Representative John A. Boccieri - House District 59

08.15.18 - Mahoning Valley Lawmakers Respond To Northside Regional Medical Center Closing


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Glenn Holmes (D-Girard) today responded to the recent announcement that the Northside Regional Medical Center, owned and operated by Steward Health Care, will cease operations on September 20.

“From the beginning, it was difficult to see Steward Health Care’s for-profit model of hospital mergers and acquisitions working for the Valley community,” said Boccieri. “Operational changes created tension for patients, reducing pharmacy hours caused in-patient care delays, altering staff-to-patient ratios potentially diminished high quality care and contract delays caused tension among nurses. My concern is looking for a path forward for both patients and workers in coming weeks.”


08.14.18 - Recent Flooding Underscores Need For Boardman Action On Sewer Plan


In the wake of last week’s storm floods of Boardman-area residents’ homes, State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and other local elected officials are urging Boardman Township Trustee Tom Costello to quickly share the township’s flood-mitigation plan and to work with state officials to address local safety and health issues, much like Austintown and Poland did when faced with similar issues.

“When families and citizens experience the financial and physical devastation that flooding brings, they need serious solutions that prioritize their safety and well-being,” said Boccieri. “I stand ready to assist local officials who need to establish a comprehensive plan immediately to ensure this never happens again.”


07.24.18 - Boccieri: Valley Legislators Vote In Support Of Payday Lending Reform Legislation


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today praised the passage of House Bill (HB) 123, a bipartisan effort to enact consumer protections for the thousands of Ohioans who utilize short-term loans every day. Borrowers in Ohio currently pay some of the highest rates in the nation for payday loans, with estimated average interest rates at over 500 percent.


07.24.18 - Rep. Boccieri Responds To Potential Russian Hacking Of US Electric Utilities


Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), a member of the House Public Utilities Committee, today expressed concern over a possible hack by Russian leaders into the U.S electric grid and “all but turning off the switches.” According to a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, Russians exploited vulnerabilities in the U.S electrical grid, threatening roving blackouts in response to Congressional actions over economic sanctions. Those vulnerabilities stem from second and third party vendors who conducted business with major utility companies.  

“This is a wakeup call for America and Ohio because this possible hack shows our utility safeguards need to be strengthened. The entire U.S economy and our nation's military depend on a steady flow of electricity without disruption, and this sort of cyber-attack could create not only chaos in the economy but major disruptions to our way of life.


07.09.18 - Ohio Legislature Continues Effort To Punish Cities


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) criticized some of his colleagues today for going out of their way to punish cities for extending vital services. House Bill 602 sponsored by Rep. Michael Duffey (R-Dublin) penalizes municipal corporations who extend water or sewer service to communities outside its territory at a higher charge. The penalties in the bill cover a range of consequences including a 20-percent reduction, to outright forfeiture of all Local Government Fund (LGF) distributions from the State of Ohio. The bill makes the municipality ineligible for state water and sewer development assistance. 

“My colleagues are finding new and innovative ways to cripple the economic engines of our state,” Rep. Boccieri said. “Ohio has sixteen metro areas that constitute eighty-one percent of the state’s population, eighty-four percent of the state’s jobs and eighty-seven percent of the state’s economic output. Many water and sewer lines are extended for economic development and financed through a rate system that is included within the development package.”


07.02.18 - Boccieri Urges GM To Reinvest In The Region


Regional lawmakers state Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Glenn Holmes (D-Girard), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Michael O’Brien (D-Warren), Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Sen. Sean O’Brien (D- Bazetta) today sent a letter* to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors Company (GM), expressing disappointment and concern in light of the recent layoffs of second shift employees at its Lordstown Assembly plant.

“The Valley wants to continue to support GM. As this great American company evolves to meet the demands of the future, the workers at Lordstown want to evolve with the company they have devoted themselves to,” wrote the lawmakers. “There is a will to double down and train the current workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Our workers and our communities want to continue to be a partner in a mutually beneficial relationship with GM.”

The second shift cut comes after the company cut the plant’s third shift in January 2017. In addition to the elimination of the two shifts, hundreds of workers across the supply chain have been laid off. A total of 2,700 well-paying jobs have been lost. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has been an outspoken advocate for Ohio GM jobs, calling on the company to invest in Ohio and to invest in Lordstown.

“We have people in our districts who want to go back to work and continue making a living for their families with pride and dignity. We hope GM will continue to invest in the Mahoning Valley, just as our state and our communities have invested in your company,” the lawmakers continued. “We urge you to reconsider your decision to reduce opportunities in Lordstown and throughout Ohio and instead utilize the current Lordstown location and collaborate with our creative and committed Valley workers to create a vision for the GM of tomorrow.”

The Lordstown plant has been an integral part of the Youngstown area for 52 years, with unwavering support from the Valley community.


06.27.18 - Boccieri: GOP Takes Suggestions On Study Of Youngstown Plan


State Rep John Boccieri (D-Poland) recently urged education leaders in Columbus to study the successes and challenges of future state use of Academic Distress Commissions (ADC). The local leaders also asked lawmakers to consider the ‘Youngstown Plan’ which was adopted under House Bill 70 in 2015, giving a CEO complete authority over all aspects of school functions.


06.20.18 - High Court: State Can Withhold Local Government Funds For Traffic Cam Use


The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that the State of Ohio can withhold funding to communities who use traffic cameras. The case resulted from the City of Toledo’s suit against the State of Ohio for withholding local budget funding for a practice upheld by the Supreme Court in previous rulings.  The Supreme Court’s past rulings said that cities could run a motor enforcement program how they see fit. 

“Many in the Legislature hold suspicion that these stationary cameras are used less for safety and more for revenue, but let me be clear, I believe that local communities will use them more if Ohio begins cutting revenue because of their usage,” Rep. Boccieri said. “Many communities get a large revenue boost and will use them more frequently to fill in holes created by state funding as they are doing now in some cases.”

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the previous decisions of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court and the Sixth District Court of Appeals ignored the General Assembly’s ability to create laws. The argument for the previous Supreme Court decision was determined due home-rule authority given in the Ohio constitution. The City of Toledo will file another lawsuit to argue the constitutionality of the decisions.

Rep. Boccieri offered a solution to the issue by passing House Bill 219, legislation he authored to ensure that state speed limits begin at the sign. Enactment of this legislation will help prevent speed traps whereas current law vaguely says Ohio motorists must obey posted speed limits. The bill was voted out of the House Transportation Committee unanimously. 


06.11.18 - U.S. Supreme Court Says Ohio Can Remove Voters Who Are Registered


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) expressed disappointment following today’s 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to permit Secretary of State Jon Husted to continue purging voters who do not vote in every election. Ohio’s aggressive voter purge process has seen more than 2 million voters thrown off the rolls since 2011.


06.07.18 - Court Gives Red-light To Red Light Cameras For Townships


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) said today that the Ohio Supreme Court’s rejection of a case to overturn a lower court’s demands that New Miami Township repay $3 million to drivers of traffic camera fines further demonstrates that townships using this form of traffic enforcement do so at their own peril.  The New Miami Township argued that they should not be sued for enforcing public safety. 


06.04.18 - Boccieri: BRAC Report Good First Step To Protect Ohio Military Installations


State Rep John Boccieri (D-Poland) today said that the State of Ohio’s Base Realignment and Closure’s (BRAC) Task Force recommendations are a good first step toward strengthening military assets in Ohio. The Task Force’s primary mission was to identify all federal assets, including military bases, and speak toward their value in terms of military mission as well as the economic benefit they provide to communities.


05.23.18 - Boccieri: Democrats Respond To Republican Shutdown Of State Government


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) and Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) today are calling for action as the People’s work in the legislature has come to a grinding halt. 


05.14.18 - Boccieri: Supreme Court Opened Up Limits On Gambling But Protections Still Needed


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision giving states the ability to legalize and regulate sports gambling, eliminating Nevada’s 25-year monopoly on the industry. States will now be permitted to craft rules governing legal gambling on sports venues, however the Valley lawmaker, a former NCAA Baseball player himself says there still needs to be protections for amateur sports venues and collegiate athletes.  


05.03.18 - Local Lawmakers To Meet With Canfield Students


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), staff from State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan’s office (D-Youngstown) and State Senator Joseph Schiavoni (D- Boardman) will be meeting with faculty and students of Canfield High School who have proposed legislation on the improvement of mental health services in schools. The meeting will be held today, May 3 at 2:30 p.m. at Canfield High School.



04.13.18 - Lawmakers Concerned School Rating Overhaul Leaves Youngstown Schools Behind


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed concern about House Bill (HB) 591, a Republican-led effort to once again overhaul the state’s school report card system. The bill would leave current triggers in place for schools that are under or near academic distress—a move the lawmakers say unfairly targets districts in academic distress like Youngstown, Lorain and at least 22 other districts across the state.



04.09.18 - Lawmakers Support Election Chief's Plan To Promote Student Safety


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed support for Mahoning County Board of Elections Director Joyce Kale-Pesta’s decision to move polling locations out of a number of local schools for safety reasons. The Mahoning Valley’s lawmakers also indicated they would support a statewide effort to move polling locations from school grounds to other public spaces in an effort to promote the safety of Ohio students.

“Each year, hundreds of schools across Ohio open their doors on Election Day and give broad access to people not working at the school facilities – which unfortunately has the potential to put students at risk,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan.

Pennsylvania state lawmakers are currently debating legislation to begin moving polling locations away from school grounds in order to protect students. The legislation comes on the heels of a 2017 incident that saw a state trooper shot just a few miles away from a Northampton County, Pennsylvania elementary school. While students at the school were on lockdown as authorities searched for the shooter, a portion of the school remained open and accessible to voters.

“It is really sad that the in the wake of so many school shootings, students will not witness Democracy in action. But it makes sense to keep this threat away from our children,” Rep. Boccieri said.

Similar safety incidents and concerns have spurred officials in Nebraska and New Jersey to begin moving polling locations away from local schools as well.


03.21.18 - Boccieri: Stop Red Light Cameras Without Hurting Local Communities


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today criticized the passage of House Bill 410, legislation that slashes state funding to local communities who use photo enforcement of traffic laws. The bill also gives city and county courts exclusive jurisdiction over civil actions stemming from local traffic law violations.

“We should focus on common sense ways to fix photo enforcement complaints, not punish local communities by slashing their state funding,” said Boccieri. “We need to make sure taxpayers are treated fairly while preserving their ability to self govern and make their own decisions locally, without heavy-handed threats from Columbus.”

The bill comes as the state has cut more than $2 billion from local communities over the last several years.

Boccieri has made strides to protect taxpayers from uneven and confusing traffic law by sponsoring House Bill 219. House Bill 219 sets a commonsense standard for speed limits by requiring all speed limit zones to become effective beginning at the speed limit sign.

“I support this component of the bill, but local communities should answer to local taxpayers on the enforcement of traffic laws in our community.”

The bill passed the House 65-19 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.



03.18.18 - Local Lawmakers Ask Ed Chairman For Legislative Review Of 'Youngstown Plan'


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) sent a letter to state Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell), Chair of the House Education and Career Readiness Committee, requesting an investigation into the effectiveness of the Youngstown Plan, which was created in House Bill (HB) 70 in 2015. Under the plan, the state assumed control of the Youngstown City School District, eliminated the school board and appointed a CEO to oversee all operations of the district. The letter comes amid the resignation of three Academic Distress Commission members and the potential departure of Youngstown City School District CEO, Krish Mohip.

“The rushed legislation that instituted the Youngstown Plan under HB 70 in the last biennium now causes a need for an investigation,” the Mahoning Valley lawmakers wrote.

Boccieri and Lepore-Hagan are scheduled to meet with Brenner and a member of the Academic Distress Commission in Youngstown on Monday, April 16.

*Editor’s note: A copy of the letter is attached


03.13.18 - Rep. Boccieri To Join Local High School Students During Walkout Event Wednesday


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) has been invited to attend and speak at Poland Seminary High School’s student walkout, an event designed to give students an opportunity to speak out for safety in schools exactly one month following the tragic shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida in February. The event will be held tomorrow, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the Poland Seminary High School auditorium.


03.07.18 - Mahoning Valley Lawmakers Announce Nearly $30 Million For Local Community Projects


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Mike O’Brien (D-Warren), Glenn W. Holmes (D-Girard) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 529, the state’s biennial capital budget bill. HB 529 makes a $2.6 billion investment in Ohio communities with over $600 million for K-12 schools and $480 million for universities, $350 million for local infrastructure projects through the Public Works Commission and $147 million for local community projects. 


03.06.18 - Boccieri: Real State Of The State Shows Ohio Losing Ground To Too Many Other States


Ohio House Democratic lawmakers this evening responded to Gov. Kasich’s annual State of the State address in Westerville, Ohio. Though the governor touted a comeback for the Buckeye State, House Democrats noted that Ohioans disproportionately face lower quality-of-life standards than the rest of the nation. 


02.28.18 - Surplus State Revenue Could Fill Potholes Under House-passed Bill


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the House passage of House Bill 415, legislation that would send half of any state surplus revenue to a new Local Government Road Improvement Fund to fix potholes and fund local road improvements. 

“There is absolutely no reason Ohio needs to add more to the $2.5 billion dollars in the Rainy Day Fund with the condition of our roads,” said Boccieri. “Finally, the legislature is listening to our citizens."

Excess state revenues can develop every two years, at the end of the state’s fiscal year, if the state budgeted for more than was spent. In recent years, surplus revenue has gone to fund the state’s emergency fund, the Rainy Day Fund.

“This bill is a common-sense measure to fix our roads and bridges. It helps local communities and helps create jobs,” said Lepore-Hagan.

Under the legislation, the Office of Budget and Management would tally the length of center lane miles in each county, calculating a dollar amount to be shared by local communities in all 88 counties. The funding is then distributed through counties to townships and municipalities for road repairs.

The bill passed by a vote of 73-13 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.


02.20.18 - Mahoning Valley Meets Central Ohio For First Drive-In Event


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) as well as other members of the delegation are set to meet with members from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber during the organization’s Columbus Drive-In event Representing Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Columbus. Nearly eighty-two local business leaders and local government officials in the region are scheduled to arrive early morning Wednesday to begin a day of networking and advocacy.

The group will convene at the historic Ohio Theatre to advance important issues that impact economic development and quality of life in the Valley Region.  State lawmakers worked closely with Chamber officials to coordinate select meetings with staff from the Governor's Office as well as Legislative leaders in the General Assembly.

“This trip to Columbus can pay huge dividends after State Legislative Leaders see the community support behind the Valley," Rep Boccieri said. "I think community leaders will see we've generated strong momentum for our region, each of the Valley Lawmakers have sponsored legislation that will improve the lives of families back home.”

The business delegation from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber included Jim Tressel, Youngstown State University President, Doug Matheney, Special Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy-Office of Fossil Energy, Darrell Rowland, Columbus Dispatch Public Affairs Editor, and Ohio Oil and Gas Association Executive Vice President Matt Hammond.

The group will continue to advance their policy priorities and initiatives on the federal level in a Fly-in to Washington D.C. this summer. 


02.06.18 - Redistricting Plan Is An Indictment Of Present Day Politics


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) issued the following statement on the Redistricting proposal voted out of the General Assembly today:


01.31.18 - Ohio House Passes Bill To Protect Judges In Wake Of Shooting By Father Of YSU Football Player Convicted Of Rape


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the passage of House Bill 341, which would allow judges’ residential and familial information to be exempt from public records law. The bill comes in the wake of the shooting of a Jefferson County judge who delivered a 10-month juvenile prison sentence to Ma’Lik Richmond, a Youngstown State University football player convicted of rape in 2013. The player’s father shot the judge last year outside of a county courthouse. 


01.24.18 - Boccieri Pans GOP Redistricting Plan


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today panned the congressional redistricting proposal introduced this week by Sen. Matt Huffman (R-Lima). Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 5 removes public input from the redistricting process by eliminating the option of a citizen referendum, and retains a partisan advantage for the party in control of the state legislature.

“Taking the public out of the equation creates a rigged system that’s worse that what we currently have in place,” Boccieri said. “We should have the people picking their elected officials, not politicians picking who they want to represent."

SJR 5 tasks the General Assembly with drawing a map for congressional districts. The plan must be approved with a three-fifths majority of lawmakers, including one third of the minority party. Should the body fail to approve the plan, the job is transferred to the existing Ohio Redistricting Commission. The Commission’s plan must garner support from at least two minority party commission members. If two minority members consent, the map is valid for 10 years. If not, the map is only valid for four years before the process restarts. However, a four-year map could become a 10-year map with approval from the General Assembly.

“To suggest that a partisan group is the best choice to draw political maps is just insane. We’ve seen in cases across the country that partisan groups draw these districts to their advantage,” said Boccieri.

In addition to likely being unsuccessful in preventing gerrymandering, the resolution does not require the Governor’s signature because it is not a bill, eliminating yet another check on the fairness of the maps.


01.24.18 - Ohio House Passes Measure Urging Selection Of Camp Ravenna As Missile Defense System


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Mike O’Brien (D-Warren), Glenn W. Holmes (D-Girard) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the Ohio House for unanimously passing Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 8, which calls on the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (USMDA) to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as the preferred site for a future east coast Missile Defense system. MDA, a sub-agency of the Department of Defense (DOD), announced its consideration of Camp Ravenna among two other locations for a potential future deployment of additional ground-based interceptors for homeland defense.


01.17.18 - Justice For Major Karl Hoerig


Just hours after the Ohio House passed House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 9 calling for the extradition of Claudia Hoerig to stand trial for the 2007 murder of Major Karl Hoerig, State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) received news from the U.S. Marshal that Ms. Hoerig had finally been extradited late Wednesday. After a decade-long effort by Boccieri, U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan and others to ensure justice was served, the fugitive has now been delivered back to Trumbull County, Ohio. 


01.17.18 - Boccieri Sits Down With CBS News To Discuss Claudia Hoerig Case In "48 Hours" Special


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) recently sat down with CBS News "48 Hours" to discuss the effort to extradite Claudia Hoerig from Brazil after she fled the United States following the murder of her then-husband Major Karl Hoerig in Newton Falls, Ohio in March 2007. Boccieri served with Major Hoerig in the United States Air Force Reserve. 


01.16.18 - State Lawmakers Call On Trump Administration To Release Othman


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed shock and anger at Amer “Al” Adi Othman’s sudden detention at the hands of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Less than a week ago, the state lawmakers celebrated ICE’s decision delaying Othman’s deportation, only to have it overturned a few days later without reason. The Youngstown lawmakers released the following joint statement:

“Seven weeks ago, Al Adi was handing out Thanksgiving dinners to members of the downtown community,” said Lepore-Hagan and Boccieri. “Today, we are fighting for his very existence in this country and to keep his family together. We call on ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan and the Trump Administration to put an end to this ordeal and restore humanity to our federal government. This has been incredibly erratic behavior coming out of Washington on Adi’s case, and we demand an explanation for this injustice.”


12.21.17 - Boccieri Agrees Legislators Should Undergo Sexual Harassment Training


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced that he is cosponsoring legislation that would require mandatory sexual harassment training for state employees. State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Tavia Galonski’s (D-Akron) pending legislation, the Safe at Work Act, comes as sexual harassment claims have rocked state legislatures, Congress and private companies in recent weeks. 


12.13.17 - Bills Honoring Female Veterans, Valley Icons Pass Ohio House


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced that a flurry of bills they sponsored to create memorial highways for Mahoning Valley icons and a bridge in honor of women veterans unanimously passed the Ohio House. House Bill (HB) 376 would create a memorial highway along U.S. Route 422 for Harry Meshel, HB 375 designates part of State Route 680 outside of Youngstown State University as “Frank Watson Memorial Highway” and HB 387 named the Austintown bridge on Mahoning Avenue and State Route 11 the “Women Veterans Bridge.” 


12.06.17 - State Ethics Panel Says Youngstown Schools CEO Must Comply With Ethics Laws


The Ohio Ethics Commission today confirmed in a letter* to state Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) that Youngstown City Schools CEO Kris Mohip is bound by state ethics laws and must file an annual financial disclosure statement with the commission. The letter comes in response to the lawmakers’ inquiry as to whether Mohip must follow ethics laws after news reports found he steered business to a partner company of his former employer. Mohip ended his status as a paid consultant with the partner company the same day the Vindicator confronted him about the seemingly cozy relationship.

Correspondence with state officials revealed that the Youngstown CEO has 'Carte Blanche' authority to manage the district, however the lawmakers say running government like a business becomes complicated with respect to appropriate checks-and-balances.

“I am thankful the Ohio Ethics Commission answered our questions and provided clarity that – even with the privatization of our public schools – a school district CEO still must be fiscally, legally and ethically accountable to the school district and taxpayers,” said Boccieri.

The ethics commission declined to provide an advisory opinion on whether or not Mohip hypothetically broke the law, instead noting an official complaint needs to be made to determine whether to open a confidential investigation. Under Ohio law, anyone may confidentially bring a complaint before the Ohio Ethics Commission for review.

“Our community deserves a system that puts the needs and best interests of our children over the business interests of one person,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that the structure we have in place isn’t fatally flawed, putting our kids at an even greater disadvantage.”

Though the CEO can unilaterally approve contracts and make financial decisions regarding the district, House Bill 70 – the 2015 law that established a state takeover process for failing school districts – gives the academic distress commission say over the CEO’s employment with the district.

With the academic distress commission providing oversight of the CEO under the law, Valley legislators believe the responsibility to ask for a deeper investigation as to whether ethical standards were crossed rests upon the Academic Distress Commission.


12.01.17 - Boccieri Bill To Honor Fallen Poland Officers Passes Committee


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced that House Bill (HB) 294, his bill to honor two fallen Poland police officers, passed unanimously out of the House Transportation Committee this week. HB 294 would rename portions of U.S. Route 224 and State Route 170 after Patrolmen Charles K. Yates and Richard E. Becker, respectively.


11.30.17 - Republicans Pass Bill To Shield Illegal Employers


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his frustration with Republican members of the House Insurance Committee who passed a bill Wednesday that would incentivize employers to hire illegal immigrant workers by taking them out of the workers compensation system. House Bill 380 (Reps. Seitz, Householder) passed on a party-line voted despite having no organizations testify in support of the bill and eight diverse organizations opposed.


10.16.17 - Boccieri Announces State Money For Lake Milton Improvements


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced the approval of $713,108 in state funds for Fiscal Year 2018 improvements at Lake Milton State Park. The funds will cover a new gate actuator enclosure at the lake drain structure and gate rehabilitation.

“All parts of the lake deserve as much attention and upkeep as possible in order to ensure that this community gem is preserved for decades to come,” Boccieri said. “I’m glad the state is continuing to provide support to Mahoning Valley’s natural resources.”


10.12.17 - Boccieri Supports Bill To Pave The Way For Legal Fireworks


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today joined a majority of members of the Ohio House in voting for House Bill 226, which would legalize the sale and use of consumer fireworks starting in 2020. The bill also establishes a legislative study committee tasked with making recommendations on storage, licensing and manufacturing facilities by the end of 2019, in time for the legalization to take effect.

“This legislation takes a sensible approach in moving cautiously toward the legalization of a recognizable part of American culture,” Boccieri said. “Let’s not kid ourselves, many Ohioans already buy and set off fireworks around their neighborhoods on the Fourth of July. By making fireworks legal, we are allowing the legislature to establish best practices for their use to ensure that we prioritize safety and minimize accidents.”

Forty-four other states already allow for the purchase and use of fireworks including states adjacent to Ohio, except Pennsylvania.

HB 226 makes setting off a firework while intoxicated illegal and requires that private property owners grant permission for fireworks to be used on their property. Local governments also retain the ability under the legislation to enact their own firmer restrictions on the use of consumer fireworks.

In addition to legalizing fireworks, HB 226 creates a Fireworks Fee Receipt Fund financed through a four-percent fee on the retail sale of consumer grade fireworks. The fund will support firefighter training programs and regulation of firework use and the industry in general.

The bill passed the House 77-12 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.


08.25.17 - Rep. Boccieri Responds To Allegiant Airline Pulling Out Of Youngstown Airport


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today responded to Allegiant airline's recent announcement that the company is pulling out of the Youngstown airport.

"As a former Board Member of the Port Authority, I'm extremely disappointed in Allegiant's decision to leave the Youngstown market," said Boccieri. "The Port waived landing fees, provided unprecedented access to terminal facilities and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport still remains as the lowest overhead cost."


08.15.17 - As School Bells Ring, Mahoning Valley Districts Find Less Help From State


While teachers prepare classrooms and cafeteria workers plan lunches ahead of the start of the new school year next week, many area schools will welcome new students but have fewer resources to dedicate to their education due to Republican budget cuts. 

Ten of Mahoning County’s 14 school districts saw their state share of instruction either slashed or flat-funded by Republicans in the Ohio Legislature in the recently-enacted state budget. The state’s two-year spending plan leaves 60 percent of school districts across the state with almost $1 billion less in funding over the next two years compared to 2009.  

“With the majority of our school districts experiencing budget cuts, these public funds must be going someplace other than the Valley,” Boccieri said. “The Legislature chose winners and losers in the state budget, and unfortunately failing, for-profit charter schools will continue to receive a tremendous amount of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. Republicans in Columbus fail to understand that when they cut public school district funding, they undermine our future.” 


08.01.17 - Boccieri Applauds Insurers For Stepping Up To Offer Coverage


As the highest-ranking Democrat on the Ohio House Insurance Committee, state Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded Gov. John Kasich and five private insurance companies for taking action to protect vulnerable Ohioans in need of health care. Buckeye Health Plan, CareSource, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Molina Health Care of Ohio and Paramount Health Care all recently announced plans to offer coverage next year in counties that otherwise would have been left without a health insurance marketplace. 

“Gov. Kasich has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in pushing back on Washington and some members of his own party to protect Medicaid and save critical elements of the Affordable Care Act,” Boccieri said. “It is refreshing to see people win without playing politics, and I applaud the governor for this success and any other time he makes decisions that are good for all of Ohio.” 


07.06.17 - Holiday Hangover Creates Chaos In The House


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the Ohio House’s decision not to override Gov. Kasich’s veto on the freeze on Medicaid expansion in the state budget. The rollback of protections was expected to result in over half a million Ohioans losing healthcare coverage within the first 18 months of the scheduled 2018 freeze.

“It would have been unconscionable to pull the rug out from under the working people who have just gained Medicaid healthcare coverage and struggle with daily pain and financial stress,” Boccieri said. “I am glad that the Legislature pressed pause on a straight-Medicaid freeze, but I remain concerned that we’re creating barriers to affordable healthcare access for working people in Ohio.”


06.14.17 - Boccieri Responds To News Of Baseball Shooting Near Capitol


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today responded to the news of unexpected gunfire at a congressional baseball practice outside Washington D.C. this morning, sending his prayers to the several wounded victims, including Louisiana Rep. and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

“I was deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy this morning in Alexandria,” Boccieri said. “I played in the charity game when I was in Congress and attended many baseball practices, so my heart goes out to everyone who was involved in the practice. Rep. Scalise and I came into Congress together and played in this game against one another. I pray for his health and speedy recovery.”


06.08.17 - Boccieri Says Speed Limit Should Start At Sign


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) this week announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 219, legislation which clarifies that a speed limit becomes effective the moment a vehicle passes the posted speed limit sign. Currently, the Ohio Revised Code does not specify when a new speed limit takes effect or can be enforced, an issue Boccieri worries could lead to legal battles between law enforcement and drivers.

“With so many tickets issued by cameras, the state needs to clarify when a posted speed limit actually becomes effective,” Boccieri said. “In the Mahoning Valley area, there are a number of drivers who transition between interstates, state routes and local roads with varying speed limits on a frequent basis. I'm learning there is a lot of confusion after asking motorist and police officers, which sometimes give different answers.”


05.31.17 - New Legislation Allows Township Cops To Write Tickets On Highways


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed concern over House Bill (HB) 255, recently-introduced legislation that reduces the population threshold required for townships to make arrests and cite motorists on state highways. 

“By encouraging township officers to take over the State Highway Patrol’s responsibilities, HB 255 is yet another instance of the state burdening local governments with unfunded mandates,” said Boccieri. “This bill represents another tax shift to local communities by allowing them to perform law enforcement duties the state ordinarily conducts.” 


05.25.17 - Call Center Consumer Protection Bill To Keep Jobs Here In Ohio


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and John Boccieri (D-Poland) this week announced the introduction of House Bill 245, legislation to protect Ohio’s call center jobs by incentivizing certain employers to keep their jobs here in Ohio instead of outsourcing operations overseas. The House lawmakers were joined by Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) and Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), who introduced companion legislation in the Senate, and members of the Communications Workers of America.  

“America is strongest when America is working,” said Boccieri. “This bipartisan bill will help make sure jobs stay in Ohio and support the American dream for hardworking families.”


05.24.17 - Boccieri Throws A Flag On Fantasy Sports Regulation Bill


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today called the legislature’s latest attempt to regulate fantasy sports an act of government overreach. Boccieri’s comments come ahead of the expected House passage of House Bill (HB) 132, legislation to give the Ohio Casino Control Commission the authority to regulate, license and police fantasy sports. 

“I believe legislators are being disingenuous with this bill. The language says Ohio will exempt the games from gambling law, but it also subjects them to regulation by the state’s gambling regulator,” Boccieri said. “I don’t believe playing fantasy football is the same as pulling the lever on a slot machine.” 


05.16.17 - Boccieri: GOP Amendment Still Anti-firefighter


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today said the latest changes to the state workers’ compensation budget, House Bill (27), do not do enough to remove barriers in the bill that will make it difficult for firefighters and their families seeking assistance for work-related cancer. 

Republican lawmakers today removed a controversial provision in the bill that made the presumption that firefighters contracted cancer on the job rebuttable if the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation finds that the firefighter didn't wear their protective gear correctly. However, the legislation still allows an employer to offer only minimal legal proof that a firefighter’s exposure to toxic fumes, carcinogens and hazardous chemicals did not cause their cancer diagnosis, in order for the firefighter to be denied benefits.  


05.10.17 - GOP Tells Firefighters With Cancer: "It's Your Fault"


Democratic members of the House Insurance Committee today expressed outrage regarding the latest version of the state workers’ compensation budget, House Bill 27, which adds new barriers to firefighters and their families seeking state assistance for work-related injuries, illnesses and death.

Today’s proposed restrictions follow the House’s December 2016 passage of extended workers’ compensation protections for firefighters who developed cancer as a result of work conditions. The bill creates a condition in which courts presumes the firefighter didn't wear their protective gear correctly, resulting in the medical condition or cancer. 

“This is a direct attack on our first responders, who put themselves in harm’s way every day to save lives,” said the lead Democrat on the House Insurance Committee, state Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland). “It is horrifying to think that some Republican lawmakers would make it harder for our first responders and their families to get the help they need, when they need it.”


05.05.17 - Boccieri Says ACA Repeal A Huge Setback For Ohioans


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today decried the passage of the Republican federal bill to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a congressman in 2009, Rep. Boccieri voted for the ACA, and says that Thursday’s move threatens access to affordable healthcare for about one-million Ohioans who gained coverage under the law and the state’s 2014 Medicaid expansion.

“This is an irresponsible decision that gambles the health of almost one-million Ohioans for political points,” said Boccieri. “The president and Republican majority in Congress are blind to the devastating impacts this will have for working people and families who struggle with daily pain and financial stress. This is a huge setback for our state.”


05.02.17 - Boccieri: Valley Lawmakers Vote No On Unbalanced State Budget


ate Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Michael O’Brien (D-Warren) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) today voted to reject House Bill 49, the $63.7 billion state budget bill, which remains hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance, if not more. Valley legislators were concerned that the budget failed to protect schools and local communities from further cuts, and included no fix for the funding counties and transit systems are slated to lose with changes to Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) taxes.

“After years of shifting the responsibility to fund services to local governments and tax cuts for the wealthy, we now find Ohio lags in nearly every economic indicator as compared to the rest of the country,” said Rep. Boccieri. “We need strategic investments in schools, workforce training, and – for crying out loud – pave our roads.” 


05.01.17 - Boccieri Applauds Budget Amendments To Remove Controversial Park Board Provisions, Connect Federal Installations To Research Network


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the incorporation of two amendments affecting the Mahoning Valley into the latest version of House Bill 49, the state budget bill.  The first amendment, offered by Boccieri, expands eligibility for the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) to include all federal installations and local universities. 

“I am thrilled that the Legislature is recognizing the innovative contributions Youngstown State University, Kent State University and our federal installations are providing, and that connecting them to the state support from OFRN will only further advance Ohio,” said Boccieri. “I believe this will be a huge opportunity for our base and local universities.” 


04.18.17 - Park Districts Budget Amendment Would Create Penalties For Citizen Dissent


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his strong opposition to a proposed budget amendment from Republican lawmakers that would give probate courts broad jurisdiction over park districts. The Poland lawmaker specifically cited concerns that the amendment would restrict citizen engagement with local park boards.

“Under this amendment, a judge could limit dissent from groups such as Concerned Citizens of Mill Creek Park by fining members for speaking out against a board decision,” said Boccieri. “I believe this proposal is a gross overreach of power and places judges in very political postures.”  


04.12.17 - Proposed Budget Amendment Connects Area Universities, Federal Military Installations With Workforce Network


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today urged adoption of his budget amendment to connect northeast Ohio research universities and military installations to job growth initiatives. The Poland lawmaker wants to ensure research occurring at Youngstown State University (YSU) and Kent State University (KSU), as well as programs at the Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna will be eligible for state program funding through the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN).

“Right now, OFRN is only strictly tied to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, NASA Glenn Research Facility and OSU,” said Boccieri. “The state of Ohio needs to recognize innovation and research already occurring around these important federal assets. I believe the 3D printing of aeronautical parts at America Makes and YSU, along with the Department of Defense’s (DOD) research with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) surrounding large-area aerial spray capability at the air base should receive state support under this program.”


04.04.17 - Boccieri: The Only Bipartisanship On Display Tonight Will Be My Invitation To Local Republican Leaders


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today cautioned against the partisan state of politics, warning that the picture of Ohio Governor Kasich is expected to paint during tonight’s State of the State address in Sandusky is not reality. The governor is expected to extol his administration’s handling of the opioid epidemic and education crises, as well as discuss the tax changes proposed in the biennial budget.

“Unfortunately, Statehouse politics in Ohio and the rest of the country is like trench warfare these days,” said Boccieri. “You’ll hear a very rosy picture of Ohio this evening from the majority, but in reality, few legislators are reaching across the aisle to find solutions to Ohio’s most challenging problems. I fear the only bipartisanship on display tonight will be my invitation to local Republicans to attend the Governor’s speech.


03.30.17 - Valley Legislators: Renewable Energy Is Matter Of Economic, National Security


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today criticized the passage of House Bill (HB) 114, saying legislation that changes the state’s advanced energy standards to unenforceable “goals” will harm consumers and jeopardize thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry and other industries that increasingly want and rely on advanced energy sources. The bill was fast-tracked through the House Public Utilities Committee after similar legislation last General Assembly successfully passed the Legislature but was later vetoed by the governor.    

“The Department of Defense recognizes that our economic and national security are directly related to our ability to find alternative energy sources,” said Boccieri. “Ohio has increased jobs, efficiency and cost savings with our renewable portfolio and instead of driving innovations, new technologies and multiple sources of energy, this bill sounds the trumpet of retreat.”  


03.30.17 - Rep. Boccieri Urges Action After Brazilian Court Votes To Extradite Claudia Hoerig


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today urged the necessity of Claudia Hoerig’s prompt return to Trumbull County to stand trial for murder in response to reports stating the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil this week voted 4-1 to extradite Hoerig. The Brazilian native was accused of killing her husband, U.S. Air Force Reserve Pilot Major Karl D. Hoerig, in 2007 before fleeing to Brazil, where she has since avoided extradition.

“I believe Brazil is doing the right thing by voting to extradite this fugitive back to the U.S.,” Rep. Boccieri said. “Congressman Tim Ryan and Prosecutor Dennis Watkins have worked tirelessly for years on behalf of the Hoerig family to ensure justice is served.”


03.21.17 - Boccieri Testifies On Bill Requiring Ohio Schools To Use Domestic Steel


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today delivered sponsor testimony on his bill to require public schoolsand private schools that receive public funding to use U.S. steel for all construction projects. Joint-sponsored by Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain), House Bill (HB) 57 is designed to ensure that steel infrastructure in schools is as reliable and safe as it can be.

“After visiting Sebring Middle School last year during the lead contamination crisis,and witnessing the water fountain pipes made of Chinese steel corroded with lead, I felt a duty to enact protections for our young, vulnerable students,” said Boccieri. “I believe that choosing to use defective foreign steel for critical infrastructure is absolutely unacceptable. We must work to ensure access to safe drinking water for our children,and in doing soweshould turn to what we know is reliable: American steel.”


03.20.17 - Valley Lawmakers To YSU VP: "It's About Economics, Not Politics"


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today disagreed with Youngstown State University (YSU) Vice President for Finance and Business Operations Neal McNally’s characterization of an Ohio Department of Higher Education school efficiency report as being “somewhat of a political tool.”

“The report is about economics, not politics,” said Boccieri. “The state legislature has a duty to ensure institutions of higher education are as lean and efficient as possible with taxpayer dollars.”


03.09.17 - Valley Lawmakers Applaud Passage Of State Bond Bank Legislation


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 54, legislation to establish a state bond bank to help fund public projects and permanent improvements. 

“This is a great tool to have in our toolbox as we try to address the overwhelming number of empty houses in the Youngstown area,” said Boccieri. “Giving the state the ability to provide loans to improve our neighborhoods will do a lot to help revitalize cash-strapped communities.”


02.22.17 - Valley Lawmakers, County Commissioners Team Up To Fight State Budget Cuts


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) and Mike O’Brien (D-Warren) this morning hosted all three Mahoning County commissioners for a meeting with House Finance Committee Chairman Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton). 

Commissioners David C. Ditzler, Carol Rimedio-Righetti and Anthony Traficanti traveled to Columbus to voice their concerns regarding the negative local impact of Gov. John Kasich’s proposed fix to the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax formula.  

“I’m pleased our delegation’s meeting request to the budget chairmen was granted, and that our commissioners had the opportunity to express their concerns about local revenue loss,” said Boccieri. “The chairmen demonstrated that the legislature is still open to listening to local officials who are on the frontlines and can provide essential perspectives on what will keep our local communities strong and transportation systems running.” 


02.16.17 - EPA Adopts Boccieri's Proposal For Lead Contamination Coordination


In updated rules that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) released last September, the agency quietly included a proposal from state Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) for greater inter-agency coordination in the event of drinking water contamination. The Poland lawmaker originally offered the coordination concept as an amendment to House Bill 512 in the 131st General Assembly. 

“I have always believed that local boards of health and EMA’s can respond more quickly to a local public health crisis rather than a state worker in a cubicle in Columbus,” said Boccieri. “Timely coordination among the agencies who already have boots on the ground and know the community is critical to effectively responding to incidences of lead-contaminated water.” 


02.08.17 - Boccieri To Honor Canfield Tennis Players For Tournament Win


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today will present Canfield high school senior Hannah Cianciola and sophomore Sydney Cianciola with a commendation honoring them for earning the OHSAA Division I State Girls Tennis Tournament doubles crown during the fall 2016 season.

“The perseverance, teamwork and athletic talent of these young women clearly paid off in what was a very competitive match, and it is my honor to present them with this award for their hard-earned achievement,” said Boccieri. “In addition, Hannah and Sydney have excelled both inside and out of the classroom, maintaining high GPAs while also playing tennis. I am pleased to have the opportunity to recognize student athletes for their commitment to perfecting a sport while maintaining an equal focus on academics.”


02.03.17 - Boccieri Expresses Concerns About School Funding Cuts For Valley Districts


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today criticized provisions in Gov. John Kasich’s biennial budget proposal projected to cause all but one school system in the Poland lawmaker’s district to lose funding over the next two years. According to spreadsheets released earlier today by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, the new education funding formula is expected to cut critical funds to almost half of all school districts statewide. 

“This funding shuffle does nothing to help our state move forward on education,” said Boccieri. “Declining enrollment doesn’t mean that the cost associated with education suddenly evaporates. We must make certain that our schools, educators and, most importantly, students have the support they need to ensure every child is on track to receive a first-class education.” 


01.31.17 - Boccieri And Lepore-Hagan To Serve On Ohio House Legislative Panels


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the committees on which they will serve during the 132nd General Assembly. Rep. Boccieri, who has earned and currently holds all his insurance licenses, will serve as the top Democratic member of the Ohio House Insurance Committee for the new legislative session. 

The Poland lawmaker will also serve on the following committees to help shape and refine public policy during the 132nd General Assembly: 

- Energy and Natural Resources
- Public Utilities 

“I am looking forward to tackling some big issues this General Assembly, like the debate over re-regulating power companies or finding ways to spur alternative energy growth,” Boccieri said. “Energy policy not only affects our economic security but also our national security, and elected leaders must thread the needle to achieve positive results with smart policy in this area.” 


01.30.17 - Boccieri Eyes Challenges, Opportunities In Governor's Proposed Budget


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today responded to this afternoon’s unveiling of Gov. Kasich’s 2018-2019 biennial budget. 

“Though I agree with the governor that there are opportunities to improve our state’s tax structure, I believe shifting taxes from the wealthy few to the working and middle-class will continue to hold back our state’s economic development and job growth,” Boccieri said. “Creating a $3.1 billion income tax cut while increasing state sales taxes will hurt small businesses in border communities like ours, and it will weaken local communities. However, I remain optimistic that we can work together to make taxes fair while stimulating small business growth.”


01.26.17 - Boccieri Heralds Plan In State Budget To Match Students With Employers


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced his support for a potential plan in the upcoming biennial state budget to forge connections between businesses and schools to help high school students gain real work experience. The initiative would not only ensure more students are able to explore potential career paths, but would also help local communities meet their specific job needs.  

“I believe local communities are strengthened when they are connected to our local industry, educators, school curriculums and, most importantly, talented students,” said Boccieri. 


01.23.17 - Valley Lawmakers Pen Letter To Governor: 'Cuts To Revenue Share Are Devastating'


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) last week wrote a letter to Gov. John Kasich urging him to preserve the revenue local governments and public transit systems receive from the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have given Ohio a deadline of June 30, 2017 to remedy its MCO tax structure so that it complies with CMS policy, but any changes may threaten the millions of dollars local communities currently receive from the tax. 

“Our concerns need to be heard on this issue and I want to work with the governor to include a fix to the MCO tax revenue in the upcoming state budget,” said Boccieri. “If local revenue sharing isn’t preserved, the legislature will cripple our communities with another unbearable budget hit.” 


01.03.17 - Local Lawmakers Sworn In At Statehouse Ceremony By Judge Anthony D'Apolito


Flanked by family in a ceremony at the Statehouse today, state Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) took the oath of office from newly-elected Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony D’Apolito*.

“I am deeply honored to take office, knowing we have a lot of work ahead of us to bring sensible legislation to our state government as well as good-paying jobs and smart growth to our districts,” said Boccieri. “We should rise above any political divide in Columbus to deliver hope for our citizens – let’s get to work for our people.”


12.28.16 - Boccieri Hails Kasich's Veto Of Unenforceable Renewable Energy "goals"


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) applauded Gov. Kasich’s move to support energy innovation and industry jobs with his veto of House Bill (HB) 554, legislation that passed during the recent lame duck session which would have changed the state’s energy efficiency standards to unenforceable “goals” through 2019.

“I’m pleased to see the Governor recognize the benefits that active energy efficiency standards bring to our economy and the clean energy industry,” said Boccieri. “Ohio businesses have already made investments in renewable energy programs, and walking back the standards would have meant a loss of investment for energy companies and a loss of jobs for the state. Other states are seizing on the opportunity renewable energy provides for a cleaner, more diverse energy portfolio and Ohio cannot afford to fall behind in this national trend.”


12.19.16 - Boccieri: State To Help Modernize Canfield State Highway Patrol Post


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced the release of just over $33,000 in state funds to help replace an aging above ground storage tank at the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Canfield post. The current above ground storage unit is over 20 years of age and needs to be replaced due to leaks found during a routine inspection.


12.19.16 - Boccieri Announces Ohio EPA Grant To Help Reduce Cafeteria Waste At Boardman Glenwood Junior High


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has awarded Boardman Glenwood Junior High School $16,053 to help implement a program to help students reduce cafeteria waste. The grant award will fund an EarthTub composting system that is predicted to decrease the school’s waste by as much as 35 percent.


12.14.16 - Local Control In The Cross-hairs Of Recently Introduced Education Bill


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed concerns over House Bill (HB) 628, legislation introduced yesterday despite the fact that the General Assembly has no additional session dates planned for the remainder of the year. The bill would replace locally levied school district property taxes with a statewide property tax, create a new system of school funding based on per pupil amounts and allow that money to be dedicated equally to students attending public and charter schools, and eliminate several scholarship programs, among other provisions. 

Rep. Boccieri voiced particular concern about a provision to create a statewide property tax for schools, forcing all local school district dollars to be sent to Columbus and placing all the power and control over education funding into the state’s hands. The move is a further erosion of local control, which the legislature has already been continually chipping away at over the last decade.


12.12.16 - Boccieri Publicly Calls On Kasich To Veto Rollback Of Clean Energy Standards


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today urged Gov. Kasich to stand strong against the attack on energy innovation and industry jobs by vetoing House Bill (HB) 554, legislation that would change the state’s energy efficiency standards to unenforceable “goals” through 2019. The bill was pushed through without substantial opportunity for comment during hearings that took place in the final weeks of the General Assembly.

“I ask that Governor Kasich recognizes the importance of having energy efficiency standards in place so that Ohio will not fall behind the rest of the nation on energy,” said Boccieri. “Companies have already made investments in renewable programs, and walking back the standards would mean a loss of investment for energy companies and a loss of jobs for the state.”


12.08.16 - Boccieri Mourns Passing Of John Glenn


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today mourned the passing of John Glenn, a highly revered American hero who was the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the earth. Glenn, who also served 24 full consecutive years as a member of the U.S. Senate, died today at the age of 95.

“He was such an inspiration to me not only as a fellow veteran, aviator and statesman, but for his integrity and genuineness in dealing with the people he aimed to help,” Rep. Boccieri stated. “I vividly remember him speaking to me after I won my first seat in the Ohio legislature, and his words about public service inspired me toward humility. My deepest sympathy goes out to Annie and the Glenn family.”


12.07.16 - Boccieri Delivers Sponsor Testimony On The Students To Soldiers Support Act


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) this morning delivered sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 496, legislation to prohibit public and private schools – both high schools and higher education institutions – from preventing a student from participating in any part of an extracurricular activity because of an absence due to military service.

The legislation was inspired by a student and member of the West Branch High School girls’ basketball team, who earlier this year attended mandatory preparatory training at the Youngstown Air Force Reserve Base and consequently missed a team practice. As a result, she was not permitted to dress for the next basketball game.

“Hearing from this student’s family about her experience made it clear to me that there are gaps in our current military service protection laws,” said Boccieri. 


12.01.16 - Boccieri Continues Efforts To Save Woodside Lake Property After Auction Is Delayed


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today pledged to continue his efforts to help prevent a dam breach and lake draining at Woodside Lake in Austintown. The parcel was initially up for public auction yesterday, but the county auditor’s office decided to remove it from the listing after hearing from state representatives and the public. If the property failed to sell at the auction, the lake – a precious natural gem for the surrounding community – would have been completely drained. 

“I am encouraged that we were able to get the auction on this property pushed back,” Rep. Boccieri said. “This gives us more time to work with all parties to achieve the best possible outcome, one that gives our local community the means to apply for grants that would fund the dam’s repair.” 


11.30.16 - Ohio House Hears Boccieri's Bill Requiring Domestic Steel In Schools


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) announced House Bill (HB) 558, legislation from May requiring public schools to use U.S. steel for all campus construction, received a first hearing in the House State Government Committee today. The bill, co-sponsored by state Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain), would ensure that the steel used in all schools receiving public money is reliable and not prone to unsafe corrosion. 

“This bill was inspired by the tragic lead contamination crisis we had in Sebring earlier this year,” Boccieri explained. “The middle school in my district found to have highly unsafe lead levels had water fountain pipes visibly corroded with lead that were made in China. I believe that in choosing to use defective foreign steel for critical infrastructure that serves young students and affects their daily health, we were not doing all we could to ensure the safety of our children.” 


11.29.16 - Boccieri's Park Board Bill Receives First Hearing In Ohio House


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced that legislation he introduced in May to alter the appointment process for MetroPark board members received its first hearing in the House Local Government Committee this morning. House Bill (HB) 561, co-sponsored by State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent), would require probate judges to engage and seek input from citizens’ groups when making appointments to park district boards. It would also transfer appointment authority from probate judges to county commissioners for any additional board members that are selected beyond the initial three members.

“I am happy to see that HB 561 was granted the first hearing it deserves,” Boccieri said. “This legislation will improve the accountability of MetroPark boards by taking into account the fact that probate judges, as the board appointing authority, cannot be out in front on controversial issues because they’re bound by judicial restraint. Transferring some appointment authority to county commissioners will improve the transparency of these boards.”


11.09.16 - Boccieri Expresses Support For Bill Allowing Ballot Selfies


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his support for House Bill 609, legislation sponsored by state Reps. Niraj Antani and Mike Duffey that would lift the prohibition on taking a photograph of a marked ballot and sharing it publicly. Taking voting selfies would currently be considered a felony of the fifth degree, which Boccieri noted is far too serious a consequence for such an expression of free speech.

“I sincerely hope that this bill will be passed and enacted because I think people should be allowed to share pictures of their ballots freely. The current penalty for this is incredibly overblown,” Boccieri said. “For example, my opponent this year shared a picture of his ballot on his Facebook page and I honestly don’t think him, or anyone, should be faced with felony charges for posting their vote online.”


10.28.16 - Valley Campers Ask Boccieri For Help To Protect Seasonal Camping


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed relief that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently reversed its decision to limit seasonal camping in state parks. Boccieri’s office passed along concerns from Valley campers in September after hearing that the agency was intending to limit camping in Ohio’s state parks to two-week stints. On Wednesday, the agency finally released a memo* announcing an expanded seasonal camping program for 2017.

“I asked ODNR to weigh the different concerns of campers who wish to hold their sites open for long periods of time during seasonal camping,” said Boccieri. “It’s a good outcome for the many Ohio families and citizens who cherish our state parks.”


10.14.16 - Rep. Boccieri: Charter Schools In Ohio A Bust For Taxpayers And Students


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today decried the lack of results from Ohio charter schools in light of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE)’s release of unflattering school sponsor evaluations. The Mahoning County ESC was one of many sponsors that received an overall rating of “poor,” the lowest on the scale, while also earning a “D” for academic performance, an “ineffective” for compliance, and a “significantly below standards” rating for quality practices.

“These ratings show just how ineffective charter schools have been under the current law and what a financial bust they are for taxpayers and students,” Rep. Boccieri said. “Ohio spent $1 billion in the recent state budget— the most ever documented— on for-profit charter schools that cannot make the grade above the worst performing public schools. We have been far too flexible in allowing our sponsors to duck quality measures, conflicts of interest and performance standards.”


09.27.16 - Rep. Boccieri Throws A Flag On Fantasy Sports Regulation Bill


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today said that fantasy sports should not constitute a gambling activity that needs to be regulated by the government. The lawmaker’s comments are in response to Senate Bill (SB) 356, legislation recently introduced by Sen. Bill Coley that would ban for-profit fantasy sports and betting on outcomes of an electronic sports contest.


09.22.16 - Boccieri To Speak At Juvenile Court Seminar On Fatherhood


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) will speak this morning at a seminar focused on fatherhood sponsored by the Mahoning County Juvenile Court’s Community Advisory Board. Professionals from the education, mental health and legal industries will gather to hear from an array of presenters, including keynote speaker Donald Jones, a former NFL Wide Receiver and Amazon best-selling author of “The Next Quarter: Scoring Against Kidney Disease”.

“As a father, I understand the importance of setting an example for my children,” Rep. Boccieri said. “Stronger families create stronger communities.”


09.21.16 - Boccieri: Statehouse Republicans Still Blocking Ohio's Energy Independence


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today responded to draft legislation released Tuesday by Republican lawmakers that fails to uphold the state’s renewable energy standards set to expire at the end of this year. The latest proposal would reinstate the energy efficiency benchmarks until 2020, but remove all compliance measures and incentives to follow the standards, effectively making the benchmarks null and void over the next four years. 

“Utility companies invested heavily in Ohio’s renewable standards and walking back any part of those initiatives amounts to a rate increase for consumers,” Boccieri said. “We have started down the road toward energy independence with renewable energy, and if Statehouse Republicans surrender the high ground we maintain in this area, I believe that retreat would weaken our national security and undercut emerging and advanced sectors of our economy.”


08.26.16 - Rep. Boccieri On Lochte: Brazil Must Honor U.S. Laws Before We Acknowledge Theirs


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) said today that the recent events surrounding Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s charge of falsely reporting a crime illustrate inconsistencies in U.S. –  Brazilian relations. Yesterday, Brazil announced it was summoning the 12-time Olympic medalist back to Rio for legal processing after Lochte lied about the details of an altercation he had with police the morning of August 14 at a local gas station. 

“Lochte's actions were juvenile,” Rep. Boccieri said. “What he did at that gas station doesn't represent the values we expect from our Olympic ambassadors. But Brazil has some nerve to summon one of our athletes when they are harboring a known fugitive who killed a decorated Air Force Pilot.” 


08.23.16 - Boccieri: Decision To Derail Charter School Sponsor Evaluation Rules Is Attempt To Avoid Accountability


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his disappointment in Republican legislators’ decision to reject a key charter school sponsor evaluation rule that came before the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) yesterday. By delaying the rule’s implementation, the lawmakers may have threatened schools’ eligibility for $71 million in federal grant money that was predicated on the promise of a working sponsor evaluation system in Ohio.

“If we’re serious about making sure our students receive the high quality education they deserve, we can’t delay implementing crucial accountability checks like sponsor evaluations for an uncertain period of time,” said Rep. Boccieri. “We have waited long enough for struggling charter schools to meet reasonable standards of quality. We can’t afford to jeopardize funding that could help us make the progress we so desperately need.”


08.08.16 - Rep. Boccieri: Sebring And Warren Demonstrate Failures Of Public Notification On Lead


In the wake of Sunday's Vindicator article illustrating epic failures by the State of Ohio's enforcement arm for public notification during crises of drinking water contamination, State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) called for full reform of the whole process.  

Documents recently released by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed that the agency failed in its attempts to get local officials in Warren to properly notify the media during a 2008 public health crisis in the city.


08.05.16 - Boccieri Urges State To Release Federal Zika Funding Directly To Local Communities


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today urged the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to distribute the $1 million in Zika funding received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directly to local communities. With the funding was awarded this week, Boccieri remains concerned about information from local boards of health indicating the Department intends to keep these resources for state-led efforts instead of distributing it to local communities.

“I’m glad to see Ohio getting some support to combat this virus, but this money has to get to the local communities,” Boccieri said. “The state already maintains disaster readiness funds for statewide efforts, but local health departments are the first responders here and throughout Ohio. Communities need this funding to build mosquito control plans and implement active aerial sprays locally. For the state to keep this money is to defy the intent of CDC’s grant, which was meant to bolster not only states, but more importantly, local communities’ ability to prepare for, prevent and respond to Zika.”


07.29.16 - Boccieri Calls On Gov. Kasich To Protect Vulnerable Citizens From Zika


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) sent a letter to Governor Kasich urging him to take action and set aside $50 million from the Budget Stabilization Fund—which currently holds over $2 billion—to create a Disaster Preparedness Contingency Fund. The new disaster relief fund would be available to local counties and communities to exclusively plan, prevent and respond to mosquito-borne diseases.  


07.28.16 - Valley Lawmakers Announce Nearly $2M In "Straight A" Grant Funding For Mahoning County Schools


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of $990,048 in “Straight A” grant funding for the Mahoning County Educational Service Center. The funding will help participating school districts ensure that students are college and career ready with the implementation of the Mahoning Valley Prepared for Success project. In addition, Mahoning County schools will also receive $915,603 for the Northeast Ohio Literacy Consortium, a program created by The Ohio State University to enhance student’s literacy skills.


07.25.16 - Boccieri Voices Support For Maintaining Summer Youth Jobs Program


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today voiced his support for maintaining the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Summer Youth Employment Program, an initiative that provides paid work experience to over 200 Mahoning Valley youths each summer. Governor Kasich has reallocated the $45 million program budget for a new Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP), which does not offer paid jobs but instead focuses on general case management of youths to promote eventual employment. CCMEP also only accepts participants over 16 years of age, denying 14- and 15-year olds eligibility they had under the old program.

“If we’re serious about strengthening our workforce, we should not be taking away critical opportunities for young people to get early exposure to the workforce and develop their skills,” Rep. Boccieri said. “Some of these kids will be left with nothing to do next summer, when they could be gaining work experience and making an income.”


07.14.16 - Boccieri: Immigrants Who Defend America Earn Their Citizenship


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today defended the ability of immigrants to serve in the U.S. military. Republican Congressmen and women are pushing for a newly introduced bill, the Military Amnesty Prevention Act, which bans undocumented immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from enlisting in the military. Congress generally grants the Secretary of Defense the authority to deem what program is appropriate as it relates to recruitment for the national defense of the United States.

“This bill is an election year stunt used to stir up emotions about our national immigration debate. It’s very sad to see such partisan support for this bill because military service has always been a bipartisan issue,” Rep Boccieri said.  


07.13.16 - Boccieri Comments On Sebring Water Operator Criminal Charges


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today responded to the news that the former operator of Sebring’s public water system, James Bates, was served with three criminal charges for his role in the village’s lead contamination crisis earlier this year. 

“I'm aware of compliance issues at the local level, but I still feel strongly that accountability for public safety, as it relates to lead in our drinking water, is a shared responsibility with the state,” Rep. Boccieri said.  


07.11.16 - Boccieri: Missile Defense In Northeast Ohio Is Strategic Decision


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced his support for the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as the preferred site for the East Coast Missile Defense System.

The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as passed by Congress, requires the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), a division of the Department of Defense (DoD), to select an interceptor site along the East Coast for possible deployment of missile batteries. This missile defense site will aim to protect the homeland from a ballistic missile attack. Current sites already exist in Alaska and California. 


07.05.16 - Boccieri Applauds International Trade Commission's Determination Against Chinese Steel Products


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)’s recent determination that the U.S. steel industry is being materially injured by imports of corrosion-resistant steel products from China, India, Italy, Korea and Taiwan. The ruling paves the way for the U.S. Department of Commerce to enforce an antidumping order on products from these five countries and a countervailing duty order on products from the first four governments, which subsidize their steel industries.

“Chinese steel dumping has been wreaking havoc on our hardworking steelworkers for years, causing steel mill closures and thousands of lost jobs not only in our state but across the country,” said Boccieri. “The worst part is that this foreign steel is inferior to what we make here in the U.S., which has serious safety implications for the schools, bridges and buildings built with this steel.”


06.30.16 - With Zika Reaching Mahoning County, Boccieri Rips Congress For Failing To Fund Zika Prevention


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed his frustration over Congress’ majority vote against funding efforts to prevent the spread of the Zika virus after county health department officials announced that two Mahoning County residents have tested positive for the harmful virus. Federal legislation that reached the Senate floor Tuesday would have appropriated $1.1 billion to fight the mosquito-borne Zika, but Republican lawmakers inserted several various last-minute provisions that forced their Democratic colleagues to block its passage.

“This dangerous virus is in our homeland now – it’s past time to get serious about this epidemic,” said Boccieri. “We’ve got to be able to test people and prevent the virus from spreading. Part of the funding that the majority of Congressmen and women voted against would have been appropriated for testing, which could involve utilizing our mass aerial spray mission at the Youngstown Air Reserve Base. While citizens back home are getting sick, Congress is scoring political points. I believe we need to vote on a clean bill, with no other unrelated provisions on Obamacare or anything else.”


06.28.16 - Boccieri: Northeast Ohio Ripe For Production, Maintenance Of Unmanned Aircraft


On the heels of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) release of finalized rules for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) last week, State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), a military and commercial pilot, said that the federal government’s support for innovation in this growing industry can help Northeast Ohio bolster its production and maintenance of aerospace technology. 

A state committee organized to help promote the aerospace industry, the Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee, heard last Thursday from small businesses and manufacturers who envision Ohio as a thriving hub for unmanned aircraft research and production.

“I’d like to see the Mahoning Valley position itself for future development in this growing industry,” said Boccieri. “The Youngstown Incubator has a reputation for helping small startup companies and the market for commercial use of unmanned aircraft is about to explode. There is real potential here.”


06.24.16 - Boccieri Applauds Kasich's New PUCO Appointment


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded Governor John Kasich’s new appointment to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, M. Howard Petricoff. The longtime energy attorney is the first Democratic commissioner selected by Kasich during his tenure as governor.

“I applaud the governor for this bipartisan appointment, which truly shows he is serious about the type of good government he talked about on the campaign trail,” Rep. Boccieri said. “I look forward to working with Mr. Petricoff to extend broadband service to residents in my district, keep rates affordable for individuals and business alike, and make sure Ohio has stable energy production going forward.”


06.22.16 - Boccieri Applauds Ridesharing Service Uber's Arrival In Youngstown


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded ridesharing company Uber’s decision to offer its services in the Youngstown area. The expansion allows the Valley to join other Ohio population hubs like Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron that all already have access to the service.


06.17.16 - Dem Lawmakers Announce State, Federal Funding For Valley Organizations


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of over $300,00 in grant funding for organizations in Mahoning County working to house homeless veterans and support student mentorship initiatives. 


06.09.16 - Boccieri Supports FAA Recommendation To Maintain Current Operations At Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded initial recommendations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to sustain and maintain current air traffic control operations at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (YNG). The federal agency had considered realigning the Valley aviation facility’s control operations with those in Cleveland or Pittsburgh, but concluded that such a change would not be cost effective. 

“I strongly support the FAA’s preliminary decision to maintain local traffic control operations at our regional airport,” said Boccieri, a commercial pilot and Squadron Commander at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. “With both civilian and military operations co-located at YNG, I believe it is critical to keep our local air traffic control tower operational. From a military standpoint, the type of training we conduct at YNG is supported by FAA air traffic controllers, and maintaining the current level of support is extremely important.” 


06.02.16 - Boccieri: Mill Creek Board Selection On The Right Track


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today emphasized the benefit of incorporating citizen input into the selection process for MetroParks board members ahead of the upcoming round of candidate interviews. Mahoning County Probate Judge Robert Rusu Jr. recently announced he will today interview the five candidates recommended by a newly-established citizen selection committee for the two vacant positions on the Board of Mill Creek MetroParks. 

“I strongly support incorporating citizen input into the park board selection process, especially as a method of lowering the tone of controversy we’ve seen with our local board,” said Boccieri. The Poland lawmaker believes all future selection processes, not only in Mahoning County but around the state, be modeled with a similar element of public participation. 


05.26.16 - Late-night Flurry Of Statehouse Activity To Affect Mahoning Valley Families


In a marathon legislative session late Wednesday, the General Assembly cleared over 40 bills just before midnight. From new lead contamination standards and money for Youngstown State University to rules restricting polling hours, Poland lawmaker John Boccieri says many of the bills will have a direct effect on Mahoning Valley residents. 

Bills the legislature sent to the governor’s desk Wednesday include: 

-Senate Bill (SB) 296, legislation that creates new restrictions on the process for an emergency extension of poll hours on Election Day. 

-House Bill (HB) 512, legislation to tighten lead contamination standards.

-HB 391, financial literacy legislation that contained a provision allocating $500,000 to the Ohio Youth Entrepreneur Program at Youngstown State University (YSU). 

Boccieri adamantly opposed SB 296, sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), because it would require citizens to post a cash bond in an Ohio court to extend polling hours in the event of voting equipment failure, extreme weather delays or other circumstances beyond voters’ control. The price tag for access to the polls could run in the tens-of-thousands of dollars, with a small exception for citizens who can prove they are indigent and too poor to pay the new fee. 

“I believe this measure will eventually be struck down by the courts as unconstitutional,” Boccieri said. “Let’s be clear about what this really is – a poll tax. We want to make it easier for people to vote, not harder. Requiring citizens to post a bond to exercise their most basic right in our democracy when the unexpected occurs or an emergency strikes is fundamentally wrong and un-American.” 


05.24.16 - Public Officials Who Break The Law Could Lose Their Pensions Under Recently Passed House Bill


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today reiterated his call for comprehensive campaign finance reform while affirming his support for House Bill 284. The bill adds extortion, perjury, and certain federal offenses to the list of convictions that could cause an individual to lose public retirement system benefits. The House passed the legislation earlier this afternoon by a vote of 88-2.  


05.19.16 - Boccieri Affirms Support For Resolution To Have Commission Set Lawmakers' Salaries


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today affirmed his support for Senate President Keith Faber’s (R-Celina) proposed constitutional amendment to create an appointed commission that would vote every two years on salary adjustments for elected officials. Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 1, which is intended to eliminate politicians’ authority to set their own salaries, had its fifth hearing in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee Wednesday. 

“An independent commission is better suited to determine legislators' salaries,” Boccieri said. “Even though the Ohio Constitution allows legislators to set their own salary, the process should be more analytical than political. I support allowing voters to decide if this process is better in the hands of a commission or politicians.” 


05.18.16 - Boccieri: Lake Milton Dam To Benefit From $2 Million Upgrade


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced the state will invest over $2 million in dam repairs at three Ohio state parks, including Lake Milton State Park in Mahoning County. The state project will help bring the earthen embankment, concrete spillway and lake drain system at Lake Milton Dam into compliance with Ohio dam safety laws and rules. 

“Lake Milton is a recreational treasure for Milton Township and the surrounding area, as well as a crucial part of the Mahoning River’s water infrastructure,” said Boccieri. “These repairs will ensure that this dam is brought into compliance with state safety laws and that it remains a stable system for years to come.”


05.16.16 - Boccieri Highlights MetroPark Board Reform Bill In Light Of Renewed Calls For Resignation Of Mill Creek Director


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today renewed calls to change the way MetroPark board members are appointed. Boccieri is the author of House Bill (HB) 561, legislation introduced by lawmakers who represent MetroParks from around the state that would require probate judges to engage and seek input from citizens groups when making appointments to park district boards. Under the bill, county commissioners would hold appointment authority for additional board members, beyond the initial three members.


05.11.16 - Boccieri: EPA Bill Is A First Step, But More Work Needed To Protect Ohioans From Lead-contaminated Drinking Water


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today commented on the passage of House Bill (HB) 512, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s mid-biennium review legislation, saying the bill was a step in the right direction but that more work is needed to strengthen Ohio’s public notification system for lead-contaminated water.


05.10.16 - Boccieri: More Work Needed To Improve Public Notification For Lead-contaminated Water


Today the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee adopted two ideas originally proposed by State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) to HB 512, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s mid-biennium review legislation. The two measures adopted will increase training requirements for local water authority operators with an annual assessment and bring school water fountains up to U.S. standards. 

“While everything I wanted in the bill wasn’t supported by the majority, this is a first step toward improved notification requirements for local consumers who may have lead in their water,” Rep. Boccieri said. “In particular, I thought our local Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director, Dennis O’Hara, and the Mahoning County Board of Health Director, Pat Sweeney, did a fantastic job illustrating the challenges the legislature is pushing on local communities with regard to notification. I will continue to push for a coordinated effort between local water authorities, county EMA directors and boards of health to create a shelf plan, or quick reaction plan, to respond to public health crises.” 


05.10.16 - Rep. Boccieri On Medical Marijuana: Medical Benefit Maybe, But Lawmaker Votes No To Protect Workers


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) announced his opposition to the medical marijuana bill, House Bill (HB) 523, that the Republican majority brought up for a vote on the House floor today. The bill passed the House by a 70 to 25 vote.  


05.09.16 - Boccieri Looks To Toughen Drinking Water Standards In EPA Budget Before Legislature Signs-off


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today called for additional steps to be taken to strengthen the state’s response protocols in cases of drinking water contamination. The Poland lawmaker will offer three amendments to House Bill (HB) 512, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s mid-biennium review legislation, aimed at fixing the inadequate public notification process for lead contamination that contributed to the village of Sebring’s public health crisis earlier this year. 

“While this legislation is a step in the right direction toward preventing future lead contamination and improving the state’s public notification system, we can and must do more to ensure a water crisis similar to the one that devastated Sebring does not happen again,” said Boccieri. “The common-sense amendments I have prepared will hold the EPA accountable and ensure the public is notified in a timely manner should lead be found in their drinking water.” 


05.04.16 - Local Representatives Work To Halt Ohio Legislature's War On Working People


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and John Boccieri (D-Poland) stood up for Ohio’s skilled workers today by voting against the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 152, saying legislation to ban local hiring standards and restrict project labor agreements (PLAs) for public works projects will jeopardize Ohio jobs and destabilize local economies. 

Urban areas typically have higher unemployment rates than the national average, making the decision to hire local workers even more impactful for improving the job market in urban areas.

“The language regarding project labor agreements is yet another Republican assault on working people in our state,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan said. “By restricting PLAs, Republicans are undermining wage and benefit levels for women and men employed in the construction industry. For those of us in border cities, that also means losing jobs to surrounding states. We should be focused on growing jobs in Ohio, not sending them out of state. Right in our district, companies like Penn Gaming used private sector PLAs for large-scale projects because they recognize the financial and practical value of having an agreement with their highly skilled workers before a project begins. Professionals know what safety means at the workplace, and they get the job done right the first time, usually under budget.”

Senate Bill 152 initially only addressed Ohio communities’ authority to set local hiring standards on public construction projects before Rep. Ron Hood (R-Asheville) amended the bill to restrict project labor agreements on public construction projects. The legislation now restricts PLAs when any state dollars are used for projects locally. The bill also prohibits communities from requiring local workforce participation rates for projects funded by local governments.

“This legislation is going to outsource Ohio jobs,” Boccieri said. “It's a race to the bottom to find the cheapest, least skilled workers. The outcome will be local skilled workers watching in utter disbelief as out-of-state, unskilled workers take their jobs.”


04.26.16 - Portions Of The Capital Bill Put 'pork' And Puppets Ahead Of Ohio's Patriots


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today highlighted some of the community projects that won funding in the 2016 capital budget over the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS)’s request to create a Regional Joint Readiness Center (RJRC) to provide a central point for deploying reservists. The request centered on the cargo apron and hangar that reservists from the 910th Airlift Wing would immediately utilize.

According the Vindicator, the Federal Aviation Administration financed an $11.5 million 13-acre paved cargo apron area on the west side of the airport in 1999. A private developer built a building for airport cargo shipping next to it, but both facilities have remained practically unused since. On a recent visit to the area, U.S. military officials expressed interest in the idea of using the cargo apron and building as a deployment hub for troops and other military assets from all branches of the military from Northeast Ohio as well as nearby portions of neighboring states.

“I’m really surprised that the initial introduction of the capital bill placed ‘pork’ ahead of Ohio’s patriots,” Rep. Boccieri said. “The irony is almost pathetic – legislators want to construct a fifty-foot statue of the Wright brother’s first airplane ahead of prioritizing a project that will have an immediate impact on deploying soldiers who fly out of the Air Reserve Station.”

Instead of appropriating even one dollar to Western Reserve Port Authority, the legislature is on track to give $80,000 to the Bowling Green Curling Club and $500,000 toward a soccer stadium in Columbus. In addition, the state is granting the full funding amount requested by the Madcap Production for a new puppet theater, and $1 million to the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum for a single exhibit.

The Youngstown Air Reserve Station is the third largest employer in the Mahoning Valley and, unlike the private sector, must justify its continued existence in front of a Base Realignment and Closure Committee at the federal level. This project could cement the base as a joint station for all branches of the military as a deployment hub, and create an even larger economic impact, which currently exceeds $100 million.

“We certainly should prioritize our soldiers ahead of a puppet theater and statue of the Wright brothers’ first airplane,” Rep. Boccieri said. “I hope that there is the political will and foresight with an amendment to realign taxpayer dollars away from these projects and toward our soldiers.”


04.26.16 - More Work Needed On EPA Water Testing Bill, Says Rep. Boccieri


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today said more work is needed to correct the utter failure of both local and state water contamination reporting processes after lead found in Sebring’s drinking water caused a recent public health crisis. This afternoon, the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hear sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 512, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s mid-biennium review bill that attempts to improve these processes. 


04.25.16 - Rep. Boccieri Applauds Legislation Aimed At Helping Veterans, Ohio Cities


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the recent passage of two House bills aimed at boosting revitalization efforts in the state’s urban centers and easing access to medical benefits and other services for military veterans. Both pieces of legislation passed unanimously out of the House earlier this week. 

The first, House Bill (HB) 173, will establish veteran identification cards that can be used to prove eligibility for a number of services, including medical benefits, employment, and discounts at participating retail establishments. The new veteran identification cards will be issued by county recorders or veterans service offices. 

“Both of these bills are true examples of good policy that puts Ohioans first,” said Boccieri. “HB 173 gives our veterans an easy way to display their record of service to our country and access the services they need. As a veteran myself, I know that this is a need that has been unfulfilled for some time.” 


04.20.16 - Rep. Boccieri: "Delayed Justice May Be On The Horizon For My Friend"


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed heartfelt relief that justice may be on the horizon for the Hoerig family after the Brazilian Supreme Court cleared the way for Claudia Hoerig, who allegedly fatally shot U.S. Air Force Reserve pilot Major Karl D. Hoerig in 2007, to be extradited to the U.S. for trial.


04.13.16 - Valley Lawmakers Announce State Support For Mahoning County Sheriff Marine Patrol Unit


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced that the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office will receive a $28,035.99 Marine Patrol Assistance Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The state grant is intended to help the local law enforcement agency provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels.


04.12.16 - Boccieri Delivers Final Salute To Fallen Comrade


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today delivered a salute to a fallen comrade who had been missing in action since February of 1953. The remains of Corporal Dennis Buckley, a Korean War veteran, will be returned to Lane Family Funeral Homes in Austintown, Ohio today. The U.S. military will deliver the corporal to Pittsburgh International Airport so that members of the Pennsylvania National Guard can bring his remains back to Ohio. 


04.07.16 - Rep. Boccieri: Governor Has Good Ideas On Veterans, Drug Addiction, Redistricting But Needs To Prioritize Workforce And Local Investment


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, agreeing that the spirit of Ohio is embodied in those teachers, carpenters and business owners that struggle to make it every day.  


03.31.16 - Boccieri Calls For Local Control To Be Added To EPA Lead Contamination Overhaul


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s announcement that its mid-year corrections bill will address lead contamination prevention efforts, but pointed out that the agency could do more to prevent privatization of the water testing process. 


03.28.16 - Boccieri Moves To Reform Mill Creek Park Board Appointment Process


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) todayresponded to Probate Judge Robert Rusu’s ardent defense of the current process for electing members to the Mill Creek MetroPark Board of Commissioners, saying that more transparency and public participation in the process is needed and that the county commissioners would be better equipped to oversee park board appointments.   

Rep. Boccieri announced recently that he is working on legislation to transfer the appointment authority for park board members from the probate judge to county commissioners. 


03.21.16 - Boccieri Applauds USDA Emergency Grant To Sebring


e Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the work of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in helping the Village of Sebring, Ohio secure a $404,885 emergency grant to tackle its lead contamination problem. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided the grant to the village to help offset the cost of new lead-prevention water system equipment and bottled water deliveries. 


03.08.16 - New Sebring Water Findings Detailing Lack Of Public Warning "shameful," Boccieri Says


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) todayexpressed his frustration with new information that The Vindicator reported Sunday revealing that authorities at the Village of Sebring knew of contamination in the area’s water as early as October 7, 2015. In an email exchange that occurred on that day between Village Manager Richard Giroux and Water Superintendent Jim Bates, both officials discussed recent water tests from the vendor that showed elevated levels of lead. 


03.01.16 - Rep. Boccieri: State Investment To Spur Restoration Of Local Landmark


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced that the Poland Township Historical Society will receive a grant in the amount of $6,327 from the Ohio History Fund for it’s Little Red Schoolhouse restoration project. 


02.24.16 - Rep. Boccieri Applauds House Passage Of Bill Banning Cockfighting


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today voted in favor of HB 215, legislation prohibiting knowing engagement in cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another. The bill passed the House on a vote of 85-7 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

The bill’s passage comes after U.S. Marshals uncovered a cockfighting ring in Youngstown in late January. Over 50 chickens were discovered either deceased or in poor condition on the East Side, a number too large to justify ownership merely for egg or food production. The Vindicator reported on the incident, citing that one of the Marshals declared it to be one of the worst cases he has seen.

“This bill is especially relevant for our community in Mahoning County considering the recent cases of animal cruelty that authorities discovered,” Boccieri said. “I am glad to see Ohio take a stronger stance on animal cruelty that crosses many lines of decency.”


02.19.16 - Reps. Boccieri And Lepore-Hagan Encourage Local College Grads To Apply For Paid Statehouse Fellowship


State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the Ohio Legislative Service Commission is accepting applications for its 13-month Legislative and Telecommunications Fellowship Program. The Commission will hire 24 fellows to work with members of the Ohio General Assembly during 2017.


02.17.16 - Rep. Boccieri Is Satisfied With Termination Of EPA Employees Over Sebring Negligence; Says Director Still Needs To Answer Questions


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s decision to terminate two employees and demote a third over their inadequate response to evidence of lead contamination in the Village of Sebring’s water. An internal review by the EPA revealed that the individuals’ failure to deliver test result information to the appropriate office and authorities respectively inhibited the EPA’s ability to notify residents promptly. 


02.16.16 - Rep. Boccieri Calls For Replenishing Empty State Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today called for renewed funding for the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund, a reserve created in 2003 to support efforts to shutter or renovate lead-contaminated homes and enhance lead screenings of at-risk children. The Plain Dealer recently reported that the state fund has sat empty since the day it was established.  


02.05.16 - Rep. Boccieri: $5M Budget Request To Relocate Cleveland Browns Training Site A Case Of "misplaced Priorities"


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today denounced a $5 million capital budget request to relocate a practice facility for the Cleveland Browns as a poor allocation of taxpayer dollars. The merit of the proposal from the Columbus Partnership pales in comparison to the importance of guaranteeing the health and safety of Sebring, Ohio residents after their water was found to be contaminated with lead, Boccieri argues. 


02.02.16 - Boccieri : Ohio EPA Must Come Clean On Sebring Water Crisis Timeline


State Rep. John Boccieri today wrote to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) regarding outstanding concerns over when the agency claims it first learned of test results revealing water contamination in Sebring, Ohio. Boccieri's office recently received documentation from the state's water testing vendor, Ream and Haagar Environmental Lab, that confirms the vendor first notified the Ohio EPA in August of test results showing elevated lead levels in Sebring's water.


02.01.16 - Rep. Boccieri Puts Forward Stronger Drinking Water Notification Standards To Protect Public Health


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced legislation to establish clear standards for water testing and public notification procedures in cases of lead contamination. The legislation comes in the midst of the Sebring water crisis, in which records have revealed that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to notify residents of Sebring, Ohio that area water had higher-than-normal levels of lead for almost five months.


01.28.16 - Ohio Lawmaker Calls For State EPA Director Subpoena In Sebring Water Crisis


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today called on the Ohio House of Representatives to subpoena Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler to answer questions relating to the state’s failure to protect the public for some six months after toxic drinking water was found in Sebring and Beloit, Ohio.

The lawmaker has repeatedly called on the director of the Ohio EPA to provide the public with answers to basic questions surrounding the renewal of water permits and sluggish communication that forced seniors, pregnant mothers and children to unknowingly drink water contaminated with copper and lead.

“We have received no answer to our repeated questions about steps taken by the EPA, which shares a moral and legal obligation to notify the public when such a crisis evolves, to remedy this crisis.” Boccieri wrote in the letter to Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger.

EPA Director Butler is Gov. John Kasich’s former policy advisor and was appointed by Gov. Kasich to the Ohio EPA after the former director resigned amid questions of improper political pressure on state water regulators.

A copy of the letter is attached with text available below: 


01.27.16 - Rep. Boccieri Sends Second Letter To EPA After Failure To Answer Questions Regarding Sebring Water Contamination


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today sent a second letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Craig Butler, repeating still unanswered questions regarding the agency’s response to ongoing water contamination concerns in Sebring. This letter is a follow-up to the previous one Rep. Boccieri and State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) sent last week to the Ohio EPA requesting confirmation of the timeline in which the agency received the water quality test results.


01.22.16 - Rep. Boccieri Sends Letter To Ohio EPA Raising Concerns About Local Water Contamination


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) sent a letter today to Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler raising concerns about the EPA’s delayed response to multiple tests revealing lead contamination in Sebring and Beloit’s drinking water. The letter is a follow-up to a conference call that took place last night between all parties in which Director Butler and EPA Liaison Danielle Giannantonio first briefed state legislators on the issue. 


01.11.16 - Rep. Boccieri: Poland Manufacturing Company To Expand With State Support


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced that $333,000 in state funds have been awarded to Poland company Vivo Brothers, Inc. to expand their manufacturing business and create new jobs. The funds were released through the Regional 166 Loan Program and will help finance the building of a new manufacturing facility in Columbiana. As a result of the project made possible through state assistance, the company has committed to create eight full-time jobs and retain 28 existing full-time jobs, with 16 of the retained jobs being located at the project’s new location.


01.11.16 - Rep. Boccieri Offers Support For Maintaining Current Level Of Radar Operations At Youngstown


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today offered his full support for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) workgroup and its realignment recommendations for Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport released January 7*. The report recommended sustaining the current level of operations for Youngstown’s air traffic control towers, referred to as Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities (TRACON). 


12.30.15 - Boccieri Declares Support For Bipartisan Bill Regulating Law Enforcement Drone Use


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced his support for a recently introduced bipartisan measure to restrict the use of drones by law enforcement entities without proper authorization. Senate Bill 251 would set standards that protect the privacy and safety of the public during investigations that rely on drones. With drone use continuing to skyrocket, Boccieri says such standards are becoming increasingly necessary, especially around airports where drones pose significant threats to air safety.


12.28.15 - Boccieri Says Governor Should Work With Legislature On Congressional Redistricting Reform


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), who served as U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 16th congressional district from 2009-2011, today issued the following statement in response to Gov. John Kasich’s newfound support for congressional redistricting reform: 


12.09.15 - Rep. Boccieri To Serve On Energy And Public Utilities Committees


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) was officially appointed to the Ohio House Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Public Utilities Committee late Tuesday during legislative session. The committee assignments come about two months after his September 30 swearing in as Representative for the 59th House District.


11.18.15 - Terrorists, Guns And The "War On Women" At The Statehouse


The General Assembly voted yesterday on controversial measures that ranged from the Syrian Refugee crisis to the contentious defunding of Planned Parenthood: HCR 31 urged President Obama to halt the settlement of Syrian refugees in Ohio and the U.S. at large; HB 294 banned state and federal funds from being used for Planned Parenthood’s various healthcare services; and HB 48 expanded concealed carry laws to universities, day-care centers, airports, aircraft, certain government facilities, police stations and school safety zones. 


11.06.15 - Rep. Boccieri: It's Time To Get Serious About Congressional Redistricting


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today expressed fundamental disagreement with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s assessment of congressional redistricting reform. The Plain Dealer yesterday quoted Secretary Husted as claiming that “the congressional delegation in the end will have the call on whether or not [congressional redistricting] will happen. I don't believe that the legislature would ever force something on them that they would not accept.”


10.27.15 - Rep. Boccieri Applauds Increase In State Funding To Local School Districts


State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) applauded today’s passage of Senate Bill 208 (SB 208), which restores funding to local school districts by reinstating the majority of tangible personal property (TPP) tax reimbursements. Governor Kasich previously vetoed TPP reimbursements for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 in the biennial budget this past June, a move that left many districts struggling to make ends meet. SB 208, however, restores all but four percent of FY 2015 funding for districts that were set to lose state money. 


09.30.15 - Boccieri Appointed To Fill 59th House District Vacancy


The Ohio House Democratic Caucus today announced former state legislator and U.S. Congressman John Boccieri was sworn-in to represent citizens of the 59th House district. The return to the statehouse marks a full circle for the Poland lawmaker, who began his political career in the Ohio House in 2001 before quickly ascending to the Ohio Senate and then the U.S. Congress.

“It is an honor to again have the opportunity to serve my community and work alongside the dedicated public servants in the Ohio House,” Boccieri said. “I am committed to working toward practical solutions that expand economic opportunities for families in the Mahoning Valley and across Ohio.”

A screening committee led by Caucus Dean Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and including Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Kevin Boyce (D-Columbus), Debbie Phillips (D-Albany) and John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) considered three candidates to fill the vacancy. 

“All three candidates impressed the screening committee with their commitment to public service and dedication to fighting for middle class values,” said Cera. “Ultimately, Rep. Boccieri’s extensive public service experience and the recommendation by local Mahoning County leaders contributed to our decision. I am confident we made the right choice and look forward to working with Rep. Boccieri.”

Former Boardman Township Trustee Robin Gallito and Boardman School Board member John Landers were also considered for the seat.

“John’s experience and perspective will be an immeasurable asset to our caucus,” said Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “During his time in Columbus and in our nation’s capital, he built a track record of consistently working to improve the quality of life for Ohio families. We are excited to have Rep. Boccieri on board.”

Boccieri previously served in the Ohio House from 2001-2006 and the Ohio Senate from 2007-2008. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009-2011.