COLUMBUS—State Representative Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) today announced that he was recently appointed by Governor John Kasich to the Early Childhood Advisory Council.


The council advises the state on issues related to the duties of the center for early childhood development and promotes programs and services that support the social, mental, and physical well-being of children and the role of families.


“I am honored to be appointed by the Governor to serve on this advisory council. Early childhood development and education are critical areas for which special attention should be paid,” said Rep. Brenner. “Children are the future leaders, scientists, and teachers and we would be remiss to not equip them for that future.  I look forward to working with the other members of the advisory council on how we can improve the lives of Ohio’s children and their families.”


Rep. Brenner’s term began immediately upon his appointment.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) has appointed Representative Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB).


The mission of the OPSB is to support sound energy policies that enhance energy capacity and transmission infrastructure to benefit Ohioans, promoting the state's economic interests, and protecting the environment and land use.


Ultimately, the duty of the OPSB is to evaluate and approve any construction involving a major utility facility or economically significant wind farm.


"I'm beyond excited to work alongside PUCO Chairman Haque, the numerous directors from the Governor's cabinet, and the rest of the OPSB members to help shape the future of our state's public utilities infrastructure," Carfagna said.  "Whether it's through new electric generation facilities, transmission lines, gas pipelines or wind farms, our duty to all Ohioans is to ensure energy capacity that strengthens our economy, preserves our environment, promotes responsible land use, and respects property rights.  I'm ready to be a part of this important conversation. Thank you to Speaker Cliff Rosenberger for naming me to the Ohio Power Siting Board and for his continued confidence in my abilities."


Rep. Carfagna will be one of 11 members on the board, which is comprised of the directors of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Development Services Agency, Department of Health, Department of Natural Resources, and the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission. Four legislator and one public member also serve on the OPSB.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington) has introduced legislation that would create a license plate highlighting Pelotonia.


Since its founding in 2008, Pelotonia has raised more than $130 million for cancer research through its charitable events, which features three days of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. Every dollar raised goes toward some form of cancer research at The Ohio State University’s James Cancer Hospital.


“The great work that Pelotonia does in funding life-saving cancer research speaks for itself,” said Rep. Hughes. “The creation of the Pelotonia license plate will give supporters of cancer research an easy way to contribute to the worthwhile cause of ending this terrible disease, which has touched all of our lives in some way.”


House Bill 313 expands the ability for supporters of Pelotonia to contribute $15 to cancer research through the purchase of the license plate.


“The Pelotonia community is passionate about the work we do, together, to fund research and save lives,” said Miguel Perez, Pelotonia’s Vice President of Mission & Brand. “We know that the more people we connect with, the stronger we are and the faster we will reach our one goal. We are excited to reach even more people, through the Pelotonia license plates, and have them join our movement to end cancer.”


House Bill 313 awaits assignment to a House committee and further deliberation.

 
 
  

As a farmer in rural Ohio for over 30 years, I have a unique perspective on the state of the agriculture industry in Ohio. I try to bring that experience to discussions at the Ohio Statehouse about legislation that will support agriculture and bolster the farming community. Not only do our farmers contribute to overall safety and security by producing nutritious food, but agriculture remains one of Ohio’s biggest providers of jobs, employing approximately one out of every seven Ohioans.


It is because of those reasons that it’s vital the state encourages policies to benefit this ever-important industry, without which our families would suffer from food insecurities and a lack of fulfilling and healthy food. Recently, the legislature passed the biennial state operating budget, our funding plan for the next two years. In the budget, we made significant moves to modernize the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV), changing the formula to provide our farmers with property tax relief.


In recent years, farmers have been experiencing property values increasing by upwards of 300 percent with farm income at its second-lowest level since the 1920s. This exponential increase has had a very negative impact on the agriculture community, putting an unfair and inaccurate tax on the most important component of a farmer’s business, their land. Through the measures included in the budget bill, the CAUV will be calculated to reflect the current farm economy.


The CAUV formula will now use an equity rate that evaluates farm economy based on information disseminated from the United States Department of Agriculture. It will change the capitalization rate, thereby lowering property values and giving farmers more dispensation upon a true value of agricultural use. Most notably, this change will have a minimal impact on Ohio’s schools and local governments.


At the end of the day, the modernization of the formula used to determine property values and taxes for farmland is a rather technical fix to a great problem that the agriculture industry has been dealing with. This change will make a tremendous difference to the farming community, allowing Ohio’s farmers to be able to afford the land that has been in their families for generations and provide families with abundant food for years to come.

 
 
  

During my years in public service, I have always found that nothing quite replaces the opportunity to meet with and talk with area residents, whether it be over the phone or at various townhalls, festivals or other community events. This was true throughout my time as an Ottawa County Commissioner, and it has continued as a state representative serving both Erie and Ottawa counties. Indeed, many of the best ideas for legislation come directly from the people. In working with my colleagues in the Ohio House of Representatives, I know they feel the same way.
 
A perfect example of this was on display earlier this year through the passage of House Bill 115. This legislation, coined the “No Labels Initiative,” focuses on improving the interactions, and thus safety, between law enforcement officers and Ohioans who suffer from communications disabilities, such as autism and dementia, among others.
 
At first glance, this probably is not a scenario that many people have given much thought. However, because a couple individuals from around Ohio came forward and shared their concern, legislators were made aware of an issue that impacts families all over the state.
 
One individual from Wood County has two sons who have autism, a condition that can make communication difficult, especially in a stressful situation such as being pulled over by a law enforcement officer. She brought her concern forward, and, in response, House Bill 115 provides what I believe is a common-sense solution.
 
Specifically, the bill gives people with communication disabilities the option to submit a physician-approved verification form that identifies their condition to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. That information is only available to state and local law enforcement through the Law Enforcement Automated Data Systems, or LEADS.
 
Therefore, submitting this form is in no way shared with the public. It simply informs law enforcement, in the case of pulling over a driver, that the person in the vehicle has a communication disability, thus giving them valuable information of what to possibly expect.
 
I believe this legislation will benefit Ohio residents and law enforcement officers alike and increase efficiency and safety during roadside stops. And it was made possible simply because a constituent had a good idea and was willing to share it.


 

 
 
  

This coming week, Columbiana County will host its 172nd county fair, taking place at the fairgrounds from July 31st through August 6th. Since the first fair in 1845, the storied event has hosted a number of unique attractions, from horse buggy competitions to ostrich races. While those kinds of activities may no longer take place today, the Columbiana County Fair continues its long tradition of being a family-friendly environment for all.


One of my favorite parts of the fair is its commitment to our youth. With a dedicated and well-developed junior fair program that coordinates with 4-H, Future Farmers of America, Boy Scouts, and other organizations, the fair helps to cultivate leadership and citizenship in our children. After all, they are the future generation of leaders in Ohio, and through the junior fair, boys and girls alike can learn firsthand what it means to give back to the community.


Each day of the fair is filled with a different schedule of events. Of course, there is always an array of animal and livestock judging, from your more typical steer and goat competitions to an alpaca judging. Some of the most loved events take place in the grandstand, so make sure to check the fair schedule to see when your favorite shows take place. There is much to choose from, including free concerts, bull riding and barrel racing, demolition derbies, and more.


Of course, as with any fair or festival, there are rides and food available for people of all ages. The best thing about the county fair is that it not only brings the community together, but it also presents an opportunity for families to come out and enjoy an inexpensive day or night as one. I encourage you to support the Columbiana County Fair this year, and I hope to see you there!

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representatives Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) today introduced House Bill 312, which would require local governments to establish credit card policies to protect tax dollars. The bill would:


• Require all government entities to enact a credit card policy detailing allowable uses, number of cards, who can use them, credit limits, and reissue periods
• Require for some governmental entities that accounts and policies be reviewed regularly by an appointed compliance officer other than the treasurer of the government entity
• Ban the use of debit cards, except for certain law-enforcement purposes
• Authorize the Auditor of State to create rules for the disclosure and audit of credit card rewards accrued by local governments


“This legislation encourages and promotes additional transparency and oversight for spending Ohioans’ tax dollars, while affirming a responsive and responsible form of governing,” said Rep. Greenspan.


“I’m honored to be a part of Auditor Yost’s efforts to put safeguards around the use of credit cards by local governments, and I want to commend him for the time he has taken to develop the framework for this legislation,” said Rep. Schuring. “Without the checks and balances that are incorporated in this bill, there is potential exposure for local governments to negligently use or abuse credit cards in a way that will ultimately cost taxpayer dollars.” 


Click here to view a summary of the proposed legislation.


An interactive map of credit and debit card misuse is available here.


 

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima) today released the list of individuals who will be serving on the Ohio House Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty, which he chairs.


The following individuals will serve alongside Rep. Cupp on the task force:
• Rep. Margy Conditt (R-Liberty Township)
• Rep. Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville)
• Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights)
• Dr. Bob Mengerink (Superintendent, Cuyahoga County ESC)
• Anthony Knickerbocker (Career and Technical Education Director, Lancaster City Schools)
• John Stack (President and Owner, Cambridge Education Group)
• Karen Boch (Superintendent, Wellston School District)
• Dr. Thomas Maridada II (CEO, BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools)
• Hannah Powell (Executive Director, KIPP Columbus)


The purpose of the task force is to examine the issue of poverty and education and, in particular, the achievement gap related to that circumstance. The end goal is both to generate information that will be useful to members of the General Assembly in their deliberations on education policy and to derive some practicable and proven-effective strategies from this effort that can be supported and enhanced by legislative and state policy.


“I am grateful for all of the individuals who have agreed to be a part of this task force, and I look forward to getting started,” Cupp said. “We will be delving into one of the most significant issues currently facing education in Ohio, and I am confident that the ideas and insights shared during our task force meetings will help the legislature when addressing these issues moving forward.”


The first meeting of the task force will be held Thursday, July 27th in Columbus.

 
 
  

Graduation season has passed, and many high school graduates are anticipating the start of a new chapter of their lives. I remember heading for Troy University in Alabama, wondering what experiences awaited me, and who I would become in those formative years. One thing I knew for sure: I had an exciting future ahead of me, and I was going to fully embrace it.
 
College is just one option following high school. Many choose to take this path, but some decide on another that is especially deserving of recognition: enlisting in the military. This is not an easy decision for either the graduate or the family. It requires lots of thought and serious consideration of one’s values, passions, and commitment. 
 
I want to sincerely express my thanks to Ohio’s high school graduates who have elected to enlist in our country’s military. It is a great honor and responsibility that reflects a clear dedication to serving our nation and preserving the freedoms that Americans hold dear. As a country, we commend you for your sacrifice and willingness to defend our homes, communities, and families.
 
As you move into the required training and preparation, hold onto all that you have learned, while leaving ample room for new knowledge and skills. Though your uniform may resemble all the others who have chosen to enlist, remember that you are a unique individual with much to offer to the world. At the same time, you are part of a bigger whole—a noble tradition dating back many, many years. You help make our country what it is, a place that we can be proud to call home.
 
In this new and honorable experience, stay strong and brave. When the going gets tough, remember that you have entire communities behind you that support your journey, and that you are making a difference for fellow Americans. Thank you again for your service and loyalty to this great nation, and I wish you all the best as you take the next big step in life.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—State Representative Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) today released the list of Ohio House members that will be serving on the Speaker’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which she chairs.


The following House members will be on the task force:
• Rep. Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland)
• Rep. Gary Scherer (R-Circleville)
• Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira)
• Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus)
• Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati)


The goals of the task force are to spread dementia awareness, instill collaboration between counties and the state through outreach efforts, and increase availability of respite care and resources.


“Alzheimer’s and dementia affects so many of our fellow Ohioans and their families,” Pelanda said. “I applaud the Speaker for convening this important task force and look forward to working alongside my colleagues and others beginning in August.” 


The meetings will take place twice a month from August through October of this year to discuss possible legislation and create a statewide care plan for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

 
 
  
<< Older Posts Newer Posts >>
Featured Posts

Rep. Ryan Smith Announced As Chair Of House Finance Committee

 
COLUMBUS - 

Speaker of the Ohio House Clifford A. Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) today announced that State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) will continue to serve as Chairman of the House Finance Committee for the 132nd General Assembly, after previously serving as chair in the 131st General Assembly.



 
 

Governor Kasich Signs Legislation Providing Workers' Compensation Eligibility For Firefighters At Risk For Cancer

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) today applauded Governor Kasich’s signing of Senate Bill 27, legislation that creates presumptive eligibility for workers’ compensation for firefighters diagnosed with cancer. Rep. Patton sponsored the legislation during the 131st General Assembly as a member of the Ohio Senate.



 
 

Rep. Dever Announces Start Of Round Two Of The Application Process For Local Government Safety Capital Grants

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) today announced that the Local Government Innovation Council will begin accepting applications for the second round of the Local Government Safety Capital Grant Program. Initiated by the Ohio House of Representatives and included in the state operating budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, these grants can help to fund public safety projects in local communities throughout Ohio, including those in the 28th House District.



 
 

Milestone Reached To Bring Grocer To Vinton County

 
Columbus - 

State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) today announced that preliminary terms between the Finance Fund and Campbell’s Market have been agreed upon to bring a grocery store to Vinton County.