COLUMBUS—State Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Twp) today announced the Ohio House’s passage of legislation he sponsored, House Bill 383, or “Chase’s Law.” This bill will require any child care providers licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to notify parents if ODJFS determines that the provider allowed serious risk to a child’s safety.

Chase Ward, the bill’s namesake, was only two years old when his caretakers left him behind after a field trip, accidentally abandoning him near a busy street in Westerville. Though he was recovered safely, the daycare did not inform his parents or the state of Ohio until three days post-incident. Current law does not require childcare providers to notify parents that an incident causing serious risk to a child occurred, even if ODJFS has investigated and made an official determination. This legislation seeks to ensure that Ohio parents will be made aware of unsafe behaviors or incidents at the place with which they have entrusted the care of their children.

“I’m grateful to my colleagues for their overwhelming bipartisan support of Chase’s Law,” said Carfagna. “Entrusting the care and safety of our children to others is a sacred commitment. When that trust is compromised in the most pronounced of circumstances, at minimum there should be a duty to inform the parents of other children under the same care so they can then make informed decisions.”

Specific requirements under House Bill 383 include that the notification must be provided to parents within 30 days of the official ODJFS determination. The bill endeavors to further support parents by making them aware of little-known ODJFS resources regarding individual risk determinations. Under the bill, notices sent to parents must include references to the ODJFS website, encouraging recipients to take advantage of the online information.

House Bill 383 strives to provide parents with peace of mind and with up-to-date information about their child’s wellbeing, as well as accountability and due process for childcare providers.

House Bill 383 is supported by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Children’s Hospitals in Dayton, Akron and Cincinnati, University Hospitals Cleveland and ProMedica. Having passed out of the House, the legislation now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.

 Pictured: Rep. Carfagna with constituent Barbara Ward, mother of Chase Ward


COLUMBUS—Shane Wilkin was sworn in as state representative of the 91st Ohio House District during today’s House session, filling the vacant seat.

Wilkin has served as a Highland County Commissioner for three terms and is chairman of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, demonstrating his commitment to local economic growth. He is a small business owner involved with real estate development, in addition to being a licensed real estate agent, and was a past president of the Highland County Board of Realtors.

Wilkin also prioritizes community involvement and is a board member of both the Community Improvement Corporation and the Highland District Hospital Foundation.

“I am proud to represent the people of the 91st House District,” said Wilkin. “I look forward to getting to work and serving them at the Ohio Statehouse.”

Wilkin and his wife, Kristy, live near Hillsboro with their two daughters, Piper and Parker.

The 91st District includes Clinton, Highland, and Pike counties, as well as a portion of Ross County.


COLUMBUS—The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation aimed at attracting more major sporting events to Ohio and, in turn, generating additional revenue for the state and local communities.

House Bill 531 removes the current cap on the amount of sports event grants that may be awarded in a fiscal year for sporting events that are competitively bid on by other states. Grants are awarded by the Director of Development Services to counties, municipalities or local organizing committees to support the selection for national or international sports competitions.

These sports include football, auto racing, boxing, horse racing, mixed martial arts or any sport governed by an international federation and included in the Olympics, Pan American Games or Commonwealth games. Some popular national events include the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament and professional baseball or basketball all-star games.

“This bill will make Ohio more competitive in attracting major sports events and promoting our travel and destination assets,” said Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake), who joint-sponsored the bill with Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton).

The legislation, which passed the House with bipartisan support, removes the current $500,000 per-event grant cap, as well as the $1 million cap on the number of events that can be awarded in a fiscal year. The bill requires the Director of Development Services to consult with the state’s tax commissioner to outline a formula projecting incremental sales tax increases expected to be generated by hosting the event. All grants would be paid from state sales tax receipts.

Counties, municipalities and local organizing committees are eligible for grant funding only if the sales tax receipts generated by the event exceeds the benchmark set by the tax commissioner. That is, simply landing a major, competitively-bid sporting event does not guarantee that these entities will receive a grant.

House Bill 531 also authorizes the release of grants for sports-related events other than competitions, such as the NFL Draft. Sporting events that have been held in Ohio within the previous two years are ineligible.

Having passed the House, the bill now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.


COLUMBUS—State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) today announced that the Ohio House has given its final approval on legislation he sponsored that updates current law regarding high volume commercial dog breeding in the state of Ohio.

House Bill 506 builds upon Ohio’s already strong regulatory framework for commercial dog breeding by altering the definition of a high volume dog breeder. Currently these breeders are defined as producing at least nine litters of puppies in any given calendar year and selling 60 or more adult dogs or puppies per year. Under this newly passed legislation, a high volume dog breeder will be defined as an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains six or more breeding dogs and does one of the following: sells five or more adult dogs or puppies to a dog retailer per year; sells 40 or more puppies to the public in a calendar year; or keeps, at any given time in a calendar year, 40 or more puppies that are younger than four months, that are bred on the premises of the establishment, and that have primarily been kept from birth on the premises.

Rep. Hill applauded the collaboration that took place to ensure the bill’s passage, prompting support from interest groups proposing a ballot initiative on the topic and that have since opted to no longer push for these changes to the constitution because of the bill’s passage.

“I’m encouraged by the collaboration that took place by animal care providers and their efforts to step forward and accept the added regulations to their industry,” Rep. Hill said. “These changes will better demonstrate that caring for their puppies and breeding dogs is of the utmost importance to them just as it is to those that purchase these animals.”

In coordination with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio veterinarians, nationally recognized animal care scholars, the Ohio Farm Bureau, Sportsmen’s Alliance, and other interested parties, the bill promotes a healthy living environment for dogs by outlining the following required conditions, among others, for animals housed in these facilities:

• Requires food to be provided to dogs twice a day
• Modifies the formula for calculating cage size standards to provide more space and specify standards for flooring, to be applied after December 31, 2021
• Requires a dog to have access to a continuous supply of potable water
• Requires a dog to have a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise
• Prohibits a breeder from producing more than 8 litters in the lifetime of a single female dog

Following today’s concurrence with Senate amendments, the bill now goes to the Governor for his consideration.


COLUMBUS—State Representative Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today announced passage of legislation she sponsored by the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 296 increases penalties for certain drug offense crimes, when they are committed at or near a community addiction services provider and if the offender recklessly disregards the close proximity of the crime and the addiction services provider. The increased penalties mirror those in current law for drug trafficking offenses committed near a school or a juvenile.

“Drug dealers are all too often waiting in the parking lot, across the street or around the block of a rehab facility to target this vulnerable population,” said Rep. Gavarone. “Getting these people off the street and away from these areas will give those seeking treatment for their drug addiction even greater odds for success.”

The bill seeks to create greater penalties for drug dealers who prey on recovering addicts brave enough to enter or stay at an addiction services facility. As Ohio has led the nation in drug overdose death rates, this legislation strives to protect vulnerable individuals who are attempting to pull themselves out of the rapid, downward spiral of opioid abuse.

House Bill 296 is the 10th bill sponsored by Rep. Gavarone that the House has passed in this General Assembly, and it is the third bill passed that she has sponsored addressing the opioid crisis. Having passed out of the House, the bill now awaits consideration by the Ohio Senate.



COLUMBUS—State Representatives Keith Faber (R-Celina) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) have introduced legislation that seeks to address shortcomings in Ohio’s laws governing e-schools, increase transparency and establish a consistent regulatory framework for education providers across the state.

As of 2016, e-schools served about 180,000 students across the country, providing a non-traditional educational option for many families. House Bill 707 seeks to maintain this option for the families that need it, while also ensuring they are regulated appropriately as to provide quality education for Ohio’s students.

“House Bill 707 tightens existing statutes which will allow for the state of Ohio to properly conduct oversight of e-schools,” Faber said. “The tightening of these existing statutes is to ensure that students of e-Schools are receiving the quality education that the 21st century economy requires.”

House Bill 707, which was introduced today, clarifies guidelines for the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to follow regarding the Full-Time Equivalency (FTE) Manual, a document that outlines the procedures and forms generally used to conduct reviews of e-schools. The bill requires the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to specifically define terms such as the “documentation of online learning,” “idle time,” “educational vs. non-educational,” “participation” and “classroom.”

“I am a supporter of school choice and for providing alternative pathways for Ohioans to receive a quality education,” Reineke said. “However, we must ensure that these alternative pathways are properly structured and regulated. House Bill 707 addresses shortcomings in Ohio’s current regulatory environment regarding e-schools and seeks to stabilize a valuable and much needed education option for Ohio’s students.”

In addition, the bill would require ODE area coordinators to include both a student’s duration and participation in the department’s calculations in order to paint a more complete picture of a student’s online school participation.

The legislation also creates a study committee to look at various elements of e-school execution. A report of the committee’s findings is due to the General Assembly by November 1, 2018.

To further emphasize the importance of transparency, House Bill 707 also:
• Requires the adoption of rules to determine when an internet- or computer-based charter school may dis-enroll a student for lack of participation
• Requires a management company of an e-school, as well as related entities, to reimburse the school for losses not exceeding the amount of profit realized or the monies received by the management company and related entities
• Requires operators to disclose all subcontracts when it submits its financial statements
• Adds the following categories to be included on financial disclosure reports: Communications, Advertising and promotion, Travel, Food, Books/Periodicals/Films, Overhead, In-kind donations, Lobbying, Accounting, Legal services, and Information Technology


COLUMBUS—State Representative Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) was today appointed by Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) to serve as the vice chairman of the House Finance Committee.

“I am honored to be appointed to the position of Vice Chair of the Finance Committee,” said Rep. Lipps. “I have served on the Finance Committee during my first term in office and learned a great deal during that time. I look forward to my continued education and service through this new opportunity.”

The House Finance Committee is tasked with passing a biennial, fiscally responsible operating budget that affects every resident of Ohio, distributing funds statewide to critically important services and resources. The Finance Committee refines policy areas in order to determine financial resource allocation, and works to prioritize the greatest needs of Ohioans. Among other accomplishments, the most recent operating budget, Amended Substitute House Bill 49, invested $180 million in the fight against opioid addiction.

Having previously been appointed Chair of the Finance Subcommittee on State Government and Agency Review, Rep. Lipps also serves on the following House committees: Economic Development, Commerce and Labor, Government Accountability and Oversight and the Finance Subcommittee on Agriculture Development and Natural Resources.

“Throughout his first term, I have witnessed Rep. Lipps be an effective and invaluable member of the House Finance Committee, dedicating himself to improving lives through meaningful policy,” said Speaker Smith. “I am confident he will continue to focus on serving his constituents and all Ohioans as he takes on this new role.”

Rep. Lipps is in his first term in the Ohio House. He represents the 62nd House District, which includes most of Warren County.



COLUMBUS—As Chair, of the State and Local Government Committee, State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills) applauded the passage of many bills during a recent House session. These bills impact constituents of the 6th House District, demonstrating that the House is focused on meaningful legislation.

“I’m proud to support so many bipartisan pieces of legislation,” Rep. Anielski said. “The legislation will serve to make a positive impact in the lives of all Ohioans.”

Listed below are some of the bills that were voted on during the House session:

• Am. H.B. 8 – Protects the personal information of minors who are passengers on a school bus that are involved in a traffic accident.
• Sub. H.B. 21 – Requires community schools to annually verify the resident school district of its students and new enrollees.
• Sub. H.B. 133 – Exempt out-of-state businesses and employees from certain taxes when they come to Ohio for disaster-related work.
• Sub. H.B. 159 – Names the month of May “Drive Ohio Byways Month.” Ohio has 27 byways, which are scenic routes upon which cultural, historic, and natural attractions can be seen and are some of the best ways to explore Ohio.
• Sub. H.B. 292 – Adjusts the criteria for determining whether an individual is considered an Ohio or out-of-state resident for income tax purposes. The set of specific criteria used to make the determination is commonly referred to as the “bright-line test.”
• H.B. 315 – Passing out of the State and Local Government Committee, the bill raises awareness for cyberbullying in Ohio’s schools by designating October 6th as S.M.A.R.T. Parent Day, which stands for Social Media Awareness, Respect and Timing Parent Day.
• H.B. 491 – Allows the State Board of Education to issue substitute licenses to certain licensed professionals, such as speech pathologists, audiologists, registered nurses, physical therapists, and social workers, addressing shortages across school districts.
• H.B. 535 – Also known as the Opioid Data and Communications Expansion Act, this legislation increases data collection related to the opioid crisis. The information would help expand education, intervention, treatment, and recovery efforts, while prioritizing services where they are needed the most.
• H.B. 456 – Protects nurses from being compelled to work overtime shifts under threat of discontinued employment or disciplinary action. The legislation aims to improve patient safety and care, especially during standard day-to-day operations at hospitals.
• H.R. 298 – Recognizes the existence of two alfalfa products in light of recent actions by the Ingredient Definition Committee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The legislation will ensure the regulation of animal feed is consistent with other states and uniform for all feed producers and consumers.
• S.B. 139 – Allows for the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act to provide a mechanism for the state’s official legal materials to be provided online with the same trustworthiness as print publications.
• Am S.B. 135 – Makes a $114.5 million investment for Ohio’s outdated voting infrastructure in order to provided up-to-date technology for elections in 2019.
• H.B. 163 – Provides county treasuries the option to invest in bonds that are rated in the top three categories, as opposed to the current law which allows only investments in AA and AAA bonds. The restrictiveness of the current law inhibits counties from making diversified investments.
• S.C.R. 15 – Passing out of the State and Local Government Committee, the resolution designates 2018 as “Ohio’s Year of the Trails” to encourage Ohioans to take advantage of their local trail networks.

To watch House Session archives, visit:, and for more information on these pieces of legislation or other pieces of legislation, please visit:




COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) has appointed State Representative Scott Ryan (R-Granville Township) to serve as chairman of the House Finance Committee for the remainder of the 132nd General Assembly.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Representative Ryan as he served as vice chair of the Finance Committee during the last budget cycle,” said Smith, who had chaired the Finance Committee until being elected Speaker last week. “During that time, I have seen first-hand that he possesses the knowledge, leadership and patience needed to oversee the important work of the committee. I look forward to continuing our work together as we address the many critical issues facing the people of Ohio.”

“I am honored to be appointed chairman of the House Finance Committee,” Ryan said. “As chairman, I will have the opportunity to work alongside committee members to evaluate proposed legislation containing appropriations and pass fiscally responsible bills that strengthen Ohio’s future.”

Rep. Ryan is serving his second term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He serves the 71st District, which includes portions of Licking County.

He has been the owner of a printing company for 27 years and has served as Licking County treasurer. A third-generation resident of the county and member of the Granville High School Class of 1983, he graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Rep. Ryan had served as vice chair of the Finance Committee since 2016.



COLUMBUS – Sponsored by State Representative Marlene Anielski (R-Walton Hills), Sub. House Bill 557 was favorably reported out of the House Health Committee. The bill would grant a license to art therapists to practice in the State of Ohio under the guidance of the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. The licensure process would enforce standards of training, practice, and discipline across a therapeutic practice that has rapidly expanded in recent years.

“Art therapy has proven to be an incredibly useful tool in dealing with issues of individuals,” said Rep. Anielski. “For many, speaking or writing about trauma is a traumatic experience in itself. Art therapists work with some of Ohio’s most fragile and vulnerable citizens: those with drug addictions, veterans returning from war, citizens suffering from emotional or mental health diagnoses and victims of trauma. These consumers’ needs require fully trained professionals with expertise to help them navigate the most challenging times of their lives.”

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 The state of Ohio would join Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico and Oregon in licensing Art Therapists.

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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.


State Rep. Sprague's Bill Prohibiting Mandatory Overtime For Hospital Nurses Clears Ohio House


COLUMBUS—State Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay) applauded the House passage of legislation he sponsored that prevents Ohio nurses from being forced to work mandatory overtime. Introduced in December of 2017, House Bill 456 seeks to protect nurses from being compelled to work overtime shifts under threat of discontinued employment or disciplinary action.