Rep. Pelanda Introduces Legislation Eliminating Unnecessary Special Elections
HB 591 saves taxpayer money by abolishing uncontested special elections
August 25, 2016
 
 

State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) today introduced House Bill 591, legislation that will eliminate the need to hold special elections in Ohio if there is only one candidate appearing on the ballot to fill a vacancy in a party nomination for Congress. This will apply only when there is one person that has filed a valid declaration of candidacy or no person has filed a valid declaration of candidacy.


“The legislation introduced today will change Ohio law to avoid this problem in the future,” Rep. Pelanda stated. “This is a common sense and needed solution to save Ohio’s taxpayers the unnecessary expense of funding these elections. I look forward to the bill going through the legislative process in the near future and I am grateful for the support of my colleagues, especially those that reside in the 8th Congressional District where this issue originated.”


Pelanda has worked closely with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s office on drafting this legislation. Husted has voiced support for the legislation citing the lengthy amount of time elections officials must dedicate in the months leading up to, and following, a special election. Additionally, the special elections process is funded by taxpayer dollars, making an uncontested race a superfluous expense to Ohioans.


The need for HB 591 has been brought to Rep. Pelanda’s attention given a situation in southwest Ohio where the residents of the 8th Congressional District are set to participate in a special election on Sept. 13th to decide the Democrat nominee to fill a recent vacancy on the ballot. Only one candidate will appear on that ballot, however, making that special election merely a rubber stamp for the candidate’s approval.


It is estimated that the Sept. 13th special election will cost taxpayers $500,000, a steep price tag for a result that only requires a single vote to make it official.


Springfield, represented by State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), is one of the larger cities encompassed in the 8th Congressional District and is home of  the single candidate appearing on the ballot, Steven Fought.


"I came to Columbus in 2015 promising to fight for common sense and fiscal responsibility in state government,” said Rep. Koehler. “Costly special elections with one candidate on the ballot constitute wasteful government spending and it must be targeted and eliminated. I am glad to join Representative Pelanda as a co-sponsor on this bill to make common sense changes called for by Secretary of State Jon Husted."


State Representative Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton), who represents a portion of the 8th Congressional District at the state level, says while elections officials do a good job administering elections, this special election in particular is an encumbrance to the Board of Elections while they are trying to prepare for a presidential election in less than 80 days.


“Adding the additional financial and administrative burden of a special election with only one candidate is an unnecessary added expense to the Boards of Elections and taxpayers,” Retherford said. “Voters should always have their choice, but when only one candidate files to run in a special primary there should be a statutory route to declaring them the nominee and not adding to the Boards’ limited budgets.”


“House Bill 591 will eliminate this burden on our diligent Boards of Elections across the state and will ensure that each voter has the ability to make their voice heard without wasting taxpayers' money on a primary election comprising of a single unopposed candidate,” said State Representative Bill Dean (R-Xenia), who also represents a portion of the 8th Congressional District. “My constituents in northeastern Clark County deserve the same fiscal responsibility from their government that they maintain in their homes and private businesses.”


Also included in a portion of the 8th Congressional District is Representative Steve Huffman’s Ohio House District (R-Tipp City).


“I am honored to stand with Representative Pelanda in support of this legislation,” said Huffman. “It is imperative that taxpayers are not burdened with the added expense of a special election when none is needed. I am confident this legislation will do just that.”


House Bill 591 now awaits referral to an Ohio House committee where it will receive further consideration.

 
 
  

One of the most important tasks a legislature can accomplish is to promote security for its citizens. Among these tasks, job security always proves to be at the top of the list. In order for our state to prosper, Ohioans must be afforded the opportunity to contribute to our workforce, making our state a better place to work and live.


As a small business owner myself, I bring a small business mindset to every issue we confront in our legislative work. One such piece of legislation that the Ohio House passed last year was House Bill 3. House Bill 3 became effective in the fall of 2015 and initiated a 21 percent cost reduction for new business owners when filing to establish a business entity within the state.


By reducing the filing fee from $129 to $99, entrepreneurs will now be provided the opportunity for a better start and, ultimately, a better opportunity to thrive in Ohio. Reducing business filing fees is certainly a step in the right direction to promote business and economic growth within our state.


Additionally, the Ohio House has worked tirelessly to enact significant tax cuts for all Ohioans, and more specifically, for Ohio small businesses. I was proud to vote for these measures that not only reduce the income tax for Ohioans across the board, but also put in place one of the largest tax cuts for Ohio small businesses in our state’s history.


For Fiscal Year 2016, Ohio small business owners can now expect to see a 75 percent deduction for their first $250,000 in profit, with the deduction increasing to 100 percent in subsequent years. The tax cuts also guarantee that businesses will pay no more than a 3 percent flat tax for any profits exceeding $250,000.


As a staunch supporter of Ohio’s small business sector, I look forward to continuing to support policies that reduce the tax and regulatory burden on small businesses so they have the flexibility to thrive and create more jobs.


Providing a better place for Ohioans to work, live, and raise a family has been a top priority of mine since starting as your state representative. I will continue to work tirelessly for the constituents of the 95th House District, and I am happy that southeast Ohio has been making significant improvements toward a more business friendly climate.

 
 
  
 
Local Youth Spends Day With Representative Arndt
Logan Martinez, Intern for the Day
August 18, 2016
 
 

State Representative Steven Arndt (R-Port Clinton) welcomed Logan Martinez as an intern for the day and was accompanied by his father, Roy Martinez.   Logan was introduced to the inner workings of the Ohio House of Representatives and what it is like to be a public officer at the state level. In addition, Logan was presented with a commendation for being named a Level 2 Football referee by the Ohio School Athletic Association.


“It is amazing to see such spectacular students and members of the community such as Logan,” said Arndt. “He has a great future ahead of him, and I’m glad we were able to have him as an intern for the day at the Ohio House of Representatives.”


Logan and his father had the opportunity to be present at an official meeting, explore the fundamental duties of a Page, and attend session as special guests of Representative Arndt.

 
 
  
 
Representative Hambley And Senator Obhof To Host Joint Office Hours
Constituents are welcome to attend Brunswick office hours
August 17, 2016
 
 

State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) and State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today announced that they will host district office hours on August 26th at the Brunswick Public Library. No appointment is necessary to attend these events and all are encouraged to participate.


“I always enjoy meeting with constituents and look forward to this opportunity to hear how we can work to improve Ohio and Medina County,” said Hambley.


“I’m excited to have the opportunity to speak with people from Medina County and throughout the 22nd Senate District. I’m looking forward to sharing these office hours with Representative Hambley,” remarked Obhof.


Office hours are as follows:
 
Friday, August 26th
• Brunswick Public Library, 3649 Center Road, Brunswick, OH 44212, to be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
 
Rep. Hambley’s district includes portions of Medina County and Senator Obhof’s district includes Medina, Ashland and Richland counties, as well as portions of Holmes County.

 
 
  

At this week’s Chagrin Falls Board of Education meeting, State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) was recognized for her exemplary support and advocacy for public education, including the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools.


The number of projects and partnerships between Representative Anielski and the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools has continued to increase each year.  Just recently, she introduced legislation that passed, creating an additional funding source for the school district of Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools through the sale of specialty license plates.  With the purchase of these plates, the district will receive additional funding that will be designated to assist in the emotional and mental wellbeing of the students.


This past spring, Representative Anielski voted in support of Senate Bill 310, legislation that helps fund various community improvement projects, including The Chagrin Falls Center for Community Arts project, which received $600,000 in funding.  This allows the school district to engage the local community in a two year process, creating a facility master plan that meets 21st century educational needs, honors the value and tradition of a school within the village, and creates synergistic partnerships to grow the arts community, resulting in continued economic growth.


One of the most impactful partnerships the district has had with Representative Anielski is the Ski Box/Guardian Angel program.  Locked wooden boxes, visibly placed in the schools, are designed for students to anonymously place written notes in the box when there is a concern about themselves or others.  An employee checks the boxes daily for notes and seeks appropriate guidance.  House Bill 543, The Jason Flatt Act, in honor of Joseph Anielski, requires school districts, community schools, STEM schools and educational service centers to train teachers and certain other staff for free in youth suicide awareness and prevention. 


Chagrin Falls Middle/High School was the first school in Northeast Ohio to achieve the “Heart Safe School Accreditation” from the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes (SADS) Foundation.  Representative Anielski played a significant role in promoting this accreditation process where schools participate in a program consisting of seven elements aimed at raising awareness and preventing cardiac arrest.  The district will receive a banner and recognition from Representative Anielski at an upcoming community event this fall.


“Representative Anielski has a long track record of supporting public schools in a variety of arenas, from being an advocate for the social and emotional needs of children to being a key player in helping to solve issues related to testing, per pupil fair funding, and tangible personal property (TTP) tax that impacts our district,” said Chagrin Falls Schools Superintendent Robert Hunt. “We value our positive working relationship with Representative Anielski and appreciate her bringing key players together to solve issues impacting school districts.”


Representative Anielski received a certificate of appreciation from the board. “We thank Representative Anielski for all of her efforts where she advocates for students.  She not only responds to concerns brought to her attention from schools within her district, but she proactively seeks input from school district administrators when she anticipates that legislation may be coming that may potentially impact public education,” said Chagrin Falls Board of Education President Mary Kay O’Toole.


“The success of the projects with the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District is a direct result of a team effort,” said Representative Anielski.  “For example, the capital funding would not have been possible without the vision and hard work of the administration and staff of the school district.  I appreciate the meetings and open communication that took place to ensure the highest chance of success.  All of these projects will benefit so many lives throughout the region and I am thrilled that our hard work paid off.”


 

 
 
  

State Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton) announced that the local Boy Scouts Troop #360, from Port Clinton, recently joined him for a tour of the Ohio Statehouse where they had an opportunity to learn about the historic building. Included also in the visit was a meeting in the Senate Chamber to discuss how a bill becomes law, as well as an opportunity for troop members to talk with Rep. Arndt about his job as state representative.
 
“I am very happy to have met the Boy Scouts from Port Clinton,” said Representative Arndt. “It was an honor to shake each scout’s hand and express my gratitude toward their hard work and dedication to our community.”

 
 
  

Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) and Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today announced the creation of the Unemployment Compensation Reform Joint Committee that will be chaired by Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) and Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton).


The group, which will be composed of House and Senate legislators, will be tasked with reviewing the stability and sustainability of Ohio’s unemployment compensation system with the goal of determining what reforms may be needed to assure long-term solvency of the system. A major emphasis will be placed on receiving input from labor groups, the business community and Ohio’s workforce.


"This is the second phase of a legislative effort to stabilize and modernize our unemployment compensation laws,” President Faber said. “We started during the spring session by giving the governor's administration the authority to pay off our debt to the federal government, and now we're committed to improving the overall solvency of the unemployment compensation system. This committee will help us craft a bill for consideration during the upcoming fall session."


“Ensuring that Ohio’s unemployment compensation system is sustainable is crucial for the continual growth of business in the state,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “This is an important issue for Ohio’s future and I want to thank Senate President Faber, as well as those on the committee, for their willingness to address this issue in a commonsense and collaborative way.”


Meetings will be held on the following dates in the Ohio Statehouse in the House Finance Hearing Room (Statehouse Room 313):


August 25th
September 15th
October 6th
October 20th
November 3rd


Members appointed to the committee from the Ohio Senate include: Senators Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights).


Members from the Ohio House appointed to the committee include: State Representatives Bob Cupp (R-Lima), Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire).


More information regarding the committee will be forthcoming.

 
 
  

State Representative Tim Ginter (R-Salem) today announced the ceremony to dedicate the Corporal William F. Bratt Memorial Highway. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 20th at 11 a.m., at the Wellsville Gazebo near the VFW (359 Main Street, Wellsville, Ohio 43968).


"Corporal Bratt is truly worthy of this honor,” said Rep. Ginter. “The unimaginable horrors he suffered on behalf of our country is a representation of the price paid by untold numbers of our veterans for the freedom we enjoy today."


Corporal Bratt was a highly regarded World War II veteran from the 5th Ohio House District. He became a POW following the Bataan Peninsula surrender, completed the 65-mile trip known as the “Bataan Death March” and then survived to become a Purple Heart recipient, husband, father and avid community volunteer.


Following his return to America, Corporal Bratt was honorably discharged from the service. Throughout his lifetime, Corporal Bratt was active in passing on his survival skills through education and volunteerism within his community.


The legislation establishing the highway designation was Substitute Senate Bill 182, which became effective on August 5th. The bill specifically designates a portion of State Route 7, within Columbiana County, as the “Corporal William F. Bratt Memorial Highway.”

 
 
  

The American people are the proud owners of the largest and most advanced economy in the world, but this did not occur by chance. Americans have driven the success that we see today through hard work, innovation and resourcefulness. Undertakings like the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad or the ingenuity needed to invent the modern computer operating system triggered tremendous growth for our country, which lead to tens of thousands of new jobs. Unfortunately, the qualities that fueled our success have been stifled by government action.


All across our country federal regulations and executive mandates have made it more challenging for businesses to be successful. Many businesses are finding that factors such as onerous EPA regulations and the increased cost of providing health insurance make it difficult to operate in the United States. Our area has been hit hard by these recent burdens and as a result we have seen major losses in the coal, steel and manufacturing industries.


To offset this undue burden, the Ohio legislature has focused on passing legislation that will benefit the millions of Ohioans who are employed by private industry. These policies will support business development in Ohio.


The Ohio House worked to reduce the new business filing fee by 21 percent, making it cheaper and easier for small businesses to get started in Ohio. House Bill 3 not only cut the filing fee to under $100, but it also helped enhance the state’s job search website, OhioMeansJobs, to better connect employers with qualified job candidates. This will make job searches easier and aid employers looking to expand employment.


Since passing HB 3, the state has already seen a tremendous uptick in new business filings. 9,746 new businesses opened in 2015, beating 2014’s record-setting number by 3,971 businesses. These encouraging numbers continued in 2016, as the first quarter business growth continued to surpass the growth seen in 2015. Ohio is on pace for a seventh consecutive year of seeing a record-setting number of entities filing to do business in our state.


The legislature also approved a significant tax reduction for Ohio businesses. Under this new tax plan, which has already gone into effect, Ohio businesses will see a 75 percent tax deduction on their first $250,000 of business income in 2016, and by 2017 the deduction will increase to 100 percent. Additionally, there will be a 3 percent flat tax on all business income that exceeds $250,000. In total, Ohio small businesses will see a total of approximately $949 million in tax reductions over the next two years – providing a much needed boost to our local economy.


Private industry faces enough challenges without fending off government intrusion, which is why I am proud of the pro-business policies that have been enacted here in Ohio. These efforts will provide growth opportunities for existing companies and will show out-of-state companies that Ohio is open for business. We have a long way to go, but I am confident that these reforms will put Ohio and our area on the right track.   


 

 
 
  

In our continually changing technological age it is becoming easier to register online for almost everything.  From signing up to run a 5K race to ordering prescriptions, the internet is revolutionizing the way we live our lives. Ohio is soon to add one more thing to this list of online conveniences – voter registration.


Online voter registration is the next step in modernizing Ohio’s electoral system and will provide a secure and convenient process for Ohio’s residents. Senate Bill 63 was recently signed by the governor and will allow for voter registration from the convenience of your own home. There will no longer be the need to pay for postage or work within the hours of operation of the Board of Elections when registering to vote.


The Ohio Constitution requires registration no later than 30 days before Election Day. Online registration will provide a means of helping voters get registered within this timeframe and will be far more accessible and convenient for veterans than the current system. In addition to the ease of registering online, this system will also save taxpayer dollars. An analysis of other states that use online voter registration shows that 50 cents to $2.34 is saved per registration compared to the traditional paper format.


Each online applicant is required to provide their name, address, date of birth, the last four digits of their Social Security number and Ohio Driver’s License or state identification card number. This information is then checked against the BMV’s data to ensure eligibility and create accurate voter rolls. The Ohio Secretary of State is also required to annually review the voting roster to ensure the rolls are up to date and to detect any potential fraud. The new system will also reduce human error when transcribing handwritten forms.


Senate Bill 63 is a common sense reform that has long been due. This legislation will encourage voter participation, improve accuracy, and provide a more efficient and convenient means to register. I am excited to see it put in place as early as January 2017. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at Rep69@ohiohouse.gov or 614-466-8140.

 
 
  
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