State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today applauded the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 135, which would invest more than $100 million in state funds for Ohio counties to purchase new, modern voting equipment. SB 135 also appropriates $10 million to reimburse counties who purchased new voting systems on or after January 1, 2014. Voting systems, including voting machines, marking devices, automatic tabulating equipment, direct recording electronic voting machines and associated allowable expenditures, would be covered under the bill.
“After years of cutting funds to local communities, it’s about time state government will invest in new election equipment,” said Smith. “While my Republican colleagues ignored ways to safeguard Ohio against Russian cyber-attacks, I am glad we can bring better technology to Ohio elections.”
After a year of evading promised reforms of an out-of-control payday lending industry, a divided House Republican Caucus pushed through House Bill (HB) 123 amid an ongoing FBI investigation into potential Republican pay-to-play tactics on their once-lauded reform legislation.
After nearly two months of a Republican-led legislative impasse, the Ohio House is expected to resume legislative activity following today’s narrow, marathon election of new House Speaker Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell). Chaos and dysfunction have plagued the legislature since the abrupt resignation of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), after he announced he was under FBI inquiry in April. Federal agents have since raided Rosenberger’s home, his state office and storage shed, as rumors of pay-to-play tactics on payday lending reform legislation continue to churn.
As the Ohio House today cancelled sessions for this week amid an FBI raid on the home of former GOP Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) and the failure to elect a new speaker, House Education and Career Readiness Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) violated House rules and ended committee when it became apparent Democratic amendments to Senate Bill 216 could pass.
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced legislation to support struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut the local government fund by forty-five percent. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions. These cuts have forced to communities to raise taxes, cut essential services, and delay needed repairs, just to keep their heads above water.
If passed, this legislation will allocate money from the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, to 26 communities on the Auditor of State Fiscal Distress List that received lower Local Government Fund (LGF) allocations than what they received in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.
State Reps. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to eliminate Ohio’s current 25-year statute of limitations for rape. More than half of U.S. states do not have limits on when victims can file rape claims.
State Reps. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today introduced legislation to block the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The proposed moratorium follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools and Lorain City Schools, where the heavy-handed approach has failed to produce any meaningful improvement or results.
State Representatives Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D- Euclid) today announced legislation to strengthen Ohio’s outdated overtime pay rules. Policy Matters Ohio’s Hannah Halbert, who urged action on the nation’s outdated overtime pay rules, joined them. The event also highlighted how the Trump administration—as well as special interests and Republican officials, including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine—are obstructing a rule that would ensure that workers are paid fairly for the hours they work.
State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) will join Center for American Progress and Policy Matters Ohio for a news conference on Tuesday, April 3 at 1:00 p.m. in the Harding Senate Press Room to discuss public employee overtime wage protection legislation.
State Reps. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced legislation to fund sewer and water capital improvements through general obligation bonds. Under this proposal, municipal corporations, counties, townships and other government entities would be eligible to receive state bonds for capital projects to ensure clean drinking water, promote public health and alleviate environmental concerns.