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.”


Democratic House expressed concerns over several parts of the proposed plan that they see as loopholes that, in extreme cases, could still allow partisan congressional district rigging. Ultimately, most Democrats still supported the final language in the resolution.


If approved by voters in May, the reform plan will be the first time fairness criteria for congressional districts will be included in the state’s constitution. Included among the plan’s changes are the right for a citizen-led referendum on any map, the governor’s authority to veto a map, requirements to limit community and county splits, and bipartisanship requirements for a 10-year map.

 
 
 
  
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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).



 
 

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. 



 
 

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.



 
 

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.