COLUMBUS—State Representative Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) has been named one of 24 members of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership Class of 2018. The Rodel Fellowship is an invitation-only program made up of elected officials across the country who have been identified as intellectuals committed to civil discourse and thoughtfulness in their public service.


“It is such an honor to have been nominated and accepted as a part of the Rodel Fellowship Class of ’18,” said LaTourette. “I am humbled to be surrounded by so many bright, emerging leaders who have been proven to solve problems in their respective states and communities.”


This 24-month fellowship program includes three weekend-long seminars where the fellows meet in a nonpartisan fashion to discuss important domestic issues, historical texts, and leadership.


State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) is also included in the membership of the 2018 class.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) this week presented a resolution to Special Olympics USA athlete Maggie Hunt, honoring and congratulating her for her medals at the 2018 games in Seattle. As a first-time USA games competitor, Hunt earned a bronze medal in the 100 meters, a gold in the 4x100 relay and a gold in the 400 meters. Also on hand to present a resolution was State Senator Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green).


Hunt, a resident of Perrysburg, has participated in Special Olympics since she was 8 years old, and practices three times a week at the Bowling Green State University Rec Center.


“Maggie is an inspiring individual and is really motivated to succeed whether it be on the track, in the swimming pool or at her job,” Gavarone said. “I am excited to see what she accomplishes next!”


Hunt was selected after participating in qualifying state games at the Ohio State University and landing in the top three. In addition to practicing, she holds positions with the BGSU grounds crew and Carranor Hunt Club.


 

 
 
  
 
State Rep. Carfagna Encourages De-stigmatization Of Children's Mental Illness
Participates in Nationwide Children's Hospital's "On Our Sleeves" Movement
October 11, 2018
 
 

COLUMBUS—State Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) yesterday participated in Nationwide Children Hospital’s kick off for On Our Sleeves, a movement designed to raise awareness, break the stigma and conduct groundbreaking research for children’s mental health.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24 years, and the third among persons aged 10 to 14 years. Rep. Carfagna joined Nationwide Children’s Hospital, alongside other state legislators, in front of the Ohio Statehouse on World Mental Health Day to help launch the initiative and start the important conversation surrounding the stigma of mental health issues, especially those that manifest in children. On Our Sleeves was so titled because children “don’t wear their thoughts on their sleeves.” Similar events took place at Easton and the hospital’s campus.


“There’s no question that in order to combat Ohio’s drug epidemic, addressing mental illness needs to be a component for long-term success,” said Carfagna. “The fact is that one in five children are living with a mental illness and less than half of them get the treatment they need. Breaking the stigma of mental illness and highlighting the need for attention to this issue will go a long way toward improving behavioral health in Ohio.”


For more information about On Our Sleeves visit: www.NationwideChildrens.org.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS – State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) was honored at the Buckeye Art Therapy Association’s (BATA) 37th Annual Symposium for her work to advance the licensure of art therapists in the state of Ohio with Sub. House Bill 557. After receiving the award last year for her work on Sub. H.B. 557, BATA renamed the award “The Marlene B. Anielski Legislator of the Year Award.”


“It is humbling to be recognized by a group of professionals whose work accomplishes so much in the sphere of mental health treatment,” said Rep. Anielski. “The passage of Sub. House Bill 557 will ensure the availability of art therapy by professionally licensed and trained therapists to all Ohioans.”


“In 2017, we were very excited to award Representative Anielski with the BATA ‘Legislator of the Year Award’ for Outstanding Mental Health Champion, and now because of her continued leadership efforts to fight for art therapy licensure, we honor her by naming the award after her. We will now use the name ‘State Representative Marlene Anielski Legislator of the Year Award’ as we move forward in honoring future Outstanding Mental Health Champions in our community,” said Molly Kometiani, former President of BATA. “Representative Anielski is well-deserving of this accolade as she has tirelessly advocated for House Bill 557, art therapy licensure and regulation. She has been the robust force behind our movement. We could have not have progressed through the House Health Committee without her support, and this is the farthest BATA has advanced in our licensure pursuit in the past 30 years.”


The conference was attended by several hundred students and therapists from around the state for two consecutive days of guest-speakers, developmental workshops, and breakout sessions for BATA members to share their wisdom and experiences with each other. Art therapists assess a person’s response to the use of art media, images, and the creative art process to then identify their developmental needs, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts.


Art therapy has been a distinct and independent profession since the 1940’s and has been represented on the national level by the American Art Therapy Association since its foundation in 1969. For additional information, please visit the Buckeye Art Therapists Association website at http://buckeyearttherapy.org/.


 

 
 
  

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and as the 15th leading cause of death worldwide, it is of vital importance to raise awareness for this issue and provide resources to those in need. Approximately one person succumbs to suicide every 40 seconds—a statistic that is simply mind-blowing—and it’s evident that more needs to be done.


This awareness month helps to spread resources to the public, so that those who are struggling might come across a helpline in a time of need, or so a parent or friend can send information to a loved one who could use it. Additionally, these types of campaigns help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and suicide by making it clear that it is a prevalent issue in our society dealt with by people from all walks of life.


To bolster this awareness month, World Suicide Prevention Day occurs on September 10th. Many light candles near a window that evening in a show of support for those who grapple with suicidal tendencies. The day exists as an effort to prevent suicides by getting the proper help to the individuals who need it.


Suicide is a problem that isn’t restricted to just one month of the year, it affects the lives of so many each and every day. In November, Ohio Survivors of Suicide Loss Day occurs on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, a special day to reach out to the families and friends who still grieve for those they lost to suicide.


If you or someone you know is in need of immediate assistance, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-273-8255. You can find more information about mental health and the education and programs available from the Ohio affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness at namiohio.org.

 
 
  


PARMA—Local members of the Walton Hills community came out to the Parma-Snow Branch of the Cuyahoga County Library to attend the 15th Military Resource Fair. The fair, organized by State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills), sought to connect military personnel with the services available to them through federal, state, county, local businesses and organizations.


The FREE military fair consisted of over 50 sponsors, vendors and representatives of organizations that provided assistance and employment opportunities. The fair furnished FREE items, including breakfast, lunch, haircuts, health screenings, veteran ID Cards, and consumer products to our military personnel and their families.


“It was a pleasure to have many military personnel and their families from Walton Hills come out to the fair,” said Rep. Anielski. “The attendees had the opportunity to meet and discuss their unique situations with professionals to aid in obtaining their earned benefits.”


Thanks to Congressman Renacci for attending and his support for Ohio’s military. Thanks to all of our military attendees and those currently serving for their dedication and sacrifice to preserving and defending our country. Thanks as well to all of the sponsors and vendors who made the resource fair a success for about 500 attendees.

 
 
  


Oftentimes, many in Ohio look out-of-state for unusual and fun vacation destinations, without realizing that Ohio has a booming tourism industry with many unique options right here at home. It’s incredible what special places you can find in your home state after a little research. In fact, tourism is a major economic driver for the state as a $44 billion industry. In 2017, Ohio welcomed 219 million visitors, most of which come from within a day's drive.


Northeast Ohio itself has so many diverse options, from enjoying the shores of Lake Erie to experiencing the renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It boasts a number of local and state parks, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio’s only national park. With the Cuyahoga River winding throughout, the park offers guests camping, hiking, kayaking, and many other opportunities. Northeast Ohio is especially intriguing, an equal mix of city and countryside. From the “Rubber Capital of the World” to sprawling Cleveland, there is much and more to discover.


There is also a lot to do in Akron and Summit County as a whole. With its rich culture, those from around the state can learn about local artists at the Akron Art Museum or the Summit Artspace. It’s easy to make a day of it by finding a hometown restaurant at which to eat and finishing with a show at the Akron Civic Theatre. Further, you can learn more about your hometown by checking out some historical homes. In Akron, the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens—the former estate of the cofounder of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company—is open for tours, where you can learn about what life was like when the manor was first built at the beginning of the century.


Outside from our neck of the woods, Ohio is an incredible state with many places to explore over a long weekend. From the top roller coasters in the world to cabins and trails down in Hocking Hills, I am continuously impressed by what you can find to do right here at home. By committing to spending more time studying where we come from, Ohio as a state can continue to reap the benefits.

 
 
  
Columbus - 

State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) this week was appointed by Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) to serve as Co-Chair of the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee.


The study committee was established through House Bill 122, a bill jointly sponsored by Hambley with Representative John M. Rogers (D-Mentor on the Lake) and that became officially effective August 1st. Members are charged with analyzing the features, benefits and challenges involved in creating metropolitan economic development alliances. After consulting with various groups, including county commissioners, township trustees, mayors and city council members, the committee will publish a report of its findings by August 1st of next year.


“Collaborative metropolitan economic development has been shown to benefit all participating entities and the State of Ohio can play a pivotal role in encouraging those partnerships,” said Hambley.  “I have spent my entire public career as a city council person, county commissioner, and now state legislator advocating for initiatives that improve the fiscal health of our communities and reducing the costs of local government. Eagerly, the committee report will make recommendations for state policies and laws that can assist communities across the state in accomplishing those goals through collaboration,” he added.


Rep. Hambley introduced the legislation in an effort to study economic development alliances and how they could impact the state.


State Representative Hambley is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He represents the 69th House District, which includes most of Medina County.

 
 
  
 
Rep. Anielski Spreads Awareness Of World Suicide Prevention Day - September 10th
Highlights Rascal Flatts PSA, legislative, community prevention efforts
August 30, 2018
 
 

COLUMBUS – State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) is raising awareness for the approaching World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, September 10, 2018. As the 15th leading cause of death globally, over 800,000 people die by suicide annually, equating to about one person every 40 seconds.


“The goal behind all of our suicide prevention efforts is to make sure people know there is help available for anyone who is struggling,” said Rep. Anielski. “Spreading knowledge of all the prevention options and resources that are out there is the first step toward overcoming the silent epidemic.”


Sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), World Suicide Prevention Day focuses public attention on the needs of people at risk of suicide, suicide attempt survivors, and people bereaved by suicide. One way you can show your support for suicide prevention is to light a candle near a window at 8:00 p.m. on September 10, to demonstrate your support for such efforts. In Ohio, the Saturday before Thanksgiving is designated as “Ohio Survivors of Suicide Loss Day,” which comes as a result from Rep. Anielski’s sponsored House Bill 440 passed in early 2017.


As a part of Rep. Anielski’s efforts while working on House Bill 440, and with the goal of expanding public awareness and outreach for suicide prevention, award-winning country music band Rascal Flatts recorded a public service announcement on the topic. It can be seen here: http://www.ohiochannel.org/video/rascal-flatts-suicide-awareness


According to IASP, several other ways you can raise awareness about the issue include educating yourself and others about the causes of suicide and warning signs for suicide, showing compassion for those who are in distress in your community, and questioning the stigma associated with suicide, suicidal behavior and mental health issues. Suicide prevention takes work, but the benefits are infinite and can have a massive impact.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) has announced the release of an amended Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and Military Affairs Task Force Report. The original report was released publicly shortly after a press conference hosted by the BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force on April 29th of this year.


The Task Force, 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. “The newest version of this report captures all aspects of our Task Force activities across the state as well as supplemental material to show just how much of an impact our installations have on our great state.”


Rep. Perales has introduced House Bill 696 to establish the Office of Government and Military Affairs. The agency would report to the governor and 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.


The amended report contains all of the content of the original. Added material includes details of the Task Force visits to National Guard facilities, Task Force membership bios, current legislation pertaining to military and veterans issues, and several state reports covering DoD assets in Ohio.


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

 
 
  
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Representative Hambley Appointed To Co-Chair Of Newly Created Economic Development Committee

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) this week was appointed by Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) to serve as Co-Chair of the Regional Economic Development Alliance Study Committee.



 
 

Local Legislators Announce State Effort To Support Military Members, Veterans, And Their Families

 
Columbus - 

State Representatives Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) and Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek) and Senator Bob Hackett (R-London) held a press conference today to highlight legislation that supports military members, veterans, and their families in Ohio.  



 
 

Legislation Increasing Collection Of Opioid-Related Data Clears Ohio House

 

COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today announced House passage of the Opioid Data and Communication Expansion Act, legislation she sponsored to increase data collection related to the opioid crisis. The bill was approved among several others after the House returned to work this week upon the election of a new Speaker.



 
 

Ohio House Approves Payday Lending Reform Legislation

 

COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation that reforms the state’s payday lending industry and is aimed at lowering interest rates on loans and helping borrowers avoid endless debt cycles.