Rep. Huffman Announces Passage Of Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against Transplant Recipients
H.B. 332 provides protections for disabled individuals on the transplant list
January 26, 2018

COLUMBUS—State Representative Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City) this week announced the passage of legislation that prohibits discriminating against disabled individuals for the purpose of being placed on the organ and tissue transplant list.

“I was pleased to see House Bill 332 receive favorable passage on the House floor this week,” said Huffman. “This bill will ensure that patients with disabilities receive fair treatment when in need of an organ or tissue transplant. As chairman of the House Health Committee, it is a great honor to help move legislation like this through the process.”

While various medical criteria, including the ability to follow a post-procedure regimen, must be considered in order to be placed on the transplant list, transplant teams are given their own discretion in deciding how to account for disabled individuals. This has resulted in inherent bias against patients with intellectual disabilities because some medical professionals believe it would significantly reduce their quality of life, making it harder for them to recuperate after the surgery.

However, according to committee testimony from the director of The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, Marc J. Tassé, studies show that individuals with an intellectual disability have the same survival rate as patients without a disability following a transplant surgery.

If enacted into law, Ohio would become the sixth state to approve such legislation, sending a message to Ohioans with disabilities that the state will not tolerate discrimination when it comes to needing an organ or tissue transplant.

House Bill 332 was sponsored by State Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.



COLUMBUS—State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) yesterday presented a resolution honoring Valerie Zeno of Tiffin as the 2017 Ohio ProStart Teacher of Excellence and a 2017 ProStart National Educator of Excellence.

The Ohio ProStart Teacher of Excellence Award is given to an Ohio ProStart educator who has distinguished him or herself with outstanding and valuable contributions to the Ohio ProStart student and district community.

The NRAEF ProStart National Educator of Excellence Award honors educators who show excellence in teaching and leadership through ProStart, as well as commitment and passion to the classroom.

“I’m extremely proud to have been able to present Valerie Zeno with House Resolution 322, recognizing her outstanding performance as an educator and career-tech professional,” Rep. Reineke said. “A job leads to a career and it is important to train our kids for the high-growth jobs of the future.”

Ohio ProStart is a two-year program in which high school students have the opportunity to learn and apply practical, real-life skills in restaurant management, culinary arts and the food service industry. Opportunities could include working in a school-operated restaurant, studying with materials from the National Restaurant Association, taking on catering job responsibilities and the chance to earn scholarships.

Rep. Reineke presented the resolution honoring Zeno during this week’s House session alongside several of Zeno’s students.

Guest Column From State Representative Louis Blessing
Palliative Care an Important Part of Handling Serious Illness
January 25, 2018

Many of us Ohioans are familiar with the effects of serious, painful illnesses. Whether they be of illnesses dealt in one’s own life or that of a family member or close friend, each of us holds memories of individuals and families struggling through serious sicknesses.

As your state representative and a fellow Ohioan, I see any effort to help the victims, survivors, and the families affected by serious illness as an opportunity for our state government to do its job—to make life better for Ohioans.

In late 2017, the Ohio House passed House Bill 286, a bill designed to increase access to palliative care, which works to reduce the symptoms and pains associated with serious illnesses. Through reducing such symptoms and illnesses, many Ohioans could see an improvement of their quality of life.

Now under consideration in the Ohio Senate, this bill’s passage by the legislature would land this legislation on Governor Kasich’s desk. If signed into law, the bill would establish an Ohio Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council and a Palliative Care Consumer and Professional Education Program.

Both of these new organizations would work with the Ohio Department of Health on issues related to informing Ohioans about and raising awareness for palliative care. Working to educate and provide, to prevent as much pain as possible through care, these organizations would improve Ohioans’ quality of life through designing individualized care plans appropriate for people suffering from severe illnesses and debilitating pain.

House Bill 286 is a common-sense fix for many Ohioans. It will reduce the real pain and suffering of those with a serious illness while also making a difference in the lives of those close to the affected individual. In a broader sense, the bill will also bring palliative care into the spotlight, allowing for its further integration into common medical practices. The more common the practice of palliative care, the more access Ohioans have to information and application of this valuable kind of care.

Given how common serious illnesses are, and how much people suffer from them, Ohio ought to move forward and pass House Bill 286 into law—a chance to lessen the amount of pain felt here.


COLUMBUS—During today’s session, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a resolution urging the United States Missile Defense Agency to select Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center in Ravenna, Ohio, as the preferred site for a future east coast Missile Defense system.

Before being approved on the House floor, Senate Concurrent Resolution 8 was vetted and passed by the Ohio House Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee, chaired by State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott).

Following today’s session, Rep. Johnson released the following statement:

“Camp Ravenna in northern Ohio would make an excellent site for expansion of America’s Missile Defense System. Ohio already plays a vital role in America’s homeland defense, notably with the Air Sovereignty Alert aircraft of the Ohio Air Guard’s 112th Fighter Squadron, which keeps F-16s armed and fueled and ready to defend the eastern region of our nation. Ravenna would gladly and proudly add missile defense to our contribution to America’s homeland defense, should we prevail in the selection process.”

State Rep. Kristina Roegner Honors Cross Country Champions
Hudson boys team presented with resolution at Ohio Statehouse
January 24, 2018

COLUMBUS—State Representative Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson) today honored the Hudson High School boys cross country team for winning the 2017 Division I State Championship.

Seven boys ran in the meet:

• Senior – Eric Halford
• Senior – Jack Good
• Junior – Adam Beucler
• Junior – Evan Manley
• Junior – Jacob Russo
• Junior – Kenny McCaughey
• Sophomore – Michael Von Ville

In addition to winning the championship title with 73 points, three runners earned All-Ohio honors. The team of 54 runners has an average GPA of 3.99/4.00.

“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to win a state title,” said Roegner. “Our Hudson boys cross country team won the Division I State Championship though steadfast dedication. With an average 3.99 GPA, they are incredible student athletes and have earned the admiration of the state of Ohio.”

Coach Mark McConnell accepted the award along with members of the team.

Video of the presentation can be viewed and shared from this link:



COLUMBUS—State Representatives Scott Lipps (R-Franklin) and Thomas West (D-Canton) today held a press conference to discuss newly introduced legislation that will expand access to affordable prescription drugs by increasing price transparency and ensuring a fair payment process for pharmacies and patients.

House Bill 479 seeks to reduce the administrative burden placed on pharmacists by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), which act as third-party intermediaries between pharmacies and insurers. By requiring that patients are informed of the most affordable payment option for their prescriptions, PBMs or other administrators will be limited in the amount they may charge a patient.

The legislation also prohibits PBMs from including a provision in their contract with a pharmacy that forbids pharmacists from informing patients of the cheapest method to purchase their prescriptions. For example, if a copayment is more than the price of a drug without insurance, the pharmacist must inform the patient.

“Our bill is about Ohio’s broken prescription medication system,” said Lipps. “Today, we started reforms for consumers to improve transparency, remove the ‘gag order’ in many PBM contracts, and lower prices for Ohioans on their medications. It is time for the consumer to be informed and protected.”

Among other reforms, House Bill 479 is a patient-focused bill that works to keep patients informed on the price of their medication, increasing transparency and ultimately reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

The bill now awaits an appropriate committee designation.

Rep. Brinkman Announces Passage Of Legislation Establishing Requirements For Electric Bicycles
House Bill 250 Benefits, Strengthens Ohio's Bicycle Community
January 24, 2018

COLUMBUS—State Representative Tom Brinkman (R-Mt. Lookout) today applauded the Ohio House’s passage of House Bill 250, legislation he sponsored that would create regulations for electric bicycles, which are growing in popularity across the state.

Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, have the potential to expand bike riding to more of the population and keep people riding later in their lives. House Bill 250 brings Ohio regulations in line with federal regulations on e-bikes, categorizing the bikes into three classes based on the electric motor and the e-bike’s top speed.

“This new technology in e-bikes will allow more Ohioans to use our wonderful trail network, longer and later in life,” said Rep. Brinkman.

The bill also requires manufacturers and distributors to affix a label to each e-bike designating its class, top assisted speed, and motor wattage. This creates clarity for retailers, riders, and law enforcement. House Bill 250 also establishes regulations for the use of electric bicycles on bike paths, permitting class 1 and 2 e-bikes on bicycle-only and shared-use paths, and prohibiting class 3 e-bikes, unless otherwise specified by the local government authority.

House Bill 250 now awaits further consideration by the Ohio Senate.



COLUMBUS—State Representative Christina Hagan (R-Marlboro Township) yesterday took part in the Ohio Fire Chief Association (OFCA) Legislative Round Table, expressing support for Ohio’s firefighters and emergency services personnel.

The OFCA is a statewide organization that aims to advocate for and protect the interests of fire chief officers throughout Ohio, as well as strengthen the safety of Ohioans by supporting the state’s emergency services. Rep. Hagan said the round table discussion focused on local issues and solutions.

“I am honored to discuss legislative matters impacting our community leaders and safety services, and to work toward solutions with the Ohio Fire Chief Association,” said Rep. Hagan. “I’m thankful for the daily sacrifices of all our Ohio firefighters and first responders.”

The OFCA is primarily centered on training, professional networking, and advocacy. Among other services, the organization offers educational programs, opportunities for professional development, legislative lobbying and networking connections.


COLUMBUS—Jim Hoops was sworn in as state representative of the 81st Ohio House District after the House Republican Caucus unanimously voted to appoint him to fill the vacant seat during today’s House session.

“Based on his many years in public service, I am confident that Jim Hoops will hit the ground running upon returning to the Ohio House to serve the people of the 81st District,” Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) said.

“I’m looking forward to working on the issues that are most important to the families of the 81st District,” Hoops said.

Hoops is currently the Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Northwest State Community College and previously served in the Ohio House from 1999 to 2006. A 1977 graduate of Patrick Henry High School, Hoops also previously served as Henry County Auditor from 1985 to 1998.

He and his wife, Deb, live in Napoleon.

The 81st House District includes Putnam, Henry and Williams counties, as well as part of Fulton County.


COLUMBUS – The Ohio House today passed House Concurrent Resolution 9 urging the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State and the United States Congress to compel Brazil to extradite Claudia Hoerig.

Hoerig is the primary suspect in the murder of her husband, Major Karl Hoerig, who was found dead in their home in Newton Falls, Ohio in 2007 from a gunshot wound. By the time his body was discovered, Hoerig had withdrawn all of their money from the bank and was on a flight to Brazil. The bullet that killed her husband was later connected with a gun she purchased just days before.

Hoerig has been charged in absentia with aggravated murder in Ohio. However, because the state is unable to get involved in matters of extradition with other countries, Ohio must rely on the federal government in order to demand justice for Major Karl Hoerig.

“HCR 9 demonstrates Ohio’s support for bringing resolution to the case of this horrific crime, committed over 10 years ago in Trumbull County,” said State Representative Kristina Roegner (R-Hudson), chair of the Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee, which heard testimony on HCR 9. “Claudia Hoerig needs to be extradited from Brazil and stand trial for the aggravated murder of her husband, a decorated combat veteran, Major Karl Hoerig. Only then can justice be served.”

Major Karl Hoerig was an Air Force pilot who flew in nearly 200 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was still serving in the reserves at the time of his death.

The legislation also includes language urging Congress to discontinue foreign aid payments to Brazil should Hoerig not be extradited.

House Concurrent Resolution 9 now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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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.


State Rep. Perales Announces Passage Of Legislation Adding Wright Flyer To Ohio's Seal And Coat Of Arms


COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today passed House Bill 370, sponsored by State Representative Rick Perales (R-Beavercreek). This legislation adds a depiction of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first piloted airplane, the Wright Flyer, to the Great Seal of the State of Ohio and to Ohio’s Coat of Arms. In doing so, it commemorates one of the greatest achievements by Ohioans: successful controlled flight.


House Republicans Unveil OhioCorps Program


COLUMBUS—During a press conference this morning at the Ohio Statehouse, Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and State Representatives Scott Ryan (R-Granville Township) and Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) announced new legislation aimed at helping Ohio’s students, specifically those who are at-risk.