Representative Hearcel F. Craig - House District 26

06.27.18 - Craig Announces House Passage Of Bipartisan Police Body Cam Standards Bill


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 425, legislation that deems police body camera footage a public record with certain exceptions in extreme or sensitive situations. 


04.04.18 - Craig Speaks At State's MLK Memorial Event


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today spoke at the state’s Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Memorial Event. The speech reflected on MLK’s legacy on the 50th anniversary of his tragic death. 


03.22.18 - American Legion Names Craig 2017 Legislator Of The Year


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) Thursday was presented with a 2017 Legislator of the Year award at the American Legion’s Inaugural Legislative Breakfast in the Ohio Statehouse. The lawmaker was honored for his dedication to helping Ohio veterans through a variety of legislative initiatives during his time in the state legislature. 


02.23.18 - Craig: Ohio House Dems Stand With Ohio Workers, Speak Out Against GOP Anti-worker Bills


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Democratic House members from across the state today issued statements in support of the Working People’s Day of Action planned for Saturday, February 24 at the Ohio Statehouse. The Ohio march comes on the heels of the introduction of six Republican-sponsored constitutional amendments to implement so-called “right to work” legislation and other workplace restrictions in the Buckeye State. 

“These so-called ‘right to work’ policies are wrong—for families, for workers and for Ohio. Instead of pushing the failed policies of the past, we should invest in commonsense ideas that grow our economy and create good-paying jobs for hardworking Ohioans.” —Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus)


10.24.17 - Craig Bill Creating Special License Plates For Military Service Passes House


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced the unanimous House passage of House Bill (HB) 194, bipartisan legislation to establish special license plates for military service and awards.

“I am proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle support this legislation,” said Craig, a military veteran. “In today’s times, it’s important to remember the tremendous sacrifices our military makes to protect our safety and our liberty as Americans. We are grateful for their service, and this legislation will help honor them for everything they do in keeping our country safe.”


09.25.17 - Craig, Recorder O'Connor Tackle Fair Housing Language With Proposed Law Change


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor today announced new legislation to give property owners the freedom to redact discriminatory language from their online housing documents.

The proposed law change follows O’Connor’s discoveries of racially discriminating language, or restrictive covenants, expressed in thousands of property documents that historically barred African Americans, Jews and others from owning a home in some neighborhoods.

“Even though this type of discrimination is not enforceable, I want to make it clear that in Ohio, and certainly in Franklin County, we do not condone offensive or discriminatory language of any kind,” said O’Connor.

Housing discrimination referenced in these property documents has been unlawful and unenforceable since a 1948 Supreme Court ruling and the enactment of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. However, under current Ohio law, county recorders do not hold the authority to edit documents once they have been recorded, regardless of the content.

“As a military veteran and state representative, I believe that protecting our country’s fundamental values of freedom and equality are vital to ensuring a high quality of life for everyone,” said Craig. “This language undermines our strides, advancement and progress as a community and nation. Redacting it is a small, but simple step we can take to further thoughtful dialogue within our communities, while showing would-be residents and businesses that we are not stuck in shadows of our past.”

The proposed legislation would specifically allow property owners, attorneys, title companies and other agents authorized to do business in Ohio to notify their recorder’s office of a potential restrictive covenant, as well as give the recorder permission to redact a restrictive covenant from an online version of the property document. The original document will still be held for historical purposes.

“This is not an attempt to mask or hide from our past mistakes. It is imperative we preserve our history so that we can learn from such blunders and remember how far we have come,” added O’Connor. “I believe this piece of legislation strikes a balance between preserving our past and still being able to be mindful and respectful of those who are affected by such language.”

The legislation comes amidst increased public discourse about how to remember parts of our nation’s history that have been overshadowed by discrimination, hate and racism.

“I believe there is a way to balance remembering the darkest moments in our country without allowing relics of discrimination and injustice to eclipse the progress we have made by working together,” Craig added.

The proposed House bill will be assigned to a House Standing Committee, where it will wait to receive a first hearing. 


09.07.17 - Craig Tapped To Lead Dems On BRAC, Military Affairs Task Force


Amid continuing concerns of U.S. military Base Realignment and Closures (BRAC), U.S. Army veteran and state Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) announced today he will serve as the lone Democratic legislator on the newly-created Ohio BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force.

“Military infrastructure isn’t just critical to national defense, but also to economic development, innovation and jobs in our state,” said Craig. “I am glad to be a part of this forward-looking, cooperative effort to insulate our state from missing out on new defense opportunities.”


07.07.17 - Craig: Medicaid Restrictions, Taxes Among Eleven Potential Law Changes From House GOP Veto Showdown With Governor


Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Ohio House of Representatives overrode eleven items Governor John Kasich vetoed in the recently passed state budget, House Bill (HB) 49. Under the House’s overrides, Medicaid expansion would have to be reauthorized through the state Controlling Board and new taxes on working people could be put in place as a condition of healthcare coverage.

“Although there isn’t a Medicaid freeze, Controlling Board will now decide the fate of Medicaid expansion,” said Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus). “Ohioans shouldn’t have to ask permission to have access to healthcare. Access to affordable quality healthcare is essential for all Ohioans.”


07.06.17 - Craig: GOP Bill To Weaken Concealed Carry Protections Puts Public Safety In The Crosshairs


In a political effort to hamstring Ohio House Democratic lawmakers in a pro-gun, anti-gun debate today on the House floor, Republicans brought forward House Bill (HB) 233 for a vote, legislation that allows concealed carry permit holders to knowingly bring guns or deadly weapons into daycares, schools, airports, bars and other restricted spaces, so long as the permit holder leaves when asked to do so. Individuals who refuse to leave or return to the same business while carrying a prohibited weapon within 30 days will be subject to a fourth degree misdemeanor.

“I am deeply concerned that this esteemed legislative body is willing to stand by and put children’s lives in danger,” said Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus). “I do support and fully understand the 2nd amendment, but there are serious long term implications of this bill that must be considered before acting erratically.”


06.23.17 - Bipartisan Bill To Grant Unemployment Benefits To Military Spouses Clears Ohio House


State Rep. Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) today announced the recent passage of House Bill (HB) 158, bipartisan legislation to allow military spouses to receive unemployment compensation benefits when leaving their jobs to accompany their spouses on a new military assignment. The bill, joint-sponsored by Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek), passed out of the House this week by a 87-6 vote.

“Our military families make tremendous sacrifices, especially during periods of mobilization. As families move across state lines, change schools and uproot their lives, military spouses are often relied upon to make sure ends meet,” said Craig. “This legislation will help ensure military families’ financial stability as they continue to protect and serve our country. I believe it is but a small helping hand we can lend to the brave men and women in our armed forces.”


06.22.17 - Craig Announces Passage Of Bipartisan Bill To Eliminate Unfair Traffic Fines


State Rep. Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) today announced the recent House passage of House Bill (HB) 125, legislation to protect Ohio motorists from excessive traffic fines by specifying court jurisdiction over municipal traffic ordinances. The bill, joint-sponsored by Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), passed out of the House this week by 92-1 vote.

“I believe that House Bill 125 addresses a fundamental issue of fairness. Speeding tickets should be used to enforce the law, not just to bring in revenue,” said Craig. “This legislation will help ensure that our citizens are not falling victim to abusive, excessive fines, as well as predatory speed traps set up by rogue municipalities exploiting loopholes in state law.”


05.02.17 - Craig: Ohio House Pushes Unfinished, Unbalanced State Budget Off On Senate


Before new state economic indicators come out Thursday, the Ohio House today passed a version of the state’s two-year budget, House Bill (HB) 49, that remains hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance, if not more. The vote comes a little more than two weeks after Gov. Kasich and GOP legislative leaders announced they would need to cut close to $1 billion from the bill to maintain a stable, balanced budget. Still, the final version of House Bill 49 approved largely along party lines today fell over $400 million short of being a balanced budget bill by that standard. 

Democratic members argued that passing an unbalanced budget not only violated their constitutional oath, but was fiscally irresponsible and would jeopardize Ohio’s already weak economy. Democratic lawmakers also offered several amendments on the House floor, including proposals to provide $500 million in real funding increases for opioid addiction treatment.

“I believe the statewide opioid epidemic is one of the greatest challenges facing our state, and treatment providers, law enforcement and – most of all – families are looking to their elected officials to show leadership on this issue,”said Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus). “Unfortunately, Ohioans cannot count on the opioid-related money in this budget actually reaching their communities because more budget cuts must be made after House Republicans failed to craft a balanced, fiscally responsible budget. Moving forward, I hope state leaders will finally recognize the opioid epidemic for the statewide emergency that it is and invest real money toward helping those struggling with addiction.”


04.11.17 - Craig Comments On Video Showing Police Officer Stomp Restrained Suspect's Head


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today commented on a recently-posted video that shows a Columbus city police officer stomping on the head of a restrained suspect:  

“The extreme behavior captured on bystander video is totally irresponsible and unacceptable, and does not reflect the values of the vast majority of Columbus police officers dedicated to protecting our community. 


02.10.17 - Ohio AMVETS Names Craig Legislator Of The Year


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) was recognized as a Legislator of the Year by the Ohio AMVETS in a ceremony during their Mid-Winter Conference this weekend in Columbus. Each year, the historic organization honors elected officials whose efforts protect and enhance the rights of our military servicemen and women.

“I am honored to be recognized by a group that fights every day for our veterans and military families,” Craig said. “Our uniformed men and women sacrifice so much to protect the freedoms we hold dear, and it is important that we continue to honor their dignity and service in return.”


02.03.17 - Craig Expresses Support For Efforts To Fight Against Human Trafficking


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) applauded the awareness raised by this week’s eighth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse. The event, organized by state Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), brought together law enforcement officials, advocates and survivors from all over the nation for a day of discussion on ways to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking in Ohio.

“Human trafficking isn’t a problem from centuries ago or that happens only in far off lands – it affects thousands of vulnerable Ohioans today in communities across the state,” said Craig, who gave the invocation at the event. “For this reason, Human Trafficking Awareness Day is so vital to our continued efforts to raise awareness and develop strategies to finally bring an end to modern day slavery.”  


01.31.17 - Craig Tapped To Serve As Lead Armed Services, Veterans Affairs And Homeland Security Committee Member For House Dems


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced he will return as the top Democratic member of the Ohio House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee for the new legislation session.  

“I am excited to return as ranking member for the Armed Services committee,” said Craig, an army veteran. “I look forward to bringing my experience and perspective to the table when crafting legislation to help our military vets.” 


05.06.16 - Rep. Craig Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Boost Columbus' Smart Cities Challenge Bid


State Reps. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) this week introduced bipartisan legislation to urge the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to select the city of Columbus as the award winner of Smart Cities Challenge. 


04.12.16 - Bipartisan Bill To Prohibit Excessive, Unnecessary Traffic Tickets Passes Through House


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced his bipartisan legislation, House Bill 335, to establish restrictions for traffic fines, fees and other charges in small villages and specify the jurisdiction of municipal or county courts, passed through the Ohio House. 


03.18.16 - Rep. Craig To Host State Employee Community Forum In Columbus


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) will host a community forum regarding retirement options and healthcare benefits for state employees and retirees on Thursday, March 31st from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Columbus Metropolitan Driving Park Library.


03.10.16 - Democratic Lawmakers Seek To Modernize Wages For Ohio Workers


State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) this week introduced House Bill 486, legislation to modernize the state’s minimum wage in order to give hardworking Ohioans the ability to make ends meet and support their families. 


02.16.16 - Bipartisan Bill To Prohibit Excessive, Unnecessary Traffic Tickets One Step Closer To Law


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced his bipartisan legislation, House Bill 335, to establish restrictions for traffic fines, fees and other charges in small villages and specify the jurisdiction of municipal or county courts, cleared the House Local Government Committee. 


02.08.16 - Rep. Hearcel Craig Recognized As A Leader In The Advancement Of The African American Community


The Central Seventh-day Adventist Church of Columbus, Ohio honored Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) Saturday with the Black History Achievement Award. Rep. Craig received the award during the Church’s Worship Experience.


12.02.15 - Craig: "Right To Work" Is Wrong For Workers, Wrong For Ohio


House Democratic lawmakers this week pushed back against House Bill 377, saying passage of the so-called “right to work” legislation will lead to lower wages, more workplace accidents and deaths, and an overall race to the bottom that will harm Ohio’s working families. Introduced by Republican Tom Brinkman, HB 377 would effectively weaken collective bargaining rights in the state by outlawing what are known as fair share fees, or costs stemming from the collective bargaining process that typically brings higher wages and better benefits for all employees, union and non-union alike. 


09.04.15 - Rep. Craig Gives Invocation Honoring Charlie Company Veterans


COLUMBUS— State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today gave an invocation honoring the men of the Charlie Company at a program at Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus. The memorial event was held nearly 65 years after the United States Marine Corps reserve unit departed to fight in the Korean

“These honorable American heroes deserve to be recognized for their everlasting commitment to our country. The willingness of this true band of brothers to fight in defense of our nation merits our deepest respect and praise,” said Craig, an Army veteran and member of the House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs, and Public Safety Committee. 


08.05.15 - Craig Commemorates 50th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act


Democratic legislators in both the House and Senate today announced resolutions commemorating the 50th anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act. Passed in 1965 and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Voting Rights Act was a historic piece of civil rights legislation that guaranteed all Americans – regardless of race – the constitutional right to vote without unfair barriers. The honorary resolutions will be introduced by Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) in the House and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) in the Senate. 

Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) released the following statement regarding the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act: 

“The 1965 Voting Right Act was among the most profound and important pieces of legislation in the history of our nation. It advanced the cause of freedom, securing the right to vote so that future generations would not have to suffer the indignities of Jim Crow and bigotry manifested in the injustice and evil of poll taxes and literacy tests. The right to vote should never be taken for granted.”


08.03.15 - Rep. Craig Says State To Fund OSU Business Technology Projects


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced over $1 million in state funds for technology projects through Ohio State University (OSU). The university is partnering with neighboring communities to improve local fiber optic networks and to provide technology for area start-ups. 


06.26.15 - Rep. Craig Announces Funding For Veterans With TBI


Today’s vote on the state’s new two-year state budget included an amendment offered by State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus), which funds the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, an organization that assists military veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) recover and find employment. State funds will be used to support the foundation’s Employment Initiative and Community TBI Education Program. 


01.22.15 - Craig To Serve On Ohio House Legislative Panels


State Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) today announced the committees on which he will serve to help shape and refine public policy. 


01.07.15 - Hearcel Craig Sworn In As State Representative


“I am excited and humbled to begin a new journey representing the 26th House District,” said Rep. Craig.  “I will continue working hard for the people of Columbus at the Statehouse to create high-quality jobs, strengthen our neighborhoods and grow our local economy.”