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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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.”