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.


“Since voters chose this General Assembly, this General Assembly should respect those same Ohio voters and reflect upon the notion that our nation’s most fundamental freedom allows men and women, rich and poor, black and white to have an equal say in the direction of their country. In that spirit, we should work to increase participation in our democratic process,” Smith added.

 
 
 
  
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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.



 
 

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.”