Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan - House District 58
 

10.11.17 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Supports Bill To Pave The Way For Legal Fireworks

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today voted in favor of House Bill 226, a bill to legalize the sale and use of consumer fireworks in Ohio starting in 2020. The bill also establishes a legislative study committee tasked with making recommendations on storage, licensing and manufacturing facilities by the end of 2019, in time for the legalization to take effect.

 
 

10.04.17 - Lepore-Hagan Proposes "Fair Lending Through Land Contracts" Bill Targeting Unfair Lending Practices By Out-of-state Investment Firms

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today introduced House Bill 368, The Fair Lending through Land Contracts Act, which will establish new protections for Ohioans who are buying homes through “lease to own” or “rent to own” agreements. Along with protecting consumers, the legislation will strengthen communities throughout the state by requiring sellers to correct code violations and pay outstanding fines before they can enter into a land installment contract (LIC) with a prospective buyer.

“When done right, these contracts provide a path to home ownership for people who do not qualify for a traditional mortgage loan,” said Lepore-Hagan. “It is unfortunate that a growing number of unscrupulous firms are now using the agreements to trap trusting buyers in predatory loans.”

Rep. Lepore-Hagan drafted the legislation in response to concerns about abuses in the LIC market raised by consumers, traditional lenders, advocacy organizations, local government officials and the news media.

“Companies swooped into Ohio and other states devastated by the collapse of the housing market, bought homes for pennies on the dollar, inflated the value of the homes, then enticed borrowers to enter into high-interest, long-term loans they have little, if any, chance or repaying,” Lepore-Hagan said.

The problem has become so severe that the City of Cincinnati recently filed suit against Harbour Portfolio Advisors, the nation’s largest seller of foreclosed properties, alleging that the firm is a ‘predatory actor’ that targets unsuspecting and vulnerable borrowers.

“My bill will stop the type of exploitation and manipulation that is wrecking families and destroying neighborhoods while preserving the opportunity for homeownership,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan added. “The Fair Lending through Land Contracts Act will benefit consumers, enhance communities, strengthen Ohio’s real estate market, create business for trustworthy lenders, landlords, and realtors, and drive bad actors out of our state.”

 
 

09.19.17 - Wage And Benefit-killing Bill Picks Up Steam In GOP-controlled Ohio House

 

The Republican-controlled Ohio House of Representatives held a second committee hearing on legislation that critics say would reduce wages and benefits for non-union and union workers in construction and building trade careers.

The legislation, House bill 163, would effectively limit wages and benefits for workers by kicking communities off the state’s prevailing wage structure before allowing them to reapply. Under current law, local communities and state universities undertaking public construction projects hire contractors who pay employees an industry-recognized standard wage, or prevailing wage, that is in line with their profession.

“Prevailing wages helped build the American middle class while delivering safe buildings to taxpayers on time and under budget,” said the state Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), the lead Democrat on the House Commerce and Labor Committee. “It would be a mistake to take us back to a time when poverty wages and dangerous buildings were considered the standard.” 

The Ohio Department of Commerce works with the U.S. Department of Labor to calculate prevailing wages and benefits to protect workers with careers as plumbers, painters, roofers, electricians, masons, elevator technicians, metal fabricators, and bricklayers.

 “Without fair wages, we’re looking at contractors who want to cut corners to increase company profits by hiring out-of-state and foreign workers with little experience for next to nothing,” added Lepore-Hagan. “It’s hypocritical for Republicans to encourage children to learn a trade or go to career-tech while they roll back wages and benefits that let those same workers buy a car, own their home and have a family. People are tired of politicians who say one thing and do another.”

Ohio’s “prevailing wage” laws have encouraged career paths for skilled workers and artisans in the building and construction industry since the early 1930’s.

 
 

07.24.17 - Lepore-Hagan Urges Ohio To Commit To Paris Climate Agreement

 

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and David Leland (D-Columbus) today introduced legislation urging fellow Ohio House members to affirm the state’s commitment to the international Paris Agreement. The lawmakers’ action follows recent news out of Washington that the United States will withdraw from the historic climate change pact, joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not participating. 

“Instead of taking the global back seat on charting a sustainable and secure energy future, Ohio and our nation should be a driving force for the good-paying jobs and economic growth that come with advanced energy development and manufacturing,” said Lepore-Hagan. “We can’t afford to let other nations lead while we fall behind and miss out on the good jobs, growth and national security that come from common sense renewable energy policy.”

 
 

05.25.17 - Call Center Consumer Protection Bill To Keep Jobs In Ohio

 

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and John Boccieri (D-Poland) this week announced the introduction of House Bill 245, legislation to protect Ohio’s call center jobs by incentivizing certain employers to keep their jobs here in Ohio instead of outsourcing operations overseas. The House lawmakers were joined by Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) and Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), who introduced companion legislation in the Senate, and members of the Communications Workers of America.  

“Attracting and retaining good-paying jobs that can help sustain a family must be a priority for our state,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Ohio has seen too many middle class jobs fleeing our state for too long. This bill is one thing we can do right now to keep those jobs where they belong, here at home in Ohio.” 

 
 

05.10.17 - GOP To Firefighters With Cancer: "It's Your Fault"

 

Democratic members of the House Insurance Committee today expressed outrage regarding the latest version of the state workers’ compensation budget, House Bill 27, which adds new barriers to firefighters and their families seeking state assistance for work-related injuries, illnesses and death.

Today’s proposed restrictions follow the House’s December 2016 passage of extended workers’ compensation protections for firefighters who developed cancer as a result of work conditions. The bill creates a condition in which courts presumes the firefighter didn't wear their protective gear correctly, resulting in the medical condition or cancer. 

“This is a direct attack on our first responders, who put themselves in harm’s way every day to save lives,” said the lead Democrat on the House Insurance Committee, state Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland). “It is horrifying to think that some Republican lawmakers would make it harder for our first responders and their families to get the help they need, when they need it.”

 
 

05.04.17 - Lepore-Hagan Introduces Bipartisan Railroad Safety Bill

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 190, bipartisan legislation designed to significantly enhance the safety of the state’s railroad crossings for both motorists and rail workers. 

“Some on-track maintenance equipment has evolved into ‘train like’ machines that can’t stop on a dime, while other equipment does not activate railroad crossing gates,” said Lepore-Hagan. “In either case, a collision between a car, truck or motorcycle and rail maintenance equipment can have devastating consequences for everyone involved.” 

 
 

05.02.17 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Comments On House Passage Of Two-year State Budget Bill

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) released the following statement after the Ohio House today passed House Bill (HB) 49, the two-year state budget, largely along partisan lines:

“Ohio’s current budget crisis proves once again that slashing taxes for the wealthy and failing to invest in our schools, neighborhoods, infrastructure and most importantly our people is an absolute and inevitable formula for disaster. We’ve seen time and time again that trickle-down policies favored by Republicans leaders don’t deliver prosperity across the board, they deliver broken promises, disappointment and despair. 

 
 

05.01.17 - Lepore-Hagan Applauds Budget Amendments To Remove Controversial Park Board Provisions, Connect Federal Installations To Research Network

 

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded the incorporation of two amendments affecting the Mahoning Valley into the latest version of House Bill 49, the state budget bill.  The first amendment, offered by Boccieri, expands eligibility for the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) to include all federal installations and local universities. 

“I am thrilled that the Legislature is recognizing the innovative contributions Youngstown State University, Kent State University and our federal installations are providing, and that connecting them to the state support from OFRN will only further advance Ohio,” said Boccieri. “I believe this will be a huge opportunity for our base and local universities.” 

 
 

04.12.17 - Budget Amendment Connects Area Universities, Federal Military Installations With Workforce Network

 

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today urged adoption of his budget amendment to connect northeast Ohio research universities and military installations to job growth initiatives. The Poland lawmaker wants to ensure research occurring at Youngstown State University (YSU) and Kent State University (KSU), as well as programs at the Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna will be eligible for state program funding through the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN).

“America Makes, the Youngstown Incubator and YSU have already fostered and expanded the manufacturing-related research capacity in the Valley, and this additional state funding would further benefit our workers and the economic growth of our region,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown). “I believe we should support these institutions so they may build upon their success and continue to spur the type of development that creates good-paying jobs for working Ohioans.” 

 
 

03.31.17 - Lepore-Hagan Elected As Vice Chair Of Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) was recently elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus (OHDWC), a position that plays a vital role in advancing the caucus’s agenda. 

“I am honored to be elected to this leadership position by my colleagues to help advance more Ohio women,” said Lepore-Hagan. “It is so important for each and every woman to have equal opportunities and representation at home, at work and more importantly: at the state level. I look forward to working with those that share this sentiment to help build a better and brighter future for women across the state.”

 
 

03.30.17 - Valley Lawmakers: Renewable Energy Is Matter Of Economic, National Security

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today criticized the passage of House Bill (HB) 114, saying legislation that changes the state’s advanced energy standards to unenforceable “goals” will harm consumers and jeopardize thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry and other industries that increasingly want and rely on advanced energy sources. The bill was fast-tracked through the House Public Utilities Committee after similar legislation last General Assembly successfully passed the Legislature but was later vetoed by the governor. 

“In the Mahoning Valley in general, and Youngstown in particular, we’ve seen first-hand the ways in which innovation, research and development can drive economic growth and job creation. YSU’s America Makes program has made Youngstown the focal point of the cutting-edge 3D printing industry, allowing companies like 4M technologies to lead a manufacturing revolution,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “Now, unfortunately and inexplicably, the Republicans want us to walk away from one of the most vibrant and exciting areas of development that will power business expansion, give our universities an opportunity to monetize the research they do, create good jobs in a 21st century industry and save consumers billions of dollars, all while protecting our environment. Instead of being first in line for the type investment clean energy jobs attract, the GOP has decided we should give up our place and walk to the back of the line.” 

 
 

03.29.17 - Train Safety Legislation Receives First Hearing In Ohio House

 

State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today provided sponsor testimony before the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee for House Bill 107 (HB 107), legislation to require freight train operating crews to consist of at least two individuals. 

“This legislation will improve safety, not just for railroad workers but for the railroad companies and surrounding communities that these trains travel through,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Unfortunately, this accident, along with many others, was avoidable. When two people are on a crew of a train, the potential for exhaustion and fatigue is significantly decreased.” 

 
 

03.20.17 - Mahoning Valley Lawmakers To YSU VP: "It's About Economics, Not Politics"

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today disagreed with Youngstown State University (YSU) Vice President for Finance and Business Operations Neal McNally’s characterization of an Ohio Department of Higher Education school efficiency report as being “somewhat of a political tool.” 

“I believe YSU has so much to offer students, especially with its focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Lepore-Hagan. “However, I believe the school efficiency report highlights how YSU and other Ohio universities must work to become more efficient and affordable—Ohio students are paying as much as 30 percent more than those attending college in other states.” 

 
 

03.16.17 - Lepore-Hagan, Sheehy Renew Fight To Improve Train Safety In Ohio

 

State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) this week renewed the fight to improve rail safety in Ohio by introducing House Bill 107, legislation to require freight train operating crews to consist of at least two people. The lawmakers say passage of the bill will help cut down on operator fatigue and reduce the likelihood of fatal accidents. 

“Having spent over 40 years working in the railroad industry, I can attest to the importance of requiring two-person crews on all freight train operations,” Sheehy said. “Raising safety standards in our state will help protect our freight operators and keep communities safe.”  

 
 

03.14.17 - House Dems Fight Ohio GOP's "No Rights At Work" Bill

 

Democratic members of the House Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee today objected to the anticipated committee passage of House Bill (HB) 2 along party lines, saying the GOP-led “No Rights at Work” bill will strip Ohio employees of critical protections from workplace discrimination. The legislation was scheduled for a vote last week, until it was pulled down at the last minute. The bill will receive a fifth hearing this afternoon, but is not yet scheduled for a vote. 

“Harassment and discrimination will increase in the workplace if employees lose their right to hold supervisors accountable for misbehaving and bullying,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), the highest ranking Democrat on the committee. “I believe workers deserve to feel safe and welcome when they go to work every day to provide for their families.” 

 
 

03.09.17 - Mahoning Valley Lawmakers Applaud Passage Of State Bond Bank Legislation

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 54, legislation to establish a state bond bank to help fund public projects and permanent improvements. 

“As a Youngstown resident and member of the team of dedicated elected officials, local leaders and residents who are working hard to revitalize our city, I enthusiastically support HB 54 because it provides an effective way for the state of Ohio to support our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I am pleased that this innovative and critically important legislation moved through the House without opposition. I urge my Senate colleagues to consider and pass HB 54 as quickly as possible so we can begin using this new tool to rebuild communities across the state.” 

 
 

03.02.17 - Lepore-Hagan: State Transportation Budget Clears Ohio House

 

In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House yesterday approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years.  

“While I’m disappointed that amendments to improve the bill were rejected on the House floor, at the end of the day I supported this legislation because it will fund critical infrastructure projects that will create jobs and help drive economic growth in our state,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown). 

 
 

03.02.17 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan: State Transportation Budget Clears Ohio House

 

In a bipartisan 83-13 vote, the Ohio House yesterday approved the proposed budget plans for the Ohio Department of Transportation and several other state agencies. House Bill 26, the $7.8 billion transportation bill, largely funds infrastructure projects and public safety programs over the next two fiscal years. 

“While I’m disappointed that amendments to improve the bill were rejected on the House floor, at the end of the day I supported this legislation because it will fund critical infrastructure projects that will create jobs and help drive economic growth in our state,” said Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown).

 
 

02.22.17 - Mahoning Valley Lawmakers, County Commissioners Team Up To Fight State Budget Cuts

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) and Mike O’Brien (D-Warren) this morning hosted all three Mahoning County commissioners for a meeting with House Finance Committee Chairman Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton). 

Commissioners David C. Ditzler, Carol Rimedio-Righetti and Anthony Traficanti traveled to Columbus to voice their concerns regarding the negative local impact of Gov. John Kasich’s proposed fix to the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax formula.  

“I’m pleased our delegation’s meeting request to the budget chairmen was granted, and that our commissioners had the opportunity to express their concerns about local revenue loss,” said Boccieri. “The chairmen demonstrated that the legislature is still open to listening to local officials who are on the frontlines and can provide essential perspectives on what will keep our local communities strong and transportation systems running.” 

 
 

02.17.17 - Lepore-Hagan Comments On Latest "Right To Work Is Wrong" Legislation

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown), the highest ranking Democrat on Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee, today commented on legislative efforts underway at the Statehouse to limit the rights of public and private workers in Ohio to collectively bargain: 

“At a time when Ohio is on the “verge of a recession” and so many middle class families are struggling to stay afloat, it’s troubling that some lawmakers would seek to weaken the ability of working people – including police officers and firefighters – to have safer working conditions and earn wages that can sustain a family. 

 
 

02.10.17 - Lepore-Hagan: Yost Should Read Own SNAP Audit Report

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan’s (D-Youngstown) today objected to House Bill (HB 50), recently-introduced legislation to require photo identification of most food stamp recipients be included on their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards. 

Last June, Auditor Dave Yost released findings of a state audit of Ohio’s food stamp program. While the audit did highlight possible cases of fraud, the actual fraudulent costs identified totaled less than the cost of the audit. Yost did not recommend requiring photo IDs for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants at that time. 

“In attempting to combat potential fraud within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, HB 50 fails to follow the recommendations detailed within the auditor’s own SNAP audit,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Ohio’s weak economy over the last six years has left many families and working poor struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table each night. Instead of unfairly targeting vulnerable Ohioans, lawmakers should focus on creating good jobs that pay a wage that can sustain a family.” 

 
 

02.07.17 - Lepore-Hagan Issues Statement On DeVos Confirmation

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today commented on the Senate confirmation of newly-appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos:

“Today, the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos, who may be the most unqualified candidate ever to be nominated for a cabinet post, as secretary of education.

 
 

01.31.17 - Lepore-Hagan And Boccieri To Serve On Ohio House Legislative Panels

 

Rep. Lepore-Hagan was selected to serve as the highest-ranking Democrat on the Economic Development, Commerce and Labor Committee. 

“I am determined to accomplish what I have started, working alongside my fellow legislators to ensure our communities are provided equitable opportunities on important issues,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Our children, our schools, our workers and our communities need leaders who will fight for them. I will continue to champion these causes on behalf of the Mahoning Valley.” 

Lepore-Hagan will also serve on the following committees this General Assembly: 

- Health
- Transportation and Public Safety 

 
 

01.23.17 - Mahoning Valley Lawmakers Pen Letter To Governor: 'Cuts To Revenue Share Are Devastating'

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland), Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) last week wrote a letter to Gov. John Kasich urging him to preserve the revenue local governments and public transit systems receive from the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have given Ohio a deadline of June 30, 2017 to remedy its MCO tax structure so that it complies with CMS policy, but any changes may threaten the millions of dollars local communities currently receive from the tax. 

“Our community has already suffered from severe state budget cuts over the past few years and cannot afford to lose another round of millions in shared revenue,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I hope that governor will show leadership on this issue and offer a formula fix that preserves the valuable resources communities rely on to deliver services to their residents.” 

 
 

01.06.17 - Lepore-Hagan Says New Abandoned Property Law Will Help Stabilize Neighborhoods

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today commented on the enactment of House Bill 463, legislation signed into law this week by Gov. John Kasich that will help communities fight blight by establishing an expedited foreclosure process for abandoned and vacant homes.

“Abandoned homes stuck in the lengthy foreclosure process can depress neighborhood property values and attract vandalism and crime,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Modernizing Ohio’s foreclosure laws helps stabilize neighborhoods and prevent urban decay by giving communities a tool to speed up the foreclosure process.” 

 
 

01.03.17 - Valley Lawmakers Sworn In At Statehouse Ceremony By Judge Anthony D'Apolito

 

Flanked by family in a ceremony at the Statehouse today, state Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) took the oath of office from newly-elected Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony D’Apolito*. 

“I am eager to continue working in this new General Assembly to address issues important to the economic stability of Ohio families,” said Lepore-Hagan. “From ensuring a quality public education for our children to protecting the rights of working people, I remain dedicated to being a voice at the Statehouse for the people of the Mahoning Valley.” 

 
 

12.19.16 - Lepore-Hagan: State To Invest In Classroom, Lab Renovations At Youngstown State University

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of $280,880 in state funds to Youngstown State University (YSU) for campus-wide renovations and upgrades. The university will use the funds to contract with Youngstown-based design firm BSHM Architects, Inc., who will provide architectural design services for the project. The state funding was approved at today’s meeting by the state Controlling Board, a panel tasked with oversight of state spending. 

“YSU has long been a pillar of excellence, both academically and in providing students a home away from home,” says Lepore-Hagan. “This state investment will not only help YSU continue to provide a quality education and a modern, inviting campus to students and the community, but will support a leading local business and contribute to our local economy here in the Mahoning Valley.” 

 
 

12.19.16 - Lepore-Hagan Promises Continued Push For Community Inclusion For Future Of Youngstown City Schools

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) this week pledged to continue her legislative efforts to addresses concerns from families and educators following the state takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. Rep. Lepore-Hagan plans to reintroduce House Bill (HB) 379, her legislation to increase community input into the “Youngstown Plan,” next year after the bill was only granted a single hearing during this General Assembly. 

“Students, parents and teachers deserve transparency and accountability within our local school system,” Lepore-Hagan said. “This legislation will help ensure a more community-based approach to improving our school system.” 

 
 

12.08.16 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Testifies On Legislation To Provide Comprehensive Sexual Health Education, Protect Access To Contraception

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) recently testified in the House Health and Aging Committee on House Bill (HB) 132—or the Ohio Prevention First Act—legislation that seeks to prevent unintended pregnancies by offering comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sexual health education for teens and ensure greater access to contraception.

“By providing young adults with responsible sexual education, we can not only prevent unintended pregnancies, but educate those on the health risks of unprotected sex,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Adolescents will engage in sexual activity whether we acknowledge it or not. It is important that we provide them with the necessary tools to make informed decisions when it comes to sex and contraception.”

 
 

12.07.16 - Lepore-Hagan: Columbus Power-grab Set To Clear Legislature, Locals To Lose More Freedom

 

House Democratic lawmakers today voted against Substitute Senate Bill 331, legislation that lets the state grab more power from local communities by overriding local bans on unlicensed puppy mill sales to pet stores and prohibiting local communities from taking up ballot issues on policies like minimum wage and paid family leave. 

“Local communities are best positioned to set their own priorities and shape their future through local decision-making and consensus.” –State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown)

The last-minute power grab comes as Toledo and Grove City pursue local ordinances banning puppy mill sales, and Cleveland and other metropolitan areas study local ordinances to raise wages and benefits within city limits.

 
 

12.07.16 - Lepore-Hagan: Eleventh-hour Lawmaking Brings Strictest Abortion Ban In The Nation To Kasich's Desk

 

Eleventh-hour lawmaking brought the strictest abortion ban in the nation to Gov. John Kasich’s desk Tuesday evening, for his signature into law. With U.S. Senate inaction giving way to a pending U.S. Supreme Court justice appointment from President-elect Donald Trump, Ohio Republicans appear to be counting on a new federal bench to re-litigate the constitutionality of their attacks on women’s health care. But Roe v. Wade is settled law upheld most recently by the Whole Women’s Health decision which overturned undue burdens on women’s access to abortion.

 
 

12.06.16 - Legislation To Protect Youngstown Developmental Center Receives First Hearing In Ohio House

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today provided sponsor testimony for House Bill (HB) 73, her legislation to prohibit the governor from unilaterally closing, selling, or privatizing any state institutional facility. The Mahoning Valley lawmaker introduced the legislation after the state announced the planned closure of the Youngstown Developmental Center (YDC), home to over 80 developmentally disabled residents and workplace of hundreds of dedicated staff members. 

“The families of residents are understandably upset and the employees are disappointed by the unilateral decision of governor and the Department of Developmental Disabilities to close the Youngstown Developmental Center,” Lepore-Hagan said. “Families, residents and workers deserve a more measured approach to key policy decisions that not only affect the state’s operations, but the security and comfort of residents and the ability of families to maintain close proximity to their loved ones.” 

 
 

12.05.16 - Campbell Excavating Company Selected To Lead State Demolition Project

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of $147,000 to the Ohio Department Mental Health and Addiction Services for a contract with Campbell-based Pro Quality Land Development, Inc. The local family-run company will complete a demolition project at the Northcoast Behavioral Health (NBH) campus in Summit County. The Controlling Board, a panel tasked with oversight of state spending, approved the funding at today’s meeting. 

“Small business owners and their enterprises are the lifeblood of our regional economy,” said Lepore-Hagan. “The fact that Pro Quality Land Development, Inc. secured this state contract over ten other competitors speaks to the reputation they’ve earned during nearly twenty years of quality work.”  

 
 

10.26.16 - Lepore-Hagan Aims To Bring Accountability, Transparency To Ohio Online Charters

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced she is introducing companion legislation to Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni’s Senate Bill 298 to bring more accountability and transparency to Ohio’s online charter schools. 

“Investigations show that online charter schools in Ohio are collecting millions in taxpayer dollars, likely by inflating the reported number of enrolled students. This alleged fraud damages the trust of families who look to online charters to prepare their children for success,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Introducing this legislation in both chambers gives lawmakers every opportunity to prove they’re serious about cracking down on rampant fraud and abuse in the online charter school industry.”  

 
 

10.12.16 - Tangled Web Of Ohio Charter School's Purported International Business, Political Self-dealing Raises Concerns With Local Lawmaker

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today raised concerns over new allegations that Ohio charter schools possibly linked to an international Islamic religious movement have misused millions in taxpayer dollars through what’s being called a “closed-loop” leaseback scheme.

“Reports that Ohio charter schools are using millions in taxpayer funds for anything other than educating our children are deeply troubling and unfortunately speak to the continuing lack of adequate oversight in our state,” said Lepore-Hagan.

 
 

09.26.16 - Mahoning Valley Entrepreneurs To Receive $40k Boost From State

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced that the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) has been selected to receive $40,000 in state funds to help support and expand their microenterprise program. The funds will allow the YNDC to support local Mahoning Valley entrepreneurs by providing intensive business planning classes, one on one technical assistance, and financial counseling.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy – they create jobs for local workers and return customers’ dollars back into the Valley,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I am pleased to see the state partnering with the YNDC to provide local entrepreneurs with the tools they need to start or grow a successful business.” 

 
 

06.17.16 - Democratic Lawmakers Announce State, Federal Funding For Valley Organizations

 

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of over $300,00 in grant funding for organizations in Mahoning County working to house homeless veterans and support student mentorship initiatives. 

 
 

05.26.16 - YSU's Young Entrepreneurs Program To Receive $500k State Investment

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) today applauded the passage of House Bill 391, financial literacy legislation that included an allocation of $500,000 to Youngstown State University’s Young Entrepreneurs Program. 

“It has been a pleasure to work with our Mahoning Valley delegation to secure the $16 million in capital appropriations for our community and now an additional $500,000 for YSU’s Young Entrepreneurs Program,” said Lepore-Hagan. “This program will help give young adults who wish to build their own small business the tools and resources to pursue their dreams.” 

 
 

05.26.16 - Measure To Correct Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority's Tax Liability Heads To Governor

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced her plan to give the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority (YMHA) the opportunity to correct a decades-old tax liability issue cleared the legislature late last night and is now headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

“On behalf of the YMHA, the families it serves and the residents of the city of Youngstown, I would like to thank the leadership of both parties as well as the members of the Senate and House for supporting this important, common sense legislation,” said Lepore-Hagan. “My amendment will allow YMHA to get back to focusing on helping those in our community who are most in need without having an unfair debt hanging over their head.” 

 
 

05.10.16 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan: Proposal To Legalize Medical Marijuana Passes Ohio House

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 523, legislation to legalize the use of certain forms of medical marijuana in Ohio to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease spinal cord injury, HIV and AIDS.

 
 

05.04.16 - Lepore-Hagan Announces Capital Budget Support For Youngstown Improvement Projects

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the passage of the 2017-2018 state capital budget, or Senate Bill (SB) 310, to provide state support for infrastructure improvements and certain brick-and-mortar construction projects. 

 
 

04.26.16 - Democratic Lawmakers Push Legislation Urging Adoption Of Federal Railroad Safety Rule

 

State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the introduction of House Resolution (HR) 383, legislation aimed at improving the safety of freight train operations in Ohio. The resolution expresses support for a recently proposed Federal Rail Administration (FRA) rule to require an operating crew of at least two individuals on all freight trains. 

“A company should not take shortcuts simply to improve their bottom line. Safety must be the number one concern,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Imagine a train carrying toxic chemicals through a town and the engineer operating the train suffers a heart attack. The results would be disastrous; in fact, they were disastrous in a tragic train accident in Canada just three years ago.” 

 
 

04.20.16 - Ohio House Passes Bill To Boost Urban Revitalization Efforts

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 233, legislation aimed at boosting economic development and the rehabilitation of historic structures in urban centers by allowing municipal corporations to create downtown redevelopment districts (DRD). 

“Downtown Youngstown has gone through many revitalization projects in the last decade, and this bill will help to continue to city’s work to attract more residents and businesses to our reemerging city,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I am thankful that Rep. Schuring took the time to visit with members of our community last fall to discuss the needs of preserving Youngstown’s historic structures and creating DRDs that will boost business and improve the downtown area. I am proud to co-sponsor this bill and look forward to the governor signing it into law.” 

 
 

04.13.16 - Dem Valley Lawmakers Announce State Support For Mahoning County Sheriff Marine Patrol Unit

 

State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland), State Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced that the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office will receive a $28,035.99 Marine Patrol Assistance Grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The state grant is intended to help the local law enforcement agency provide emergency response to boating-related incidents, conduct routine waterway patrols and purchase safety equipment for use on marine patrol vessels.

 
 

04.06.16 - Real State Of The State For Ohioans Does Not Match Kasich Bluster

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, saying that the reality on the ground for working people does not match the rosy picture painted by the governor Wednesday night in Marietta. The Youngstown lawmaker noted that the governor especially failed to address the real state of education in Ohio. 

 
 

03.29.16 - Lepore-Hagan Applauds Outcome Of Friedrichs SCOTUS Case

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs vs. California, which challenged fair share fees for public non-union employees who benefit from collective bargaining negotiations that increase wages and bring better benefits and safety protections in the workplace. The court split 4-4, effectively preserving precedent requiring public employees to pay fair share fees for benefits associated with union representation.

“I believe that everyone who works should be able to makes ends meet, have a say in their futures, and have the right to negotiate together for better wages and benefits that can sustain their family,” said Lepore-Hagan. “While we may have won the battle today, there is still more to be done to ensure workers keep their fundamental collective bargaining rights.”

 
 

02.24.16 - Lepore-Hagan's Fix For Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority Tax Issue Clears House

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today voted in favor of House Bill 390, tax-related legislation that includes an amendment to give the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority (YMHA) the opportunity to correct a decades-old tax liability issue.  

“I’m very pleased to have worked in a bipartisan manner to try to help the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, which serves families in need throughout our community,” said Lepore-Hagan. “The debt burden related to the YMHA’s Rockford Village should never have existed in the first place. The amendment to HB 390 is a common sense approach to remedying a long overdue problem.”

 
 

02.19.16 - Reps. Lepore-Hagan And Boccieri Encourage Local College Grads To Apply For Paid Statehouse Fellowship

 

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and John Boccieri (D-Poland) today announced the Ohio Legislative Service Commission is accepting applications for its 13-month Legislative and Telecommunications Fellowship Program. The Commission will hire 24 fellows to work with members of the Ohio General Assembly during 2017.

 
 

01.25.16 - Lepore-Hagan Urges Immediate Action To Protect Mahoning Valley Water Supply

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today wrote to the Board of Directors of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District (MVSD) and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Craig Butler, urging the EPA to take all necessary measures to protect the water of the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District and asking both parties to provide clarification with regards to their drinking water testing practices. 

 
 

12.09.15 - Lawmakers Look To Increase Safety Regulations At Reproductive Healthcare Clinics

 

State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland) held a news conference today to announce House Bill 408 (HB 408), legislation that would create a buffer zone for patients and medical staff at reproductive healthcare providers. The bill would also provide victims of non-physical harassment the ability to pursue legal action. 

 
 

11.18.15 - Reps. Lepore-Hagan, Sheehy Fight To Improve Train Safety In Buckeye State

 

State Reps. Michael P. Sheehy (D-Oregon) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) provided sponsor testimony this week before the House Commerce and Labor Committee for House Bill 371 (HB 371), legislation to require freight train operating crews to consist of at least two people. 

 
 

10.21.15 - Lepore-Hagan Introduces Community Involvement In Education Act

 

Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today introduced legislation to strengthen the Youngstown City Schools by using a community-based approach to make improvements to the so-called Youngstown Plan. 

“We are not in favor of the top-down CEO takeover of the Youngstown City Schools, but, at the end of the day, what matters most is that our children have the best chance to succeed,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan said. “After hearing from parents, teachers and local leaders, we believe this is a realistic approach that will hold the soon-to-be implemented CEO more accountable and give our community an opportunity to be involved in the education of our children.” 

 
 

10.20.15 - Lepore-Hagan, Dem Lawmakers Push Back Against Proposed Restrictions That Defund, Limit Women's Access To Healthcare

 

Democratic state lawmakers and healthcare advocates took to the Ohio Statehouse steps this evening to push back against proposed restrictions that would defund and limit women’s access to healthcare in the Buckeye State. The event also drew hundreds of activists and supporters who donned pink glow-stick necklaces as a sign of solidarity.

 
 

10.16.15 - Representative Lepore-Hagan And Senator Schiavoni Announce Bill To Improve Youngstown Schools October 16, 2015

 

YOUNGSTOWN – Today, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) joined parents, educators, and local leaders to announce a community-based bill crafted in response to the so-called “Youngstown Plan,” which went into effect on Thursday.

“It is our responsibility to strengthen Youngstown City Schools to let children have the greatest opportunity to succeed,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan said. “With the highest concentration of poverty in the state, Youngstown faces significant challenges that can be addressed through the Community Learning Center model. Unlike the top-down CEO takeover, the CLC model leverages parent, teacher, and community involvement to provide critical wrap-around services such as health and dental care, dentistry and mental health services, and additional tutoring. By working together, we can transform our schools into true the hubs of our community.”

 
 

10.13.15 - Lepore-Hagan Responds To Court Denial Of Injunction On So-called Youngstown Plan

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) released the following statement today after a Franklin County Common Pleas judge denied a motion for an injunction to block the so-called Youngstown Plan from taking affect this week:

“I am very disappointed the judge did not act to temporarily block the CEO takeover of Youngstown City Schools while the constitutionality of the takeover law is still being determined in court,” said Lepore-Hagan. “Youngstown residents have the right to testify on laws that will radically reshape public education in their community, and I remain hopeful that the court will ultimately decide that the so-called Youngstown Plan – crafted behind closed doors and rushed through the legislature – violated these rights. I am determined to continue fighting for an education plan that reflects the unique needs and challenges of the Valley and one that will be shaped by the voices and opinions of its parents, teachers, and other residents.” 

 
 

10.07.15 - Lepore-Hagan Votes In Favor Of Sweeping Charter School Reform Bill

 

The Ohio House today agreed on conference committee changes to House Bill 2 (HB 2), a bipartisan education bill aimed at increasing transparency and accountability for Ohio’s charter schools. The monthslong legislative process culminated in significant reforms that will strengthen oversight of a charter industry repeatedly plagued by fraud, scandal and failing report cards. 

 
 

10.06.15 - Lepore-Hagan Urges Governor To Reconsider Youngstown SNAP Waiver

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) this week urged Governor John Kasich to reconsider his decision not to include the city of Youngstown in his request for a time limit waiver for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

 
 

09.04.15 - Lepore-Hagan: Public Records Show Culture Of Corruption At ODE

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today issued the following statement in response to the public records released by the Ohio Department of Education relating to the illegal charter school data scrubbing done by David Hansen, Gov. Kasich’s campaign manager’s husband:

 
 

09.02.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Expresses Disappointment Over YSU Board Appointee

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed disappointment over the lack of community ties of Governor Kasich’s recent appointee to the Youngstown State University (YSU) Board of Trustees, Dr. Charles R. Bush: 

 
 

08.05.15 - Lepore-Hagan Commemorates 50th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act

 

Democratic legislators in both the House and Senate today announced resolutions commemorating the 50th anniversary of the federal Voting Rights Act. Passed in 1965 and signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Voting Rights Act was a historic piece of civil rights legislation that guaranteed all Americans – regardless of race – the constitutional right to vote without unfair barriers. The honorary resolutions will be introduced by Reps. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) in the House and Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) in the Senate. 

Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) released the following statement regarding the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act: 

“Today, on the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we are reminded of how paramount its passage was to the fight for equal access to the ballot box. However, 50 years later, we are still fighting to protect the right to vote against Republicans in this state who wish to disenfranchise voters by curbing early voting hours, limiting registration periods and establishing unnecessary voter ID laws. Progress has been made these last 50 years, but the fight must continue.”

 

 
 

08.04.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Praises OSBA Resolution Against Youngstown City Schools Takeover

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today praised the Board of Trustees of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) for its resolution condemning the fast-track takeover of the Youngstown City Schools. The resolution calls on the members of the Ohio General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and Governor Kasich to seek changes to the law that would “preserve and enhance democracy and local control.” 

 
 

07.16.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Calls For Special Legislative Session To Override Kasich Veto, Save Developmental Centers

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) has urged Speaker of the House Cliff Rosenberger to convene a special session in order to hold a vote to override the governor’s veto of a budget provision related state developmental centers. Lepore-Hagan’s bipartisan provision in the recently passed state budget would have stayed the closure of the Youngstown and Montgomery Developmental Centers until further review by a 13-member commission.

 
 

07.14.15 - Youngstown Residents Speak Out Against CEO Takeover Of City's School District

 

Today, a standing room only crowd packed McGuffey Elementary School in Youngstown for a public meeting hosted by Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Youngstown Mayor John McNally to discuss the Youngstown School Plan.  Parents, teachers and community residents protested the plan contained in House Bill 70 that gives broad and unprecedented powers to an unelected Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to run the district.

 
 

07.07.15 - Following Governor's Veto, Lepore-Hagan Pushes House For Action On Developmental Centers Closure Review Bill

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today urged the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee to consider House Bill 73, which establishes the State Facilities Closure Review Commission to review proposed closures of state developmental centers, including those in Youngstown and Montgomery County already set for closure.

The governor vetoed Lepore-Hagan’s bipartisan provision in the recently passed state budget that would have stayed the closures upon the review of a 13-member commission.

In a letter addressed to the chair of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, Rep. Lepore-Hagan wrote, “At minimum, there should be a robust and transparent review of all facts before the state decides to take action. House Bill 73 would ensure that such a review takes place, and it would provide the opportunity for residents, families, employees and the surrounding communities to have their voices heard.”

Text of the letter can be seen below:

 
 

07.01.15 - Racino Payments In State Budget To Benefit Austintown Township

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today lauded the securing of funds in the state budget for payments to Austintown Township and the other racino communities. House Bill 64, the biennial budget passed by the legislature last week, included a provision to make two annual $500,000 payments to each of the racino communities.

“While the budget does not include the annual payments originally promised to the racino communities, the funds that are allocated will help Austintown pay for the increased public safety and infrastructure costs related to the racino,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “I am pleased I was able to work in a bi-partisan fashion with elected officials from both chambers to help secure these critical funds.”

 
 

06.30.15 - Lepore-Hagan: Local Hiring Ban Axes Local Control, Sends Ohio Jobs Out Of State

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today expressed disappointment in the passage of House Bill 180, legislation that prohibits cities and other municipalities from setting minimum standards for hiring local residents for public works projects. The minimum residency standards, currently in place in cities and municipalities around the state, let qualified workers earn the opportunity to find rewarding employment in their own communities.  

“HB 180 is a misguided measure that bans our communities from making decisions that put local Ohioans to work on public projects,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “Local hiring quotas represent a commitment by cities to combat unemployment and poverty by investing in their residents. Not only do these projects benefit the individual worker and their families, but also community as a whole as the workers reinvest their wages in the local economy. Ohioans deserve a fair shot at good-paying local jobs, not policies that benefit out-of-state contractors at the expense of Ohio families." 

 
 

06.26.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Issues Statement On Historic Supreme Court Ruling

 

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. The historic 5-4 decision overturns a 6th Circuit Court case brought by Ohio native Jim Obergefell and invalidates bans on same-sex marriage across the country, including the one in Ohio. Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) issued this statement following the court’s historic ruling:


“Today is a great day for equality in America and in Ohio. The Supreme Court reaffirmed what we knew all along: Love is love. Families with same-sex parents are families all the same. This has been true within the household and now becomes true in the eyes of the law. I am thankful for all of the people who have played a role in this fight for equality but now that progress has been made, we must not stop. We must continue to fight for anti-discrimination laws until all the promise and opportunity of equality is fully realized.”

 
 

06.26.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan: State Budget A Failed Economic Plan For The Wealthy Few At The Expense Of Schools, Communities

 

On Friday, State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Ohio House Democratic Caucus members stood in opposition to House Bill 64, the state’s two-year budget bill. Democratic legislators voted against the measure, which they say lacks a comprehensive vision and offers little for hardworking Ohioans to get ahead. Instead, Democrats argue the bill advances policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests, such as charter schools, big utility companies and oil and gas companies, in addition to partisan attacks on working Ohioans.

 
 

06.24.15 - Lepore-Hagan Issues Statement On Fast-track Takeover Of Youngstown City Schools

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today issued the following statement regarding last-minute legislative approval of the governor’s proposal to restructure the Youngstown City School system which was included in House Bill 70, a bill originally designed to make Community Learning Centers an official state education model:

 
 

05.27.15 - Lepore-Hagan: Fifth Annual Women's Lobby Day Empowers Women To Engage Decision Makers

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus (OHDWC) today convened with women from across the state to discuss and
lobby for policy solutions to challenges Ohio women face.

 
 

04.22.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan: $131.6 Billion State Budget Clears House With Attacks On Working Ohioans, Tax Cuts For Richest One-percent

 

Today, State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Ohio House Democratic Caucus members stood in opposition to the state’s two-year budget proposal, House Bill 64. Democratic legislators said the bill failed to lay out a real plan for the future of the state and instead advanced partisan attacks on working Ohioans and policies that rig the tax system to help the richest one-percent and special interests.

 
 

04.17.15 - End To Prison Hunger Strike Draws Praise From Rep. Lepore-Hagan

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today praised Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC) officials for working to resolve a hunger strike at the state’s super-max prison facility in Youngstown. 

 
 

04.14.15 - State Budget Provision Would Review Decision To Close YDC

 

Mahoning Valley lawmakers applauded today’s announcement that the latest version of the state budget includes a provision that may help keep the doors open and the lights on at the Youngstown Developmental Center. 

The latest version of the budget bill would establish a 13-member closure review commission anytime the Governor orders the closure of a state developmental center—a provision that closely mirrors a bi-partisan amendment submitted by Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan and Rep. Michael Henne (R-Clayton), whose district includes the Montgomery Developmental Center. 

“Since the decision was made to close the Youngstown Developmental Center, the response has been clear and unequivocal: the workers, residents and their families, and indeed the entire community want and need this facility to remain open,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “The YDC provides a tremendous service for the most vulnerable population. I am thrilled that we were able to work in a bi-partisan fashion to work toward a review commission.” 

Under the new budget language, the review commission would consider at least 10 specified criteria and factors before making a recommendation, and the Governor could not close a facility without the commission’s recommendation.

“I am pleased the proposal for a review commission has been included in the latest amendments to the state budget,” said Leader Joe Schiavoni. "The residents, their families and the employees of the Youngstown Developmental Center deserve a fair and open process in deciding the future of the facility. While this looks promising for the future of the Developmental Center, the legislation still has a long way to go and I will be working hard to make sure it stays in the budget.”

Senate Democratic Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Sen. Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) introduced a Senate bill that would establish a procedure similar to the one that is now included in the state budget.

 
 

03.31.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Calls For Halt Of Resident Relocation From Youngstown Developmental Center

 

In February, the Youngstown Developmental Center received notice that it would be one of two centers in the state shutting down over the next two years, but residents are already beginning to be moved out of the facility that they have long called home. 

 
 

03.31.15 - Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan Working On Bi-partisan Solution To Save Youngstown Developmental Center

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced Monday that she is working with legislators across the aisle to prevent the Youngstown Development Center from closing. Specifically, a modified version of House Bill 73, which the representative introduced in response to the announced closure of the YDC, has garnered bi-partisan support in the form of a budget amendment.  

 
 

03.31.15 - Lepore-Hagan Fights To Save YSU Internship Funding

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced she is supporting an amendment to restore $75,000 dollars in state funding to Youngstown State University to provide internships and co-ops. The appropriation, which had been included in the state’s previous biennial budget for FY 14-15, did not appear in the Governor’s current budget bill.

“Internships and Co-Ops play a critical role in connecting students with potential future employers and providing valuable hands-on workplace experience,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan. “Higher education should never be a partisan issue, and I am proud to join legislators on both sides of the aisle to push for the restoration of funding.” 

 
 

03.25.15 - Ohio Prevention First Act Aims To Increase Education, Access To Contraception To Prevent Abortion

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and State Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) announced today the introduction of legislation aimed at preventing unintended pregnancies and abortions through increased education and access to resources. The Ohio Prevention First Act, House Bill 132, would prevent unintended pregnancies by offering comprehensive, abstinence-inclusive sex education for teens; increasing access to birth control, including emergency contraception for rape survivors; and creating a state Teen Pregnancy Prevention Task.

“Half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion. If the legislature wants to be serious about preventing abortion, it would devote more resources to providing comprehensive sex-ed and access to contraception-- it is as simple as that,” said Rep. Lepore-Hagan.

 
 

02.24.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Calls On Governor To Abide By Ohio Law, Immediately Enter Into Negotiations To Secure Promised $500K Payment For Racino Communities

 

State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) Monday called on Governor John Kasich to abide by Ohio law and immediately take the steps necessary to secure millions of dollars in long-promised and much-needed funding for the communities that are home to the state’s racinos.

 
 

02.18.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Says Public Health Cuts Jeopardize Strength Of Ohio Families, Safety Of Mothers And Infants

 

Tuesday State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) with House Democratic lawmakers and healthcare advocates, discussed policies in the state budget that would limit pregnancy care, family planning and breast and cervical cancer treatment for lower income Ohioans. The changes in healthcare coverage are being proposed as Ohio ranks second highest in the nation for infant mortality. 

 
 

02.04.15 - Rep. Lepore-Hagan Responds To Vallourec Star Mill Pause

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) released the following statement today in response to the news that Vallourec Star will temporarily shut down its Youngstown plant for three weeks due to declining oil prices:

“I am deeply concerned for the families and workers that will be hurt by the mill’s idling. I reached out to Vallourec Star management several weeks ago, as it became apparent that steel workers in Ohio could bear the brunt of declining oil and gas prices. Although I am disappointed with this set back, I respect the proactive approach Vallourec used to minimize effects on employees.

“Ultimately, Vallourec Star’s initial decision to invest in Youngstown was informed in large part by our worker’s expertise in manufacturing and the robust work ethic found in Northeast Ohio— nothing about that has changed. I remain hopeful that changes in the oil and gas market will not negatively affect our area in the long-term. The sooner our folks can get back to work, the better.” 

 
 

01.30.15 - Lepore-Hagan Urges Congress To Protect Fair Trade

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) Wednesday sent a letter urging opposition to the reauthorization of federal Fast Track authority, which allows the executive branch to negotiate international trade agreements behind closed doors. The lawmaker, who serves as the ranking minority member of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, urged her colleagues to lobby their congressional counterparts to reject the measure.

 
 

01.15.15 - Lepore-Hagan Supports Efforts In Fight Against Human Trafficking

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) applauded the awareness raised by today’s sixth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse. The event, organized by State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), brings together law enforcement officials, advocates and survivors from all over the nation for a day of discussion on ways to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking in Ohio.

 
 

01.15.15 - Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan To Lead House Democrats On Legislative Panel

 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) Monday was named Commerce & Labor Committee’s Ranking Member, the House Minority’s highest ranking official on the legislative panel.

 
 

01.07.15 - Michele Lepore-Hagan Sworn In As State Representative

 

“I am thankful to the people of our district who put their faith in me to stand up and fight for our community,” Rep. Lepore-Hagan said. “We need to be focused on bringing quality jobs to our area while making investments in our communities and schools to drive economic growth and strategically prepare us for a better future and a higher quality of life. I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”