The Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 74 yesterday with broad bipartisan support. HB 74, sponsored by State Representative Andrew O. Brenner (R-Powell), would revise the state assessments and examinations given to Ohio’s students.
Overall, the bill is expected to reduce testing time by 50 percent while ensuring continued local control over assessments used by schools and districts. HB 74 aims to move Ohio away from a one-size-fits-all approach in favor of a more efficient operation of state assessments for local schools. Additionally, the bill provides a deadline for the completion of the ongoing review of academic content standards.
“During the course of this bill, we have heard from upset parents, stressed out students, and concerned teachers regarding the huge burden of the new standardized tests," Brenner said. "Students shouldn't be spending five months taking tests, and schools don't have the resources the PARCC exams require. This bill moves us one step closer to balancing measuring results with common sense."
Major provisions included in HB 74 are as follows:
House Bill 74 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
State Representative Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township) today applauded the passage of House Concurrent Resolution 12, which declares Ohio’s current infant mortality rate a public health crisis and urges comprehensive preterm birth screenings for pregnant women in Ohio.
LaTourette introduced the resolution with Representative Nickie Antionio (D-Lakewood) to address Ohio’s startling problem with infant mortality. Currently, the state is ranked 47th in the nation for infant mortality, with 1,047 infant deaths in Ohio in 2012 alone.
As outlined in the resolution, the leading cause of infant mortality is preterm births. HCR 12 encourages preterm birth screenings, which can measure cervical length and help predict the risk of early delivery. If a mother is at risk of a preterm birth, progesterone treatments can be implemented to greatly reduce a woman’s chances of early delivery.
“This is unacceptable and, as a state, we can commit to doing better,” LaTourette said. “To do better as a state, we need to know better. Raising awareness and advancing education regarding this public health crisis will directly enhance the good health and well-being of Ohio’s expectant mothers and their babies. This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue about truly protecting our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
The resolution follows other statewide efforts aimed at reducing the rate of infant mortality. These include the Department of Health’s Ohio Collaborative to Prevent Infant Mortality, as well as Senate Bill 276 passed in the 130th General Assembly, which created a 15-member commission tasked with making recommendations for decreasing the rate.
State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) applauded today’s passage of House Concurrent Resolution 8, a measure that repudiates recent claims made by state lawmakers in Connecticut that it is home to man’s first flight.
“I believe that the claims made by the state of Connecticut were unfounded and honestly a little desperate,” Perales said. “The overwhelming majority of findings by historians and researchers say that the Wright Brothers were first in flight, and to me, their claim was a challenge on our very heritage. Ohio and the Miami Valley have such a rich aviation history and I do not want to sit idly by while another state sees fit to change history without convincing and substantial evidence. I am proud to have played a part in the securing the Wright Brothers’ place in history.”
In 2013, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a bill claiming that Gustave Whitehead, not the Wright Brothers, was the person responsible for operating the first heavier-than-air machine. Evidence presented to give credence to the claim has been largely discredited by academically credentialed historians spanning several decades. This includes a supposed photograph of Mr. Whitehead operating the machine in 1901, which is inconclusive, showing only indistinct shapes.
The resolution also references that Ohio and North Carolina “share and cherish the legacy of the Wright brothers, who lived and build the first powered airplane in Dayton, Ohio, and made their first powered flight on December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.”
The factual history, the resolution states, of the invention of the airplane and first powered flights is preserved in the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the National Aviation Heritage Area in southwestern Ohio.
The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that extends the limitation time for prosecuting rape or sexual battery from 20 to 25 years.
“House Bill 6, if signed into law, has the potential to help thousands of sexual assault survivors across the state of Ohio,” said Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Township), who cosponsored the bill with Rep. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard). “Short of murder, there is no more heinous violation of a person’s rights than sexual assault. I am so proud to have played even a small part in helping these survivors obtain the justice they deserve.”
Current law prohibits prosecution of offenses like rape and sexual battery after 20 years of the incident taking place. If the victim is a minor, the 20-year period begins once the victim turns 18. House Bill 6 provides that, in cases where a DNA record made in connection with the criminal investigation matches another DNA record of an identifiable person, there are two potential options:
“This bill provides a greater opportunity to secure justice for survivors,” Rep. Kunze said. “I am committed to not allowing another day go by where a criminal escapes prosecution for such heinous crimes.”
Beyond just rape or sexual battery, House Bill 6 also includes conspiracy or attempt to commit, or complicity in committing, rape or sexual battery.
A piece of priority legislation, HB 6 passed with vast bipartisan support in both the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor. It now will go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today held a press conference with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) to discuss upcoming legislation that relates to recommendations made by the Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training.
The bill, sponsored by State Representatives Tim Derickson (R-Hanover Township) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), would lift the cap on the number of hours of basic training required for peace officers and other positions. The bill also requires all newly appointed peace officers to receive a high school diploma or GED.
“I am pleased that Speaker Rosenberger and Representatives Derickson and Manning have introduced this bill that will increase the educational requirements of prospective peace officers in Ohio and also eliminate the cap that currently limits the number of training hours to become a peace officer,” said Attorney General DeWine. “These are two recommendations that were made by the Ohio Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training. I look forward to working with the House to pass this bill.”
The legislation comes after recommendations made in the Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training report, which was released last month. The advisory group was appointed in December 2014 to examine how law enforcement officers are trained in Ohio and to make suggestions for improvement.
“The recommendations made by the Attorney General’s Advisory Group on Law Enforcement Training have provided us with the knowledge and tools we need to take a first step in improving the training process for law enforcement individuals,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “I’d like to thank Attorney General DeWine for his work on this issue and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues in the House and Senate to continue this process. Together, we can strengthen our communities one step at a time.”
“I appreciate the proactive leadership the Attorney General and his advisory group have provided on this issue,” Senate President Faber said. “We all share the same goal, and that’s to make sure Ohio’s law enforcement officers have exceptional training, not just adequate training, for the protection of both our communities and those who serve. I look forward to working with my partners in the legislature to achieve this.”
Currently, the hourly cap for basic training is set at 650 hours. With this legislation, the Attorney General could raise the number of hours required for peace officer training.
“Peace officer training represents the building blocks of their professional careers,” said Rep. Derickson. “This legislation removes the cap for the maximum number of hours of training, and ensures that these officers can be comfortable in the field and better prepared for situations they may encounter in the course of their duty.”
Ohio is one of three states that does not require some level of high school diploma or GED equivalent to serve as a peace officer. This bill would make that a requirement.
“This legislation will make Ohio a safer state,” Rep. Manning said. “Currently, Ohio is one of three states in the country to not require a high school diploma or GED equivalent. As a city prosecutor in North Ridgeville, I saw how having this requirement made our community one of the safest in America. The goal of this legislation will be to have that same level of protection for all Ohioans.”
The legislation is planned for official introduction today.
The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 110 with broad bipartisan support, sponsored by State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville). HB 110, known as “Brandon’s Law,” increases the penalties for failure to stop after an accident and failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident when the offenses result in the death or serious physical harm to a person.
“I am very pleased to see a unanimous vote on House Bill 110, both out of the Judiciary Committee and the entire House,” said Hill. “Now our work begins to move the bill through the Senate.”
Under current law, the penalty for failing to stop after an accident that results in serious physical harm to a person is a fifth degree felony. Additionally, the current penalty for failing to stop after an accident that results in death is a third degree felony. HB 110 would raise both of these penalties to a second degree felony. Fleeing the scene would now hurt one’s chances of seeing a lesser charge.
The bill is named after Brandon Pethtel of Kimbolton, a fifteen-year-old who was fatally struck by a motorist and whose friend was thrown some 90 feet as a result of the collision. The driver fled the scene and was picked up the following day, but received a lesser charge due to not being apprehended at the time of the crime.
Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today announced that the House legislative session schedule for June 2015 has been revised.
The session schedule for the months of May and July remain unchanged at this time. All dates are subject to change. Unless otherwise noted, House session will be held at the following times:
Tuesdays 11:00 a.m. Wednesdays 1:30 p.m. Thursdays 1:00 p.m.
Today, the Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation that permits motorcyclists to apply for a “Breast Cancer Awareness” license plate.
Under House Bill 93, sponsored by Reps. Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Al Landis (R-Dover), owners or lessees of motorcycles can apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for use of the license plate, which is not specifically mentioned in state law.
“It is an honor to sponsor House Bill 93 that would include motorcycles to participate in purchasing Pink Ribbon plates to support the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio,” Baker said. “Thousands of Ohioans in need of breast cancer treatment will benefit from this increased revenue.”
“The motorcycling community is a very charitable community, and House Bill 93 provides an additional opportunity for motorcyclists to show their support of a worthy cause,” Landis said. “Riders can display the plate to honor a loved one, or as a reminder to prioritize annual check-ups.”
Each purchase of a pink ribbon license plate generates $25 for the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio, a non-profit organization that helps breast cancer patients find access to affordable, quality treatment. Since its inception in 2005, the plates have generated nearly $650,000 for community organizations that provide services to both women and men. One-hundred percent of the funds raised by the Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio stays in Ohio. HB 93 simply allows motorcyclists to purchase this particular specialty license plate that passenger vehicle owners can already purchase through the Ohio BMV at www.OPlates.com or through your local Deputy Registrar office.
The bill received unanimous support and now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.
The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Concurrent Resolution 9, a resolution that encourages the State of Ohio and the Congress of the United States to pursue development of Ohio’s alternative natural resources. The resolution was sponsored by Representative Nan Baker (R-Westlake) and Representative Terry Boose (R-Norwalk).
“Business leaders across numerous industries frequently cite the importance of abundant, affordable, and sustainable energy as a key driver of business growth and investment,” said Baker. “Thorium technology represents a promising source of energy to power our state and country’s future energy needs and grow our economy.”
“We believe this is something that needs to be brought to the attention of the Federal Government,” said Boose. “We cannot let other countries like China take the lead in energy diversity. Ohio is the perfect candidate to develop liquid core molten salt reactors and become the country’s power source of the 21st century.”
H.C.R. 9 urges the State of Ohio and Congress to create an energy plan that addresses the long-term needs of the country, and to provide an adequate budget for the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to establish rules for the manufacturing, siting and licensing of the development of our alternative natural resources by private industries.
Ohio is home to a vast supply of thorium, and the resolution encourages the research and development of alternative energy technologies such as liquid core molten salt reactors and small modular reactors. Additionally, the resolution urges the development of these technologies for potential use in medical isotopes for medical benefits and research.
State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) and the Cuyahoga County Library System hosted a Military/Veterans Resource Fair on Friday, May 1st. The event, attended by many local veterans, was by all accounts a tremendous success.
The benefits fair took place at the Mayfield Library Branch and featured a variety of organizations geared towards helping those who have served our country, no matter what era, as well as their spouses and families. Throughout the day, hundreds of people attended, and there were agency representatives and local businesses that assisted military personnel and their families to sign up for their benefits and other services.
“All of our military personnel have given personal sacrifices in leaving their loved ones to protect our freedoms,” Rep. Anielski said. “It is of the utmost importance that we make sure that all those who have served, no matter what era and no matter in what capacity, are aware of the benefits and services that they deserve.”
“The resource fair was excellent. Thank you to all the service providers, agencies and employers that came out to support our veterans,” said Director Tim Gorrell, Ohio Dept. of Veterans Services. “Resource fairs like this help ensure our veterans and military families are connected to the benefits and services they have earned. For more information on veterans resources visit www.ohiovet.gov.”
“We are honored to partner with Representative Anielski in support of our local veterans,” said Robert Rua, Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications for Cuyahoga County Public Library. “Events like this strengthen our community and support our mission to provide free and open access to information, ideas and resources. We’re thrilled to help give back to the men and women who have served our country.”
Participating organizations: Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission, Ohio Department of Veterans Services, American Red Cross, Senior Helpers NEO, Louis Stokes VA Hospital, LifeBanc, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio Veterans Home, Ohio Veterans Bonus Team, Cuyahoga Community College, University Hospitals, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, Fifth Third Bank, Edward Jones, Helmets to Hardhats, Giant Eagle, ADHMAS Board of Cuyahoga County, Costco, Progressive, Student Records Relocation, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding, Brown Aveda Institute, Career Center, MetroHealth, and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
House Bill 53, sponsored by Representative Cheryl Grossman, has been signed into law by Governor Kasich. HB 53 establishes the Transportation and Public Safety budgets in Ohio.
State Representative Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) today announced House passage of House Bill 2, legislation he sponsored to strengthen Ohio’s charter school system.
Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and the entire House of Representatives today were pleased to present a resolution to President Dr. Michael Drake, Coach Urban Meyer, and the Ohio State University football team, commending their victory in the 2014-15 College Football Playoff National Championship.
In a press conference at the Statehouse this morning, Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and members of the Ohio House Republican caucus discussed the priorities that will guide the 131st General Assembly.