Representative Kent Smith - House District 8

08.26.20 - Rep. Kent Smith, House Dems Announce $361 Million In COVID-19 Federal Relief Funds For Summer Meal Program And Other Critical State And Local Government Functions


COLUMBUS – Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) announced Monday the state Controlling Board approved another round of federal funding to support Ohio’s efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak as school districts prepare for fall semester.


08.13.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Announces Two Free COVID-19 Testing Days In District 8


COLUMBUS - In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the 8th House District and Ohio, State Representative Kent Smith (D-Euclid) proudly announced two free, upcoming Coronavirus testing locations in East Cleveland and Euclid.  Both testing locations are being sponsored by a broad cross-section of community partners and stakeholders who share Rep. Smith's commitment to saving Ohioans from this deadly disease.  


08.05.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Statement On Anniversary Of Dayton Shooting


COLUMBUS –State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) yesterday issued a statement on the one-year anniversary of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, which left nine dead and 17 wounded.


07.22.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Calls For The Immediate Resignation Of Speaker Householder


COLUMBUS—State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today called for the resignation of Republican Speaker of the House Larry Householder (R-Glenford) following federal charges that he engaged in a $60 million bribery, racketeering scheme. This is the second FBI investigation into House GOP leadership in three years.


07.22.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Holds Virtual Ohio Promise Town Hall


COLUMBUS –State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) yesterday held a virtual community town hall as part of the Ohio Promise Virtual Town Hall Tour, a series of digital events this summer where local lawmakers provide a Statehouse update on issues including COVID-19, jobs and the economy and racial justice.


07.07.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Statement On State Mask Mandate For Cuyahoga County


COLUMBUS—State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued a statement today following Gov. DeWine’s executive order to require facemasks in several Ohio counties, including Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery, and Trumbull. Each of the counties falls within Level 3 of the state’s new Public Health Advisory System, which was unveiled July 2. Level 3 indicates very high exposure and spread of coronavirus.


06.19.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Co-Sponsors Resolution To Declare Juneteenth A Federal Holiday


COLUMBUS — State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today signed onto a concurrent resolution urging Congress to designate June 19th a paid federal holiday. This date is to be known as Juneteenth Independence Day in recognition of June 19, 1865, when news of the end of slavery reached the southwestern states two months after the end of the American Civil War.  


06.16.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Statement As U.S. Supreme Court Rules Workers Cannot Be Fired For LGBTQ Status


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued a statement following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held LGBTQ workers are protected from workplace discrimination under federal law.


06.12.20 - Rep. Kent Smith: House Republicans Vote To Protect The Confederate Flag


COLUMBUS—While Ohioans were sleeping, House Democratic lawmakers were offering two amendments on the House floor late Thursday and early Friday that would have prohibited the sale, display, possession or distribution of Confederate memorabilia at county and independent fairs, following a similar rule instituted by the Ohio State Fair in 2015. The motions came during floor debate on House Bill 665, which made several other changes to laws on local and county fairs.


06.10.20 - Rep. Kent Smith, House Democrats Reveal Legislative Plans For Police Reforms


COLUMBUS— Ohio House Democrats, led by Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron), are responding to the thousands of concerned voices being raised in cities and towns throughout Ohio by announcing today their preliminary legislative plans to combat police brutality. The proposed bills would prohibit profiling, tear gas, and the use of quotas by all law enforcement agencies, as well as call for the independent investigation of officer-involved shootings and the creation of databases to better track problematic behavior and employment history of law enforcement officers.


06.05.20 - Rep. Kent Smith: GOP Election Bill Sets Stage For Confusion And Chaos In November


COLUMBUS—Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued a statement today as Republican lawmakers voted yesterday to fast-track legislationthat does little to prepare the state’s Boards of Elections to safely conduct a presidential election amid the worst global pandemic in more than a century.


06.02.20 - Rep. Kent Smith: Black Ohioans Deserve Better


COLUMBUS—Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) released a statement today following the weekend’s protests throughout the state:


05.20.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Applauds House Passage Of Aisha's Law To Protect Domestic Violence Victims


COLUMBUS—Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today applauded the passage of Aisha’s Law, Democratic priority legislation sponsored by Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) that would change how law enforcement agencies respond to domestic violence cases and provide added protections for those in high-risk situations. Democrats say the bill’s passage comes at a critical time as prolonged isolation during the state’s stay-at-home order has led to a spike in domestic violence cases.


05.06.20 - Rep. Kent Smith, House Democrats Reject An Amendment To Strip ODH Of Power During A Pandemic


COLUMBUS—State Representative Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today released a statement following the dangerous and partisan attack on Dr. Amy Acton by House Republicans:  


05.04.20 - Why The Kent State Shootings Still Matter 50 Years Later


Fifty years ago, America changed at Kent State – and we should remember it today.  The Kent State shootings still matter because it was the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War.


05.01.20 - Rep. Smith: May Expected To Be A Stressful Month For Ohio's Working Families As Many Return To The Workplace


COLUMBUS— As many Ohioans will be called back to work in May, many will be faced with impossible decisions related to work, health and family as this ongoing pandemic continues: how to return to work when you have children at home and no one to care for them with daycares and schools closed; how to keep those high-risk individuals who will remain quarantined safe when workers return home; and what protections exist for workers in and out of the workplace or who do fall ill with COVID-19.


04.28.20 - Rep. Smith, House Dems Call For A "responsible Restart" For Ohio


COLUMBUS—State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) calls for a “responsible restart” for Ohio, outlining 10 recommendations following several weeks of testimony during the OHIO 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force proceedings, as well as feedback heard from constituents, local health officials and business leaders. 


04.13.20 - Rep. Smith Announces More Than $248 Million In Federal Funds To Support State's Pandemic Response Efforts


COLUMBUS— State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) announced the state Controlling Board on Monday approved more than $248 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to aid the state’s ongoing pandemic response efforts, including funds to bolster testing capacity, purchase needed personal protective equipment for frontline workers, expand hospital capacity, and provide resources for those most impacted by the coronavirus.


04.08.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Announces Federal Funding Opportunities For Local Pandemic Response Efforts


COLUMBUS— State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants will be made available to cover certain local pandemic response costs in Ohio. Funds will go to state and local authorities as well as non-profits, such as hospitals, working at the direction of local governments.


04.01.20 - Rep. Kent Smith, House Democrats Renew Calls For A Stop To Evictions And Foreclosures, Debt Collection During The COVID-19 Crisis


COLUMBUS— For many, the first day of a new month means rent and bills are due. For those who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak, April 1st could have been the most financially devastating day yet as fears of evictions and foreclosures loomed.


04.01.20 - Rep. Smith Reminds Constituents About Census Day


Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) reminds constituents to complete the 2020 Census this Census Day.


03.25.20 - Rep. Kent Smith, House Democrats Pass Sweeping Legislation To Address COVID-19 Crisis


COLUMBUS— State lawmakers returned to the Statehouse today to address the COVID-19 crisis and provide immediate relief to everyday Ohioans. State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) released a statement today following the unanimous passage of an omnibus bill (HB 197) that would prohibit utility shut-offs, waive state testing requirements, freeze EdChoice eligibility, extend voting in the primary election, postpone the state income tax filing deadline among several other measures.


03.23.20 - The Five Fronts Of The COVID-19 Battle In Ohio


As a Member of the Ohio General Assembly, I know that Ohioans are facing a variety of challenges from this ever-changing public health crisis.  But using the simple lessons of the “how to eat an elephant” story (one bite at a time), let me offer the five different areas of public policy challenges and what my colleagues and I will be working on in the early stages of this struggle.


03.17.20 - Why We Are Doing What We Are Doing And What You Should Do. - A COVID-19 Update From State Representative Kent Smith


The new Coronavirus has spread rapidly across the globe.  In less than two months, it has reached over 135 countries and infected more than 160,000 individuals.  Diseases do not stop at state or international borders.  It has come to Ohio and it is a public health emergency.  We dare not underestimate it.


03.02.20 - Reps. Smith, Miller And Lepore-Hagan Introduce Legislation To Audit Academic Distress Commission Districts


COLUMBUS- State Reps. Joe Miller (D-Amherst), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced legislation that would require one-time performance audits of school districts with a current Academic Distress Commission (ADC). 


02.06.20 - Rep. Smith Announces House Passage Of Bill That Would End East Cleveland Academic Distress Commission


COLUMBUS- State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today released the following statement regarding Senate Bill (SB) 89, which incorporated an amendment to dissolve Academic Distress Commissions, including in East Cleveland City Schools. It passed the Ohio House Wednesday.


01.29.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Urges House Bill 9 Conference Committee To Restore Local Control To East Cleveland, Youngstown Schools


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today sent a letter to the members of the House Bill (HB) 9 Conference Committee urging them to include in the bill language to remove East Cleveland and Youngstown schools from state control. The Senate-passed version of the bill had included a provision to restore local control only to Lorain schools.


01.17.20 - Rep. Smith Joins The Launch Of Imagination Library


CLEVELAND—State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) joined Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine on Monday to announce the launch of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library in Cuyahoga County.


01.09.20 - Rep. Kent Smith Says Public Safety Needs To Be A Greater Priority For State Leaders

East Cleveland - 

EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio—Tuesday, state Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), Sen. Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights), Ohio Governor Mike DeWine,and Mayor Brandon King (D-East Cleveland), with East Cleveland leaders, visited the site where 36-year-old resident Terra Nolden was killed on Dec. 30 to discuss efforts to increase public safety in the community.


12.18.19 - Rep. Kent Smith Joins Other Dems In Call For Immediate Fix To EdChoice


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon), who serves as Ranking Member on the Committee of Primary and Secondary Education,issued statements today concerning the immediate need to fix the state’s EdChoice voucher program.


12.12.19 - Rep Smith: Ohio House GOP Offers No Solution To The Massive Great Lakes Plastic Pollution Problem, Prevents Localities From Trying To Fix It


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) spoke on the Statehouse Floor on Wednesday, December 11, 2019, in opposition to House Bill 242 which would prevent local governments from enacting plastic bag bans and other similar legislation.


10.25.19 - Rep. Kent Smith Rolls Out New Legislative Survey


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today unveiled a new District 8 Legislative Survey following his Ohio Promise town hall tour.

“The Legislative Survey provides the opportunity for you to share your opinions and concerns as we head into the final 14 months of the 133rd General Assembly,” said Rep. Smith. “The survey is a ten questions and should only take a few minutes to complete. Feel free and share the survey with your friends and family.  The more responses the better.  So grab a computer, get online and tell me what you are interested in. After all – I work for you.”

The District 8 Legislative Survey can be found here: 

“If for some reason the link gets removed or expires, please contact my Columbus office at 614-466-5441 and we will direct you to the most current online survey link,” said Rep. Smith.


10.17.19 - Rep. Kent Smith Supports Legislation To Strengthen Striking Workers


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement following a Statehouse press conference Thursday morning, where he joined lawmakers Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma),  Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and UAW workers to support legislation to extend unemployment benefits and food assistance to union workers fighting for fair wages, better benefits and safer working conditions. The call comes amid a nationwide strike by UAW employees, who reached a tentative labor agreement Wed. on the 31st day of their strike with General Motors.


10.09.19 - Rep. Kent Smith Announces Ohio Promise/Capitol Update Town Hall Tour


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced several town hall meetings across the 8th House District beginning this Saturday, October 12th at 2:00 p.m. at the East Cleveland Public Library to discuss the Ohio Promise legislative framework, bipartisan priority legislation, the FirstEnergy bailout, gun safety proposals and state takeovers of public school districts. Rep. Smith will also provide an overview of his legislative priorities and the recently-passed state budget before taking questions from audience members on issues related to state government.


09.24.19 - Rep. Kent Smith Issues PSA On The Voter Purge In Ohio


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a Public Service Announcement on the voter purge in Ohio.

“The Ohio Secretary of State has ordered a purge of registered voters from the voter roll,” said Rep. Smith. “I encourage all Cuyahoga and Lake County residents to check with their County Board of Elections to make sure they are still registered to vote. Don’t let ‘The Purge’ happen to you.”

*Editor’s note: The PSA can be viewed and downloaded here:


09.16.19 - House Democrats Visit Critical Dam Facility Preventing The Spread Of Asian Carp


State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake), Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) and Mike Sheehy (D-Oregon) toured the critical Brandon Road Lock and Dam complex in Joliet, Illinois, on Friday with 25 other members of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus. Brandon Road Lock and Dam is a critical choke point to keep Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes ecosystem.


08.06.19 - Rep. Kent Smith Issues Statement On Dayton Shooting, Says More Needs To Be Done To Keep Children And Families Safe


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement on the state legislature’s duty to work together to address senseless gun violence and keep all Ohioans safe and secure in the wake of a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio this past weekend:

“The first, best step that we can take in Ohio to curtail senseless gun violence is to close all background check loopholes,” said Smith. “Today in Columbus, I agreed to co-sponsor Democratic priority legislation: Extreme Risk Protection Order (Russo, Sweeney), the High-Capacity Magazine Ban (Weinstein), and legislation Closing the Background Check Loophole (Robinson).


07.23.19 - Rep. Kent Smith: Misguided Bailout Costly For Consumers, Ohio's Clean Energy Future


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement in opposition to House Bill (HB) 6, a Republican-sponsored bill to bail out Ohio’s nuclear power plants and subsidize two additional coal-fired power plants that service the state. The bill also guts Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency standards, which opponents say will hurt job growth in emerging clean energy industries.


07.17.19 - Rep. Kent Smith: Final Budget Falls Short For Working People And Families


Ohio State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today voted in opposition to the finalized version of the state budget, House Bill (HB) 166. Today’s vote follows more than two weeks of Republican dysfunction and gridlock, which forced lawmakers to pass a short-term funding extension before finally compromising on a long-term deal late Tuesday.

“I voted no on the budget conference report because the public education policy got worse, rather than better, when compared to the version that was passed by the House several months ago,” said Rep. Kent Smith. “While the creation of new Academic Distress Commissions have been suspended, the three communities currently suffering under a, “Columbus Know Best” approach must continue to suffer under the leadership of unaccountable bureaucrats when the results suggest that these takeovers are not working. I hope this legislature will continue to restore local leaders and local voices in Youngstown, Lorain, and East Cleveland.”


07.03.19 - Smith, Cuyahoga Dems: Remove Budget Provision Moving 2020 Presidential Primary To St. Patrick's Day


Cuyahoga County House Democratic lawmakers today sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose seeking information from his office about the impact of moving the 2020 presidential primary from March 10 to March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. See the letter below.


06.06.19 - Smith: Democratic Priorities Help Shape Workers Comp Budget


 Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today applauded Wednesday’s passage of House Bill (HB) 80, the two-year state Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) budget, which contained a number of Democratic priorities, including benefits for first responders with PTSD and reforms to the state’s employee misclassification laws.


05.22.19 - Smith, Dems Unveil Commonsense Solutions To Keep Kids And Communities Safe


Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today announced a number of proposals, including safe storage, red-flag and background check laws, commonsense measures they say will better keep kids and communities safe. The package comes amid debate on House Bill (HB) 178, controversial legislation Democrats say is a solution in search of a problem.


05.09.19 - Smith: Democratic Priorities Shape Budget As Bill Clears Ohio House


House Democratic lawmakers today voted in favor of the state budget, House Bill 166, which includes a number of key Democratic priorities, including a significant tax cut for working people and families.


05.01.19 - Smith, House Dems Lead Bipartisan Effort To End School Takeovers, Restore Local Control


House Democrats today announced the House passage of House Bill (HB) 154, a bipartisan effort to end state takeovers of local schools and restore control to local education officials. The bill comes amid questions of accountability, transparency and lackluster results from district takeovers in Youngstown, Lorain and East Cleveland.


04.17.19 - Following Electric Vehicles Fee Increases, Lawmakers Look To Encourage Economic Growth, Industry Investment


State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) today announced the introduction of House Bill 202, legislation to create an Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Study tasked with setting statewide EV infrastructure standards to encourage investment and economic growth. The lawmakers’ announcement follows the state’s approval of EV registration fee increases and a new report lauding Ohio’s potential as a national leader in clean jobs growth.

“If we don’t plan for our future now, we risk being left out of the economic growth and opportunity that comes with clean energy investment,” said Smith. “We need a blueprint that recognizes our potential as a clean jobs leader and builds on that foundation to keep us economically competitive nationally and globally.”


04.10.19 - Smith: Near-total Abortion Ban Threatens Women's Health, Liberty


House Democrats today voted against Senate Bill (SB) 23, a GOP-backed near-total abortion ban that would prohibit abortions in Ohio long before most women know they are pregnant. SB 23 would become the most extreme abortion ban in the country if signed into law.


04.02.19 - State Lawmakers Send Bipartisan Transportation Budget Bill To Governor's Desk


House Minority Whip and state Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today supported the final passage of House Bill (HB) 62, the state’s bipartisan two-year transportation budget. The bill makes historic investments in public transit and local communities for road and bridge repairs. 


03.15.19 - Smith: Dems Improve State Transportation Budget, Support Its Passage


House Democratic lawmakers today voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 62, the state’s bipartisan, two-year budget that largely funds road and bridge improvements and public transportation throughout the state.


03.14.19 - Smith, House Dems Unveil Ohio Promise To Taxpayers


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today joined Democratic lawmakers to unveil the Ohio Promise, a blueprint to renew the Buckeye State’s promise of better jobs and brighter futures.


03.11.19 - Reps. Kent Smith, Steve Hambley Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Stop State Takeover Of Local School Districts


State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) today introduced legislation, House Bill 127, to stop the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The legislation follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools, Lorain City Schools, and, most recently, East Cleveland City Schools. Ohio Department of Education reviews of these districts post-takeover show the districts are still failing to meet key state education standards.


“House Bill 70, which created state takeovers, was poorly designed, rushed into law, and done with zero public input,” said Rep. Smith. “School districts that were headed in the right direction have had their voices silenced, their students harmed, and their communities upended by a ‘Columbus’knows-best’ approach that has made the situation worse, not better.”


01.08.19 - Kent Smith Sworn In As State Rep For Ohio House District 08


State Rep. Kent Smith (D–Euclid) took the oath of office today during the opening session of the 133rd Ohio General Assembly at the Ohio Statehouse, starting his third term as state lawmaker.

To begin the 133rd session of the House, Rep. Smith voted on a number of measures that allow the House to officially begin business, including the election of House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), and the approval of resolutions related to honoring the American flag during session, the creation of new House rules, and the administration of House personnel.

“While Democratic Statehouse candidates received almost 50% of the vote for seats in the 133rd General Assembly, due to partisan gerrymandering, Democrats only won 38 of 99 possible seats on November 6th.  Due to that failure of democracy in Ohio, no Democratic candidate was available for Speaker of the Ohio House,” said Rep. Smith.  “I chose to cast my vote for Rep. Larry Householder because of his public support of organized labor.  I believe the most important part of the American and Ohio economy is a healthy middle class.  Research indicates that union membership helps sustain and protect middle class wages for all families be they union members or not.  “


12.03.18 - Smith And Lepore-Hagan Seek Bond Funding For Water Infrastructure


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today urged members of the House State and Local Government Committee to take a major step toward protecting the health and safety of all Ohioans by approving House Joint Resolution (HJR) 14. The measure proposes a constitutional amendment that would generate funding for local water infrastructure projects by permitting the state to issue up to $1 billion in additional general obligation bonds.


11.28.18 - Smith Joins Democratic Lawmakers, Education Coalition Urge Suspension Of State Takeovers Of Public Schools


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Kent Smith (D-Euclid), and Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today joined Community Leadership Coalition on Education (CLCE) members during their legislative advocacy day urging the passage of House Bill (HB) 626, legislation to halt state takeover of public schools. CLCE is a group of advocates from Youngstown, Lorain, East Cleveland, and other communities around Ohio whose local school districts are or may soon be subject to state takeover as implemented under HB 70.


11.15.18 - Republicans Reject Democratic Push For Increased Transparency Of Taxpayer Money


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to the Ohio House Republicans’ rejection of a Democratic amendment to increase transparency and accountability of JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation funded by Ohio taxpayers that remains shrouded in secrecy and unbound by Ohio transparency laws.

“HB 40 would create something that already exists, it’s called the state budget and it’s available online. Instead of throwing taxpayer money around to duplicate current systems, let’s use this opportunity to increase transparency and accountability at JobsOhio, a nonprofit corporation funded by taxpayers and shrouded in secrecy,” said Smith.

Smith offered the amendment during debate on House Bill (HB) 40, a Republican-sponsored bill to create a new Ohio State Government Expenditure Database on the state treasurer’s website. The legislation specifically carves out JobsOhio to prevent public scrutiny instead of holding it to the same standard as every other state agency.

“With dozens of JobsOhio employees making six figures and Ohio’s jobs numbers lagging behind the rest of the country over the past five years, JobsOhio needs more oversight not less,” Smith said. “But time and again, the GOP has allowed JobsOhio to operate in the cloak of darkness, and that must end.”


11.14.18 - Rep. Kent Smith Pushes For Commonsense Gun Safety As GOP Passes So-called Stand Your Ground Bill


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today voted against House Bill (HB) 228, the so-called Stand Your Ground bill, a Republican-sponsored effort to loosen gun safety standards by reducing firearm offenses, making it harder to prosecute gun violence cases and preempting local authority to enact commonsense safety protections for Ohio families.

“HB 228 is based on fear and not facts,” said Smith. “Speaker Smith should not have ended debate early when other representatives, myself included, were waiting to add to the debate on this important issue.”


10.17.18 - Lawmaker, Advocacy Groups Move To Make Ohio Competitive In Electric Vehicle Market


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced legislation with the Ohio Environmental Council, Clean Fuels Ohio and Smart Columbus to establish a statewide Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Study that will chart a course for Ohio to stay competitive in meeting developing EV standards and charging needs.


10.04.18 - Local Lawmaker Responds To State Inaccuracies On East Cleveland Schools Report Card


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to inaccurate report card grades given to East Cleveland schools by state education officials. The false information was uncovered by a WEWS investigative news report late Tuesday.

“The school district report cards are not just confusing and inaccurate, they are often times just plain wrong,” said Smith. “That is why there is bipartisan support to end the state takeover of local schools that relies on such a faulty measure.”


09.26.18 - State Rep. Kent Smith Elected As Ohio Leader Of Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced his election to represent Ohio on the binational, nonpartisan Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus (GLLC), a group that provides a forum for the regional exchange of ideas and information on key issues that impact the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. At its annual meeting on September 22nd, the GLLC unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Reps. Smith and John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) introduced in the Ohio Legislature to support federal funding for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in its efforts to stop Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. The legislation has only received one committee hearing in the Ohio House.


09.20.18 - Lawmakers Look For Results From State Economic Development Arm


As the nation continues to recover from the global economic recession of 2009, the Buckeye State has largely been left behind in the recovery, a fact that two lawmakers said in part prompted their new proposed state law change to require an annual performance audit of the state’s economic development entity, JobsOhio.

Though JobsOhio is a nonprofit organization that uses public money for economic development and job creation, it is exempt from public performance audits, unlike similar organizations that use taxpayer funds.

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Thomas West (D-Canton) hope to change that with legislation announced today that would hold JobsOhio to the same standards and level of transparency that taxpayers have come to expect from organizations that receive public money.


09.13.18 - State's Broken, Politically-driven Education Model Paved The Way For East Cleveland State Takeover


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to the release of Ohio’s School Report Cards, which gave East Cleveland City Schools its third consecutive “F,” setting the stage for a state takeover under the legislature’s hastily-passed, party-line amendment to House Bill 70 in 2016.

“Today's release of the state report card is further evidence that the biggest hindrance to student performance in Ohio's public schools is not the district leadership of East Cleveland but the politicians of Columbus who take campaign contributions from the charter school industry with one hand as they give public school dollars to charter school operators with the other hand,” said Smith, a member of the House Education Committee.

East Cleveland Schools have lost over $5 million to failing, for-profit charter schools like ECOT while the state has cut the schools by millions of dollars in previous state budgets.

The district is also considered to be the poorest community in the state and the fourth poorest in the nation, with 100 percent of students being considered economically disadvantaged according to ODE data. 

“In spite of these substantial challenges East Cleveland City Schools have made tremendous progress, due in part to the extremely talented core of teachers, most of whom have a master’s degree and average 15 years of classroom experience,” said Smith.


07.20.18 - Ohio Lawmaker Ekes By Living On State Minimum Wage, Urges Increase


The first half of this week (July 16-18), State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) participated in the #LiveTheWage or #$17ADay Challenge. In September 2015, 18 members of the Florida Legislature attempted to live five days on $17 a day.  In Ohio, workers earning minimum wage have $17 a day on which to live after paying rent and taxes if their rent is $674. Rep. Smith is the sponsor of House Bill 86 with Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus), which would raise the state's current minimum wage from $8.30 per hour to $10.10 per hour.


07.18.18 - Smith: Three Years After Chartergate, Little Interest In Regulating Charter Schools At GOP-controlled Ohio Statehouse


Three years after it was exposed that Gov. John Kasich’s handpicked charter-czar David Hansen, husband of Kasich’s chief of staff, was illegally changing charter school grades to allow failing charter schools to draw down on more taxpayer funding, little has happened at the Republican-controlled Statehouse to crack down, once and for all, on Ohio’s largely unregulated charter school industry.

“Three years after Governor Kasich’s handpicked charter school head was caught defrauding taxpayers, an historic amount of tax dollars continue to flow to Ohio charter schools,” said Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), the lead Democrat on the House Education Committee. “Instead of wholesale changes to hold Ohio charters accountable to the same standards and rules as traditional schools, the legislature has, in effect, loosened standards.”

Just recently, it came to light that the now-defunct ECOT, the largest online charter that bankrolled numerous GOP campaigns, was using tax dollars to pay off students for attending graduation ceremonies and taking required statewide tests.

“As this scandal unfolds and more problems come to light, the political will at the Statehouse to make substantive reforms is overshadowed by the failure to act during the last three years,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid), a member of the House Education Committee. “Operating in a system where charter school operators bankroll the campaigns of elected officials tasked with holding them accountable has stalled any meaningful reform and opened to door to more corruption.”

Recently, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Pat DeWine recused himself from the ECOT Supreme Court case a year after hearing oral arguments. DeWine took campaign cash from ECOT, like his father, Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The senior DeWine shied away from cracking down on ECOT after some $80 million in tax dollars was found to be fraudently received by overinflating student attendance records. After saying there was nothing his office could do, AG DeWine recently decided to pursue collections of the ill-gotten money after numerous news reports and mounting public pressure.

Over a year ago, an ECOT whistleblower contacted Auditor Dave Yost about fraud and corruption at the school, a call Yost ignored until acknowledging the apparent fraud at ECOT recently. At the time, Fedor called on Yost to thoroughly investigate ECOT and Hansen’s illegal data scrubbing at ODE, something Yost failed to do. Yost also took substantial campaign donations from ECOT’s founder.



06.27.18 - Rep. Kent Smith Responds To Anti-worker Janus V. AFSCME SCOTUS Decision


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME to strike down public sector union fair share, essentially bringing so-called “right to work” to public sector workplaces across America:


06.15.18 - State Review Of Youngstown's Academic Distress Commission Returns Troubling Failings


Nearly three years after the passing of House Bill 70 in the 131st General Assembly, which granted the state-appointed Academic Distress Commission (ADC) the ability to takeover failing school districts, the legitimacy of the distress commission, has come into question with a new state review of the Youngstown City School District.

According to the spring review by the Ohio Department of Education, the district’s ADC is failing key state education standards, from fiscal management to student support and curriculum delivery. The state’s review also says the Youngstown ADC doesn’t have a comprehensive professional development plan, lacks a district-wide communication plan, and is missing “instructional supports” for students with disabilities. The report calls for more shared accountability among building administrators too.

“Mounting evidence is bringing together lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to freeze state takeovers of our local schools,” said Smith. “We’re close to including language to that effect in a soon-to-pass bill and, less interparty political pressure or closed door deals, most Republican lawmakers seem ready to join us in taking a hard look at what’s really going on in education.”

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) have a pending amendment to Senate Bill 216 to put a three-year moratorium on the state takeover of local schools, to give the legislature an opportunity to develop alternatives for failing school districts.

“We need a pause to figure out how the Academic Distress Commissions are affecting the quality of education of our children and to take into account the opinion of the community,” said the lead Democrat on the House Education Committee, Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “We’ve had constituents from several districts voice their profound concern about the unchecked power that House Bill 70 gives CEOs They should not be able to make decisions unilaterally, as education is a public service and requires transparency, accountability and community feedback in order to function in the best interest of our children.”

The bill and amendment are currently awaiting a vote in the House Education and Career Readiness Committee. Republican House Education Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) previously broke with House rules and abruptly ended committee when it became apparent the Democratic lawmakers’ proposed moratorium was likely to be included in the bill with broad bipartisan support.

The Education and Career Readiness Committee will meet next Tuesday, June 19.


06.07.18 - Rep. Kent Smith: Bill To Modernize Ohio Voting Equipment Passes House


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today applauded the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 135, which would invest more than $100 million in state funds for Ohio counties to purchase new, modern voting equipment. SB 135 also appropriates $10 million to reimburse counties who purchased new voting systems on or after January 1, 2014. Voting systems, including voting machines, marking devices, automatic tabulating equipment, direct recording electronic voting machines and associated allowable expenditures, would be covered under the bill.

“After years of cutting funds to local communities, it’s about time state government will invest in new election equipment,” said Smith. “While my Republican colleagues ignored ways to safeguard Ohio against Russian cyber-attacks, I am glad we can bring better technology to Ohio elections.”


06.07.18 - Smith: FBI Investigation Pushes Divided House GOP Forward On Overdue Payday Lending Reform


After a year of evading promised reforms of an out-of-control payday lending industry, a divided House Republican Caucus pushed through House Bill (HB) 123 amid an ongoing FBI investigation into potential Republican pay-to-play tactics on their once-lauded reform legislation.


06.06.18 - Smith: After Some Two Months, Ohio House Expected To Resume Session Under Narrowly-elected Speaker


After nearly two months of a Republican-led legislative impasse, the Ohio House is expected to resume legislative activity following today’s narrow, marathon election of new House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell). Chaos and dysfunction have plagued the legislature since the abrupt resignation of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), after he announced he was under FBI inquiry in April. Federal agents have since raided Rosenberger’s home, his state office and storage shed, as rumors of pay-to-play tactics on payday lending reform legislation continue to churn.


05.23.18 - Smith: Partisan Stifling Of Democratic Process Amid Statehouse Chaos Spills Over To Ohio House Education Committee


As the Ohio House today cancelled sessions for this week amid an FBI raid on the home of former GOP Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and the failure to elect a new speaker, House Education and Career Readiness Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) violated House rules and ended committee when it became apparent Democratic amendments to Senate Bill 216 could pass.


05.14.18 - Reps. Smith, Boggs Introduce Bill To Stabilize 26 Fiscally Distressed Communities


State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced legislation to support 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 the local government fund by forty-five percent. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions. These cuts have forced to communities to raise taxes, cut essential services, and delay needed repairs, just to keep their heads above water.

If passed, this legislation will allocate money from the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, to 26 communities on the Auditor of State Fiscal Distress List that received lower Local Government Fund (LGF) allocations than what they received in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.


05.01.18 - Reps. Smith, Galonski Introduce Bill To End The Statute Of Limitations For Rape


State Reps. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to eliminate Ohio’s current 25-year statute of limitations for rape. More than half of U.S. states do not have limits on when victims can file rape claims.


04.27.18 - Smith, Fedor Push For Moratorium On Controversial State Takeovers Of Local Schools


State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to block the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The proposed moratorium follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools and Lorain City Schools, where the heavy-handed approach has failed to produce any meaningful improvement or results.


04.03.18 - Dem Lawmakers, Policy Experts Urge Action On Overtime Pay, Call Out GOP Obstruction


State Representatives Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D- Euclid) today announced legislation to strengthen Ohio’s outdated overtime pay rules. Policy Matters Ohio’s Hannah Halbert, who urged action on the nation’s outdated overtime pay rules, joined them. The event also highlighted how the Trump administration—as well as special interests and Republican officials, including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine—are obstructing a rule that would ensure that workers are paid fairly for the hours they work.


04.02.18 - Smith, Kelly Joins Center For American Progress To Detail Statewide Overtime Rule Legislation


State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) will join Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio for a news conference on Tuesday, April 3 at 1:00 p.m. in the Harding Senate Press Room to discuss public employee overtime wage protection legislation.


03.27.18 - Democratic Lawmakers Introduce Plan To Fix State's Crumbling Water Infrastructure


State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced legislation to fund sewer and water capital improvements through general obligation bonds. Under this proposal, municipal corporations, counties, townships and other government entities would be eligible to receive state bonds for capital projects to ensure clean drinking water, promote public health and alleviate environmental concerns.


03.22.18 - Reps. Smith And Rogers Introduce Legislation To Stop The Spread Of Asian Carp


State Reps. Kent Smith (D– Euclid) and John Rogers (D– Mentor-on-the-Lake) today announced legislation to urge Congress to support federal funding for the United States Army Corps of Engineers in its efforts to stop Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.


03.06.18 - Smith: 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. 


03.02.18 - Smith Announces Funds For Cuyahoga Community College


State Representative Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced state approval for Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) to purchase 12.82 acres of land located at 24881 Rockwell Drive in the City of Euclid. 


02.23.18 - Smith Stands With Ohio Workers, Speaks Out Against GOP Anti-worker Bills


State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued a statement in support of the Working People’s Day of Action planned for Saturday, February 24 at the Ohio Statehouse. The Ohio march comes on the heels of the introduction of six Republican-sponsored constitutional amendments to implement so-called “right to work” legislation and other workplace restrictions in the Buckeye State. 


02.14.18 - Reps. Smith, Antonio Testify On Resolution To Limit Corporate Influence Of U.S. Elections


State Rep. Kent Smith (D- Euclid) and State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) Tuesday provided sponsor testimony on House Resolution (HR) 74 to the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee. This resolution calls for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would eliminate corporate personhood, money as speech and limit money in politics.


02.06.18 - Smith: Bipartisan Redistricting Reform Clears Last Legislative Hurdle Before Voters Have Final Say In May


Following months of negotiation, the Ohio House today passed Senate Joint Resolution 5, bipartisan legislation that puts a constitutional amendment before voters in May to restrict congressional gerrymandering in the state. 

“In 2015, over 71% of Ohioans voted to change the redistricting process. While I am still concerned about the splitting of Ohio’s largest population counties and the lack of provision to guarantee voting rights, SJR 5 is a marked improvement over Ohio’s current method of drawing our congressional districts,” said state Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “I voted for SJR 5 because it’s an improvement, but I did not cosponsor this legislation because it could be better.”


01.19.18 - Smith Named House Democratic Caucus Policy Chair


Ohio House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today announced state Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) has been named policy chair for the House Democratic Caucus in 2018.

Smith, first elected to serve the 8th House District in 2014, will help shape the policy agenda for the caucus in 2018, working with members and organizations to research and draft legislation that furthers the caucus priorities of middle-class job growth, economic stability for working families and increased opportunities for working people to get ahead in the Buckeye State.

“Kent is smart, thorough, and will work hard to maintain a deep understanding of how the policies coming out of the Statehouse impact people’s quality of life,” said Strahorn. “Whether you’re a single parent working two jobs, the head of a family of five or a business owner looking to expand, we want you to be able to meet your basic needs and have enough left over to plan for a brighter future. Kent gets that.”

Smith graduated from Miami University and earned his Master of Science in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University in 2001. His Master’s Degree thesis, written in 2001, was about the emerging threat of Predatory Lending and the SubPrime Market. He also co-authored the first Predatory Lending Report by Policy Matters Ohio in 2002.  Following his Master’s Degree studies, he was a PhD student at Cleveland State University in Economic Development.

“The work that we have been doing at the Statehouse to increase wages, grow our economy and let families better plan for the future is fundamental to the progress and economic stability of our state,” said Smith. “We need to take a different approach in Ohio.  The current policies have not led to income growth for Ohio's working families.  I look forward to working with my Democratic colleagues to create economic opportunities for everyday Ohioans."

Smith formerly worked for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office and several Northeast Ohio non-profit organizations. He joined the Ohio House of Representatives after serving Euclid Ohio as a Member of the Euclid Board of Education from 2002 to 2013.


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)





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.