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.” 

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

-Education and Career Readiness
-Public Utilities
-Higher Education and Workforce Development 

The House of Representatives has 21 standing committees now after House Republicans slightly altered the committee structure for the 132nd General Assembly. The Judiciary Committee was split into two separate Criminal and Civil Justice Committees, committees on state and local government were consolidated, and several new committees – including Aging & Long-Term Care and Federalism & Interstate Relations – were established, among other changes. 

Committees are held any time before or after House floor sessions and are open to the public. House Finance Committee is generally broadcast live on the internet. The Ohio Senate recently announced they would begin to livestream additional standing committees, but the House has not yet indicated whether it will follow suit. 

Smith, elected to his second term in November and sworn in earlier this month, previously served as a Euclid Board of Education member for over a decade before joining the legislature. In his first term, the Euclid lawmaker championed measures to raise the minimum wage, assist struggling communities hit hardest by state cuts and tax-shifting, protect Ohio’s waterways from microbeads and grow Ohio’s music industry, among others. 

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