Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today expressed support for vetoes of several bills, including legislation to change the state’s energy efficiency standards to unenforceable “goals” through 2019. Critics say the bill, House Bill 554, would have harmed consumers and jeopardized thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry. 

“In a state with a proud industrial history, we must embrace the growing advanced energy sector and the manufacturing-based jobs the industry can provide if we want to remain competitive in the 21st century,” said Strahorn. “Ohio’s bipartisan energy efficiency standards have already saved money for families across the state and created jobs for thousands of hardworking Ohioans. I believe extending the energy standards freeze under the guise of unenforceable “goals” would have set Ohio back, and I am pleased that the governor agrees.” 

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. 

Strahorn also expressed support for the veto of Senate Bill (SB) 329, a sweeping bill passed in the eleventh hour of lame duck session that would have given the legislature new power to dissolve executive-branch state agencies. Under SB 329, some 25 state agencies would be forced to spend extra money and resources every four years to defend against elimination based on a number of factors, including the potential for privatization, and a regulations evaluation against other states.

“I am pleased the governor vetoed this reckless legislation that could have put Ohioans in danger by potentially shutting down essential services overnight,” said Strahorn. “The legislature already has to the ability – and responsibility – to oversee executive agencies through the state budget process. In an American democracy that relies on a healthy system of checks and balances, SB 329 was a reckless power grab by one branch of government that would have created chaos within our state every four years.” 

The governor today also line-item vetoed several tax provisions of SB 235, including a tax exemption for oil and gas producers and another for digital entertainment downloads.  

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“After months of negotiation, thousands of Ohioans speaking out, and several false starts, we’re closer to stopping congressional gerrymandering today than we have ever been before. Though imperfect, this latest plan represents one of the most fundamental tenets of our American democracy – compromise,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “We support this plan today, with the hope and expectation that it will help impart that same spirit and guiding principle of cooperation on Washington in the near future.”

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