State Representative Ron Young (R- Leroy Township) has announced that House Resolution 283 passed the Ohio House of Representatives by a vote of 84-3, with 41 co-sponsors. In closing, H.R. 283 states, “…we the members of the House of Representatives of the State of Ohio, urge the United States Congress and the United States Department Defense to protect and uphold the religious and free speech rights of military service members.”
The heart of the resolution consists of eight instances where military personnel have either had their constitutional rights violated or their faith has been misrepresented. For example, the first instance states,
“In 2012, United States military recruits were presented a detailed equal opportunity training brief that expressly listed Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity as examples of religious extremism alongside such groups as Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the KKK.”
And the second states, “The United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center released a study linking those that believe in the sanctity of human life to terrorism.”
When asked why he offered the resolution Rep. Young stated “No one in the military should be punished for believing in and peacefully worshipping God, as long as such behavior does not endanger the mission. Members of the military, because their job is so important to the strength of this country, must have their rights protected. I believe our military is still a place that offers religious freedom and treats our servicemen and woman with respect regardless of their beliefs. However, instances of infringement are on the rise and freedom can only be maintained through vigilance.”
Two local pastors are supportive of the resolution:
Pastor Evan Nunnally of Lifehouse Church serving the Leroy and Chardon area stated, “I thank the Lord for representatives like Ron Young who will stand up for Christian men and women to express their faith in Christ. That faith has and will help our service members to do their job. We expect these young men and women to be willing to lay down their lives for their country, but in far too many cases we restrict them from honoring their God. The freedom to practice ones religion is one of the primary freedoms that make this country worthy of defending. Because of what it means to our many great service men and women, I am happy to see this resolution passed.”
Pastor Tim Potter of Grace Church in Mentor stated, “It is intellectually dishonest and absurd to liken Evangelistic Christians or Catholics to extremist religious groups. It is amazing how liberal, anti-God agendas and worldviews get not just promoted but implemented through back doors even in our own military and government. We are proud of and stand behind Representative Ron Young and all those state representatives who not only noticed but also acted upon these injustices against our religious liberties whether one is Catholic or Evangelistic Christian. If we don't stand against these religious inequities in our military the liberal agenda will be all the more emboldened to impose their beliefs and convictions upon our greater American culture as they disallow ours.”
In closing Rep. Young stated, “The resolution is just one voice among many calling for the powers that be in Washington to exercise more sensitivity to the religious beliefs of our service personnel.” He then referenced the following quote:
For example, Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) recently led 41 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy, requesting an immediate response to questions regarding the removal of a quotation of scripture from an Air Force Academy cadet’s personal whiteboard. According to the official Air Force response, posting of the verse was inappropriate “in light of leadership principles.”
“The respectful and casual expression of a religious viewpoint does not have a negative impact on effective leadership,” Congressman Forbes said. “Military service does not and should not require the restriction of religious expression. Demonstrating to our cadets and service members that they are not permitted practice the very rights that they are dedicating their lives to protect is not only unconscionable, but also a missed opportunity to counter the misinformed belief that to be inclusive, we must never discuss points of view on which individuals may differ. Choosing silence is a way to avoid leadership, not exert it.”
For full text of the resolution, click here.
Today Governor John Kasich signed State Representative Ron Young’s (R-Leroy Township) Free Clinic Legislation, House Bill 320. The bill strengthens the operations of free clinics and allow Medicaid patients to have greater access to healthcare options offered by free clinics.
Regarding the legislation, Representative Young said:
“Free Clinics play a critical role in the delivery of health care in Ohio. They help to reduce inappropriate use of hospital emergency rooms and provide critically needed care, which allows many citizens to hold jobs and be productive members of our communities. For example, free clinics provide life-saving health maintenance drugs, such as insulin, for diabetic patients. Reduction in illness, sometimes by something as easy as a doctor visit and provision of 10 days’ worth of antibiotics, translates directly to reduction in lost work, lost wages, and lost time from school and sports. This results in an increase in active participation in our communities, strengthens families, and builds self esteem. Free clinics provide all this care very efficiently. In fact, the best estimates indicate that, for every dollar spent, the clinics deliver nearly $18 in care. This is an exceptional statistic, and no other health care scheme delivers care so cost effectively.”
Johanna Henz, Executive Director of the Lake County Free Clinic also praised the legislation:
“We are so grateful for the leadership of Rep. Young and Governor John Kasich in ensuring the availability of high quality health care for all Ohioans. We are both proud and appreciative of our position in our state's health care delivery system. This legislation will enable an increase in volunteerism and awareness of free clinics, which ultimately leads to a healthier Ohio.”
The Ohio Association of Free Clinics’ Executive Director, Deborah Miller, thanked Representative Young and his staff for their tireless work on HB320:
“This legislation is critical for free clinics in Ohio. With the implementation of ACA and Medicaid Expansion, we are facing new challenges. HB320 will help us continue our mission of providing health care for the uninsured and under-insured. We will be able to expand our services to those who now have limited access to health care. This bill will also assist free clinics in recruiting volunteer physicians and will increase our capacity to provide services.”
Medicaid patients often have a problem getting timely access to medical care and all too often end up in emergency rooms. This increases the states medical costs dramatically. At the same time, many doctors are restricted from treating Medicaid patients at free clinics. While doctors can treat the indigent and uninsured for no charge and be protected from lawsuit by Ohio’s Good Samaritan Law, Medicaid patients are not currently included in the law. HB320 changes the law and extends the protection to doctors treating Medicaid patients. The simple change in the law is expected to save a great deal of money and probably lives as well.
H.B. 320 also allows doctors and dentists who volunteer at free clinics to take part in the Ohio Department of Health’s Physician and Dentist Student Loan Repayment Programs. This provision creates an additional incentive for doctors to volunteer at a free clinic.
The bill will also create a volunteer certificate for retired nurses. Currently retired nurses may not obtain a volunteer certificate and therefore cannot practice in a free clinic without having an active license. Many retired nurses would like to volunteer their service, but the cost of licensing is an obstacle. The volunteer certificate is free. Those holding a volunteer certificate will not be permitted to receive payment for services.
The final part of the bill creates the Free Clinic Appreciation Month in the month of December. It is the hope that celebrating this month will make people more aware of the contributions free clinics make and encourage them to donate more time and money to make them even more successful.
COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder has announced that Niraj Antani was appointed state representative to the 42nd House District seat.
“It was a great pleasure welcoming Niraj Antani to the House today,” Speaker Batchelder said. “As our state moves forward into the future to address a series of complicated and important issues, it is imperative that Ohioans of all perspectives and persuasions have their voice heard at the Statehouse. I trust that Representative Antani will be a hardworking, responsive and loyal servant to the residents of the 42nd House District.”
A native of Miami Township, Antani has been involved in public service and community organizations for several years. In 2010, he interned for Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Washington DC. He has also interned for then State Representative (now State Senator) Peggy Lehner, as well as Ohio Congressman Mike Turner in his Dayton office.
"I am honored to be joining the House and will work hard every day to serve the residents of the 42nd House District,” Antani said. “Together, I know we can create opportunities for all Ohioans to achieve their American Dream.”
In November, Antani was elected to the 42nd House District, which includes most of southern Montgomery County. He is filling the vacant seat of the late Rep. Terry Blair, who passed away earlier this year.
He graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013 with a BA in Political Science, and is now studying to earn his Juris Doctorate at the University of Dayton School of Law.
Named to the “Top 30 Conservatives Under Age 30 in the United States” list by Red Alert Politics, the 23-year-old Antani is the youngest member of the Ohio General Assembly.
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.
COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder has announced that Niraj Antani was appointed state representative to the 42nd House District seat.
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.