State Representatives Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 228, legislation that makes modifications to standardized testing in Ohio.
The legislation is comprised of several provisions that work to address standardized testing issues in schools, including limiting the administration time for state assessments to no more than four hours, which allows more time for teaching, and also permitting districts to administer the kindergarten readiness assessment for up to two weeks before the beginning of school, which encourages more local control in the classroom.
"We have to listen to parents, teachers and students and be willing to be responsive to their concerns. That's the entire reason for this bill," said Rep. Brenner, who jointly sponsored the bill.
"I hope that the Senate will do the same, and work with us to still test knowledge in all subjects, while reducing the hours to a more reasonable time limit."
Additionally, House Bill 228 creates opportunities to improve student assessment by requiring the Department of Education (ODE) to study the impact of the online administration of state achievement assessments on student performance, which must be submitted to the General Assembly and governor by June 30, 2014. ODE will also be required to develop a table of assessments and determine which components of the resident educator summative assessment may be used as part of the teacher evaluation system.
“The feedback we were getting from parents, educators and administrators was that our children were spending too much time in standardized testing,” said Rep. Gonzales, joint sponsor of the legislation. “This measure will help reduce that time and really let our kids get back to learning instead of preparing for the next test.”
The bill passed with bipartisan support and will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) and Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that prohibits the sale of powdered crystalline alcohol.
Powdered or crystalline alcohol, or Palcohol as it’s known, is easily concealed and can be added to any beverage to make it an alcoholic drink. As a product that is new to the market, concerns have been raised regarding its safety and its availability to underage Ohioans. Questions have also arisen regarding how much of the substance can be added to a drink and how it will be ingested.
“This legislation will ensure that we don’t have powdered alcohol in Ohio. With the growing drug problem, we need to continue working for policies that reduce these issues,” said Rep. Buchy, who sponsored the bill along with Rep. Gerberry.
“It was a pleasure working with Representative Buchy on this legislation, which is good public policy for all Ohioans,” Rep. Gerberry said.
House Bill 594 will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
State Representative and Dean of the House Republican Caucus, Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township), today announced that the Republican Caucus has elected their leadership team for the 131st General Assembly. State Representative Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) was selected to serve as the 102nd Speaker of the Ohio House.
Joining the Speaker-Elect, State Representative Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) will serve as Speaker Pro Tempore, Rep. Sears will serve as the Majority Floor Leader, and State Representative Jim Buchy (R-Greenville) will serve as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. The House Republican Whip team will include State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) as the Majority Whip and State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) as the Assistant Majority Whip.
“It is with deep appreciation, honor and humbleness that I have been chosen by my constituents to again represent them at the Statehouse and also that I have been selected by my esteemed colleagues as the new Speaker of the Ohio House,” said Rep. Rosenberger. “I am immeasurably proud of what this legislature has achieved over the past few years under the sound leadership of Speaker Batchelder. It is my hope that we can continue this progress and I am up to the task. I look forward to building an even stronger Ohio with the help of my legislative partners and my fellow Ohioans across the state.”
The official swearing in of new members and leadership positions will occur the first week of January during opening day ceremonies in Columbus.
Rep. Rosenberger is currently serving his second term at the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 91st House District, which includes Clinton, Highland and Pike counties, and parts of Ross County. An Air Force Veteran, Representative Rosenberger also served as the national political events coordinator for Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and was Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, while consistently being an active member and community leader in his hometown of Clarksville.
State Representatives Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) and Matt Huffman (R-Lima) today applauded the committee movement of House Bill 597, legislation that would fully repeal and replace Common Core standards in Ohio.
Voted out of the House Rules and Reference Committee yesterday, the bill would replace Common Core standards with proven superior standards, and would prevent the State Board of Education from assessing student achievement based on Common Core, with the goal of restoring to teachers and classrooms a clear set of guidelines and criteria. House Bill 597 also works to protect the confidentiality of student data and returns control back to local Ohioans and their schools.
“I commend my Rules Committee colleagues for their positive vote,” said Rep. Thompson. “Now I hope we can deliver the votes needed in the General Assembly for passage as a gift to the many parents, students, and teachers who are counting upon us.”
“Constituents in my district, and all around Ohio, have serious concerns with the Common Core standards now being implemented in Ohio’s schools,” said Rep. Huffman. “The committee passage of this legislation is another step in ensuring that students in the state have every opportunity to learn and that they receive the best education we can give them.”
The legislation will now be considered for a full House vote.
I hope this October, you’ve been able to join with others across the nation to honor, remember and reflect on the brave individuals who have battled, and are currently battling, breast cancer. First established in 1985, the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign seeks to generate attention for the disease and raise funds for research on its prevention, treatment, and eventual cure.
Despite the fact that many Americans may know about the disease and might notice the abundance of pink ribbons worn throughout the month of October, often individuals are not fully informed on how to detect the disease in its early stages, or are hesitant to encourage others to do so. That is why it is vital for both men and women to rally behind the cause.
Currently, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death among women in the United States, and it is listed by the World Health Organization as the most common female cancer worldwide. Each year, it is projected that more than 220,000 American women will be diagnosed with the disease, and tragically, more than 40,000 of these women will lose their fight with breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
While the statistics are distressing, recent breast cancer trends have shown more positive and uplifting results. Death rates from breast cancer have been on the decline since the 1990s, and recent studies have demonstrated a gradual reduction in breast cancer rates for women aged 50 and older. Improved early screening and detection, evolving and expanded treatment options, and a rise in awareness and regular self-exams are all factors in these promising developments.
The significant gains in breast cancer research and awareness are encouraging, yet there is still progress to be made. We must continue to educate women, volunteer for fundraisers, and support research so that breast cancer can someday be eliminated from our local communities and from communities across the globe.
State Representative Kristina Daley Roegner (R-Hudson), along with Representative Anthony DeVitis (R-Green) and Representative Marilyn Slaby (R-Copley), today released the following joint statement regarding the recent update that the second health care worker in Dallas diagnosed with Ebola visited family in Akron from October 8-13:
“We are working in coordination with state and federal health officials on taking the proper safety precautions in response to the recent updates regarding the second health care worker, and her visit to our area. We would like to assure all citizens of Summit County that their care and safety is our primary concern and focus, and that we are doing everything in our power to investigate, monitor and resolve the issue.”
According to the Ohio Department of Health, Ebola is spread through touching bodily fluids including feces, blood, vomit, or saliva of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola, or from exposure to contaminated objects like needles. Symptoms may appear from 2-21 days after exposure.
If you feel that you have been exposed to Ebola, or are exhibiting symptoms of Ebola, immediately call your physician or the Summit County Public Health Department at (330) 923-4891. Calling first will help health care providers take care of infected patients and will protect others from exposure.
State Representative Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Township) announced that the House Unemployment Debt Study Committee will be holding a hearing, including public testimony, in Toledo to discuss the Unemployment Compensation Debt and its impact on Ohio citizens and the business community.
The meeting will take place Tuesday, October 14, 2014, at the Lucas County Ohio Means Job Facility, located at 1301 Monroe Street Toledo, OH 43604. It is open to the public and will begin at 1 p.m.
“I look forward to holding the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee in the City of Toledo,” said Rep. Sears, who chairs the committee. “Ensuring that we receive questions, concerns and feedback from individuals who hail from various parts of the state, and who are directly affected by this issue, is vital to finding a solution and making Ohio more fiscally accountable.”
This committee serves as one of two bipartisan summer committees, traveling around the state this summer, to hold hearings discussing state policies and initiatives with citizens and experts. The information collected will assist in formulating a final report and possible legislative recommendations.
Those interested in testifying can contact the committee chair’s office by emailing Jennelle.Day@ohiohouse.gov. Witness testimony is due by today, Friday, October 10 at 5 p.m.
Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) today announced the appointment of the six House members, which will serve on the Energy Mandates Study Committee, as created by Senate Bill 310, passed by the legislature in May 2014.
The committee is tasked with studying Ohio’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, and peak demand reduction mandates. Under the measures outlined in Senate Bill 310, the committee will consist of 13 members with six House members appointed by the Speaker of the House and six Senate members appointed by the Senate President. The final member of the committee is the chairperson of the Public Utilities Commission, as an ex-officio, nonvoting member.
The Energy Mandates Study Committee House appointments are as follows:
Rep. Peter Stautberg (Co-Chair)
Rep. Ron Amstutz
Rep. Louis Blessing III
Rep. Christina Hagan
Rep. Jack Cera
Rep. Michael Stinziano
The committee must submit a report of its findings to the House and Senate no later than September 30, 2015.
State Representative Mike Henne (R-Clayton) today introduced House Bill 631, legislation that seeks to make various changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) in regards to the Ohio Resident Educator Program and public records for educators.
Under House Bill 631, in order to avoid duplication of testing, new teachers involved in the Ohio Resident Educator program will not be required to participate in OTES evaluations until after they have completed three to four years of residency. Additionally, this legislation specifies that OTES evaluations will not be subject to public records requests, in order to ensure privacy and to safeguard teachers from unwanted exposure
OTES was created to provide a framework in which teachers could be evaluated annually. Performance levels are rated as accomplished, skilled, developing or ineffective. OTES was recently revised earlier this year in House Bill 362 to permit teachers rated as accomplished or skilled to be evaluated less frequently than every year.
State Representative Lynn Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) today announced that the State Controlling Board approved the release of $50,000 for flood mitigation efforts in the Village of Ottawa in Putnam County.
According to documents from the Office of Budget and Management, this funding will support the first phase of planned improvements to the Road I-9 bridge embankment by securing professional engineering services in order to design the project, as well as the design for construction of a diversion channel upstream from the bridge. Additionally, funding will allow for a certified appraiser to be hired in order to acquire the necessary property for completion of the diversion channel.
“I want to thank Governor Kasich for supporting this funding. I also want to thank Senator Hite, U.S. Senator Portman, Congressman Latta, and the local organizations and officials in Ottawa,” Rep. Wachtmann said. “Flood mitigation funding has been something that I have been working on for years and it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and support of everyone involved.”
The $50,000 is part of the $8 million approved for the project in Sub. House Bill 483, the appropriations section of the Mid-Biennial Review (MBR) passed in June.
State Representative Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City) is pleased to announce that The Ohio State University Marching Band will be in attendance of the Ohio House session on Wednesday, May 7th. Rep. Grossman will be honoring the band with a resolution recognizing its contributions to the state of Ohio.
State Representatives Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) and Margaret Conditt (R-Liberty Twp.) today announced that they have introduced legislation that will increase the penalties for those who knowingly sell illegal substances to pregnant women.
State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) announced that the Ohio House has passed legislation requiring every county to have the full spectrum of opioid addiction recovery treatment and recovery housing. Rep. Sprague was the chair of the House Prescription Drug Addiction and Healthcare Reform Committee, which traveled around Ohio last summer learning about and studying drug abuse and addiction.
State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) today applauded the passage of House Bill 394 by the Ohio House. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Smith, gives pharmacists and pharmacy interns the authority to provide immunizations outside of a pediatrician.