Sate Rep. Nickie Antonio(D-Lakewood) today issued the following statement responding to Gov. John Kasich’s decision to send state highway patrol to help tamp down the growing controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline:


“If the governor wants to truly be responsive to an emergency, he need not look beyond his home state. Communities across Ohio are in desperate need of additional resources to combat the growing opioid crisis that has already claimed an historic number of Ohio lives. First responders, treatment providers and local law enforcement have been stretched perilously thin by the opioid and heroin crisis, but so far the governor has refused to free up critical additional state resources by recognizing the crisis for the statewide emergency that it is.


“Instead, our governor sends dozens of state troopers 1200 miles away to defend the private property interests of a Fortune 500 natural gas cooperation against a race of people who have been systemically discriminated against and marginalized for centuries. Instead of recognizing the problem at our own doorstep, the governor shows that he eagerly awaits any opportunity to involve himself in matters in other states to keep his name alive without making difficult decisions at home.”

 
 
 
  
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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.