COLUMBUS - 

Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) has released a statement regarding the recent announcement by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that Ohio’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent for the month of December, which is down from 5 percent in November:


“When I was first elected to the Ohio House in 2010, the unemployment rate was over 9 percent and our future as a state was uncertain. However, because of the good work we’ve achieved over the last several years including supporting JobsOhio, initiating workforce development programs and cutting taxes for small businesses, we’ve been able to make significant gains in this area.


“The news today that Ohio’s unemployment rate is down from 5 to 4.8 percent is a huge encouragement to me as we begin work for the 131st General Assembly. Job creation and workforce development is a number one priority—one that we are taking very seriously here in the Ohio House. We are committed to working with Governor Kasich and the Senate to ensure that we are breaking down barriers for businesses and building up those who are ready to work so that they can provide for their families. Through thoughtful discussion and collaborative efforts, we can inspire policies and initiatives that help our workforce and help our state to grow and prosper. As we continue this work, we’ll take steps every day to keep the momentum going and to stay on the right track for the people of Ohio.”

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today announced the membership of the House’s 19 committees and six subcommittees for the 131st General Assembly.


“As we begin the 131st General Assembly, there are several issues that need to be continually studied and discussed,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “Each and every House member has a unique background and specialized area of expertise that can be used to properly vet the legislation that is put before them. Together, through the committee process, we will work diligently to find solutions to the state’s most important issues.”


The committee assignments are included in the attached document. Today’s House journal will also reflect these committee assignments.

 

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COLUMBUS - 

Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today announced the new standing committee structure, along with committee chairs, vice chairs and ranking members, for the Ohio House of Representatives.


“In order to continue our momentum and to build upon our successes from the last General Assembly, I’m pleased to announce a solid, new committee structure for the 131st General Assembly,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “Along with the addition of two new standing committees, we have added the Minority Affairs Subcommittee, which builds the framework for further bipartisan collaboration. I know all chairs, vice chairs and ranking members stand ready to lead and to guide the pathway of legislation that makes sense for Ohio.”


"With this committee leadership in place, we have the right people in the right positions to take on the important issues facing Ohioans,” said Leader Strahorn. “These members have a strong, diverse and focused mix of talents and abilities that will contribute to a higher quality of life for everyday Ohioans. We are in a stronger position to make sure that all Ohioans can feel the promise and opportunity of our state.”


The House committees, as well as the members who will lead each committee, are as follows:


Agriculture & Rural Development



  • Chair: Rep. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Tony Burkley (R-Payne)

  • Ranking member: Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson)   


Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety



  • Chair: Rep. Terry Johnson (R-McDermott)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus)


Commerce & Labor



  • Chair: Rep. Ron Young (R-Leroy Township)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Anthony DeVitis (R-Green)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown)


Community & Family Advancement



  • Chair: Rep. Tim Derickson (R-Oxford)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland)


Community & Family Advancement Subcommittee



  • Minority Affairs (Chair: Rep. Kevin Boyce, D-Columbus)


Economic & Workforce Development



  • Chair: Rep. Nan Baker (R-Westlake)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid)


Education



  • Chair: Rep. Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Township)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)


Energy & Natural Resources



  • Chair: Rep. Al Landis (R-Dover)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta)


Finance & Appropriations



  • Chair: Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati)


Finance and Appropriations Subcommittees



  • Agriculture,      Development and Natural Resources (Chair: Rep. Andy Thompson, R-Marietta;      Ranking member: Rep. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta)

  • Health      and Human Services (Chair: Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay; Ranking member:      Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron)

  • Higher      Education (Chair: Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington; Ranking member: Rep.      Dan Ramos, D-Lorain)

  • Transportation      (Chair: Rep. Cheryl Grossman, R-Grove City; Ranking member: Rep.      Alicia Reece, D-Cincinnati)

  • Primary      and Secondary Education (Chair: Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima; Ranking member:      Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany)


Financial Institutions, Housing and Urban Development



  • Chair: Rep. Lou Terhar (R-Green Township)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Christie Bryant Kuhns (D-Cincinnati)


Government Accountability & Oversight



  • Chair: Rep. Tim Brown (R-Bowling Green)       

  • Vice chair: Rep. Bill Blessing (R-Colerain Township)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent)


Health & Aging



  • Chair: Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood)


Insurance



  • Chair: Rep. Robert Hackett (R-London)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Mike Henne (R-Clayton)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick)


Judiciary



  • Chair: Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Michael Stinziano (D-Columbus)


Local Government



  • Chair: Rep. Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Scott Ryan (R-Granville Township)

  • Ranking member: Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake)


Public Utilities



  • Chair: Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Kristina Daley Roegner (R-Hudson)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Mike Ashford (D-Toledo)


Rules & Reference



  • Chair: Rep. Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster)

  • Vice chair: Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville)

  • Ranking member: Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton)


State Government



  • Chair: Rep. Ron Maag (R-Lebanon)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Ronald Gerberry (D-Austintown)


Transportation & Infrastructure



  • Chair: Rep. Terry Boose (R-Norwalk)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Doug Green (R-Mt. Orab)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon)


Ways & Means



  • Chair: Rep. Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky)

  • Vice chair: Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville)

  • Ranking member: Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire)


The full membership of these committees in their entirety will be announced at a later date.


 

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Representative Ron Amstutz (R-Wooster) yesterday was elected Speaker Pro Tempore during our Ohio legislature’s first voting session of the two-year General Assembly.


His election occurred after the 99 members-elect took their oaths of office and were seated. His leadership post is as back up to the new Ohio House Speaker, Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville).


Amstutz represents House District 1, Wayne County, a single county district. He is beginning his 35th year as a state legislator, and is term-limited at the end of 2016.


“I’m very excited about this assignment to represent the citizens of Wayne County and to work closely with other legislators and our governor for the betterment of Ohio,” Amstutz said.


For the past four years he chaired the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.


Amstutz is a lifelong resident of Wayne County, was raised on a dairy farm and previously served as the mayor of the City of Orrville. He also worked for five years in the Orrville office of The Daily Record as a writer, photographer and bureau editor.


He earned a bachelor’s degree in government communications from Capital University and is a graduate of Central Christian High School. He lives in Wooster with his wife, with whom he has two grown children.

 
 
  

Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today appointed State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) to serve as Chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee.


“I can think of no one more experienced, more knowledgeable or more honorable to serve as chair of this important committee,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “The amount of work and oversight that takes place in Finance Committee is unmatched and I look forward to what we will achieve in the coming months. Rep. Smith is up to the task and I know he will guide the budget process to ensure that Ohio is made better for its citizens through common-sense initiatives and responsible financial decision-making.”


The House Finance and Appropriations Committee will be tasked with passing the state operating budget bill, which will be introduced by Governor John Kasich by the first week of February.


“I am honored to be appointed as the Finance and Appropriations chairman and I look forward to working with our partners across the state to pass a budget bill that works best for Ohio,” Rep. Smith said. “The upcoming budget will provide the state the tools necessary to continue its momentum and will support our job growth agenda.”


Rep. Smith is currently serving his second complete term for the Ohio House of Representatives since being appointed during the 129th General Assembly. He represents the 93rd House District, which includes Gallia and Jackson counties along with parts of Lawrence and Vinton counties.


Additional House committee information will be released at a later date.

 
 
  

MIAMISBURG, Ohio- State Representative Niraj Antani (R–Miamisburg) was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s 2015 list of the top 30 Under 30 people in the United States in law and policy. 


“I’m honored to have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and I’m glad there is recognition of what young people in Ohio are doing,” Antani said. “Our generation is taking up the mantle of leadership in this country and will tackle our problems head on.”


Forbes Magazine is a national, bi-weekly magazine published regarding business in the United States. They release yearly lists, including one recognizing young people in a variety of fields. The full list can be viewed at: http://www.forbes.com/30under30/#/law-policy or in the next issue of Forbes Magazine.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State representatives Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) and Tony Burkley (R-Payne) were sworn in as members of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 131st General Assembly today.


For McColley, today marks the start of his first term at the Statehouse. He represents the 81st District, containing Putnam, Henry and Williams counties and part of Fulton County. A 2003 graduate of Napoleon High School, McColley most recently served as the Executive Director for Community Improvement Corporation of Henry County, where he oversaw economic and workforce development efforts in Henry and Williams counties.


“I am very honored to be sworn in as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives and I am thankful to the constituents of the 81st District for placing their trust in me,” McColley said. “I look forward to working with my House colleagues to help make Ohio the best it can be.”


Burkley is beginning his second term in the House. He serves the 82nd District, which includes Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties, as well as part of Auglaize County. Prior to being elected to the House, he served 16 years in county government, including four terms as Paulding County commissioner.


“It is an honor to have been sworn into office for my second term in the Ohio House,” Burkley said. “I’m looking forward to continuing my service to the 82nd District and welcome opportunities to help Ohio remain on the right path.”

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

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.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

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 - 

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. 

 
 
  
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Speaker Rosenberger, Leader Strahorn Announce House Committees And Committee Leadership

 
COLUMBUS - 

Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton) today announced the new standing committee structure, along with committee chairs, vice chairs and ranking members, for the Ohio House of Representatives.



 
 

Niraj Antani Appointed To 42nd Ohio House District Seat

 
COLUMBUS - 

COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder has announced that Niraj Antani was appointed state representative to the 42nd House District seat.



 
 

OSU Marching Band To Attend Ohio House Session

 
COLUMBUS - 

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.



 
 

Reps. Retherford And Conditt Introduce Legislation Increasing Penalties For Drug Dealers

 
COLUMBUS - 

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.