My goal as your state representative is to help make Ohio and the 83rd district safer, stronger and open for business by reducing regulations, empowering people and investing in Ohio’s future.
Without question we advanced those ideas and more in 2019.
I was asked by House leadership to spearhead important workforce development reforms that became one of our priority bills, House Bill 2.
As a member of the House Finance Committee, I helped craft Ohio’s new state budget, includes meaningful reforms, cuts taxes and supports families and communities.
And I’ve worked with my local and state leaders to craft proposals to advance our shared priorities.
Ohio’s new budget, for example, includes a 4 percent cut in state income tax rates while providing record funding for Ohio schools. And we are just getting started. In the weeks and months ahead, I am looking forward to examining how we can improve our school testing and report card system, to support education for our students and better reflect the good work taking place in our local schools.
Let me share a few additional highlights from 2019:
Regulatory Reform: A review by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University estimated it would take someone more than 21 weeks to read the entire 15.2-million word Ohio Administrative Code, and calculated it contains 246,852 restrictions. It’s simply out of control. That’s why I’m proud to tell you of a new state law in the budget legislation that I supported that will increase government transparency and reduce regulations.
Foster Care: We’re also doing more than ever before to support kids in foster care. At this very moment, nearly 16,000 children are in foster care here in Ohio, a 25 percent increase driven by the addiction crisis. They deserve our support.
Improving Our Infrastructure: Ohio sits at the crossroads of America and is the workhorse of American commerce. We have the state’s fourth largest interstate system, the second-inventory of bridges, and the sixth-highest number of vehicle miles traveled – our transportation and infrastructure is pivotal to our state’s foundation and economy. Crumbling roads and bridges are also costing Ohioans more in repair bills: $2,000 a year, according to one study. That’s why we passed an historic transportation budget to do more to improve our highways and bridges, as well as help our local government partners with repairs in communities here in the 83rd District and across Ohio. All told, our new transportation budget will provide around $865 million a year to maintain and expand our infrastructure.
Energy Policy: One of the critical issues for our state is making sure we have a sound energy policy – one that protects Ohio jobs and Ohio’s energy security. Energy security in Ohio is economic security for Ohioans, which is why we passed House Bill 6. With this new law, we are eliminating failed electric mandates while supporting Ohio jobs and Ohio’s economy. The measure is good for the environment as well, as it maintains and strengthens zero carbon energy generation in Ohio.
Workforce Development: Governor Mike DeWine recently signed into law House Bill 2, bipartisan legislation I sponsored to improve workforce development. The goal of the bill is to help people secure the training they need to get the credentials or certificate they need to land a job improve their skills in high-demand professions. We do this by providing grants to individuals as well as businesses. When we strengthen Ohio’s workforce, we not only strengthen our economy but we make Ohio more attractive for businesses looking to relocate or expand.
Supporting Adoption: To strengthen families and better support adoption, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague and I have teamed up to propose the Family Forward initiative, which aims to ease the financial burden for families navigating the adoption process. I’ll keep you posted on this important legislation.
Protecting Innocent Life: Also in 2019, we continued our commitment to protecting the sanctity of innocent human life, by passing the Heartbeat Bill, which prohibits abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
It is an honor to serve as your voice in the Ohio House of Representatives. I am proud to have been a part of the first year of the 133rd Ohio General Assembly as everyone came together for great achievements throughout 2019.