State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) recently commended the Historical Society of Broadview Heights for their project’s approval for capital funds through Senate Bill 310. 


Senate Bill 310, also known as the Capital Budget Bill, invests a total of nearly $2.6 billion in funding across Ohio for priorities like infrastructure, workforce development, and the arts. A considerable portion of the funding goes toward supporting repairs and renovations at primary and secondary education facilities through the Ohio School Facilities Commission.
 
The building restoration of the Historical Society of Broadview Heights will receive $150,000 for much needed renovations.  Renovating the building would allow the Historical Society a place to safely and properly display their artifacts to ensure they are preserved and appreciated by the public.


“The funding of this vital project within my district, and the Cuyahoga County region, is a direct result of a team effort,” Rep. Anielski said.  “The funding would not have been possible without the vision and hard work of many constituents in my district.  I appreciate the meetings and open communication that took place to ensure the highest chance of success.  The renovations to the Historical Society of Broadview Height’s building will benefit so many lives throughout the region, and I am thrilled that our hard work paid off.”
 
Kristina Sorensen, Economic Development Coordinator of Broadview Heights, said, “We are overjoyed with excitement and extremely thankful to have been included in the capital budget bill to renovate the Broadview Heights Historical Society building.  When Mayor Sam Alai, Council President Bob Boldt, and Council Historical Society Representative Tom Pavlica all encouraged the submission of a capital funding request for the purpose of renovating the Historical Society building, our local support was met with the enthusiasm and genuine interest of Representative Anielski, who truly understood the importance of this project to our local community.  This funding has spurred an excitement of possible construction jobs, community support, and a renewed interest in celebrating the rich history of Broadview Heights.  We cannot thank Representative Anielski and the State of Ohio enough for their generosity towards the City of Broadview Heights!”


 

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) today announced the ceremony to dedicate the Marine Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz Memorial Highway. The ceremony will take place on Friday, August 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the Grove City Gold Star Memorial Park located at Broadway and Columbus Street.


Eric Bernholtz paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom,” said Representative Grossman. “I am grateful that he will be remembered with such a permanent gesture in our community by all who travel through our town center. Let us never forget.”


“We are deeply saddened by our loss and our community will now honor Eric’s family through the Gold Star Families Memorial now located on the Eric J. Bernholtz Memorial Highway,” said Grove City Mayor Richard L. “Ike” Stage.


Marine Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz was killed on August 3, 2005 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His vehicle was hit by a bomb south of Hadithah, Iraq while he was conducting combat operations.


Bernholtz was a 2000 graduate of Grove City High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve and attached to the Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.


In May, the Ohio House voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 182, which dedicated a number of roadways after fallen military heroes who called Ohio home. This legislation specifically designates U.S. 62 between Southwest Blvd and Kingston Avenue in Grove City as the “Marine Lance Cpl. Eric J. Bernholtz Memorial Highway.”


Bernholtz is remembered by his friends as someone who loved life. He is survived by his parents, James and Cathy Bernholtz, and his brother, Adam Bernholtz, who reside in Grove City.

 
 
  

State  Representative Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) today announced that he will be holding office hours in the 55th Ohio House District. These office hours will be an opportunity for constituents to meet with Rep. Manning to discuss any questions or concerns they may have about state related issues.


Office hours will take place Monday, July 25th from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the North Ridgeville Branch Library (35700 Bainbridge Rd. North Ridgeville, OH 44039).


No appointment is necessary and all are encouraged to participate.

 
 
  

State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) yesterday announced Governor John Kasich’s signing of House Bill 158, legislation that removes “mental retardation” and its derivatives from the Ohio Revised Code and replaces it with “intellectual disability” and its derivatives. Representative Dever, the sponsor of House Bill 158, was on hand for the bill’s signing yesterday at St. Joseph Home, located in the City of Sharonville, Ohio.



HB 158 removes a negative connotation from the Ohio Revised Code without impacting the scope of developmental disability definitions. House Bill 158 also includes "intellectual disability" in the meaning of the term “developmental disability.”



“Words do matter. The removal of the ‘R-word’ will help treat our state’s most vulnerable individuals with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Dever said. “I was proud to stand by Governor Kasich and members of the disability community today as he signed this important piece of legislation.”



House Bill 158 was passed unanimously by both chambers before ultimately being signed by the Governor yesterday.

 
 
  

It may be the middle of summer, but the first day of school for the kids of the 95th Ohio House District is quickly approaching.


Though this is an exciting time for children and parents, it can also be a bit stressful. The cost of supplies, clothes and other school items can really add up and I know it can be a heavy burden for families who are working hard to provide for their kids.


That’s why I’m happy to announce that this year, the state legislature passed legislation designating the first weekend in August 2016 as a sales tax holiday. The bill created a three-day period in which certain school supplies are exempt from both state and county sales tax. Clothing up to $75 per item, school supplies and instructional materials up to $20 per item can qualify for a sales tax exemption.


I hope residents in the district can take advantage of this great opportunity to save some money during a time when every penny counts.  I was proud to support this legislation because not only does it help parents shopping for the school year, but it also benefits our local economy. Stores in the district can see an increase in revenue during the sales tax holiday, which is always a plus for the community as a whole.


A study by the University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center found that there was an increase in sales during last year’s sales tax holiday near Ohio’s borders because people were traveling across state lines to purchase school items. I can see this sales tax holiday being a boon for our district, given the proximity to West Virginia, as West Virginia has no sales tax holiday, this legislation could even encourage West Virginians to come to Ohio for their school supplies, further enriching our local economy.


I am a huge supporter of small business and supporting ideas that can enrich Ohio’s economy and help families. With the success of last year’s sales tax holiday, I have no doubt that this year, we can continue that trend.


I encourage everyone to take advantage of the sales tax holiday this year. Join me in marking August 5-7 on your calendars! Hopefully this can provide a little relief during those busy days leading up to the first day of school.

 
 
  

State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) this week applauded Governor John Kasich’s recent approval of legislation that updates standards and requirements for the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. House Bill 230, sponsored by Rep. Sprague, will ensure that licensees of the Chemical Dependency Professionals Board are properly credentialed and are following the most up-to-date best practices amid Ohio’s drug epidemic.


In 2014, 2,482 Ohioans died from an unintentional drug overdose. This figure represents nearly an 18% increase from 2013. The problem that Ohioans face is widespread and affects every county, city, and town. As the state of Ohio continues to see growing overdose rates and other societal costs, elected officials are trying to find solutions. House Bill 230, introduced as part of a larger package of legislation, is one of many state policies addressing Ohio’s addiction epidemic. 


As part of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium, the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board sets standards and guidelines for the state’s alcohol and drug counselors, prevention specialists, and clinical supervisors. These credentialing requirements are regularly updated every five to seven years. House Bill 230 updates definitions and removes credentialing standards from the Ohio Revised Code, placing them in the Ohio Administrative Code. These changes will ensure that the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board remains in compliance with international licensing trends and standards.


“The passage of HB 230 opens prevention certification to a broader pool of professionals and allows the board to more readily stay abreast of changes in national credentialing standards, resulting in an increase in the growth and quality of the prevention and addiction treatment work force,” said Amanda Ferguson, Executive Director of the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.


“These revisions to current law will allow the Chemical Dependency Professionals Board to adapt to frequent changes in international accreditation standards, which will ensure that Ohio’s treatment professionals continue to follow best practices and provide necessary care,” said Representative Sprague. “With Ohio’s drug epidemic, it is extremely important that we ensure licensees are following the most current best practices.”


Over the past several years, legislators have taken a multifaceted approach to the addiction issue. Legislation has been signed into law to prevent individuals from becoming addicted, prevent diversion of prescription medications, keep individuals alive, and bolster Ohio’s treatment system. In addition to revising licensing standards, the General Assembly and administration have made it a priority to implement other policies that improve Ohio’s treatment system. Steps have been taken to target resources more effectively, with the implementation of aggregate reporting of neonatal abstinence cases and an aggregate state-wide treatment services waiting list. Extensive reforms were enacted to improve and incorporate the continuum of care into every behavioral health board service district, so services can be available locally. The continuum includes clinical services, along with support services such as sober housing. In order to support this effort, tens of millions of dollars were provided in funding.


In addition, support and promotion of specialty drug courts continues to increase. These specialty dockets have been proven to get individuals the treatment they need, while keeping them out of the prison system. Individuals that end up in Ohio’s prison system are receiving increased access to treatment, which will lower recidivism and help offenders integrate back into society. Last, additional oversight was implemented for Ohio’s transition to Medicaid managed care. The oversight is meant to protect patients and providers from issues that can arise because of changes to the payment system.


House Bill 230 is another step being taken at the state level to combat the drug epidemic in Ohio.  As the need for addiction specialists increases, ensuring that those in the field are up to date regarding their job standards and guidelines is crucial.  


Governor Kasich signed the legislation into law on June 28th.

 
 
  

It is always commendable when a community comes together to ensure the care of its children. The Marysville Public Library in Union County has demonstrated such care by becoming the first library summer food sponsor in Ohio.


The Summer Food Service Program, funded through the USDA, provides free and nutritious meals to students who may normally receive free or reduced lunch during the school year.  The Ohio Department of Education helps administer the program statewide. Since collaborating with the program, the Marysville Public Library has experienced great success, establishing a site that includes a pavilion, a water feature, and a large grassy area for the children to play.


My hope is that members of the Marysville community will join me in support of this food service, which provided meals to 150 elementary-aged children last week alone. The library also plans to include story time and additional activities for the children in coordination with the Summer Food Service Program.


Moreover, The Ohio State University Union County Extension has been on site implementing a green program, allowing children to plant their own lettuce for salads to be shared at home over the summer break.


I am proud to see such an achievement ensuring a bright future for our children in Marysville. This unique site for the state has the potential to become a model for future efforts. It is my belief that the accomplishments demonstrated by the Marysville Public Library will encourage other Ohio libraries to participate in the program as well.

 
 
  

In 2014 nearly 290,000 people were involved in drunken driving crashes across the nation, while over 1.1 million were arrested for driving under the influence. Additionally, according to the FBI drunk drivers have on average driven drunk 80 times before their first DUI arrest.


The numbers are staggering and an issue that our nation, and state, has been working to address for years. Yet the drunk driving continues.


Recently, the Ohio House passed House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” which will work to prevent repeat drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel drunk again. If passed, Annie’s law will allow DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle in lieu of restricted driving privileges. Ignition interlock devices, or IIDs, require a driver to first blow into a breathalyzer before being able to start their car in order to ensure the individual has not been drinking.


By allowing the offenders to install the ignition interlock device, it gives the offenders the ability to drive without suspending their driver’s license while also ensuring that the individual is not able to start their vehicle while intoxicated.


Currently, Ohio law requires DUI offenders to serve a driving suspension that restricts their driving privileges to only include transportation to work and school. However, this punishment is ineffective given driving suspensions are violated 50-75 percent of the time and are difficult to enforce.


In the instance of Annie Rooney, Chillicothe native and namesake of Annie’s Law, the drunk driver who ultimately took her life had been arrested for drunk driving five times before the night she veered into Annie’s car on US-50. Had the driver had an ignition interlock device installed in her car, she would have never been able to start her vehicle that evening and would not have been able to cause so much pain for the Rooney family.


I was proud to have voted in favor of Annie’s Law and stand up for responsible, sober driving. If passed by the Ohio Senate, Annie’s Law will make Ohio roadways much safer and will undoubtedly protect innocent lives such as Annie Rooney’s.

 
 
  

These past few months have been incredibly busy at the people’s house in Columbus. We have been hard at work researching, crafting, and ultimately passing legislation that will help improve our great state of Ohio. One piece of legislation I believe will help Ohio is Substitute House Bill 347, legislation that limits the use of civil asset forfeiture.


Recently, my colleagues and I at the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 347 and sent it to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. The bill ensures that the use of civil asset forfeiture, a judicial process by which the government can take a person’s property based on the allegation of its involvement in a crime without ever charging the individual with a crime, is utilized justly.


We at the Ohio House made sure that HB 347 limited forfeiture of property to certain situations. The situations in which it can be forfeited include if seized property is unclaimed, the property owner is deceased, or if the property owner has been indicted for a felony and is unable to be brought to justice.


Additionally, the bill limits the use of a federal program in which forfeited assets are shared between state and federal law enforcement authorities. It also can only be utilized for property valued at more than $100,000, greatly reducing a practice that is often used by law enforcement.


This bill aides Ohioans by limiting law enforcement agencies of the state or its political subdivision’s involvement in the US Department of Justice’s equitable sharing program, a program with little due process. Furthermore, a provision contained in the bill allows the state to file an action against a person alleged to have proceeds exceeding $25,000 derived from drug or human trafficking or a theft offense.


We must always assume that someone is innocent until proven guilty, which is why HB 347 is a great bill. I always serve to protect the rights and well-being of my constituents and all Ohioans as a whole and this legislation does that. Allegations do not necessarily mean guilt, which is why I hope that the Ohio Senate will agree so we can get this signed by the governor before the end of the year.


 

 
 
  

State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) is joining with the Cuyahoga County Library in hosting a Military Resource Fair on Friday, September 2nd. 
 
The event taking place at the Parma Snow Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library will feature a variety of organizations geared towards helping those who have served our country, no matter what era, their spouses, and families. Throughout the day there will be agency representatives who can help military personnel or their families with benefit questions, employment opportunities, and many other military related areas. The event is completely free and open to the public.  Free continental breakfast, haircuts, and additional offers will be available to those in attendance.
 
Date: Friday, September 2nd
Time: 9am-12pm
Location: Parma Snow Branch of Cuyahoga County Library (2121 Snow Road, Parma, OH 44134)
Bring: DD 214 or NGB 22 discharge papers.  If discharge papers are not available, please bring the social security card of the military personnel.
 
“All of our military personnel have given personal sacrifices in leaving their loved ones to protect our freedoms,” Rep. Anielski said. “It is my intention to make sure that all those who have served no matter in what capacity and no matter what era, are aware of the benefits and services available to them during the Military Resource Fair."

 
 
  
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Bill Strengthening Penalties For Traffickers Of Heroin Signed By Governor Kasich

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) today applauded Governor John Kasich’s signing of House Bill 171, legislation that lowers the amount of heroin in possession to be considered a major drug offender. Rep. Dever sponsored the bill with Rep. Bill Blessing (R-Colerain).



 
 

Ohio House Passes Legislation Encouraging Workforce Development In The Automotive Field

 
COLUMBUS - 

State Representatives Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation they jointly sponsored that would allow automotive technicians and motor vehicle technicians at retail stores the ability to join the Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program. 



 
 

Reps. Kunze, Stinziano Introduce Bill Strengthening Penalties For Strangulation In Domestic Violence Situations

 
COLUMBUS - 

In a press conference at the Statehouse today, State Representatives Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) and Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus) explained their recently introduced legislation to increase penalties for strangulation in domestic violence situations.



 
 

Ohio House Healthcare Efficiencies Study Committee Meets In Cleveland

 
COLUMBUS - 

The Ohio House Healthcare Efficiencies Study Committee today held a hearing today at the MetroHealth main campus in Cleveland, focusing on the topics of Medicaid and aging.