Representative Jack Cera - House District 96
 

10.30.17 - Cera Responds To State Panel's Re-approval Of Medicaid

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today responded to the state Controlling Board’s re-approval of Medicaid care in Ohio.

“Putting politics over public policy at the Ohio Statehouse creates uncertainty in the marketplace and puts thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs at risk. In Ohio, more and more people report to work each day at hospitals, health centers and nursing homes, earning over eleven billion dollars that, in turn, are injected into our economy,” said Cera. “This kind of political brinksmanship injects uncertainty into our economy, for healthcare professionals and for the three million Ohioans who access healthcare through Medicaid. Taxpayers want certainty and stability in their everyday lives, not more politics. There’s enough turmoil in Washington, we don’t need to bring it back home to Ohio.”

The state panel’s reconsideration of Medicaid was the result of a partisan budget amendment that now requires the panel to re-approve Medicaid after the its approval in the state budget, setting up high-stakes showdown that could block some three million Ohioans from receiving care, cut thousands of jobs in hospitals, and end all Medicaid funding by 2018.

Rep. Cera serves on the seven-member state Controlling Board, which comprises four Republicans and two Democrats split between both Houses of the General Assembly, as well as the governor’s director of Budget and Management, who serves as the board president.

 
 

10.23.17 - Rep. Cera Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Expand High-speed Broadband Access

 

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) recently introduced House Bill (HB) 378, a bill that would create the Ohio Broadband Development Grant Program, a program designed to encourage the expansion of broadband technology to unserved areas in the state.

 
 

10.19.17 - Cera Approves Close To A Half-million In Funding For Local Job Training, Development

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) this week approved $422,258 to support joint ventures between local colleges and local businesses that help taxpayers earn the skills and qualifications needed for good jobs in in-demand fields. The Eastern Ohio lawmaker voted for the funding at Monday’s meeting of the state Controlling Board, the state spending oversight panel on which Cera serves as one of six legislative members.

“Investing in the skills and talents of working people in our community results in higher wages, better jobs and greater opportunity for our region as a whole,” said Cera. “With this kind of strategic approach, we’re not just better positioned for the future, but we’re meeting workers where they’re at now, transitioning from jobs to good-paying careers that can sustain a family and let people plan for their future.”

Belmont College received $279,775 for its regionally aligned health care and energy industries program and Eastern Gateway Community College received $142,483 for its manufacturing and energy industries program through the state’s RAPIDS (Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills) program. The program supports education and skill training of workers and students for in-demand industries.

 

 
 

10.12.17 - Rep. Jack Cera Supports Tax Change For Veterans' Organizations

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 24, which unanimously passed the House Wednesday. HB 24 benefits veterans’ organizations by modifying property tax exemptions under Ohio law.

 
 

10.03.17 - Cera Named To Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Working Group

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today was named to a four-member, bipartisan panel of state legislators to review and suggest reforms to the way Ohio draws districts for congressional seats. Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative in 2015 to reform redistricting for statehouse districts.

“Our Democracy is strongest when people feel like their vote counts, and that starts with putting an end to gerrymandering in Ohio,” said state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “We expect a process that is open, transparent and accountable to all public voices, groups and citizens who want change and progress. We need to put our political differences aside and do right by those who sent us here.”

Four lawmakers, two Republicans and two Democrats, will review current congressional redistricting practices, gather input from the public and make recommendations to the General Assembly later this year. Any action state lawmakers take would need approval from the voters, and a proposal could be placed on the statewide ballot as early as next year.

“Throughout his time at the Statehouse, Rep. Cera has been a voice for fairness and accountability. His experience, knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to this group and to the taxpayers who want us to work together to deliver results,” said Minority Leader Rep. Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton).

Working group meetings are expected to be held as soon as this month, though official dates and times have yet to be released.

 
 

09.22.17 - Cera's Bill Honoring Vietnam Veterans Passes House Committee

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) yesterday gave sponsor testimony for House Bill (HB) 308, legislation to rename a portion of State Route 7 to “Ohio Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway” in honor of local Vietnam veterans.

“Being from East Ohio, I know firsthand the commitment and contribution many selfless individuals from our communities have made to our nation’s military,” said Cera. “In commemoration of their service, this legislation will honor upper Ohio Valley Vietnam veterans who fought and sacrificed greatly to ensure our safety and protect our freedom.”

 
 

09.13.17 - Cera Announces $10,000 Grant For Spirit Of 76 VFD

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced that the Spirit of 76 in Bellaire has been awarded a $10,000 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant.

“The fact that the Spirit of 76 was selected to receive this grant is a testament to the selflessness, dedication and excellence of this volunteer fire department,” said Cera. “These funds will be put to good use, helping to upgrade equipment and make it easier for our local heroes to continue to protect people in our community.”

 
 

09.12.17 - Rep. Cera Introduces Bipartisan Bill To Shield Judges' Personal Information

 

In a show of bi-partisanship, state Reps. Jack Cera (D-Belmont) and Stephen A. Huffman (R- Miami) have joined forces to introduce legislation that excludes the personal and residential information of judges from public records.

House Bill 341 helps protect the personal information on Ohio’s judges in order to keep them and their families safe from disgruntled individuals who wish them harm.

“While there is no guarantee that this legislation would have prevented the recent attack on Judge Bruzzese, it certainly serves as a safety measure. It gives judges the same exemptions that many other public servants receive under Ohio law,” said Cera.

 
 

08.22.17 - Cera Announces Release Of $300,000 For Infrastructure Improvements At Local University

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the release of over $300,000 in state funds for infrastructure repairs at Ohio University Eastern (OUE) campus, located in Belmont County. The funding was approved yesterday by the state Controlling Board, a panel tasked with oversight of state spending.

“OUE provides affordable and quality education to many local residents and students from nearby communities,” said Cera. “These infrastructure improvements will make OUE’s campus more appealing, accessible and welcoming to current and prospective students. I look forward to seeing the state support more development projects in Belmont County.”

 
 

07.10.17 - State Raids Severance Tax Fund To Pay Off Unrelated Grand Lake St. Marys Lawsuit Settlement

 

Over objections from state Controlling Board member Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the Republican-controlled panel tasked with oversight of state spending approved a Kasich Administration request today to pay off a Grand Lake St. Marys landowners’ lawsuit against the state using severance tax revenue from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources oil & gas fund. Republicans slipped the maneuver into the state budget at the eleventh hour with no debate or notice.

“Lawmakers should be held accountable for resorting to one-time cash-grabs and shell games to prop up unstable budgets and poor job growth,” Cera said. “This sheds new light on the dangerous and dishonest financial tricks lawmakers will play to bolster political talking points. This funding should be used to put people back to work in Eastern Ohio at good-paying jobs that can sustain a family and let us plan for our future.”

The cash-grab to pay off the almost decade-old lawsuit makes use of some $15 million in severance tax funds that are normally required to be used for related oil and gas drilling needs in impacted communities. Republicans state lawmakers already transferred $10 million from the fund to prop up the state budget shortfall early in June.

“This multi-million-dollar cash grab by the state shows where Columbus politicians’ priorities are – not with hardworking taxpayers and property owners in Eastern Ohio,” Cera added. “After almost ten years to plan for a lawsuit settlement in the western part of Ohio, state officials failed to responsibly plan for the future and instead are robbing our area of what’s rightfully ours.”

The settlement comes on the heels of the state budget vote. Cera tried to amend the budget to dedicate at least $10 million in severance tax money for infrastructure repairs and related services in Eastern Ohio communities. His efforts were defeated along party lines.

Cera, the lead Democrat on the House budget committee, has been an outspoken on the need to return severance tax revenue to local communities in Eastern Ohio for job training, safety and infrastructure improvements and economic development.

 
 

06.23.17 - Cera Questions Kasich Administration On Using Severance Tax Revenue To Balance State Budget

 

During the first meeting of the budget conference committee Thursday, Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) questioned Budget Director Tim Keen on the amount of revenue generated by the state severance tax on oil and gas, arguing that any excess revenue should be redirected to the Eastern Ohio communities most impacted by the oil and gas industry.  

In response to a question from Rep. Cera, Director Keen indicated that the severance tax is generating millions of dollars more than is needed to run the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ regulatory program, but that the Kasich administration proposes to use the excess shale revenue to help fill the hole in the state budget instead of helping eastern Ohio. 

“It’s bad enough that this budget shortchanges eastern Ohio’s schools and local governments and does nothing to create new, good-paying jobs – now they are going to steal eastern Ohio’s severance money too,” Cera stated. “The governor and the Republican legislature needs to recognize that these severance tax dollars come from our natural resources and out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers in eastern Ohio.” 

 
 

06.22.17 - Cera Seeks To Improve Health Of Ohio Coal Miners With Black Lung Disease

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) yesterday offered testimony in front of the House Insurance Committee Members on House Bill (HB) 99, legislation to create an alternative procedure for filing workers’ compensation claims for coal miners with black lung disease to better ensure those affected receive fair and necessary benefits.

“As an Eastern Ohio native and elected official, I am dedicated to improve the health and well-being of our state’s coal miners,” said Cera. “This bill sets up procedures to give Ohio coal miners with black lung disease an opportunity to receive temporary benefits while awaiting confirmation for federal benefits.”

 
 

06.22.17 - Cera: House Dems Highlight State's Grim Financial Reality, Dismal Economic Outlook Ahead Of Final Budget Negotiations

 

Before state lawmakers head into conference committee to hammer out the final details of the state biennial budget, House Democratic leaders today questioned whether the legislation adequately addresses the state’s current fiscal crisis that has left Ohio families struggling to make ends meet and communities underwater. 

“The budget isn’t real until it’s a fact-based plan that sets priorities and delivers results. This budget is just more of the same that has been holding Ohio back,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “The fact is: when we hit bottom, you don’t keep digging. Passing a fake budget built on empty promises will only push Ohio into a recession.” 

 
 

06.02.17 - Dem Lawmakers Aim To Ease Tax Burden On Working Families

 

State Reps. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 243, legislation aimed at delivering economic relief to working families who have been hurt by tax shifts enacted in the past several state budgets. The proposal would exempt from sales and use taxes the sale of firewood and certain other heating fuels such as propane, oil and kerosene. Under the initiative, the state would be required to reimburse counties and transit authorities that suffer a loss of revenue as a result of the legislation.

“Governor Kasich and republicans in the legislature have increased the tax burden on those buying goods and services to pay for income tax cuts that have disproportionately benefitted the wealthiest Ohioans,” said Patterson. “For working families struggling to get by, every cent counts. The state has a long tradition of exempting products that serve a basic need from taxation – this bill will help ensure families are able to afford the fuel that heats their homes.”

 
 

06.01.17 - Cera Applauds House Passage Of "back-to-school" Sales Tax Holiday

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the recent passage of Senate Bill (SB) 9, bipartisan legislation to establish a three-day sales tax “holiday” during the weekend of August 4-6, 2017 for “back-to-school” clothing and school supplies. This will be the third consecutive year that Ohio institutes such a tax holiday if the measure is signed by Gov. John Kasich. 

“The Ohio sales tax holiday helps provide a small savings during the back-to-school shopping season, and I know working families trying to makes ends meet need every financial break they can get,” said Cera, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Additionally, our state border communities usually see an increase in traffic during these sales tax holiday weekends. I hope the tax holiday on school supplies will create a domino effect that extends to other local businesses, such as restaurants and gas stations, when it comes to reaping the benefits of this tax-free event.”

 
 

05.05.17 - Cera Votes Against Unbalanced Budget As State Fiscal Crisis Deepens

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the lead Democratic member on the House budget committee, voted “no” on the House version of the state budget Tuesday, expressing concern the budget was unbalanced and fiscally irresponsible.

“The state has responsibility to balance the budget and pay its bills, just like the families and people in our community,” said Cera. “Not only is that responsibility important to the economic stability of the working people and families of our state, but it’s required under our constitution. This isn’t Washington.”

 
 

04.26.17 - House Screening Panel Recommends Tavia Galonski For 35th House District Seat

 

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.”

 
 

04.13.17 - House Dems Respond To GOP's Proposed Budget Cuts Of Close To $1 Billion Due To Lagging Economy, Limited Growth

 

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)

 
 

04.11.17 - Dem Leaders Show Path To Ohio Recession Paved By GOP Economic Policies

 

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.”

 
 

04.03.17 - Cera Offers Bold Plan To Address Neglected Water Infrastructure Needs, Create Jobs

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today unveiled a bold plan to restore Ohio’s aging water and sewer systems and drive economic growth in the state. The Bellaire lawmaker’s amendment to the state budget would leverage $1 billion from the Budget Stabilization Fund (the Rainy Day Fund) to provide low-interest loans and grants to local governments to help build reliable, efficient, and modern water infrastructure systems that will ensure clean drinking water and fuel a strong and thriving economy.

“Investing in our state’s water infrastructure will help create good-paying jobs, drive economic growth and enhance the quality of life for families in our state,” said Cera. “Every Ohioan deserves to have clean, safe drinking water when they turn on their faucet. Modernizing Ohio’s aging water infrastructure will protect the health and well-being of all Ohioans while also creating jobs and boosting the state economy.”

 
 

03.22.17 - Lawmakers Reach Across Aisle To Boost Neglected Eastern Ohio Communities

 

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) have partnered together to ensure that communities in the shale area of the state benefit from the recent increase in oil and gas drilling. The lawmakers today provided sponsor testimony in the House Ways and Means Committee on House Bill 105, their bipartisan legislation to reinvest severance tax revenue in Eastern Ohio. 

“The shale area of our state has been ignored long enough. It’s time for Columbus to wake up and do the right thing by investing in the eastern Ohio communities most impacted by oil and natural gas activity,” said Cera. “This legislation helps create a positive environment for the industry to grow, while at the same time assisting local governments and communities with repairs to roadways and bridges.” 

 
 

03.09.17 - Cera Urges Congress To Protect Pension Benefits For Ohio Coal Miners

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today continued to fight on behalf of Ohio coal miners by announcing legislation to encourage the U.S. Congress to pass the Miners Protection Act, federal legislation to protect pension and health care benefits for coal miner retirees and their families. 

“Years ago, a promise was made to coal miners that they could earn guaranteed healthcare and retirement benefits – and we need to keep that promise,” said Cera. “Many individuals have been killed on the job or died slow, painful deaths from black lung disease. It is unfathomable that the survival of retirement pensions and health care benefits for the people who have helped build this country is being questioned. These hard working individuals and their families deserve the benefits they’ve earned, and more.”  

 
 

03.02.17 - Rep. Cera: Bipartisan Bill To Modernize State Domestic Violence Laws Clears Ohio House

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the recent House passage of House Bill (HB) 1, bipartisan legislation to modernize Ohio’s domestic violence laws. Joint-sponsored by Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Nathan Manning (R-N. Ridgeville), HB 1 will allow victims of dating violence to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker, a protection currently allowed in every state except Ohio and Georgia.

“I am pleased to support this bill that closes an outdated legal loophole and offers protection to thousands of vulnerable Ohioans,” said Cera. “This will establish the necessary safeguards citizens need to stop the cycle of domestic violence.”

 
 

03.01.17 - Cera: State Transportation Budget Clears Ohio House

 

In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House today approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years.  

“This transportation budget provides billions for much-needed construction work on Ohio’s roads and bridges and will create jobs,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), ranking member of the House Finance Committee. “With technology advancing at a rapid pace, there is still more work to be done to fully address Ohio’s future transportation needs. However, I am confident that this bill will move Ohio forward.” 

 
 

03.01.17 - Cera Fights For Local Communities' Fair Share Of State Grants

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) this week questioned state officials on whether local communities get their fair share of state grants for boating facilities compared to state parks.   

“Ohio’s river communities deserve the opportunity to compete on an even playing field for state boating grants,” said Cera. “With ODNR already receiving $26 million in capital funds for state projects, I am concerned that the agency is taking money away from a grant program meant for local communities.”

 
 

03.01.17 - Rep. Cera: State Transportation Budget Clears Ohio House

 

In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House today approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years. 

“This transportation budget provides billions for much-needed construction work on Ohio’s roads and bridges and will create jobs,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), ranking member of the House Finance Committee. “With technology advancing at a rapid pace, there is still more work to be done to fully address Ohio’s future transportation needs. However, I am confident that this bill will move Ohio forward.”

 
 

03.01.17 - State Transportation Budget Clears Ohio House

 

In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House today approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years. 

“This transportation budget provides billions for much-needed construction work on Ohio’s roads and bridges and will create jobs,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), ranking member of the House Finance Committee. “With technology advancing at a rapid pace, there is still more work to be done to fully address Ohio’s future transportation needs. However, I am confident that this bill will move Ohio forward.” 

 
 

02.15.17 - With Intra-GOP State Budget Fight Looming, House Dems Say Struggling State Economy Should Be Wakeup Call

 

With Ohio “on the verge of recession” and continuing to trail the nation in job growth, Democratic members of the House Finance Committee Tuesday said it was time for state leaders and lawmakers to “wake up” ahead of the next round of budget deliberations

“Republicans promised trickle-down tax policies would grow our economy and create good-paying jobs, but these policies of the past have only held Ohio back from growth and opportunity,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Cera), ranking member on the House Finance Committee. “After six years in charge, Gov. Kasich now says Ohio is on the verge of a recession – and yet the state budget plan offers more of the fundamentally flawed tax shifting that got us here. Ohio’s middle class families cannot afford more of the same. It’s not working. It’s time to wake up to the on-the-ground reality in our state.”

 
 

02.15.17 - Cera Bill Allocates Kilowatt Hour Tax Dollars For Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Mine Safety

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has introduced legislation to address the reclaiming of old mine sites that may be jeopardized by a lack of available funding due to declining coal production and severance tax revenue. The legislation would also encourage the employment of coal miners who lose their jobs and help fund mine safety training. 

Cera’s legislation, House Bill (HB) 15, calls for allocating three percent of funds from the Kilowatt Hour Tax Receipts Fund to the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund, the Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Abatement and Treatment Fund, and for allocating an additional .75 percent to the Mine Safety Fund. 

The Bellaire lawmaker noted that Ohio is seeing coal mining on the decline for a variety of reasons. The decline is impacting the state’s severance taxes, which help fund the reclaiming of old mine sites. With less coal being mined, there will also be less federal money available for the reclamation of these sites mined prior to reclamation laws taking effect. 

“By allocating funds for reclamation, restoration projects and AMD problems, we can help improve land and water resources adversely affected by past pre-law coal mining practices, especially in eastern Ohio,” said Cera. 

 
 

02.06.17 - Cera Announces Restroom Renovations At Jefferson Lake State Park

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the release of $783,893 in state funds for renovations at three public restrooms at Jefferson Lake State Park in Jefferson County.

“Jefferson Lake State Park is a treasured camping getaway utilized by many residents in my district,” stated Cera.  “It’s important that its’ facilities receive regular maintenance so that it can be enjoyed for many years to come.” 

 
 

01.31.17 - Cera Tapped To Serve As Lead Finance Committee Member For House Dems

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced he will serve as the top Democratic member of the Ohio House Finance Committee for the new legislative session. 

“I am humbled by our leadership team’s trust in me to help carry the state budget through Finance Committee, and I look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to create a stronger economy and improve the livelihood of all Ohioans,” said Cera. “Additionally, I am especially honored to be in a position to help the people of my district in Eastern Ohio to overcome the challenges that we have faced over the last several years, such as job loss and the opioid crisis, and will work diligently on their behalf.” 

 
 

01.30.17 - Cera: Tax Shifting In Proposed State Budget Represents Failed Plan From The Past, Not One For The Future

 

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. 

 
 

01.23.17 - Rep. Cera Announces Funding For Ongoing Student Success Center Project

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the release of $126,000 in state funding for the completion of architectural designs for the Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC) Jefferson Campus Student Success Center project. The goal of the project is to transform the college’s computer wing into a one-stop location for all student support services necessary from the time of enrollment through graduation.

“I am pleased to see the state’s continued support for this exciting project in eastern Ohio,” said Cera. “Centralizing and modernizing student support services will eliminate physical and technological barriers and create a more welcoming environment for all students.”

 
 

01.20.17 - Cera Appointed To Serve On State Controlling Board

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced his recent appointment to the state Controlling Board, a legislative panel tasked with oversight of state spending, including capital construction projects, loans and grants. 

“I am honored to be selected to serve on the Controlling Board, which plays a key accountability role in ensuring taxpayer money is spent in a prudent manner,” said Cera, who is the longest serving member of the House Democratic Caucus. “I look forward to working across the aisle to ensure our infrastructure and vital public services are well-maintained throughout the state, including in Eastern Ohio.”

 
 

01.03.17 - Cera Sworn In To Represent 96th Ohio House District

 

With family by his side, Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) was sworn in as state representative for the 96th house District today by House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn. Cera, the longest serving member of the House Democratic Caucus, returned to the Statehouse today to officially begin the 132nd General Assembly.

“It is an honor to return to the Statehouse to continue fighting for good paying jobs, quality schools and more opportunity for our community,” said Cera. “We have made progress, but more work needs to be done to ensure eastern Ohioans aren’t overlooked when it comes to state investments and economic growth.” 

 
 

12.14.16 - Representative Cera Recognizes Historic Appalachian Region Landmarks

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today joined other elected officials from Ohio's Appalachian region at the 6th annual Appalachia Ohio Heritage Statehouse Luncheon to honor landmarks that highlight local Appalachian history and culture. Rep. Cera presented commendations to both Quaker Meeting House of Mt. Pleasant and Ohio River Ferry Boat Festival at the event.

 
 

12.08.16 - Cera Memorial Highway Legislation Heads To Governor's Desk

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced that legislation honoring two fallen World War II heroes from Belmont County will soon be signed into law. Originally introduced as House Bill 584, Cera’s legislation to name portions of I-70 in Belmont County posthumously in honor of two local Medal of Honor recipients was rolled into Senate Bill 207, a separate road naming bill that passed the General Assembly today.

Cera’s legislation honors two Eastern Ohio soldiers, Sergeant Sylvester Antolak and Sergeant Emile DeLeau, Jr., who bravely fought in World War II and received America’s highest military honor for their acts of valor. According to Rep. Cera, Dick Stobbs, a decorated Vietnam veteran and member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, contacted his office with the idea to honor these Medal of Honor recipients. 

 
 

12.08.16 - Cera: Ohio Finally Joins Majority Of States To Extend Cancer Protection To Firefighters

 

House Democratic lawmakers today heralded the passage of Senate Bill 27, legislation to ensure firefighters disabled by cancer as a result of their hazardous line of work are eligible for benefits from the workers’ compensation fund and the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.

“How many of us would be brave enough to run into a fire instead of away from it? Firefighters risk their safety every day in order to protect their neighbors and their community, so it is only right that we have their back in times of medical need,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “This legislation is a long overdue reform that will assist the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.”

Research conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found that firefighters show higher rates of certain types of cancer than the general U.S. population as a result of occupational exposure. The study also found that the chance of a lunch cancer diagnosis or death for a firefighter increases with the amount of time spent at fires, while the chance of leukemia death increases with the number of fire runs.   

 
 

11.17.16 - Cera Announces $400K For Belmont County Reclamation Project

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) this week led the Council on Unreclaimed Strip Mined Lands (CURSML) to approve $400,000 for the Linn Tipple Gob Pile Reclamation project. The gob pile, located in Washington Township, consists of 7.7 acres of barren abandoned coal mine waste material and is upslope of an active rail line. 

“This sound investment from the state will keep acid mine drainage from entering the watershed,” said Cera. “The cut and fill earthwork and grading included in the project cost will help divert drainage and keep State Route 148 roadways and culverts open for traffic.” 

 
 

10.07.16 - Cera Honors Belmont County Heroes With Memorial Highway Bill

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) joined local veterans today at the Belmont County Veterans Services Agency to announce the introduction of House Bill 584, legislation to name portions of I-70 in Belmont County posthumously in honor of two local Medal of Honor recipients. 

Cera’s legislation honors two Eastern Ohio soldiers, Sergeant Sylvester Antolak and Sergeant Emile DeLeau, Jr., who bravely fought in World War II and received America’s highest military honor for their acts of valor. 

“These two American heroes went above and beyond the call of duty. They put themselves in harm’s way to protect human life and advance freedom, liberty and democracy across the globe,” said Cera.

 
 

09.27.16 - Rep. Cera: State Funding To Assist North Bellaire's Industrial Park Helps Create Local Jobs

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) recently announced the State Controlling Board approved $150,000 in funding for the Belmont County Port Authority to assist efforts in the expansion at North Bellaire’s Industrial Park. The state dollars are provided through The Roadwork Development Grant administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

 
 

09.16.16 - Cera: Don't Be Discouraged By New State Grade Cards For Local Schools

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today encouraged local education leaders and parents to avoid reading too much into new state report cards for local school districts. School districts across the state Thursday received report cards under a new testing system.

“Schools once again are forced to adjust to the ever-changing education policies that come out of Columbus,” said Cera. “Just as teachers, administrators, students and parents figure out the last round of standards, Columbus is putting a new system in place, and it is frustrating to say the least. But, we cannot be discouraged by a new state website with flawed letter grades. In many classrooms throughout our community, we know our kids and teachers are making progress, much of which can’t be measured by bureaucrats in Columbus or a test vendor in Washington.”

Over the past three years, the state has changed testing vendors and methods three times, leaving local districts with a constantly changing evaluation system for student achievement.

 

 
 

08.25.16 - Cera Issues Statement On First Meeting Of State Unemployment Compensation Review Panel

 

Following today’s first meeting of the state’s bicameral, bipartisan legislative panel tasked with fixing the insolvency of Ohio’s unemployment compensation system, one of two Democratic members of the eight-member panel, state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) issued the following statement:

“I am hopeful today’s meeting marks the beginning of a thoughtful and balanced approach to shoring up our state’s ability to meet the needs of jobless Ohioans. I believe it is clear to many lawmakers, businesses and working people that the most recent one-sided partisan proposal, House Bill 394, is wrong for our state because it focused on extreme cuts to the lifeline we extend to vulnerable citizens and families in times of need. I look forward to working across the aisle to come to a fair solution that prioritizes the financial stability of Ohio’s economy and families.”

 
 

07.28.16 - Rep. Cera Encourages Ohio Families To Take Advantage Of Tax-free Shopping Next Weekend

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced Ohio’s second-ever sales tax-free holiday scheduled for next weekend, August 5-7. The tax-free holiday runs Friday through Sunday and covers many back-to-school items, including clothing, school supplies and instructional materials.

“The recent tax shifts under Gov. Kasich may drive shoppers in border areas to purchase back-to-school items in a neighboring state,” said Cera, who co-sponsored the bill to create this year’s sale tax holiday. “The sales-tax holiday is an opportunity for Ohio parents and teachers to shop at local businesses and save money on important purchases before the start of the new school year.”    

 
 

07.25.16 - Cera Objects To Husted's No-bid, Half-million Dollar Contract For GOP Media Firm

 

Controlling board member state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today objected to the state spending oversight panel’s approval of a $549,411 no-bid contract request from Ohio Secretary of State John Husted for Columbus-based Pierce Communications, Inc.’s work on an September 2016 “voter education effort.”

Pierce, a predominately GOP campaign-consulting firm, will use the funding for production costs and media-buys on television and radio for an undisclosed “voter education effort” leading up to the 2016 general election. The state contract with Pierce also maintains a strict confidentiality clause, prohibiting the company from releasing information about the public campaign without prior consent of the Ohio Secretary of State. 

 
 

07.14.16 - Cera Urges Public Participation On Education Revisions

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) recently announced that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is once again requesting public input on Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts and mathematics.

“I wanted to take the time to share this opportunity with the people of the 96th District because I have received many questions from teachers, parents and administrators about the education department’s new revisions,” said Cera. “This is a perfect opportunity for parents to get involved in the process and voice their questions, comments and concerns with those who create these standards directly.”

 
 

06.16.16 - Eastern Ohio Lawmaker Supports New Law To Reduce Violent Crime

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today applauded the signing into law of Senate Bill (SB) 97, legislation aimed at protecting communities and reducing gun crimes by targeting repeat violent offenders. 

“This legislation is focused on removing the most violent and dangerous criminals from our streets and away from our children and loved ones,” said Cera, who co-sponsored the bill. “By imposing stiffer penalties on violent career criminals, we can help keep our communities safe.”  

 
 

05.25.16 - GOP Lawmakers Reject Proposals To Assist Eastern Ohio Communities

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) yesterday offered several amendments to House Bill 547, the Ohio Budget and Management review bill, aimed at supporting eastern Ohio communities affected by the coal and oil and gas industries. 

Both measures – one to return a portion of severance tax revenue to the communities impacted by oil and gas drilling, another to support abandoned mine reclamation, promote mine safety, and encourage the employment of laid-off mine workers – were rejected by the Republican members on the House Finance Committee. 

“Eastern Ohio is disproportionately impacted by the increase in oil and gas drilling activity, so it is only fair to direct a portion of the severance tax back to the communities whose road and bridges are deteriorating under the weight of increased truck traffic,” said Cera. “I can’t stand by while the state continues to neglect our Appalachian communities.” 

 
 

05.09.16 - Cera Plan Would Assist Communities Impacted By Oil And Gas Drilling

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) last week introduced House Bill (HB) 540, legislation to assist local communities impacted by oil and gas drilling. The Bellaire lawmaker’s proposal would direct a portion of state severance tax revenue to affected communities in order to help them rebuild crumbling roadways and provide fire and emergency services. 

“Eastern Ohio’s roads and bridges are deteriorating under the weight of the increased truck traffic brought by the oil and gas industry. It is only fair that a portion of the severance tax is used to restore our communities’ infrastructure,” said Cera. “This proposal takes surplus dollars over and beyond what is needed by ODNR and sends them back to eastern Ohio.” 

 
 

05.04.16 - Proposal To Lessen State Tax Shifting Rejected By House GOP

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today expressed disappointment that the state legislature rejected an amendment aimed at helping working and middle-class families make ends meet by eliminating the sales tax on everyday essential items, such as feminine hygiene products, disposable baby diapers and non-prescription medications and drugs.

The Bellaire lawmaker offered a floor amendment to House Bill 466, legislation to exempt online advertisements from the state sales and use tax. 

“Just as businesses are seeking to roll back the sales tax shift that has been enacted over the past several years, Ohio’s working families are looking to the General Assembly for help,” said Cera. “Tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest one-percent have been paid for by shifting taxes onto middle-class and working families. This amendment would have helped restore fairness to Ohio’s tax code.” 

 
 

04.11.16 - Cera Pushes New Plan To Ensure Economic Stability, Health Of Ohio Coal Miners With Black Lung

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 510, legislation to ensure coal miners and their families receive fair disability compensation should they contract the deadly black lung disease in the course of their work. According to federal experts, rates of black lung disease are the highest they’ve been in 40 years among Appalachian coal miners. 

 
 

03.23.16 - Cera Proposal To Put Displaced Coal Miners Back To Work On Reclamation Projects

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the introduction of House Bill 489, legislation to support abandoned mine reclamation, promote mine safety, and encourage the employment of laid-off mine workers.  

 
 

03.10.16 - Dem Lawmakers Propose Reducing Cost Of Everyday Essentials

 

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) this week introduced House Bill 484, legislation to help working and middle class families make ends meet by reducing the cost of every essential items, such as feminine hygiene products, disposable baby diapers and non-prescription medications and drugs. 

 
 

02.29.16 - Cera Says Recent House-passed Bill Will Protect Children From Cyber Criminals

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D- Bellaire), the newly appointed Assistant Minority Whip in the Ohio House of Representatives, last week voted in support of House Bill (HB) 317, legislation to allow parents and guardians to freeze the credit of young children. The bill, co-sponsored by Cera, is designed to protect minors from identity theft. 

“Sadly, we live in a high-tech world where criminals have easy access to personal information. Tech-savvy thieves can steal the credit of young children and use their social security numbers for years without getting caught,” said Cera. “This proposal will help protect our children from having their credit score ruined years before they are even old enough to start building one.” 

 
 

02.26.16 - Rep. Cera Honors First African American Baseball Player

 

State Rep. Cera (D-Bellaire) today applauded the passage of House Bill 87 (HB 87), legislation to honor Moses Fleetwood Walker, the nation’s first professional African American baseball player. The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Cera, designates Walker’s birthday of October 7 as “Moses Fleetwood Walker Day” in the state of Ohio. 

“The passage of this legislation is a testament to the enduring legacy of one of Ohio’s first trailblazers,” said Cera, Assistant Minority Whip for the House Democratic Caucus. “‘Moses Fleetwood Walker Day’ will recognize Walker for his courage and resolve as a pioneer, not only in the sport of baseball, but in the face of systematic racism.” 

 
 

02.17.16 - Bill To Increase Public Safety On Roadways Clears House With Bipartisan Support

 

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and John M. Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) today announced House Bill (HB) 58, legislation to encourage drivers to yield to sanitation and recycling vehicles, passed favorably out of the Ohio House with bipartisan support.

 
 

02.04.16 - Cera Announces State Funding Opportunity For Local Communities To Meet Public Safety Needs

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced state grant funding available to local communities in an effort to strengthen public safety. The funding comes from the state’s Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program and is available for emergency service needs of political subdivisions.

 
 

01.29.16 - Rep. Cera Supports Measures To Promote Ohio's Multi-million Dollar Wine Industry

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) this week applauded the passage of two measures that will expand Ohio’s growing wine industry. The two pieces of legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Cera, will allow the sale of wine at local farmers’ markets and allow wine manufacturers to obtain a “farm winery” permit. 

 
 

12.02.15 - Cera Supports Medical Assistance For Ohio Veterans

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) supported a measure before the Ohio House of Representatives this week that assists military personnel with health benefits. Senate Bill 10 establishes a process for reviewing information in the system when medical assistance is administered to an individual to see if that person is eligible for federal military-related health care benefits.

 
 

11.24.15 - Rep. Cera Recognized For Outstanding Work As Education Advocate

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) was recently recognized as an outstanding education advocate by the Ohio Education Service Center Association, who awarded him the Legislative Leadership Award. The Bellaire lawmaker was nominated by the Jefferson County Educational Service Center (JCESC) for his strong support of public education and recent work on the state biennial budget. 

 
 

11.09.15 - Rep. Cera: Jefferson Lake State Park To See Restroom Upgrades

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) is pleased to announce approximately $23,450 in state funds for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ State Park Renovations Upgrade project, which will be used to upgrade new restrooms at Jefferson Lake State Park.

 
 

10.29.15 - Rep. Cera: Tax Study Committee Should Focus On Middle Class Relief, Targeted Severance Tax Reinvestment

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) joined colleagues last week for the first official meeting of the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Committee, a panel created to review the state’s tax policies and develop a plan that reflects Ohio’s changing economy.  Rep. Cera, the ranking member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, hopes the study committee will make modifications to tax changes in the state budget that are set to negatively impact local communities and public education.

 
 

10.27.15 - House Dems Warn Rush To Flat Tax Will Harm Vulnerable Ohioans

 

The Ohio House today passed Senate Bill 208 (SB 208), legislation to correct language enacted in the recently passed state budget that would have inadvertently raised taxes on many small businesses. House Democrats warned that the corrective measure is evidence that a rushed shift to a flat tax could unintentionally harm low and middle-income Ohioans.

“As it turns out, a simple flat tax may not be so simple after all,” said Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). “When we enact hastily created tax policy, it is little surprise when unintended consequences arise. A rapid shift to a flat tax has the potential to benefit the wealthiest Ohioans while hurting lower and middle class families.”

 
 

10.22.15 - Rep. Cera Calls For New Severance Tax Revenue To Be Reinvested In Shale Communities

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today commented on the initial findings of an informal workgroup that over the summer studied modernizing Ohio’s severance tax on oil and gas. The workgroup, of which Rep. Cera was a member, submitted its findings and recommendations this week to the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission. The Bellaire lawmaker also serves on the study commission. 

 
 

10.16.15 - Rep. Cera Delivers Keynote Address To Ohio Mineland Partnership

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) recently served as the keynote speaker at the Ohio Mineland Partnership 2015 Fall Conference in Marietta. The Ohio Mineland Partnership is a group of governmental, business and individuals who work to responsibly reclaim abandoned former mined lands in Ohio.    

 
 

10.14.15 - Cera Supports Measure To Crack Down On Employee Misclassification

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced support for House Bill 355 (HB 355), a measure aimed at streamlining the Ohio tax code regarding employee withholding. The legislation would prevent employee misclassification by creating a more uniform definition of the word “employee.”

 
 

08.19.15 - Rep. Cera: Ohio Veterans Called Upon To Help Preserve Military History

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D- Bellaire) today announced an opportunity for local veterans to take part in preserving military history for the next generation. The Ohio History Connection, formerly known as the Ohio Historical Society, has asked Ohioans who currently serve or have previously served in any branch of the military to help honor the lives of Ohio’s veterans by sharing items from his or her years in service.  

 
 

08.11.15 - Rep. Cera Named To Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Committee

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) announced today that he has been selected to serve on the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Committee, a panel created to review the state’s tax policies and develop a plan that reflects Ohio’s changing economy. The Bellaire lawmaker hopes the newly formed committee will study tax changes to reverse the recent state budget cuts that have devastated local communities and underfunded public education. Rep. Cera also serves as ranking member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

 
 

08.06.15 - Rep. Cera Expresses Opposition To New Environmental Rules

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) expressed concerns today over the Clean Power Plan, a proposal from the Obama Administration and US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) that aims to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. The new regulations largely focus on traditional coal-fired plants, like the Sammis and Cardinal plants in Jefferson County.

 
 

08.05.15 - Rep. Cera: August 7-9 Designated As Tax-free Holiday Weekend In Ohio

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced Ohio’s first ever sales tax-free holiday scheduled for this weekend, August 7-9. The tax-free holiday begins Friday at 12:01 a.m. and ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m. and covers many back to school items, including clothing, school supplies and instructional materials.

 
 

06.03.15 - Cera Supports Rural Ohio By Promoting Agri-tourism

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) praised the recent passage of legislation aimed at boosting the growing agri-tourism industry in rural Ohio. House Bill 80, which unanimously passed the House last month, clarifies zoning and land valuation tax issues for agri-tourism locations, as well as extends certain civil liability immunity for the operators. These changes will help expand the economic opportunities for farmers and vineyard-owners across the state. 

“Agriculture is our number one industry in Ohio. Under this law, Ohio’s farmers will be able to develop activities on their land that help educate the public on the importance of agriculture in our state,” said Rep. Cera, a co-sponsor of the bill.

 
 

05.14.15 - Cera Says House-passed Standardized Testing Changes Will Benefit Students, Teachers

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today applauded the passage of House Bill 74, which reduces the amount of time elementary and secondary students will have to spend on standardized testing. The Belmont County legislator co-sponsored and voted in favor of the bill, which passed the House with a bi-partisan vote of 92-1.

“Instead of testing just to be testing, we need to focus on helping our children earn the skills they need to succeed and compete for jobs of the future,” said Rep. Cera. “I believe this bill gets us closer to that, and it ensures students and teachers are not sacrificing valuable time in the class room.”

 
 

04.27.15 - Eastern Ohio To Benefit Under Cera's Proposed Severance Tax Bill

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has finalized a severance tax proposal that earmarks a portion of the shale industry’s oil and gas tax for eastern Ohio and uses other proceeds for statewide infrastructure projects.  

 
 

02.13.15 - Rep. Cera Introduces Bill To Help Cash-strapped Local Communities

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has joined forces with Rep. Ronald V. Gerberry (D-Austintown) to introduce a bill that would return the state’s local government fund back to 2005 levels and re-establish the working partnership between state and local governments. 

 
 

01.15.15 - Rep. Jack Cera To Lead House Democrats On Legislative Panel

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) Monday was named the Ranking Member on the House Ways and Means Committee. This Committee is assigned the task of reviewing various tax laws and other revenue raising measures needed to assist in the daily operation of state government. It also makes recommendations to state programs that have a financial impact on the state budget. Cera serves as the House Minority’s highest ranking official on the legislative panel.

 
 

01.06.15 - Cera Takes Oath Of Office As State Representative In 131st General Assembly

 

During Monday’s opening ceremony of the 131st Ohio General Assembly, State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) took the oath of office as state representative of Ohio House District 96. Family members, including his wife Becky and daughter Bethany, were in Columbus to watch the ceremony, while his daughter, Jaclyn, and her husband, USAF Captain Brent Yocum of Smithfield, had to return to their home in Texas after a brief holiday visit.

 
 

12.17.14 - Tax-Free Holiday In The Near Future For Ohio Consumers

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) noted Wednesday that a measure creating a three-day sales tax holiday in early August has received support from both chambers in the Ohio Legislature. Amended Senate Bill 243 calls for a break on the sales tax on certain clothing items and school supplies for the upcoming school year. Examples of such exemptions include school supplies and instructional material under $20 and clothing under $75. 

 
 

10.15.14 - Rep. Cera Appointed To Study Committee On Ohio's Energy Standards

 

The Speaker of the House and Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives recently finalized their appointment of State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) to the Ohio House Energy Mandates Study Committee. The committee was created as a part of Senate Bill 310, a law that addressed renewable and advanced energy sources.

 
 

09.11.14 - Cera Says Sanitation Workers Deserve Consideration By Passing Motorists

 

After being contacted by a company from eastern Ohio, State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has introduced legislation that will help ensure the safety of Ohio’s sanitation workers.  

 
 

08.14.14 - Rep. Cera Warns Of Potential Debt Collection Scammers

 

Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) is asking people in Ohio House District 96 to be aware of a new trend involving consumer-related scammers posing as debt collection agencies. 

 
 

07.30.14 - Cera Named To Committee On Unemployment Compensation

 

The Ohio House of Representatives recently created a study committee to address the unemployment compensation debt that the State of Ohio owes the federal government. State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has been appointed to the 13-member bipartisan panel assigned that task.

 
 

06.06.14 - Rep. Cera Announces Passage Of Legislation To Give Ohio More Freedom In Implementing EPA Standards

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) announced Wednesday that House Bill 506, a proposal jointly sponsored with Rep. Andy Thompson (R- Marietta), has passed Ohio House of Representatives unanimously, with a vote of 95-0. 

 
 

05.29.14 - ATV Safety Measures Needed To Help Save Young Lives

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) introduced House Bill 504, legislation addressing safety measures for ATV users 16 years of age or younger, earlier this year.  On Tuesday, he had the opportunity to present sponsor testimony in the House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee. At that time, Rep. Cera stood before committee members and stated that Ohio needs to do more to protect young riders from serious injury or death.  

 
 

05.22.14 - Rep. Cera Supports Families Of Deceased Veterans

 

On Thursday, the Ohio House of Representatives held a special joint session with the Ohio Senate to honor recipients of the Ohio Military Medal of Distinction. The Medal of Distinction honors Ohio service members who have died while serving in the armed forces.

 
 

05.15.14 - Rep. Cera Says Severance Tax Falls Short

 

After nine hearings in the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee, House Bill 375, the proposal to raise the oil and gas severance tax, passed the Ohio House of Representatives by a margin of 55-35. Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) was highly disappointed with the outcome, noting that not enough money raised from the tax will be earmarked to stay in eastern Ohio for use in water, sewer, road and bridge projects.

 
 

04.09.14 - Local Govt. Funds Kept In The Red As Administration Keeps Surplus Dollars In The Black For Another Rainy Day

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), a member of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee assigned the task of vetting the state’s mid-biennium review proposals, was deeply disappointed with actions of the majority party during Tuesday’s hearing. In recent years, the budget review process has traditionally been a time to fix mistakes of the previous budget.  However, this year, it was not the case.    

 
 

03.31.14 - Cera Cracks Down On Violent Criminals

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has introduced legislation that calls for a mandatory prison term of ten years for any person who uses a firearm while committing a felony.

 
 

01.28.14 - Rep. Cera Announces NatureWorks Grants For Local Communities

 

The state Controlling Board approved $26,597 in funding on Monday for NatureWorks projects in Jefferson County.  According to State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the City of Toronto will receive $15,824 for improvements at War Memorial Park.  The improvements include a new, accessible climbing and sliding playground structure and two new pool lifts. The Village of Smithfield will receive $7,773 for improvements to its little league softball field.  Plans consist of replacing the dugouts and fencing, including the backstop, foul ball lines and protection at the dugout/player area.

 
 

01.23.14 - Rep. Jack Cera Appointed To House Finance Committee

 

On Tuesday, leadership in the Ohio House of Representatives appointed State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) to the Finance and Appropriations Committee. This committee oversees Ohio’s expenditures through the biennial budget process and the capital appropriations process. 

 
 

01.17.14 - Ohio Association Of Election Officials Recognize Rep. Jack Cera With Jack Wolfe Democratic Legislator Of The Year Award

 

On Thursday, State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) received the 2014 Jack Wolfe Legislator of the Year Award from the Ohio Assoc. of Election Officials. The Ohio Association of Election Officials is a professional organization representing the members and employees of Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections, their directors and deputy directors.  The OAEO is a bipartisan organization dedicated to ensuring fair and accurate elections for all Ohioans.  It offers educational programs and training courses for its membership and employees. Rep. Cera was on hand at Thursday’s event to personally receive his award. 

“It is an honor to be recognized by this bipartisan group because they strive to craft solutions that are good for the entire state. In fact, the OAEO does such a great job in working together that we need this organization to teach the legislature how to work in a bipartisan manner,” said Cera upon receiving the award.

 
 

10.17.13 - Rep. Cera Calls On Congress To Protect Coal Mine Workers' Pensions

 

Recently,  in the Ohio House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, State Representative Jack  Cera (D-Bellaire)  gave sponsor testimony on House Concurrent Resolution 30.  The resolution calls on Congress to pass the Coal Accountability and Retired Employees Act.

According to Representative Cera, the U.S. Government made a commitment nearly 70 years ago to protect the retirement funds for mine workers and their families.  One of those funds runs the risk of insolvency.  However, Rep. Cera is hopeful that Congress will work to provide a long term solution to keep the commitment to coal miners.

“Coal has fueled our country’s growth for years,” said Rep. Cera. “Mine workers made concessions to their health and in time spent with families in order to provide us with a viable energy source. Our federal government needs to step up and make every effort to preserve their retirement and health care benefits.”  

 
 

06.13.13 - Rep. Cera Co-Sponsors Legislation Outlining Rape Crisis Program For Ohio

 

The Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 108 yesterday, legislation that defines a “rape crisis program” for the state of Ohio.  State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), a co-sponsor of the measure, noted that rape crisis services for victims across the state of Ohio have been lax due to the shortage of statewide funding.   House Bill 108 is the first step in rectifying the problem, as it appropriates $1,000,000 in each FY for 2014 and 2015 to fund rape crisis centers.

“This is an important first step in assisting rape survivors by providing valuable and necessary services on their behalf,” said Representative Cera.

 
 

03.27.13 - Ohio's Sales Tax Proposal Raises Some Real Concerns

 

Sometimes state legislators are put in uncomfortable positions. I've been in many during the years that I have served in the Ohio House of Representatives. The most recent example is when I got my haircut. Sitting in a chair while an upset small business person with sharp scissors is asking me about Gov. John Kasich's plan to charge sales tax on haircuts and other types of services made me more than a little nervous.

 
 

03.25.13 - Old RG Steel Site To Be Redeveloped

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) announced today that the State of Ohio is releasing capital funds in the amount of $1,000,000 to conduct cleanup activities on the former RG Steel site located in Steubenville, Ohio.

 
 

03.20.13 - Rep. Cera Calls On State To Fund Pilot Project For Student Services

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) is calling on the state to fund a pilot project for school-based services that will address the need for teaching students about sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior and the consequences with regard to social media, assault and abuse. Rep. Cera has been diligently working on an amendment for the upcoming budget bill that will earmark state dollars for local county mental health boards for such educational services.

 
 

02.12.13 - Rep. Cera Disappointed With Governor's Education Funding Plan

 

Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has received many calls from parents of students throughout his district expressing their displeasure with Governor Kasich’s Education Funding Plan. Initially, the Governor indicated that his plan would help poor school districts. However, once the details were released showing individual school districts funding amounts, it became clear that most local school districts received no increased funding. In fact, many wealthier suburban school districts stand to receive large funding increases, as they seem to be the primary beneficiaries of the proposed redistribution of state aid.

 
 

02.11.13 - State Rep. Jack Cera Announces Funding For Eastern Gateway Community College

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) announced the release of $89,495 by the State Controlling Board for Eastern Gateway Community College. According to Rep. Cera, $76,500 will be used for roof replacement, while the remainder, $12,995, will help meet contractual obligations with the architect providing design and construction administration for the restoration project at EGCC Pugliese Center Parking Lot. The college parking lot is in need of restoration so that it may comply with ADA standards.

 
 

01.30.13 - Rep. Cera Announces Over $20,000 In State Funds For Local Recreation

 

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced State Controlling Board approval of money designated for recreational areas in his House district. The Powhatan Boat Launch and Marina will receive $9,384 for renovation of its restroom and Winterville Village Field will receive $15,000 for a new playground and picnic area.

 
 

01.18.13 - Rep. Cera And Sen. Gentile Host Innovative Technology Meeting

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and State Senator Lou Gentile (D-Steubenville) recently co-hosted a meeting in Columbus where North American Coal Company and Crown LLC gave a presentation on an innovative technology used for cleaning water. The presentation was given before several state agencies including the Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and representatives from Governor Kasich’s office.

 
 

01.11.13 - Rep. Cera Questions AEP Proposal To Pay For Storm Damage

 

State Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) has contacted AEP regarding the electric company’s latest proposal to have ratepayers be responsible for the storm damage of 2012. The legislator said recent calls to his office from concerned constituents prompted his written communication to the company.