COLUMBUS—State Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) today announced that the Ohio House of Representatives will vote next week to elect a new Speaker.


The announcement comes three days after Rep. Schuring gave members the option of choosing between two alternatives. The options were as follows, with the plan receiving the most votes of support determining the course of action for next week’s session:


Plan A: Call a session to vote on electing a new Speaker. Under this scenario, the House would follow the outlined procedures for electing a new Speaker. Upon the completion of this process, a new Speaker would be elected and take the oath.


Plan B: Call a session to vote to amend House rules, which would allow the Speaker Pro Tempore to oversee the full duties and responsibilities of the Office of Speaker. That includes permitting the House to address legislation.


As of today’s 5 p.m. deadline, the majority of House members opted in favor of Plan A, thus setting in motion a vote to elect a new Speaker of the House during next week’s session.


Rep. Schuring released the following statement:


“It is critical we find a quick and fair course of action for getting back to the business of passing meaningful legislation, which impacts Ohioans across the state. The plan instituted earlier this week allowed members of the Ohio House the opportunity to weigh in on this important matter. The results of this vote indicate that the majority of House members believe a session should be called next week to elect a new Speaker, and I look forward to joining my colleagues in facilitating this vote on Wednesday within the parameters of House rules and constitutional guidelines.”


Next week’s session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 6th.

 
 
  


COLUMBUS—State Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy Township) recently presented a resolution to Gracie Fusco, Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen for 2017. A resident of the 61st Ohio House District, Fusco was presented an official House Resolution for her accomplishment.


Fusco won the “Miss Ohio’s Outstanding Teen” award last June for her many achievements academically and within her community. In addition to studying and practicing competitive dancing, including dancing with Moscow’s Ballet, “Great Russian Nutcracker” for the past four years, Fusco is busy promoting her community service platform called K.I.N.D., which stands for Kindness is Needed Daily & The Power of Volunteering.


Fusco is also the Ambassador for two non-profit organizations in the Cleveland area known as "Project Night" and "Albums of Hope" while volunteering for multiple other organizations. She has also been honored with the GOLD Presidential Service Award for the past 4 years, along with the "Distinguished Service Award" from the Sisters of Notre Dame.


“Gracie is an extremely accomplished and impressive young lady who cares about her family, the state of Ohio, and our nation,” Rep. Young said. “Her commitment to volunteering and dedication to improving our communities will undoubtedly serve her well in her future endeavors and enable her to succeed in whatever she sets her mind to.”


Fusco, and her mom, traveled to Columbus to receive the resolution from Representative Young. Fusco is from Kirtland Hills and is a junior at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School in Chardon, where she is a member of the Student Ambassador Leadership Team and the NDCL Dance Team.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) today announced that the Department of the Interior has decided to nominate Fort Ancient to be designated as a World Heritage Site. This would be Ohio’s first World Heritage Site.


Fort Ancient is part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, a group of ancient American Indian sites in Ohio. The Fort Ancient earthworks are located along the eastern shore of the Little Miami River and are maintained as a state historical park. They are among the largest earthworks in the world that are not fortifications or defensive structures. The United States currently has 23 World Heritage Sites located in the country, including sites like the Grand Canyon.


“I am thrilled to see Fort Ancient and the rest of the Ohio earthworks finally getting the recognition they deserve,” said Lipps. “Not only does this pay tribute to the history of American Indians in Ohio, but it will also bring more tourists and economic prosperity to the district.”


Now, the nomination of Fort Ancient will be sent to the World Heritage Centre.

 
 
  


COLUMBUS—Speaker Pro Tempore of the Ohio House Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) today has outlined a process that will determine the House’s future leader.


“In the time since our caucus convened to elect a nominee for Speaker, I have been exploring a multitude of options that could garner the necessary support,” Schuring said. “As a caucus and as an institution, our top priority must be to secure a timely outcome that will make it possible for the House to return to the business of passing meaningful legislation.”


Therefore, Rep. Schuring has established a mechanism to end the stalemate. The process features two options (Plan A and Plan B), which will be determined based on which plan receives the most votes of support between the majority and minority caucuses. Whichever option receives more votes determines the plan moving forward into next week’s session on June 6th.


Plan A: Call a session to vote on electing a new Speaker. Under this scenario, the House would follow the outlined procedures for electing a new Speaker. Upon the completion of this process, a new Speaker would be elected and take the oath.


Plan B: Call a session to vote to amend House rules, which would allow the Speaker Pro Tempore to oversee the full duties and responsibilities of the Office of Speaker. That includes permitting the House to address legislation.


The deadline for members to contact Rep. Schuring with their preferred option—Plan A or Plan B—is Friday, June 1st at 5 p.m.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) was joined today by State Representative Laura Lanese (R-Grove City) to announce the findings of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Military Affairs Task Force. Maj. Gen. (retired) Paul Sullivan, Brig. Gen. (retired) Richard Green, Col. (retired) Cassie Barlow, and Steve Tugend, who served as members of the task force, were also present for the announcement.


The committee, which met over the course of eight months and visited 13 different military posts around the state, unveiled their recommendations to help make Ohio a leader in military affairs for the nation. Central to the report are two recommendations: to create a state-level Office of Government and Military Affairs, and to create a funding line in the state budget for investments.


“Ohio needs an office of support that will wake up every morning knowing what is going on with our military assets here in Ohio and know what is going on in D.C.,” Perales said. “Here in Ohio we already have offices focusing on subjects such as education and Medicaid, it is time we have one looking out for our warfighters and the communities around them. It’s a no brainer.”


The proposed Office of Government and Military Affairs would operate as an independent state agency that reports to the governor. The agency would be charged with developing a strategy for military installations within Ohio in order to maintain the number of jobs the installation provides, as well as to ensure continued funding for projects at Ohio military bases.


Another main focus of the Office of Government and Military Affairs would be to place Ohio at the forefront of military development as determined by the federal government.


The second recommendation of the committee, creating funding within the state budget, will help make Ohio’s installations stronger and more valuable. The process for determining funding should follow a cost-benefit analysis focused on military value and economic feasibility of the project, ultimately ensuring that Ohio can get the most out of its military investments.


Rep. Perales has introduced House Bill 696, which spells out the task force’s proposal so that the Ohio House can begin considering the recommendations for law.


For a full version of the report issued by the BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force, click here.


The press conference can be viewed in its entirety by visiting: http://www.ohiochannel.org/video/press-conference-discussing-findings-of-the-base-realignment-closure-task-force

 
 
  
 
State Rep. Scherer Honors Fayette County Dragons Special Olympics Team
Basketball team presented with resolution at Ohio Statehouse
May 23, 2018
 
 


COLUMBUS—State Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) this week presented a resolution honoring the Fayette County Dragons Special Olympics basketball team to the team members, coaches, and staff. Rep. Scherer presented the resolution at the Ohio Statehouse in honor of the team’s win of the Special Olympics Division II tournament, and did so alongside State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) who presented a Senate resolution to the team.


The team was awarded the state title with a 59-38 win against the Darke County Dawgs on March 24 in Dover. The win was the first state title win for the program since its inception seven years ago,


Fayette County Dragons head coach, Brandon Runk, commented:


“It is a great honor, it really is, not even just for them but for me too. These guys put in a lot of work and deserve everything they get. On the first day of my first practice ever, I walked in and they said, ‘We want to win a state title.’ It has been the goal since day one and it is amazing to be able to bring them to the Ohio Statehouse and treat them to this kind of day. Some of these guys wouldn’t get to come here normally; I haven’t been here before, so just to get this resolution and to have a day about these guys is pretty awesome.”


Tim Stewart, Community First Coordinator and Special Olympics Coordinator for the Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said:


“It is a great feeling, because for most of these guys this is the first time they have been to a place like this. You can just tell from their expressions that this is something really awesome and really something they will never forget. It is just an honor to be here with them and to be invited to come up here. It is something I never thought we would do, and it is pretty cool to actually bring them up here and show them off a little bit. They deserve it. A big thanks goes to Representative Gary Scherer and Senator Bob Peterson. I just think it is awesome they reached out to us and invited us to come and experience something like this.”


Rep. Scherer and Sen. Peterson presented the resolutions to the team on May 23, 2018 at the Statehouse.


The team's visit was featured in The Record Herald. For more information and to view the article please click here


 

 
 
  


COLUMBUS—State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) announced Jerilyn Garrett as the 90th House District winner of the 2018 Ohio House of Representatives Student Art Exhibition.

Jerilyn is in 11th grade and is taught by Beth McElwee at Peebles High School.

“How wonderful to see this work of art displayed in Ohio’s capital—Jerilyn is an artistic ambassador for Adams County and the 90th District,” said Johnson.

The exhibition is open to the public at the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts in the lower level Statehouse connector through the end of this year.

The Ohio House of Representatives, Ohio Arts Council, and Ohio Art Education Association joined together for the third annual student exhibition, which showcases high school artwork from all 99 Ohio House districts. The exhibition recognizes the talents, creativity, and innovation of students who receive high quality arts education instruction as part of their academic experience in school and represents art by some of Ohio's finest high school artists.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House Education and Career Readiness Committee today passed legislation aimed at increasing opportunities for Ohio’s youth to become more educated and better informed about financial literacy.


Jointly sponsored by State Representative Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro Township), House Bill 108 requires the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an “informed student document” for state colleges and universities to provide to students. The document would include information on academics, cost of attendance, student success rates and admission data.


“I am honored to have bipartisan support on a bill designed to reduce debt burdens and enhance students’ financial well-being across all walks of life,” Rep. Hagan said. “This legislation is beneficial to every Ohioan and will give us a stronger future where Ohioans are better prepared to make life-altering financial decisions both in their homes and for our economy.”


The bill also takes further steps in educating students about their finances by requiring high schools to provide one-half unit of instruction in financial literacy and economics. This allows students to have more tools to navigate financial decisions and to learn more about credit, debt and investments.


House Bill 108 will now be considered for a vote by the full House.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Candice Keller (R-Middletown) testified before the House Federalism & Interstate Relations Committee on House Concurrent Resolution 26, a measure she is sponsoring that names Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.


Rep. Keller is joint-sponsoring the resolution with Rep. Keith Faber (R-Celina), and made the following statement:


“Testifying on behalf of HCR 26 is truly an honor. History, I believe, will look back upon what we are doing today. With HCR 26 we are stating that we should celebrate the existence of America’s number one ally in the Middle East and a strong economic partner of Ohio—Israel. We are stating that Israel has one undivided capital—Jerusalem. We are stating that the sentiment of Ohioans is in support of the new embassy in Jerusalem, which just happened yesterday on Israel’s 70th anniversary. While attacked from the moment of its inception, we want the country and the world to know Israel lives on!”


As stated in the resolution, Ohio is Israel’s 28th largest trading partner and holds more Israeli bonds than any other governmental entity in the world. HCR 26 follows on the footsteps of a federal measure (U.S. Senate Resolution 167), which also recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.


Yesterday marked the first committee hearing for HCR 26.

 
 
  
 
Reps. Rezabek, Keller Provide Support For Tax Credit Legislation
Bill creates income tax credits for volunteer emergency personnel
May 16, 2018
 
 

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Jeffery Rezabek (R-Clayton) and Candice Keller (R-Middletown) provided sponsor testimony in the House Ways and Means Committee for House Bill 575, legislation they jointly sponsored. House Bill 575 seeks to provide financial relief for volunteer firefighters and certain volunteer emergency personnel, and to incentivize Ohioans to continue to offer volunteer services to their communities.


House Bill 575 grants income tax credits for anyone who is a volunteer firefighter, first responder or emergency medical service technician. Among other eligibility requirements, a volunteer must have participated in at least 25 percent of all emergency response runs conducted by his or her department.


There are nearly 1,200 fire departments in Ohio, of which 70 percent are considered volunteer departments. Volunteer staff risk life and limb with no compensation and in the past four years, the number of those serving as volunteers has decreased by approximately 2,000.


“House Bill 575 supports the volunteers we rely on most in times of emergency. I’m honored to be joint-sponsoring legislation that will aid these individuals and help incentivize others to participate,” said Rep. Rezabek. “Several constituents of mine are affected by this bill in a positive way, and I am proud to be able to help carry this legislation.”


“This bill is by no means the end but the beginning of backing the firefighting community in the state of Ohio,” said Rep. Keller. “These men and women provide a vital community service by protecting lives and property with little to no compensation. I hope to see a speedy passage of this bill so these everyday heroes can receive the support they so desperately need.”


The income tax credits will have three tiers, each with a focus on length of volunteer participation:


• Between one and five years of service - $500/year


• Between six and ten years of service - $1,000/year


• At least 11 years of service - $2,000/year


House Bill 575 awaits further consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee.

 
 
  
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Ohio House Concurs On Bill Helping Police Better Communicate With Disabled Ohioans

 


COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today announced that the Ohio House concurred on House Bill 115, a bill that establishes a voluntary program to help facilitate effective communication between law enforcement and individuals with communication disabilities.



 
 

Bill To Expand High-Speed Internet To Rural, Unserved Areas Clears Ohio House

 

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives has passed legislation to help expand high-speed internet access to rural areas across the state.



 
 

Rep. Schaffer Announces Permanent Ohio Sales Tax Holiday

 

COLUMBUS—State Representative Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, today applauded the passage of Substitute Senate Bill 226, legislation sponsored by State Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Westerville). Sub. S.B. 226 creates an annual sales tax-exemption holiday over a three-day period in the month of August. The tax holiday applies to clothing, school supplies and instructional materials.



 
 

Ohio House Approves Legislation Supporting Community Improvement Projects

 

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed the capital budget bill, legislation that invests $2.62 billion statewide for community improvement projects and contains funding for needed improvements to public services and facilities across the state, including schools, roads and bridges, waterways and parks. The bill also increases investments in mental health and addiction services facilities.