COLUMBUS - Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), Chairman of the Legislative Service Commission, today announced that Wendy Zhan has been selected to serve as the new Director of the Legislative Service Commission (LSC). Zhan is replacing Mark Flanders who is retiring after 35 years of public service, 30 of it with LSC.


“Wendy has gained extensive knowledge and experience during her tenure at LSC,” said Speaker Householder. “She is a proven and proactive leader who will lead LSC well. I have no doubt that she will do an excellent job. I look forward to working with her in her new role.”


Zhan received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in History from Beijing University, as well as an additional Master’s degree in Public Administration from Ohio University. She has worked for LSC for 24 years and has served as a Graduate Researcher, Budget Analyst, Fiscal Supervisor, Division Chief, and lastly as the Budget and Fiscal Analysis Director.


“The Senate looks forward to Wendy’s leadership of the Legislative Service Commission,” said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina). “My colleagues and I value her depth of knowledge and historical perspective and know firsthand how dedicated she is to overseeing the very complex task of assisting the legislature in writing the laws that govern our state. I’m confident she will provide strong and steady guidance for LSC."


“It's such a privilege to serve the Ohio General Assembly and a great honor to be selected as the next Director of the LSC staff agency,” said Wendy Zhan. “I thank the Legislative Service Commission for their trust and confidence in me. This new challenge and opportunity will command 100 percent of my commitment. I look forward to collaborating with the talented and dedicated LSC staff and to leading the agency forward in our continuing, shared pursuit of excellent nonpartisan legislative services.”


Wendy Zhan will assume the position of Director effective September 1, 2019.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS - Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced that Douglas J. Swearingen, Jr. (R-Huron) was sworn in to serve as state representative to the 89th House District, which covers both Erie and Ottawa counties. Representative Swearingen replaces Representative Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) who retired on July 31, 2019. 


“Representative Swearingen will be a great voice for the 89th district,” said Speaker Householder. “He is an active leader in his community and he is excited to continue to make his district and Ohio a prosperous place to live.”


Representative-elect Swearingen received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Bowling Green State University and his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. He currently practices law with the firm Wickens, Herzer, Panza with offices in Sandusky and Avon.


“I remain humbled by and thankful for the opportunity to serve the 89th District as its representative,” said Rep. Swearingen. “Erie and Ottawa counties are truly special places to live, and I will be doing everything that I can to help these areas continue to grow and prosper.”


Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith L. French administered the Oath of Office at the session today.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – A plan that will save Ohio’s electric ratepayers $1.3 billion has been approved by the Ohio House of Representatives.


 


The measure, House Bill 6, will also preserve Ohio jobs and support zero carbon electric generation to protect Ohio’s environment.


 


Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said the legislation is good news for the state’s consumers and economy.


 


“We are reducing consumers’ bills, repealing wasteful government mandates and keeping good-paying jobs here in Ohio,” Householder said. “This is legislation that makes sense for the ratepayers of Ohio.”


 


The legislation, the result of nearly 65 hours of testimony in the legislature, was given final approval today by the House, which concurred in changes made by the Senate. It had 51 affirmative votes and 38 negative votes and now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature.


 


Electric ratepayers will save more than $1.3 billion over the next nine years under the plan. The average residential ratepayer will see an immediate reduction in their bill starting in 2020. Starting in 2021, the average ratepayer will save $2.77 per month and by 2028 they will save $3.78 per month.


 


The legislation phases out all of Ohio’s expensive, failed electric mandates. In its place, a reduced flat charge will support zero carbon energy.


 


The legislation will support the generation of zero carbon electricity in Ohio, specifically from nuclear as well as large-scale solar installations.


 


The state’s two nuclear plants – Davis-Besse and Perry, both in northern Ohio – generate approximately 15 percent of Ohio’s electricity and 90 percent of the state’s zero carbon energy. More than 4,000 jobs are tied to the state’s nuclear industry, which means more than $500 million to Ohio’s gross domestic product.


 


The plan will also support the continued development of large scale solar projects in Ohio, which will increase the amount of zero carbon power generated in Ohio.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today approved a new two-year state budget that includes major health care reforms as well as tax relief for Ohio families.


The measure, House Bill 166, also includes record funding for schools, as well as historic investments in foster care, higher education and initiatives for seniors.


“Our focus has been rebuilding families and communities, and this budget plan is a major step forward toward those goals,” said House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford). “With this plan, we are helping families keep more of what they earn, supporting the schools their kids attend and investing in programs that make a real difference in their communities.”


The tax package included in House Bill 166 calls for a personal income tax rate reduction of 4 percent across the board. It also eliminates the personal income tax for those earning less than $21,750.


Funding for Ohio’s schools would increase by $381.8 million for the 2019-20 school year, a 4.1 percent increase. There is a 2 percent increase slated for the 2020-21 school year. The bill also provides $20 million for districts to purchase school buses.


Increased support for foster care was among the priorities of the Ohio House. At any given moment, more than 15,000 children are in foster care in Ohio – a figure that has grown by more than 25 percent in recent years, driven by the addiction crisis.


The final budget agreement between the House and Senate includes major health care reforms, including a Medicaid pharmacy benefit manager reform. Under the legislation, Ohio would have one Medicaid PBM, a contract which would be competitively bid, and the selected PBM would be prohibited from having any conflicts of interest.


Also included in the budget are changes to Ohio’s graduation requirements. Beginning with the Class of 2023, students will have to meet current requirements plus attain a “competency score” on algebra I and English arts II end-of-course exams (or use an alternative demonstration of competency) and attain at least two state diploma seals. The plan includes related changes as well. Overall, it is designed to reduce reliance on testing for graduation and help students show their true promise.


The measure passed with 75 affirmative votes and 17 negative votes and now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his review.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – Meaningful tax relief, major health care reform and increased funding for schools are among the highlights of a state budget accord approved today by a House-Senate conference committee.


Among other initiatives, the measure also boosts funding for foster care, elderly care and higher education.


“This is a responsible, structurally balanced plan that focuses on the priorities of Ohioans,” said House Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton).


The tax package included in House Bill 166 calls for a personal income tax rate reduction of 4 percent across the board. It also eliminates the personal income tax for those earning less than $21,750.


Increased support for foster care was among the priorities of the Ohio House. At any given moment, more than 15,000 children are in foster care in Ohio – a figure that has grown by more than 25 percent in recent years.


House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said Ohio has done a lot in recent years to help those suffering from addiction. The addiction crisis has had a far broader impact than just on those suffering from addiction. The consequences of addiction have devastated families in every community in this state. Now, Ohio is not only focusing on addicts, but also on the children and elderly who can no longer count on support from an addict in their life.


The budget agreement also includes Medicaid pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform. Under the legislation, Ohio would have one Medicaid PBM, a contract which would be competitively bid. The single PBM would be prohibited from having any potential conflicts of interest or relationships within the Ohio system. House Bill 166 also contains additional funding for high Medicaid volume pharmacies and a pilot program to ensure rural, high Medicaid volume pharmacies are receiving their full reimbursements.


“There was widespread agreement in the House about the importance of PBM reform and I believe the final agreement we have will improve transparency and better protect tax dollars and those the system serves,” Householder said.


Other items in the final budget agreement include:



  • Record funding for schools. The legislation increases funding by $381.8 million for the 2019-20 school year, a 4.1 percent increase. There is a 2 percent increase slated for the 2020-21 school year. The bill also provides $20 million for districts to purchase school buses.

  • Graduation requirements. The measure includes a Senate-added provision revamping Ohio’s high school graduation requirements. Beginning with the Class of 2023, students will have to meet current requirements plus attain a “competency score” on algebra I and English arts II end-of-course exams (or use an alternative demonstration of competency) and attain at least two state diploma seals. The plan includes related changes as well. Overall, it is designed to reduce reliance on testing for graduation and help students show their true promise.

  • Academic distress commissions. The bill places a moratorium on the creation of any new commissions until Oct. 1, 2020.

  • Business Income Deduction. The plan largely maintains Ohio’s current Business Income Deduction, but makes lawyers and lobbyists ineligible for the tax reduction benefit.

  • Motion picture tax credit. The bill retains the tax credit, but with changes. It focuses the credit on Ohio businesses and expands the types of expenses for which the credit may be claimed, such as post-production and promotional costs.

  • Local governments. The plan increases funding for libraries and local governments, providing an additional $10 million for each over the biennium.

  • Tobacco. The bill increases the legal age for tobacco from 18 to 21.

  • 2020 Primary Election Date. Changes the date of the 2020 primary election from March 10 to March 17. Any candidate petitions being circulated with March 10 as the date of the primary will be valid for the March 17 primary.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – Today the Ohio House passed several bills, including legislation that allows the filing of certain campaign finance statements to be done electronically, permits wearing hearing protection while riding motorcycles, and requires center-line rumble strips for certain highway projects.


Senate Bill 107, sponsored by Senator Michael Rulli (R-Salem), expands the categories of political entities that are permitted to file their campaign finance statements electronically to include candidates for the State Board of Education and certain local candidates and political entities. The bill also requires the Secretary of State to store electronic statements received from boards of elections and make those statements available online in the same manner as other electronic statements. SB 107 passed the Ohio House unanimously. 


HB 129, sponsored by Representative Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky), allows a person to wear earphones or earplugs for hearing protection while operating a motorcycle. HB 129 passed the Ohio House unanimously.


HB 51, sponsored by Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem), requires the Department of Transportation, for certain highway projects, to install rumble strips along the center line for all two-way, undivided state highways with a speed limit exceeding 45 miles per hour. HB 51 passed the Ohio House unanimously.


The House bills passed today will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 9, legislation that addresses Higher Education Degree Attainment Reform. The goal of the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Don Jones (R-Freeport) and Bride Sweeney (D-Cleveland), is to help more students graduate in four years, so they can begin their careers and keep student debt low.


The bipartisan legislation contains common sense reforms to improve credit transfers from one public school to another, and help students who have left school determine if, with the coursework they have completed, they are eligible for an associate’s degree or job training certificate.


“Many of our students attending institutions of higher education are not completing their degrees in four years or less,” said Speaker Householder. “This legislation will help students enter the workforce and begin their careers. When students are having to stay longer to complete a degree, they are accumulating more debt. It’s time we help our students stay on track with their education or help them see if they’re eligible for an associate’s degree or certificate.”


House Bill 9 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


“I am excited the House passed HB 9 today,” said Rep. Jones. “As a teacher for 23 years, education is a personal priority, and I am glad it is also a priority for the entire House. HB 9 is going to help more people get degrees. The legislation will also help more people get their degrees on time. HB 9 in the long run will help Ohio create a highly educated workforce.”


HB 9 passed the Ohio House unanimously and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 7, legislation that creates the H2Ohio trust fund and establishes a state trust to fund the preservation and restoration of Ohio’s lakes and rivers.


The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), will provide a long-term plan for Ohio, creating a secure, sustainable funding stream for the protection of water quality. The state budget bill, House Bill 166, included $86 million for the first two years of H2Ohio, as well as language creating an advisory board for the program.


“Protecting Ohio’s water quality is extremely important,” said Speaker Householder. “The Ohio House is committed to supporting the Governor’s H2Ohio initiative. Ohio’s lakes and rivers are a vibrant part of our state and this legislation creates a long-term plan to protect them.”


House Bill 7 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


“The nearly unanimous Floor vote for priority House Bill 7 underscores the importance of a strong bipartisan commitment to the protection, preservation, and restoration of Ohio’s fresh water lakes and rivers,” said Rep. Ghanbari. “Today’s commitment is a generational investment that will serve as a model for other states across the country. It’s was an honor to be the primary author of this legacy piece of legislation alongside my Democrat colleague Representative Paterson.”


HB 7 passed the Ohio House with 90 affirmative votes and 3 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 11, legislation that addresses infant mortality. The goal of the legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland), is to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of the mother and child.


The bipartisan legislation would expand tobacco cessation and oral healthcare programs, increase lead education and support group pre-natal healthcare programs. The goals are decrease the chances of infant illness or death, as well as to improve the health of mothers.


“House Bill 11 will make a difference in reducing infant mortality in Ohio,” said Speaker Householder. “Keeping the mother and child healthy in a pregnancy is extremely important and I’m glad we were able to bring this great legislation to the floor.”


House Bill 11 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


“Governor DeWine, through his budget proposal, has shown that an investment in Ohio’s mothers, children, and families are among his top priorities,” said Rep. Manning. “The passage of HB 11 shows our commitment to reduce infant mortality and increase access to health care for those who need it. I am honored to sponsor legislation, which ultimately, will increase health outcomes for Ohioans.”


HB 11 passed the Ohio House with 93 affirmative votes and no negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS— Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today announced the Ohio House passage of House Bill 5, legislation that creates the Public Defender State Loan Repayment Program to help recruit and retain attorneys to serve as public defenders.


The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Brett Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) and David Leland (D-Columbus), is similar to what Ohio already does to help encourage physicians, dentists and dental hygienists to serve in areas facing a shortage of those professionals.


“Public defenders are vital to our justice system,” said Speaker Householder. “This bipartisan legislation will help attract more attorneys to serve as public defenders in Ohio and help fill the shortage in our legal system.”


House Bill 5 is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.


‘Public Defenders protect our constitutional rights everyday whether you have been accused of a crime or not,” said Rep. Hillyer. “These defenders of the Constitution are important to our system of justice and we must ensure that we provide adequate legal services under the law.”


HB 5 passed the Ohio House with 92 affirmative votes and 2 negative votes and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

 
 
  
<< Older Posts
Featured Posts

Representative Larry Householder Elected Speaker

 

COLUMBUS – On January 7th, Representative Larry Householder (R-Glenford) was elected Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 133rd General Assembly. Householder represents the 72nd House District, encompassing all of Coshocton and Perry counties, as well as parts of Licking County. Representative Householder, currently serving his second consecutive term in the Ohio House, previously served as Speaker from 2001 to 2004.



 
 

Speaker Householder Announces Several Appointments

 

COLUMBUS – Speaker Larry Householder made several appointments today to the following special committees, the Controlling Board, and the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting. 



 
 

Speaker Householder Announces Ohio House Communications Director

 

COLUMBUS –Speaker Larry Householder today announced the selection of Gail Crawley as Communications Director for the Ohio House of Representatives.



 
 

Representative Hambley Appointed To Co-Chair Of Newly Created Economic Development Committee

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) this week was appointed by Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) to serve as Co-Chair of the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee.