Rep. Antonio: Partisan Election Bills Build Wall Between Voters & The Ballot
GOP advances political legislation to restrict voting rights
February 20, 2014
 
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State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) criticized the Ohio GOP’s partisan efforts to limit Ohioans’ voting rights following the House of Representatives’ passage of two contentious voter suppression bills on Wednesday, Senate Bills 205 and 238.


“Voting is one if our most sacred rights- one that women and men died for,” said Rep. Antonio. “These bills will make access to the ballot difficult and could take us back to long lines and the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters.”


The legislation passed along party lines, with no evidence that the bills addressed any current problems in Ohio’s elections system. S.B. 238 eliminates “Golden Week,” when a voter can register and cast a ballot on the same day, by reducing early voting days. S.B. 205 makes further cuts to absentee voting, creates the harshest ballot rejection rule in the country and garnered zero supporters, though many opponents, during House Policy & Legislative Oversight Committee.


The bills now head to Gov. Kasich’s office for his anticipated signature, despite calls from Democratic lawmakers and public groups for Kasich to veto the legislation.

 
 
 
  
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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.



 
 

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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.