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.

Rep. Cera is now serving his third term as state representative, after returning to the Ohio Legislature five years ago. He said he is humbled by the show of support given to him in November’s election and plans to tackle some of the key issues  important to the people he represents in Jefferson, Monroe and Belmont Counties.

“The people of eastern Ohio want and deserve good paying jobs and the knowledge that local communities can afford to keep street lights on and provide police and fire protection,” said Rep. Cera. “Tax policy, including any oil and gas severance tax proposal can greatly affect the future of our area. Directing funds to rebuild and expand water and sewerage systems and highways in our area will bring more development and jobs to our area.”

Rep. Cera said he is anxious to see the direction that the new legislative body takes in preparing the upcoming state budget bill. Cera said it would be a boost to local governments if, during the budget process, funding was restored to local communities. He also said that he is still working to secure a portion of severance tax money to rebuild and expand the infrastructure in eastern Ohio. Other important budget issues will involve education and workforce development, prison overcrowding, and job creation.

During the weeks ahead, Cera will receive committee assignments. He said that the Governor will lay out his plans for the upcoming budget cycle and that the legislature will be busy vetting those budget proposals in the coming months.

The legislator says he plans to carry on his tradition of maintaining an open door policy and working with local government officials to improve eastern Ohio for all families.

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