The opiate crisis continues to destroy lives in our state and around the country. As we’ve worked through the state budget process this year in the House, I wanted to reflect on an enormous accomplishment that was included in the final budget bill and discuss a new development in the fight against opioid addiction here in southeast Ohio.


As Chairman of the House Finance Committee, it is my job to work with fellow legislators to construct a state budget that funds vital services around the state. We made the fight against opiate addiction our biggest priority this year after seeing Ohio lead the nation in opioid overdose deaths.


This led to the creation of the HOPES (Heroin, Opioids, Prevention, Education and Safety) Agenda, a package of investments that provided $180 million of new money to support four key areas of need in the fight against opioid addiction: prevention, treatment, mental health and our workforce.


With major investments in new public health programs, an expansion of Child Protective Services and Kinship Care, and boosts to caregivers on the frontlines, we are hoping to have a real impact in this fight and to save as many lives as possible. A priority was placed on helping those with mental illnesses and providing incentives to help addicted individuals get back on track, as well as providing support to their families. I hope to see real change for addicted Ohioans and their loved ones through these provisions of the state budget.


I was also pleased to join over 100 of my neighbors this week at the ribbon cutting for the new Recovery House at the Field of Hope Community Campus in Gallia County. By repairing and updating the old North Gallia High School property with state grant funding, the Recovery House can now house drug-addicted women from our area in this 16-bed residential facility and help them on their path to recovery.


Through counseling, workforce training and round-the-clock care, this facility has the ability to change lives and bring hope to many people struggling with addiction who may have thought recovery was impossible.


I will continue to fight this deadly epidemic however I can, and I applaud the efforts of people like Field of Hope CEO Kevin Dennis and his staff to provide quality treatment options in our area. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions or concerns about this or any other legislative issue. 

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

Guest Column From Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith: Area Expansions Strengthen The 93rd House District, Ohio

 
Columbus - 

This summer has been a busy one in the 93rd House District, especially considering the steps the area has taken to advance community and business development. As always, I was able to make my rounds to most of our county fairs—one of the true highlights of the season in southern Ohio. It is incredible to see the dedication our 4-H students put into their craft, and I commend them for such devoted civic involvement. In addition to our fairs, I attended groundbreakings for many different industries across the district.



 
 

Guest Column From Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith: Sales Tax Holiday Provides Relief For Parents, Stimulates Economy

 
Columbus - 

Each and every summer, I am shocked at how quickly we seem to get to August. It feels like just yesterday it was snowing, and now we’re weeks away from the start of a new school year. As a father of four, I know firsthand how hectic and expensive this time of the year can be. From figuring out classroom schedules to making time for sports and extracurricular activities, ensuring each of my children are set up to succeed as they begin a new grade isn’t always an easy task.



 
 

Guest Column From Ohio House Speaker Ryan Smith: Independence Day Thoughts Inspire New Speakership

 
Columbus - 

A lot has happened up at the Ohio Statehouse in recent weeks. In early June, I was elected by my peers to serve as the 103rd Speaker of the Ohio House, and I hope to be able to represent you and the rest of the 93rd District even better in my new role. Along with this honor comes great responsibility, and we’ve been incredibly busy over the past weeks to pass vital legislation that will impact Ohioans across the state.



 
 

Ohio House Finance Committee Introduces Budget Sub. Bill

 

The Ohio House Finance Committee today introduced Substitute House Bill 64, legislation which outlines the two-year budget proposal for Ohio by making appropriations and providing policy initiatives in various areas such as education, taxes and healthcare.