohio, but that time has come.” WATCH FULL REMARKS

“The [Confederate] flag isn’t just a piece of cloth to make a political statement or to show pride, it’s a tool to instill terror in minority populations. It’s not an issue of history or white pride, it’s a statement of white power,” said Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma). “This is the same flag that’s been adopted by extremist groups, and proudly displayed by racist organizations like the KKK… It’s too little and too late for lip service about healing divisions—it’s time to show it with your actions…Enough is enough.” WATCH FULL REMARKS

“I represent an urban district, but my roots are rural. I understand that fairs are the fabric of our community. I believe the Confederate flag is a symbol that glorifies white supremacy, slavery and treason,” said Assistant Minority leader Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus). “We need to be done talking and take action.” WATCH FULL REMARKS

“We have a handful of times in our lives that we can make a difference, that we can do what’s right, that we can stand up for ourselves and future generations. Let it be said we did the right thing,” said Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson)WATCH FULL REMARKS

“We have an opportunity to set a new standard, create a new legacy, one in which we are taking a bold step,” said Minority Whip Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo). “I stand as a descendant of the original sin of this country, and I stand and pledge allegiance to a flag that sometimes I don’t feel gives justice for all. Today, last week, tomorrow, the tide is turning. We can make a change.” WATCH FULL REMARKS

“As elected officials at every level of government…we are fiscal agents responsible for the good stewardship of taxpayer dollars…I don’t think it is at all appropriate to use taxpayer dollars in a way that will allow vendors to perpetuate white supremacy,”  said Rep. Erica Crawley (D-Columbus). “Hiding behind an argument that possibly infringes on the first amendment rights…is hypocritical when this legislature passed a bill that clearly infringed upon constitutional rights and yet the majority passed the bill anyway.” WATCH FULL REMARKS

“What we’re trying to do is not a little thing…it’s the single step we’re doing here today that means something, just like the stool in the Woolworth, the seat in the school, or the bus seat in Alabama,” said Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus). “You can vote against this, you can say that you don’t like it, but this is exactly what this legislature did in the 132nd General Assembly [in HCR 10]. You can’t hide behind the First Amendment because this is the exact same thing we did in the 132nd General Assembly.” WATCH FULL REMARKS

Rep. Howse, OLBC Issues Statement After The Firing Of Senator Huffman
OLBC president calls on Sen. Huffman, others to have racial equity and implicit bias training
June 11, 2020

COLUMBUS— Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President State Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today issued a statement in response to state Senator Steven Huffman’s (R-Tipp City) being fired from his job as an emergency room physician at Upper Valley Medical Center.

According to news reports, Senator Huffman was fired for his line of questioning during Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Health Committee where he asked Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, if the “colored population” were more susceptible to COVID-19 because “they did not wash their hands as well as other groups.”

Historically, the world “colored” is associated with segregation and Jim Crow laws and is almost universally considered offensive in 2020. Additionally, the unfounded idea that “Black people are dirty” has long been used as a racist stereotype in the United States to justify centuries of white superiority and Black oppression.

“There is something very wrong with a world where a lawmaker can be fired from his place of employment for being racist but keep his seat as Vice Chair of the Ohio Senate Health Committee. The private sector has deemed his behavior unacceptable, however, he faces no penalty or public rebuke from Senate leadership and the Republican party,” said Rep. Howse. “While we applaud the decision of the hospital to take a stand against such behavior, we would be remiss if we did not point out the culture of racism that permeates throughout our health care profession. He is not the only doctor who talks or thinks like this. What we are witnessing is not only the racial bias that exists in the Ohio Legislature, we are also seeing the bias that is prevalent in the healthcare profession and has led to the disproportionate rates of health problems within the Black community.

When we talk about the internalized racism that is deeply ingrained in our institutions and the obstacles Black Americans face in ever achieving meaningful change, this is exactly what we are talking about. Because we know Senator Huffman is not alone in the way he talks and the biases he holds. ‘Colored’ is an old word, associated with segregation and Jim Crow and has long been universally considered offensive. If someone is still using this antiquated word, that means that individual has never tried to grow and understand the deep-seeded racism in this country. This along with the use of the racist stereotype that ‘black people are dirty’ which has long been used to justify white superiority and Black oppression proves how unconscious this problem of racism is for too many and why it persists generation after generation.

We need widespread racial equity and implicit bias training now – for our lawmakers and staff, for law enforcement, for our health care providers and others. Racism is a public health crisis. We can no longer ignore it. We must act.”  

Huffman’s question was asked during a Senate committee hearing to consider declaring racism a public health crisis. The House version of the resolution, HCR 31, has zero Republican sponsors and to date, has not received a single hearing.

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, ACLU of Ohio and others have called on Huffman to resign today.

In recent weeks, Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) has voiced frustration about the lack of action from Governor Mike DeWine’s Minority Health Strike Force to respond appropriately to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s minority communities. She has echoed OLBC’s repeated calls to declare racism a public health crisis.   


Democrats Say Concealed Carry Bill Threatens Police Safety And Puts Black Lives At Risk
Say GOP bill is a step in the wrong direction to end gun violence
June 11, 2020

House Democrats today voted against House Bill 425, a GOP-backed bill that would modify concealed carry laws, eliminating the requirement for licensees to promptly notify law enforcement of their permit and if they are carrying. The bill also eliminates penalties for failure to notify, which opponents say will lead to confusion and potentially dangerous escalation—especially for people of color.

“As protestors continue to march across the country, there have been calls from law enforcement for communities to work alongside them to bridge racial divides and rebuild together. However, HB 425 is not working with police. In fact, it’s pushing through something that makes them less safe on the job while potentially putting even more black lives at risk,” said Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “No one asked for this bill. What people have asked for are commonsense solutions that keep our kids and communities safe. This is a step in the wrong direction to end gun violence, restore trust and heal the deep wounds of division in our country.”

Under current law, when stopped for a law enforcement purpose, a concealed carry licensee must promptly inform the officer of their license and disclose if they are carrying. HB 425 would require a licensee to inform and disclose before or at the time the officer asks if the person is carrying a concealed handgun. The bill also eliminates the penalty for failure to comply with the duty to notify.

“Now is NOT the time to divide law enforcement and the citizens they have sworn an oath to protect. When citizens were extended the right to conceal carry their weapons in public, they agreed to certain responsible actions to assist in their interactions with law enforcement. Duty to notify is one of them. This bill does not correct an unconstitutional policy, nor does it increase the safety of our citizens or peace officers. Now is the time to bring unity rather than division,” said Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst), the Ranking Democrat on the House Federalism Committee.

House passage of HB 425 comes amid ongoing protests across the state and around the country following the police-involved death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.

Democrats have continually pushed for commonsense gun reforms and recently introduced a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis.

Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park), a concealed carry permit-holder herself, offered an amendment on the House floor to include language from her HB 240 that would ensure firearms are stored safely and securely out of the reach of minors. Republicans rejected the amendment.

“Simply put, Child Access Prevention Laws work. States with these laws in place have 40 percent fewer suicides per capita and 68 percent fewer firearm suicides per capita than states without these laws,” said Rep. Miranda. “It is our duty to protect the lives of our children, to be the heroes for future generations—to follow the NRA’s own safe storage guidelines and to codify them."

After clearing the House, the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Democratic Priority Bill To Improve Prenatal And Maternal Health Outcomes Heads To Governor's Desk
Bill helps address racial disparities in infant mortality rates
June 11, 2020

COLUMBUS—Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) today applauded the House concurrence of House Bill (HB) 11, her bill to improve prenatal and maternal health outcomes. This Democratic priority legislation now moves to the governor’s desk for his signature.

“I am committed to changing the narrative around health disparities and death among mothers in Ohio,” said Rep. Howse, co-founder of the Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus. “I am pleased with the passage of House Bill 11 and the impact it will have on future generations. There is still more work to be done, but we are prepared to continue to fight for our mothers and babies!”

HB 11 would require the Ohio Department of Health to establish a grant program for the provision of group-based prenatal health care services to pregnant Medicaid recipients residing in areas of the state with high preterm birth rates. 

Additionally, the bill would require Medicaid coverage of tobacco cessation medications and services.

According to a report by the Ohio Department of Health in 2018, black infants die in Ohio at more than two-and-a-half times the rate of white infants. The passage of HB 11 comes as Ohio House Democratic lawmakers continue to call for meaningful action to address racial health disparities, including the passage of HCR 31 to declare racism a public health crisis.  

House Democrats Applaud Passage Of Bill To Send $350 Million In Federal Funds To Local Communities To Fight Coronavirus
Bill also re-appropriates funds for capital improvement projects across Ohio
June 11, 2020

House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued a statement as the Ohio House passed House Bill (HB) 481, which would distribute $350 million in federal CARES Act funds to aid coronavirus response in Ohio communities.

Funds will go toward reimbursement for personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line workers, testing and other costs as local communities continue to combat the global pandemic.

“Local communities are leading our response to this pandemic, working closely with frontline workers to get them the tools they need to keep Ohioans healthy and to save lives. Directing these funds to our local communities is critical, not only to stabilize their budgets during uncertain times, but to keep up the fight against this virus that remains as deadly and dangerous as ever especially as we continue to reopen the state,” said Leader Sykes.

The bill also re-appropriates $1.28 billion in capital funds over the next two years to fund various capital improvement projects across the state.

“HB 481 directs critical funding to our communities as they continue to lead our coronavirus response efforts,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the Ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee. “Additionally, we were able to re-appropriate funds to continue capital improvement projects at sites across the state, ensuring good-paying jobs to Ohio workers at a time when many are feeling the economic impact of this global crisis.”

In addition, HB 481 authorizes state employee pay freezes amid budget shortfalls as well as $3.2 million in state funding for nursing home facilities.

The bill now moves to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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