Representative Kent Smith - House District 8
 

08.09.17 - Smith Joins Legislators From 36 States To Collaborate On Bipartisan Solutions To Environmental Challenges

 

State Reps. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) joined more than 100 state legislators from 36 states and both major political parties to build consensus on leading environmental issues at the 2017 National Issues Forum in Boston this week organized by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). The event offered opportunities for lawmakers and sustainability advocates to collaborate on policy solutions to remove toxins from consumer products, and to conserve water, public lands and endangered species.

“The dangers of ignoring environmental issues and the benefits of using clean energy are crystal clear,” said Howse. “By laying a foundation for environmental sustainability, we can help grow our economy, attract clean energy businesses and bring better jobs to our state.”

 
 

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

 

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

“Stopping the GOP’s Medicaid freeze is a testament to the hard work of concerned citizens, Democratic lawmakers and medical professionals,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “Just like in Washington D.C., protests, phone calls, office visits and emails are helping to save lives in Ohio. But other Medicaid freeze loopholes approved today by Republicans will lock people out of Medicaid coverage and threaten the economic stability of families and working people across our state. New restrictions will cost money, lives and good-paying healthcare jobs.”

 
 

06.28.17 - Smith: State's Fake Budget Built On Broken Economic Outlook, Six Years Of Few Results And Empty Job Promises

 

Amid a more than $1 billion financial shortfall, Ohio’s legislative Republicans pushed state budget negotiations closer to the brink Tuesday and today with eleventh hour horse-trading over a Medicaid lockout and complex money maneuvers, leaving Gov. John Kasich less than 48 hours to review the state budget, House Bill 49, before the start of the new fiscal year.

“I voted against the state budget because the revenue stream is dishonest and irresponsible,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “State tax collections have missed revenue projections 10 times in 11 months. In doing so, it shortchanges our future. The Republican philosophy of tax cuts for the wealthiest Ohioans while cutting schools, communities and services hasn't created economic stability, better paying jobs or real economic growth. Under Governor Kasich, Ohio has trailed the national average in job growth for 54 consecutive months. This budget follows the same failed course. On the road to forever we don't know the way.”  

 
 

05.18.17 - Rep. Kent Smith Awarded Fellowship For Midwestern Leadership Institute

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) announced today that he was among 37 select lawmakers chosen to participate in a training program that annually identifies and assists promising state leaders in the Midwest. The Euclid lawmaker was one of three Ohio legislators selected for the fellowship. 

Rep. Smith will meet with fellow lawmakers from Ohio and 10 other Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces on August 11-15 in Minneapolis, Minn., for The Council of State Governments’ 23rd annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD). 

“I am honored to be chosen to be a part of the 2017 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development class,” said Smith. “My hope is that being a part of 2017 BILLD class will allow me to better serve the residents of the 8th House District and the citizens of Ohio.”

 
 

05.17.17 - Smith: GOP Packs Workers' Comp Budget With Attacks On Workers

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today voted “no” on the Republican-led charge to restrict worker’s access to healthcare and benefits through the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget bill, House Bill 27. The bill passed the House Insurance Committee and the House Finance Committee on a party-line vote Tuesday. 

“It’s clear that GOP leadership were having second thoughts about House Bill 27 as they broke with standard House procedures to get the bill passed,” said Smith. “Instead of rushing an important budget bill through the process, Republican leaders should be working diligently to secure the paychecks of Ohio’s working people.” 

 
 

05.10.17 - Bipartisan Music Recording Tax Credit Gets Attention From House Committee

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) gave sponsor testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday on a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state.  

“While other states, like Georgia which just signed their program into law on May 8, are also pushing for recording studio incentives, I believe Ohio should get ahead of the curve in attracting new music recording projects as well as growing our existing studios and musical talent,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds builds upon our proud music history and works to cultivate our state’s musical legacy moving forward.” 

 
 

04.10.17 - Rep. Smith Announces $65.2M To Protect Euclid, Lake Erie From Sewage Overflow

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the release of a $65.2 million low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent sewage runoff into Lake Erie. 

“I would like to thank Governor Kasich and Ohio EPA Director Butler for awarding the city of Euclid millions of dollars from the Ohio EPA's Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work done by Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and members of her administration to protect Lake Erie and Euclid residents who enjoy the lake and consume its water via the Euclid Water Treatment Plant,” Smith said.  “As a member of both the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, I am well aware of the high importance and high cost of protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem. This low-interest loan will not only help improve the quality of life for the Euclid residents but will also help restore and protect the Great Lakes. This important work should be applauded and continued in the state of Ohio.”

 
 

04.05.17 - Smith: With Ohio "on The Verge Of Recession" Kasich Fails To Address Real State Of The State

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) recently expressed disappointment in Gov. Kasich’s state of the state address, saying the governor failed to provide 11 million Ohioans an explanation on why the state is on “the verge of a recession” after six years under his leadership. The lawmaker also noted that the governor’s budget failed to adequately address the real state of the economy, education, healthcare and recent drastic state cuts to communities in Ohio.

“I was disappointed that Governor Kasich again tried to convince Ohioans that 51 consecutive months of job growth below the national average is a good thing by not addressing the real economic issues, and that he continued to push his 40-hour public school teacher externship idea—which has not gained traction with any member of the 132nd General Assembly. I think the Governor should ‘GET REALS’ and stop the tax shifting and funding cuts on public education.”

 
 

03.30.17 - Smith: Advanced Energy Standards Repeal Threatens Jobs, Growth, Stability

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) 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. 

“My GOP colleagues have sent Ohio backward by rolling back our state's renewable energy mandates,” said Smith. “By not passing my amendment in support of Ohio's wind energy sector, the Republican chamber continues to maintain an artificial market barrier that stifles Ohio's wind industry, therefore depriving our state of potentially $3.4 billion dollars’ worth of economic activity. This legislation is short-sighted and harmful to both present-day Ohioans and our future generations.”  

 
 

03.28.17 - Help Fighting Pay Discrimination In Ohio Would Be A Phone Call Away Under Two Lawmakers' Proposal

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) recently introduced House Bill (HB) 138, legislation to fight pay discrimination in Ohio by establishing a toll-free equal pay hotline, an easily accessible, anonymous resource for workers to report wage discrimination and gather more information to find out if they could be victims of pay discrimination.

“While the federal Equal Pay Act was enacted over fifty years ago, Ohio has done little more to protect worker’s paychecks from unprecedented and illegal discrimination,” said Smith. “By providing the tools necessary to help ensure folks are receiving equal pay for equal work, we can attract more top talent and create a stronger economy for all Ohioans.”

 
 

03.15.17 - Bipartisan Legislation To Fight Child Hunger Passes Ohio House

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 80, their bipartisan legislation to combat child hunger in Ohio. HB 80 would allow outside organizations to use schools as summer meal sites to ensure hungry children have access to a nutritious lunch even when school is out of session.

“It is unacceptable that over a half million Ohio children go hungry when they are not in school,” said Smith. “By allowing schools to partner with qualified organizations in the summer to provide healthy meals to students in need at no cost to the school district, we can help reduce child hunger in our state.” 

 
 

03.08.17 - Lawmakers Respond To Kasich's Baseless Allegations Of Education Externship Program Being "partisan Politics"

 

State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued the following statement responding to the governor’s assertion that legislation to require the state’s chief executive to complete an annual 40-hour externship in a public elementary or secondary school is motivated by “partisan politics”:

“We believe what is “more than disappointing” is the fact that under Governor Kasich’s leadership, Ohio has slashed critical funding for local communities and schools; has supported a for-profit charter school industry is failing to educate our children; and even allowed data-scrubbing to cover up charter school shortcomings to occur under this watch. 

 
 

03.07.17 - Lawmakers Push Proposal To Send Governor Back To School

 

State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced new legislation – The “GET REALS Act” – to require the governor to complete an annual 40-hour externship in a public elementary or secondary school ranked A-F. 

The Governor’s Externship for Training of Realistic Expectations of Academic Leadership in Schools (GET REALS) comes as Gov. Kasich seeks a law change in his state operating budget to require teachers to shadow businesspeople as a condition of maintaining their professional education licensure. 

“If Governor Kasich is serious about strengthening our schools and preparing our students to succeed, his public policies should be informed by real world, on-the-ground experience that, quite frankly, he lacks,” said Smith

 
 

03.01.17 - Reps. Smith, Howse: State Needs Innovative Infrastructure Plan To Drive Economic Growth In Ohio

 

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

“While I supported Sub HB 26 because it will fund needed infrastructure projects and create good, living-wage jobs, this bill could have been much better,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “This is a highways bill, not a transportation bill, for it doesn’t improve Ohio’s dismal level of the public transportation funding. Ohio is seventh in population and fourteenth in ridership, yet we are thirty-eighth in per capita public transit dollars. Public transportation is an important component of our workforce strategies – we need to be able to get people to job locations after we give them the skills to compete. While this bill does put people to work, it fails to get people to work.”

 
 

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

 

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

“While I supported Sub HB 26 because it will fund needed infrastructure projects and create good, living-wage jobs, this bill could have been much better,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “This is a highways bill, not a transportation bill, for it doesn't improve Ohio's dismal level of the public transportation funding. Ohio is seventh in population and fourteenth in ridership, yet we are thirty-eighth in per capita public transit dollars. Public transportation is an important component of our workforce strategies – we need to be able to get people to job locations after we give them the skills to compete. While this bill does put people to work, it fails to get people to work.”

 
 

02.28.17 - Cleveland-area Lawmakers Propose Bill To Recognize Carl And Louis Stokes

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Stephanie Howse (R-Cleveland) today announced the introduction of House Bill 83, legislation to designate the local boulevard known as Opportunity Corridor in Cleveland as the “Carl and Louis Stokes Opportunity Corridor.” 

“Carl and Louis Stokes not only helped reshape politics and public policy in Cleveland and Ohio, but made lasting contributions to American history,” said Smith. “With 2017 marking the 50-year anniversary of Carl Stokes becoming the first African American to lead a major city, this road designation will mark the substantive accomplishments of Carl and Louis Stokes’ work and legacy.” 

 
 

01.31.17 - Smith Tapped To Lead Financial Institutions, Housing And Urban Development Committee For House Dems

 

House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today announced state Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) will serve as the top Democratic member of the Ohio House Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development Committee for the new legislative session.  

“I welcome my appointment as the ranking Democrat on the FIHUD Committee. Almost twenty years ago, I began researching the emerging threat of subprime lending, which later sparked the national foreclosure crisis that robbed thousands of Ohioans of their homes and savings and almost sank the entire U.S. economy,” said Smith. “As state representative, I pledge to work to modernize Ohio's banking laws to help grow wealth for the middle class and everyday working Ohioans, who deserve the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and their families.” 

 
 

12.07.16 - Smith: Columbus Power-grab Set To Clear Legislature, Locals To Lose More Freedom

 

House Democratic lawmakers today voted against Substitute Senate Bill 331, legislation that lets the state grab more power from local communities by overriding local bans on unlicensed puppy mill sales to pet stores and prohibiting local communities from taking up ballot issues on policies like minimum wage and paid family leave. 

“As wages sink across Ohio we are practicing deny-side economics in this legislature,” –State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid)

 
 

09.14.16 - Dem Lawmakers Call For End To Outsized Corporate Influence On Democracy

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Sen. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) joined local advocates and elected officials today in South Euclid, Ohio to highlight pending legislation that calls for amending the U.S. Constitution and eliminate First Amendment protections for corporate personhood, abolishing the notion that money is equated to speech. The lawmakers are introducing a statewide resolution in the Ohio legislature to support the proposed federal amendment.

“It goes without saying that when the founding fathers wrote the First Amendment they were concerned with the rights of John Doe the individual, not John Doe’s private investment company,” said Smith. “When money is considered speech, those who have the most money have the most speech. This contradicts the basic cornerstone philosophy of American democracy of one person, one vote.”

 
 

08.11.16 - Rep. Smith Joins State Lawmakers, Environmental Advocates At Recent NCEL Forum

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) recently joined more than 100 state legislators from 32 states and both major political parties to learn about emerging environmental issues at the 2016 National Issues Forum hosted by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL). The event promoted collaboration between state legislators and provided essential educational resources regarding the pressing environmental and conservation issues currently facing the country.

 
 

07.28.16 - State Continues To Stockpile Millions While Keeping 31 Communities In Fiscal Distress

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today criticized the state’s recent decision to stockpile Ohio’s Rainy Day budget surplus fund with an extra $30 million instead of sending the money back to 31 local communities listed in fiscal distress by the state. Reps. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and Smith this year introduced House Bill (HB) 508 to lift 31 communities listed in fiscal distress by the state, a measure that would require just under $30 million. 

“This latest addition to the state’s massive surplus highlights the Kasich administration’s arrogance by showing they simply doesn’t understand or care what it’s like on the ground in local communities throughout our state like Clarksville, East Cleveland and Galion,” said Smith. “The fact is the administration continues to withhold critical tax revenue generated in these local communities by stockpiling some bank account in Columbus. Meanwhile, locals are forced to raise taxes, cut essential services or let infrastructure crumble. It is hypocritical that the Rainy Day fund was built on the backs of our communities, but even more so now that The Administration continues to withhold needed revenues from the cities, towns and villages that make up our state.”

 
 

07.13.16 - Lawmakers Push Equal Pay Hotline As New Resource To Fight Pay Discrimination

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today announced a new proposal to fight pay discrimination in Ohio by establishing a toll-free equal pay hotline, an easily accessible, anonymous resource for Ohio workers to report wage discrimination and gather more information to find out if they could be victims of pay discrimination. 

 
 

06.27.16 - Rep. Smith Comments On U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Affirming Women's Right To Comprehensive Healthcare

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, in which the court found that restrictions on access to comprehensive healthcare in Texas placed an undue burden on women, violating the American Constitution:  

“I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court for again supporting a woman's right to take responsibility for her own health care decisions. I hope that today’s decision will prompt the Republican-controlled legislature in Ohio to stop implementing similar legislative barriers that treat women as second class citizens. These partisan attacks are only creating more work – and winning case law – for constitutional lawyers.”

 
 

05.24.16 - Rep. Kent Smith Comments On Effort To Allow Online Voter Registration, Federal Court Upholding "golden Week"

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to the legislature’s approval of Senate Bill 96, a bill that allows full online voter registration in 2017. The Euclid lawmaker also commented on the federal courts striking down Ohio Republicans’ restrictions on voting and registering to vote on the same day in Ohio, or “golden week.”  

“With federal courts today finding Republican efforts to restrict voting violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, we should be very attentive to the details of bills claiming to modernize or reform voting in Ohio, especially when such bills have the same author,” said Smith. “With that in mind, I am disappointed that today’s legislation prevents online registration from taking place until 2017. The technology exists to implement online voter registration right now."

 
 

05.10.16 - Rep. Smith: Proposal To Legalize Medical Marijuana Passes Ohio House

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 523, legislation to legalize the use of certain forms of medical marijuana in Ohio to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease spinal cord injury, HIV and AIDS.

 
 

04.06.16 - Rep. Smith: Local Funding Cuts Underscore Kasich's Bold State Of The State Claims

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, saying that the reality on the ground for working people does not match the rosy picture painted by the governor Wednesday night in Marietta. The Cleveland-area lawmaker noted that the governor especially failed to address the real state of cuts to communities in Ohio. 

 
 

04.01.16 - Lawmakers Push Solution To Stabilize 31 Fiscally Distressed Communities Hit Hard By Kasich's Budget Cuts

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.

 
 

03.31.16 - Democratic Lawmakers Push "Ohio Jobs Guarantee" To Make Job Creation Efforts Accountable To Policymakers, Taxpayers

 

State Reps. Greta Johnson (D–Akron) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the introduction of the “Ohio Jobs Guarantee” to ensure policymakers and the public have full access to information necessary to evaluate job creation efforts in Ohio. The bill would allow the Auditor to conduct full audits of JobsOhio and require that JobsOhio submit a quarterly progress report detailing all of its active projects. The bill’s introduction comes amidst news that two of Gov. Kasich’s presidential campaign mega-donors were recommended by JobsOhio for tax incentives that will cost Ohioans close to $1 million.

 
 

03.11.16 - Rep. Kent Smith Responds To Outsized JobsOhio Pay Raises

 

Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued the following statement in response to reports that the CEO of Ohio’s privatized economic development entity received a $122,634 pay increase this year for a total salary just shy of a half million dollars: 

 
 

03.10.16 - Dem Lawmakers Seek To Modernize Wages For Ohio Workers

 

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

 
 

02.10.16 - Rep. Smith's Bill To Protect Children From Predators Passes Ohio House

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 405, legislation to increase the safety of Ohio children by strengthening penalties against sexual predators.

“This legislation will help protect Ohio’s most valuable asset – our children,” said Smith, a primary sponsor of the bill. “Internet predators in Ohio need to know there will be consequences for their despicable actions. This legislation will put predators behind bars and help keep our kids safe.”

 
 

12.14.15 - Rep. Smith Announces Grant For Euclid Infrastructure Project

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced a $320,000 in Roadwork Development Grants to improve roadway infrastructure in Euclid, Ohio. Improvements will allow Lincoln Electric Company to open a new facility and create 40 new, full-time jobs in the area.

 
 

12.01.15 - Smith: "Right To Work" Is Wrong For Workers, Wrong For Ohio

 

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

“A healthy middle class is the most important component to a growing economy. What the Ohio GOP either fails to understand or refuses to acknowledge is that right to work laws harm the middle class,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in the states with right to work restrictions is $6,437 less than in other states.  If the middle class incomes are falling, then Ohio’s economy is failing too. Right to work is wrong in Ohio because it’s bad for Ohio families and therefore bad for Ohio’s economy.”

National studies show that workers in states with so-called right to work restrictions have a 36 percent higher chance of dying on the job and are stuck in more low-wage occupations than workers in free-bargaining states like Ohio. The Economic Policy Institute calculates that workers in states with right to work restrictions earn $1,540 less a year, while U.S. Census Bureau data shows that median family income is at least $6,000 less compared to other states.

A study by The National Education Association also reveals that right to work states invest some $3,000 less per-pupil for public education than their free-bargaining counterparts. Children and families in so-called right to work states are also more likely to lack health care coverage, especially through work, according the The Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ohioans rejected the same so-called right to work restrictions as an initiative on the general election ballot in 1958 by a similar vote percentage that ultimately defeated Senate Bill 5 in 2011. No state has ever instituted so-called right to work through a ballot initiative process.

 
 

11.20.15 - Reps. Smith And Patterson Introduce Ban On Production And Sale Of Microbeads

 

State Reps. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) introduced legislation today that would prohibit the manufacture and sale of microbeads, small plastic particles that are typically used in personal care products such as hand sanitizers and toothpastes. Microbeads can pollute public waterways — including Lake Erie — by slipping through water treatment systems when they wash down the drain.

 
 

10.07.15 - Rep. Smith Votes In Favor Of Sweeping Charter School Reform Bill

 

The Ohio House today agreed on conference committee changes to House Bill 2 (HB 2), a bipartisan education bill aimed at increasing transparency and accountability for Ohio’s charter schools. The monthslong legislative process culminated in significant reforms that will strengthen oversight of a charter industry repeatedly plagued by fraud, scandal and failing report cards.

 
 

08.05.15 - Smith Commemorates 50th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act

 

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

Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) released the following statement regarding the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act: 

“Voting in America is a fundamental right and should be treated as such by policymakers. Democracy works best when the citizen stakeholder level is at its greatest and everyone's voice is equal. The politician that does not respect voter access should not be respected by the voters.”

 
 

08.03.15 - Rep. Kent Smith Issues Statement On Obama Administration's Proposed Clean Power Plan

 

President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today unveiled new standards limiting carbon emissions from power plants, a move the administration says will combat climate change, reduce energy bills for families, improve public health and create jobs in renewable energy industries. The administration released an Ohio fact sheet today in preparation for the new standards.

Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) released the following statement in reaction to the historic plan:

 

 
 

07.21.15 - Rep. Smith: Data Scrubbing Scandal Merits Official Investigation

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today joined the growing chorus urging the state auditor to launch an official investigation into reports that officials at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) illegally manipulated a key evaluation of charter school oversight agencies by omitting failing grades from many online charters. 

 
 

06.30.15 - Smith: Local Hiring Ban Axes Local Control, Sends Ohio Jobs Out Of State

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today expressed disappointment in the passage of House Bill 180, legislation that prohibits cities and other municipalities from setting minimum standards for hiring local residents for public works projects. The minimum residency standards, currently in place in cities and municipalities around the state, let qualified workers earn the opportunity to find rewarding employment in their own communities.   

“House Bill 180 is an anti-Ohio jobs bill and that is why I voted no.  House Bill 180 limits the opportunity of residents of the 8th House District to get work from the $331 million Opportunity Corridor project,” said Smith. “What this bill does do is create jobs for out-of-state workers on Ohio public works jobsites.  They will get a paycheck here and spend it somewhere else.  This bill hurts Ohio’s middle class and working families.”

 
 

06.26.15 - Rep. Smith: State Budget Leaves More Ohioans Behind To Benefit Special Interests, Millionaires

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today stood in opposition to House Bill 64, the state’s two-year budget bill. Democratic legislators voted against the measure, which they say lacks a vision to grow the economy and offers little opportunity for average Ohioans to get ahead. Instead, Democrats argue the bill advances partisan attacks on working Ohioans and policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests.State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today stood in opposition to House Bill 64, the state’s two-year budget bill. Democratic legislators voted against the measure, which they say lacks a vision to grow the economy and offers little opportunity for average Ohioans to get ahead. Instead, Democrats argue the bill advances partisan attacks on working Ohioans and policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests.

 
 

06.26.15 - Rep. Smith Issues Statement On Historic Supreme Court Ruling

 

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The historic 5-4 decision overturns a 6th Circuit Court case brought by Ohio native Jim Obergefell and invalidates bans on same-sex marriage across the country, including the one in Ohio. Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued this statement following the court’s historic ruling:

“Love does not discriminate.  I am happy that from this day forward, marriage equality is a right available to all Americans.  I celebrate this day and salute the decades of activism that helped bring about this victory.”

 
 

06.16.15 - Cleveland-area Lawmakers Say Ohio Could "amp Up" Economic Growth Through Music Industry

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”

“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”

 
 

05.18.15 - Rep. Kent Smith Announces Funds For Renovations Project At Shaw High School

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced over $662,000 in state funding for the East Cleveland City Schools District through the state’s Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.

 
 

04.23.15 - State Rep. Smith: State Budget A Missed Opportunity To Grow Economy

 

On Wednesday, State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Ohio House Democratic Caucus members stood in opposition to the state’s two-year, $131.6 billion budget proposal, House Bill 64. Democratic members said a bill of that magnitude should have been a strategic and targeted blueprint to grow the state’s economy for the future, but instead became a vehicle for tax cuts that favor the richest one-percent and last-minute attacks on working Ohioans.

 
 

04.17.15 - Cleveland Lawmaker Wants "OhioSounds" Incentive To Spur Economic Growth In Music Industry

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced a proposal to promote music industry growth in Ohio. The proposed Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, or "OhioSounds," would provide incentives for music production, studio construction and recording within the state. Smith submitted the proposal for consideration in the state budget.

“OhioSounds would solidify the state’s commitment to our musical legacy and help encourage further creative endeavors from Ohio musicians while driving economic growth in a competitive industry and making Ohio a destination for musicians and producers,” said Rep. Smith. “This will not only inspire the next generation of The Black Keys or Bootsy Collins, but will provide a substantial economic return for communities across the state.”

Current data lists music industry revenues at nearly $7 billion annually. Rep. Smith wants to see some of that investment come to Ohio.

Rep. Smith’s proposal would provide tax credits for 25 percent of the related sound recording production costs for music projects created in Ohio. It would also refund 25 percent of music studio construction and recording infrastructure costs. To qualify for OhioSounds, production costs must exceed $5,000 per project, with a maximum incentive set at $50,000. If OhioSounds becomes law, the total amount of initial incentives would be capped at $3 million.

“We have the ability to attract talent not only from Ohio, but across the globe to create music, pioneer new technologies and contribute to our local economies. It’s a win-win,” said Smith. “We have the opportunity for people to be exposed to and fall in love with more Ohio talent. I think its a solid gold opportunity— maybe even platinum.”

 

 
 

04.08.15 - Smith Working To Keep East Cleveland Afloat During 'fiscal Hurricane'

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced he is working to get an amendment in the state budget to restore nearly $6.7 million in Local Government Funds (LGF) to East Cleveland. The amount, which would come from the state’s $1.5 billion Rainy Day Fund, reflects the state’s cuts to East Cleveland since 2008.

 
 

03.25.15 - Cleveland Lawmakers Say Six-week Abortion Ban Unsafe, Not The Role Of Government

 

The Ohio House today approved the strictest anti-abortion bill in the nation, the six week ban, largely along party lines. House Bill 69 would outlaw abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as 6 weeks gestation—often before a woman knows she is pregnant. H.B. 69 makes an exception only in cases where the life of the mother is at risk and does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

The bill, which was introduced and failed to garner adequate support during the last two General Assemblies, is generally recognized as unconstitutional. Democratic lawmakers say the bill would amount to a near total abortion ban and is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade which established viability, not a heartbeat, as the determining factor for whether or not abortions should be legal.

In 2014, federal judges overturned so-called fetal heartbeat legislation in North Dakota and Arkansas.

Here is what Cleveland-area lawmakers are saying about the passage of the six-week ban:

“I voted against this legislation because I support a woman’s right to make her own health care choices free from government intrusion.”- Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights)

“Abortion bans do not stop abortions they simply move the procedure to the shadows and make it unsafe and dangerous.” –Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid)

 

 

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01.22.15 - Smith To Serve On Ohio House Legislative Panels

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the committees on which he will serve to help shape and refine public policy.

 
 

01.15.15 - Rep. Kent Smith To Lead House Democrats On Legislative Panel

 

State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) Monday was named Economic & Workforce Development Committee’s Ranking Member, the House Minority’s highest ranking official on the legislative panel.

 
 

01.07.15 - Kent Smith Sworn In As State Representative

 

Kent Smith (D- Euclid) was officially sworn in to the Ohio House of Representatives Monday as State Representative for the 8th House District. Rep. Smith, elected to his first term in the House in November, will serve the citizens of eastern and northern parts of Cuyahoga County, including parts of the city of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs.

 

“I am excited and honored to represent the hardworking people of the 8th district,” said Rep. Smith. “I embrace the opportunity to improve lives in the 8th district by attracting quality jobs, improving our schools and strengthening our communities.”

 

Rep. Smith served on the Euclid Board of Education from 2002-2013, where he won the “Award of Achievement” from the Ohio School Boards Association four times. In his twelve years on the school board, Rep. Smith never missed a meeting. Rep. Smith was also elected the local leader of the Euclid Democratic Party in 2006 and reelected to that position in 2010 and 2014.

 

In 2006, Rep. Smith earned a Graduate Certificate in Urban Economic Development during his Ph.D. coursework in the Economic Development program at Cleveland State University. His Masters thesis dealt with the emerging threat of predatory lending. He used this expertise to co-author the first Predatory Lending Report by Policy Matters Ohio in 2002.

 

Rep. Smith is a 2013 graduate of the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps. He has worked for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office and also for four Northeast Ohio non-profit organizations.