As the Ohio House of Representatives is set to resume session for 2016, I am excited to continue the great work that the Ohio House has already accomplished in the 131st General Assembly. It was a very productive legislative year in 2015, and I want to take time to reflect on some of the changes we accomplished last year in hopes of making a difference in the lives of Ohioans.

This past summer, my colleagues and I worked to pass House Bill 64, the state operating budget. The budget sets the spending priorities for the State of Ohio for the next two years, and I am confident that many beneficial changes were incorporated into the budget that will help our economy. One of the most significant accomplishments made in the budget legislation was providing nearly $1.9 billion in tax relief to Ohioans over the next two years through income and small business tax cuts. These tax cuts will be felt by all Ohioans, including small business owners, and I am confident our community will see the benefits first hand.

Another issue that we worked hard to address in 2015 was improving Ohio’s education system. This included passing House Bill 2, charter school reform, to ensure that charter schools are held accountable and are providing the best possible education to their students. Additionally, through the budget process the Ohio legislature ensured that no school district will receive less state foundation funding in FY’16 or FY’17 than it did in FY’15, including a total increase of over $850 million in state aid. The House has also introduced House Bill 410, which aims to address the truancy problem in Ohio schools by helping the students overcome the obstacles in their life that might be causing the habitual absences.

Finally, the Ohio House has already passed several pieces of legislation dealing with the Ohio drug addiction epidemic. House Bill 4, which has already been signed into law, addresses opioid addiction by allowing naloxone to be more readily available for individuals suffering from an opioid overdose. This opioid overdose reversal drug has already been administered by EMS personnel over 15,000 times in 2014, and allowing drug abuse victims or their loved ones to more easily obtain naloxone will help save even more lives. More recently, we passed legislation that prevents the sale of cough syrups containing dextromethorphan to youth under the age of 18. To prevent an increasingly common act of “robotripping,” which involves the mass consumption of cough syrup, HB 197 will help to ensure our youth do not overdose on a drug they do not fully understand the danger of.

As always, I welcome and encourage input from constituents. Your ideas help make our community and state better. As your state representative, I am proud of what the Ohio General Assembly accomplished in 2015, and I look forward to continuing this work in 2016. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 614-644-8051 or Your opinion truly matters!

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