House Minority Whip Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) today expressed support for vetoes of several bills, including House Bill (HB) 554, legislation to change the state’s energy efficiency standards to unenforceable “goals” through 2019.


“HB 554 was a poorly-disguised extension of the energy standards freeze, which harms the state’s economic growth, the environment, and most importantly the health and well-being of Ohio families,” said Antonio. “Today’s veto helps put Ohio back on the path toward pursuing sensible energy policies that save consumers money, create thousands of manufacturing-based jobs, and help reduce pollution. I will continue to support and push for stronger renewable energy standards and cleaner energy options for all Ohioans.”


Antonio also applauded the veto of Senate Bill (SB) 329, a sweeping bill passed in the eleventh hour of lame duck session that would have given the legislature new power to dissolve executive-branch state agencies. Under SB 329, some 25 state agencies would be forced to spend extra money and resources every four years to defend against elimination based on a number of factors, including the potential for privatization, and a regulations evaluation against other states.


“State departments provide vital services to all Ohioans and are already overseen by the legislature through the normal state budget process. To allow the legislature to simply not renew a department would create unnecessary gridlock and waste taxpayer dollars,” said Antonio. “Vetoing Senate Bill 329 was the right move to prevent governmental dysfunction and protect Ohio families.”


The governor today also line-item vetoed several tax provisions of SB 235, including a tax exemption for oil and gas producers and another for digital entertainment downloads.  

 
 
 
  
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Ohio AG Needs To Open Independent Harassment Investigation Of Bill Seitz, Lawmakers Say

 

State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) today asked* Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine to hire an objective third party to reopen the harassment investigation of Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati). The letter comes after it was reported that Taft Stettinius & Hollister, the law firm which conducted the investigation, donated to Seitz’ campaign and had employed Seitz for 36 years. The investigation concluded that the allegations of inappropriate conduct made against Seitz by a female House employee did not constitute sexual harassment according to the House’s anti-harassment policy and said the complaint may have been politically motivated. The basis of the findings, however, directly conflict with the AG’s anti-sexual harassment training given to state lawmakers and staff prior to the event.



 
 

Ohio Republican Majority Writes Discrimination Into Law

 

State Reps. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) today expressed disappointment with the passage of House Bill (HB) 36, which writes discrimination into Ohio law by allowing ministers not to solemnize marriages that are contrary to their personal beliefs.



 
 

Antonio, Burke Ask Kasich To Keep Local Behavioral Health Youth Program Running

 

State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and state Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) today wrote a letter* to Gov. John Kasich asking him to reconsider his administration’s move to shutter Cuyahoga County’s local Positive Education Program (PEP) Connections, a behavioral health program that serves some 500 high-risk youth each day.



 
 

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.