I deeply value the unique opportunity I have to serve our community as your state representative. My colleagues and I at the Ohio House have been working fervently during this General Assembly to pass legislation that I am confident will benefit all of Ohio and the citizens of the 51st House District.

It is my goal to support legislation that will promote economic growth for our community and our state, protect the rights of citizens in need and encourage an atmosphere where small business can thrive. Three pieces of legislation in particular have met and exceeded my goal and provide me with optimism for not only Butler County, but for all of Ohio.

First, Senate Bill 310, the Capital Appropriations Bill, invests $2.6 billion into Ohio communities for projects that focus on the improvement of educational and public-service infrastructure. Projects that are funded through the Capital Budget include educational improvements such as the repair and reconstruction of college and university campuses and local school districts. Senate Bill 310 allocates funds dedicated to the improvement of local infrastructure such as upgrades and construction of roads and bridges as well as preserving green space and farmland.  The two Butler County projects that are anticipated to receive funding this year is the Genesis Center of Excellence, an addiction treatment facility, and the construction of the Champion Sports complex. The Capital Budget goal is to stimulate economic growth while improving the quality of life of our citizens by investing in our own communities.

Second, House Bill 359 aims to protect the confidentiality of domestic violence victims. I was proud to cosponsor this legislation that puts the safety of our citizens first. House Bill 359 allows victims of domestic violence to go to advocates that assist them in a process to obtain address confidentiality. These individuals would receive a private PO Box and they can then use that address for voter registration and receiving mail. This is important legislation that addresses the problem victims face when voting. Because voter registration is public record, these individuals expose themselves and their home address just by exercising their right to vote. HB 359 stands up for individuals’ right to safety and creates necessary anonymity for citizens in need.

Finally, House Bill 387 is another piece of legislation I cosponsored to promote the strength of small businesses in Ohio.  In current law, small claims courts have a cap of $3,000 in receivable funds for anyone who is seeking to recover losses from civil disputes. This poses a problem for small businesses who wish to recover losses that are higher than the small claims limit, but not high enough to justify hiring an attorney to take the issue to a municipal court. House Bill 387 proposes to raise the small claims court cap to $6,000 to provide small businesses with an easier, less expensive means of collecting funds. Many states surrounding Ohio have passed similar legislation, and interested parties such as NFIB, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio State Bar Association support this legislation. If signed into law, this legislation would make Ohio a better place to do business, in turn creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.

It is my job as a state legislator to ensure our citizens and our communities are top of mind when crafting legislation. The work the Ohio House has accomplished in these areas certainly promotes the welfare of our state and improves Ohio for our citizens and businesses. I am encouraged by these efforts so far, and invite you to contact my office if you wish to speak about this legislation or any other state issue by calling (614)644-6721 or by emailing Rep51@ohiohouse.gov.

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