Rep. Antonio Applauds Senate Passage Of ENDA Anti-Discrimination Bill
Highlights HB 163 and importance of similar state-level legislation
November 08, 2013
[ Nickie J. Antonio Home | Nickie J. Antonio Press ]

COLUMBUS—State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) was thrilled to learn of the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. Senate yesterday evening. Currently, there is no federal law that consistently protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination.

This year, Rep. Antonio and Rep. Ross McGregor (R-Springfield) introduced House Bill 163, the Equal Housing and Employment Act, which would extend employment and housing protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity at the state level. The bill has only been granted sponsor testimony at this time.

“I am encouraged by the passage of ENDA last night in the U.S. Senate,” said Rep. Antonio. “No person should ever be fired or denied a job for being who they are. Equally significant are the economic implications of ENDA, as employers would retain qualified employees and attract a wider pool of diverse talent.”

Four years ago-- under the leadership of Ohio House Democrats –Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beachwood) and former State Rep. Dan Stewart passed bi-partisan legislation that would have ensured employment and housing protections to the LGBT community in Ohio. The GOP-controlled Senate refused to hold committee hearings on the legislation.

“I am committed to working on the issue of equal treatment for all Ohioans on the state level as we carefully watch for action at the federal level,” Rep. Antonio added. “For decades the LGBT community has endured discrimination, prejudice and intolerance by employers—it’s exciting that our country finally has the chance to end it.”

ENDA would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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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.