As 2017 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the past year.  As your state representative, I have been working hard at the Statehouse representing the citizens of Richland County.  The first half of this year was devoted to passing the operating budget for Ohio, which, in addition to funding state agencies and departments, also allocates valuable resources for our schools, money for combatting the opiate epidemic, and providing an environment that encourages economic growth.


Some of the provisions of the budget, House Bill 49, which benefit Richland County  include an investment of $180 million to fight Ohio’s drug epidemic through a multifaceted approach, including prevention, treatment, mental health, and workforce training efforts.  For our schools, the budget increases per-student funding, and increases state foundation funding by $274 million over the biennium.  Ohio’s tax code was also simplified by reducing the number of tax brackets from nine to seven.


After the budget, my focus turned to improving our electricity market.  Ohioans still have not completely benefited from the restructuring of the electric industry in 1999.  Thus, I introduced House Bill 247, a piece of legislation to finish the transition to full competition.  If I am successful, every Ohioan will realize a lower electric bill.


Locally, I attended numerous ribbon cuttings throughout the year, which is a good sign that the economy is moving forward and our policies are working.  To date, at least 41 ribbon cuttings for new businesses have taken place in Richland County, including new or expanded locations such as Avita Ontario Hospital & OhioHealth Ontario ER.  More ribbon cuttings are set to come in the New Year.  Our Richland Community Development Group also has worked tirelessly on several projects resulting in over 200 jobs and $1.3 million in new payroll.  Finally, manufacturing is on the rise thanks to progress made in tax reform that enables manufacturers to hire, invest and build more.  This translates into more jobs with better pay, which is great news for our county where manufacturing is a key job creator. 


It is an honor and pleasure serving as your state representative. Zoi and I wish you and your loved ones a blessed holiday and a happy New Year!


Sincerely,


Mark J. Romanchuk


 

 
 
 
  
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