Ohio House Passes Legislation Encouraging Workforce Development In The Automotive Field
Legislation allows auto techs at retail stores to be eligible for workforce training voucher program
May 04, 2016

State Representatives Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation they jointly sponsored that would allow automotive technicians and motor vehicle technicians at retail stores the ability to join the Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program.

The Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program is regulated by Ohio’s Development Services Agency (DSA) and it works to offset an employer’s cost for training incumbent workers by funding specific training costs. This legislation would require that automotive technicians be eligible for the program, as long as they fulfill the program’s requirements.

“This bill will help fill the skills gap the automotive industry is facing,” Antani said. “Not only will small businesses see the benefits of this bill, but their employees will who are trying to increase their skills and wages.”

Continuing the goal of improving workforce development in the state, the Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program provides an opportunity for various industries to advance the skills and training of their employees. Currently, the program does not allow automotive technicians employed by retail stores to participate in the program. House Bill 429 would allow employees at auto dealerships, tire and equipment dealers, Goodyear and NTB, among others, to continue their workforce training.

“The demand for skilled technicians has never been higher,” Rep. Reineke said. “Including retail service technicians in the Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher program will help address the current shortage in our workforce and allow these employees to turn their job into a career. We can get people into an in-demand profession that offers good pay, does not come with the heavy baggage of student debt, and can attract individuals from all walks of life who have an interest in cars, trucks, computers and technology. It lines up exactly with the stated goals of the Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher program, and the entire plan we have as a state to grow our economy.”

As an in-demand position currently, auto mechanics would benefit from being eligible for the program, especially as technology changes and automotive recalls continue to gain national recognition. The bill would work to address the shortage of auto technicians in Ohio and support efforts to provide training for these jobs.

HB 429 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration. 


Today State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) honored Katie Pauley as the 2016 Military Youth of the Year. Representative Perales presented Pauley with a resolution during today’s Ohio House session.

Ms. Pauley was selected as the 2016 Ohio Military Youth of the Year by the Boys and Girls Club for her dedication to various organizations and volunteerism throughout her community.

Ms. Pauley, a constituent of Rep. Perales, is president of Air Force Teen Council, president of Keystone, and is the first Wright Patterson Air Force Base Representative of Ohio 4H Healthy Living Advocates. Her father, Ryan, is a Master Sargent in the United States Air Force with nearly 20 years of service in the military. As a military child, Pauley has lived in Japan, Alaska, Texas, Utah and now Ohio.

Rep. Perales, a military veteran who also grew up in a military family, honored Pauley as one with knowledge of what she has been through.

“I know firsthand the challenges that come with growing up in a military family,” said Perales. “Fear for your family member and stress from constant moving are hard obstacles to overcome. It is an honor to recognize Katie because she has persevered and become a better person as a result of those challenges.”

Rep. Perales has devoted much of his time as a state representative to addressing the needs Ohio veterans, as well as recognizing the sacrifice that military families make to support their loved ones who are serving.

Ohio House Passes Bill Creating Sales Tax Holiday For Back-to-School Purchases
SB 264 exempts purchases from sales tax during weekend in August
April 27, 2016

Today the Ohio House passed Senate Bill 264, which designates the first weekend in August 2016 as a sales tax holiday for the purposes of back-to-school shopping. The legislation creates a three-day period in which certain school supplies are exempt from both state and county sales tax.

Senate Bill 264 allows clothing up to $75 per item, and school supplies and instructional materials up to $20 per item, to qualify for the sales tax exemption. The intention of the sales tax holiday is to provide families a tax break on back-to-school shopping, while also stimulating economic activity for local businesses.

The Ohio House Finance Committee heard testimony on SB 264, and the Finance Committee Chairman, Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), says this sales tax holiday will have a positive impact on Ohio communities like the ones he represents.

“Back-to-school shopping can be a costly event for families and I am thankful that the House has voted to continue the sales tax holiday,” said Smith. “Not only will this bill stretch Ohioans’ dollars farther, but it will also be a much-needed boost for businesses. This really is a win-win for consumers and retailers.”

In the previous General Assembly, the legislature passed similar legislation to create a one-time sales tax holiday in 2014 as a way to explore the potential impact. According to the University of Cincinnati’s Economic Center, the sales total for that weekend was 6.48 percent higher than anticipated and led to $4.7 million in additional revenue for the state.

The study also showed an increase of sales near Ohio’s borders, indicating that people from neighboring states came to Ohio to do their back-to-school shopping and take advantage of the sales tax exemption.

The success of the sales tax holiday in 2015 has led the legislature to reauthorize the back-to-school sales tax holiday for the first weekend of August. Provided that Governor Kasich signs the legislation, the bill will take effect in time for the sales tax holiday to take place from August 5-7 of this year.

Senate Bill 264 was sponsored by State Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) and passed the Ohio House with a vote of 94-1. The bill now goes to Governor Kasich for his signature.


State Representative Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) today applauded the Ohio House passage of a resolution that urges the United States Congress to pass updates and reforms to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

House Concurrent Resolution 32 specifically implores Congress to pass the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015. The reforms come in response to misuse of the act, which was originally enacted to protect the rights of people with disabilities.

Throughout the United States, individuals have been sending predatory demand letters to small businesses under the auspices of the ADA. The letters are not sent to businesses to request that violations be fixed, but instead threaten businesses into settling for large sums of money. Some that are abusing the ADA in this manner are sending hundreds of demand letters a year.

"I believe it is important that we continue to allow Americans with disabilities to be given the ability to lead normal lives, which is what the ADA was meant to accomplish,” Rep. McColley said. “However, it is a clear abuse of our judicial system for individuals to threaten, harass, and intimidate businesses into paying into abusive 'get rich quick' schemes while hiding behind the protections of the ADA."

The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2015 would reform the ADA to require notice and an opportunity to cure potential violations before a lawsuit could be filed.

HCR 32 will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


Today, State Representative Ron Maag (R-Lebanon) applauded the passage of Amended Senate Bill 239, legislation designating August 7th as "Ohio Purple Heart Day.”

“Amended Senate Bill 239 is to designate the seventh day of August as ‘Ohio Purple Heart Day’, which would mirror the federally established National Purple Heart Day,” said Rep. Maag. “I thank Senator Hughes for introducing this important piece of legislation, and the men and women who fight for our freedoms every day who greatly deserve this honor.”

The Badge of Military Merit was created by George Washington on August 7, 1782 to recognize those that showed bravery in combat. This medal later became known as the “Purple Heart” in 1932. Today, National Purple Heart Day recognizes medal recipients on August 7th who have been wounded or died in Armed Forces combat.

Senate Bill 239 passed unanimously in today’s Ohio House session and will now go on to await the governor’s signature.


Ohio House Speaker Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and members of the Ohio House Republican Caucus today elected two new members to the Majority Caucus Leadership Team for the 131st General Assembly.

Following the decision by State Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Monclova Twp.) and State Rep. Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) to step down from their respective roles on leadership, the caucus voted to name State Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) as Majority Floor Leader and State Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge Twp.) as Assistant Majority Whip. The current Assistant Majority Whip, State Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), was elected to fill the role of Majority Whip.

The other three majority leadership posts remain unchanged.

In regards to today’s leadership election, Speaker Rosenberger released the following statement:
“During their time in leadership, Representatives Sears and Dovilla were tremendous assets to our caucus and to the Ohio House of Representatives. I am grateful for their diligent service and dedication, and I am eager to continue working with them throughout the remainder of the 131st General Assembly. As we move forward, I am confident that Reps. LaTourette and Schuring will continue to provide strong and steady counsel on policy initiatives as we work together to improve the quality of life for all Ohioans.”

A formal House vote on the leadership changes will occur tomorrow during House session.

Bill To Protect Victims Of Cyber Harassment Receives Concurrence Vote By Ohio House
Initiative inspired by local resident receives House approval
April 21, 2016

State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) applauded the concurrence of Senate amendments to Substitute House Bill 151, legislation she sponsored that addresses cyberstalking and harassment in Ohio.

Sub. HB 151 works to bring state law up-to-date with today’s technology by expanding the offense of “menacing by stalking” and telecommunications harassment. With the use of technology, such as email, social media and text messages, growing rapidly every year, the tools available to offenders who wish to threaten or harass others is also growing. This bill prohibits a person from intentionally posting a message using written communication (i.e. e-mail, Facebook, text message) or verbal graphic gestures to lead another to believe they are in danger.

“The bill brings our current laws on menacing and stalking up to date and will provide more peace of mind to the victims and families of those who have experienced these terrible situations,” Rep. Anielski said.  “Thank you to my colleagues in both chambers for your support of this vital piece of legislation.  I am truly confident that Substitute House Bill 151 has the potential to save lives and greater protect those innocent Ohioans who may be in these threatening situations.”

Rep. Anielski introduced, and the House passed, a similar measure in 2013, which was inspired by one of Rep. Anielski’s constituents from Broadview Heights, who was a repeated victim of cyber stalking and harassment in the mid-2000s. At the time, local law enforcement was unable to assist since the type of harassment she was experiencing was not specified in state law.

Lori Siwik, a constituent of Rep. Anielski’s and proponent of the legislation, said, “I am thrilled with the passage of HB 151.  Today, victims of stalking and harassment crimes in Ohio have a new tool in the toolbox to help protect them from their perpetrators.  The hard work that Representative Anielski, John Murphy of the Ohio Prosecutor’s Association, and I have put in over the last several years has paid off.  Seeing this bill become law, and knowing the impact that it will have, is very gratifying.”

House Bill 151 will now go to the Governor for his consideration.

Ohio House Passes Legislation Allowing Increase In Distillery Production
House Bill 351 allows distilleries to serve liquor in single serving portions
April 20, 2016

Today the Ohio House passed legislation allowing Ohio craft distilleries to increase its manufacturing limit from 10 thousand gallons to 100 thousand gallons annually.

The legislation, sponsored by State Representatives Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) and Anthony DeVitis (R-Green), also allows distilleries to obtain a permit allowing them to serve their distilled liquor, and other alcoholic beverages, by the glass to be consumed on the facility’s premises. House Bill 351 would also allow the distillery to serve food at its location.
"This bill represents good policy in creating a fair and level playing field for the craft distillers while also allowing them the flexibility to produce a reasonable amount of product,” DeVitis said. “This bill is about encouraging entrepreneurism that fosters businesses growth by using and selling Ohio's products locally. HB351 is about job opportunities for Ohioans."

If passed by the Ohio Senate, craft distilleries could apply for an A-1-A permit that is currently offered exclusively for the craft beer and wine industry and is commonly referred to as the “brewpub license.” By obtaining this permit, Ohio distillers will be able to operate more like a bar, attracting consumers who are interested in enjoying the microdistillery’s product on site.

The current 10,000 gallon production cap is lower than any of Ohio’s boarder states and is tied for the lowest production cap in the country. Many microdistilleries reach this maximum and are forced to choose between limiting production or applying for a more expensive permit. Either option hinders the businesses profits.

The bill sponsors say this inability to maximize their production prevents Ohio’s microdistilleries from competing nationally.

“Microdistilling is a growing business,” Perales said. “We need to ensure that legislation does not impede that growth, but rather allows microdistillers ample opportunity to be a viable industry in the state while providing economic benefits within their communities.”

House Bill 351 passed during the Ohio House session and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that gives military veterans in Ohio another option for documenting their veteran status for purposes like employment applications, veteran hospital services and discounts at participating retail establishments and restaurants.

“A state issued identification card will help streamline veteran identification and also protect the veterans’ privacy by not displaying a Social Security Number or a date of birth on the front of the card. It is the easiest and best option for both government agencies and businesses for identification purposes that is universally accepted,” said Rep. Lou Terhar (R-Cincinnati), who sponsored the legislation with Rep. Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills).

Specifically, HB 173 allows counties to authorize the issuance of veteran identification cards to qualifying individuals, either through the county recorder or the county veterans service office. While some county recorders already issue the identification cards, HB 173 seeks to standardize the cards and give veterans more options. The identification card will be useful for certain veterans who do not fit into a category to receive a veteran ID card distributed by the federal government or through their local registrar’s office.

“Substitute House Bill 173 will streamline the process in which a veteran or military personnel can access their rightfully deserved Vet ID card,” Anielski said. “Anything that the General Assembly can do to support our Ohio veterans, who had made many personal sacrifices, should be a common sense initiative, and I am grateful for the support from my colleagues today.”

It also provides veterans with an alternate route to using their DD 214 forms—a document issued by the US Defense Department upon retirement or discharge from the military—which is bulky and contains information too sensitive to reasonably carry around at all times.

No materials involved in the application process—including photographs, documents or other information obtained by a county recorder or veterans service office—are considered public records.

The bill now awaits consideration in the Ohio Senate.



State Representative Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) applauds today's passage of House Bill 277, legislation that would eliminate the potential for double taxation in a 911 tax district.

What this means for the residents of the state of Ohio is that if a city (or other municipal subdivision) has exercised local control and has developed its own 911 system and the county that the city is within also has a 911 system, the residents of the city would not be taxed twice. Currently, the residents of that city could be taxed for their own 911 system in addition to the 911 system of the county within which they also reside. This legislation fixes this problem so that the residents of that smaller entity are not taxed twice, and pay taxes only for their local 911 system.

In addition, this legislation changes the current law regarding who is permitted to vote for a potential 911 levy.  Only those who would be affected by a 911 system and its related taxation should be voting for the levy. While that is not currently the situation, House Bill 277 resolves that concern.

"It is only right that people not be taxed twice," said Rep. Brenner. "I am appreciative that this problem was brought to my attention so that we could fix it for residents throughout the state of Ohio. I am also grateful that the Ohio House immediately considered this legislation so that it could be sent to the Senate for their prompt review."

House Bill 277 now moves on to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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Ohio House Passes Legislation Encouraging Workforce Development In The Automotive Field


State Representatives Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of legislation they jointly sponsored that would allow automotive technicians and motor vehicle technicians at retail stores the ability to join the Incumbent Workforce Voucher Program. 


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