Dem Lawmakers Announce State Support For Key Community Projects
Capital budget bill to allocate funds for economic, cultural improvements

House Minority Whip Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and State Senator Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) today announced several important community projects will receive state support through the recently introduced capital budget. The Variety Theatre, the Lake Link Trail and Wendy Park, and the Irish Town Bend are some of the major projects in the Lakewood area expected to receive state funds. 

“We will continue the hard work of securing resources that add to the economic health and well-being of our district,” said Antonio. “It is an honor to be a part of this capital budget process, and I will continue to insist that these funds stay committed to necessary projects that ensure a vibrant and sustainable future for the region.” 

The capital budget bill currently includes $1.65 million to finance hard construction and demolition costs to transform the Variety Theatre into a new town center for the Westown neighborhood in Cleveland. In addition, a new $1 million bridge will link the 1.3 mile urban multi-purpose path Lake Link Trail to Wendy Park thanks to state funds, creating lakefront access to the residents of Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties. The Irish Town bend is also slated to receive $2.5 million to install steel reinforcement bulkheads.  

“I am thrilled to see the preservation of the historic integrity of the west side of Cleveland included in the capital budget,” said Skindell. “These projects contribute to important assets in our community, whether they are cultural, recreational, or economic. I will continue to advocate for these projects to make sure they are included in the final budget.” 

The capital budget bill is currently under consideration in the Senate. 

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Antonio Responds To Latest Ohio Opioid Crisis Report


The lead Democrat on the Ohio House’s Health Committee, Democratic Whip and state Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood), today responded to the latest dire report on Ohio’s statewide opioid overdose and addiction emergency.

The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

The report points to low education levels and limited job opportunities as central underlying causes of opioid abuse.