State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) announced today that he was among 37 select lawmakers chosen to participate in a training program that annually identifies and assists promising state leaders in the Midwest. The Euclid lawmaker was one of three Ohio legislators selected for the fellowship.
Rep. Smith will meet with fellow lawmakers from Ohio and 10 other Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces on August 11-15 in Minneapolis, Minn., for The Council of State Governments’ 23rd annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD).
“I am honored to be chosen to be a part of the 2017 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development class,” said Smith. “My hope is that being a part of 2017 BILLD class will allow me to better serve the residents of the 8th House District and the citizens of Ohio.”
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today voted “no” on the Republican-led charge to restrict worker’s access to healthcare and benefits through the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget bill, House Bill 27. The bill passed the House Insurance Committee and the House Finance Committee on a party-line vote Tuesday.
“It’s clear that GOP leadership were having second thoughts about House Bill 27 as they broke with standard House procedures to get the bill passed,” said Smith. “Instead of rushing an important budget bill through the process, Republican leaders should be working diligently to secure the paychecks of Ohio’s working people.”
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) gave sponsor testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Tuesday on a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state.
“While other states, like Georgia which just signed their program into law on May 8, are also pushing for recording studio incentives, I believe Ohio should get ahead of the curve in attracting new music recording projects as well as growing our existing studios and musical talent,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds builds upon our proud music history and works to cultivate our state’s musical legacy moving forward.”
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the release of a $65.2 million low-interest loan from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prevent sewage runoff into Lake Erie.
“I would like to thank Governor Kasich and Ohio EPA Director Butler for awarding the city of Euclid millions of dollars from the Ohio EPA's Water Pollution Control Loan Fund. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work done by Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail and members of her administration to protect Lake Erie and Euclid residents who enjoy the lake and consume its water via the Euclid Water Treatment Plant,” Smith said. “As a member of both the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus and the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, I am well aware of the high importance and high cost of protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem. This low-interest loan will not only help improve the quality of life for the Euclid residents but will also help restore and protect the Great Lakes. This important work should be applauded and continued in the state of Ohio.”
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) recently expressed disappointment in Gov. Kasich’s state of the state address, saying the governor failed to provide 11 million Ohioans an explanation on why the state is on “the verge of a recession” after six years under his leadership. The lawmaker also noted that the governor’s budget failed to adequately address the real state of the economy, education, healthcare and recent drastic state cuts to communities in Ohio.
“I was disappointed that Governor Kasich again tried to convince Ohioans that 51 consecutive months of job growth below the national average is a good thing by not addressing the real economic issues, and that he continued to push his 40-hour public school teacher externship idea—which has not gained traction with any member of the 132nd General Assembly. I think the Governor should ‘GET REALS’ and stop the tax shifting and funding cuts on public education.”
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today criticized the passage of House Bill (HB) 114, saying legislation that changes the state’s advanced energy standards to unenforceable “goals” will harm consumers and jeopardize thousands of manufacturing and development jobs in Ohio’s advanced energy industry and other industries that increasingly want and rely on advanced energy sources.
“My GOP colleagues have sent Ohio backward by rolling back our state's renewable energy mandates,” said Smith. “By not passing my amendment in support of Ohio's wind energy sector, the Republican chamber continues to maintain an artificial market barrier that stifles Ohio's wind industry, therefore depriving our state of potentially $3.4 billion dollars’ worth of economic activity. This legislation is short-sighted and harmful to both present-day Ohioans and our future generations.”
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) recently introduced House Bill (HB) 138, legislation to fight pay discrimination in Ohio by establishing a toll-free equal pay hotline, an easily accessible, anonymous resource for workers to report wage discrimination and gather more information to find out if they could be victims of pay discrimination.
“While the federal Equal Pay Act was enacted over fifty years ago, Ohio has done little more to protect worker’s paychecks from unprecedented and illegal discrimination,” said Smith. “By providing the tools necessary to help ensure folks are receiving equal pay for equal work, we can attract more top talent and create a stronger economy for all Ohioans.”
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Chesterland) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 80, their bipartisan legislation to combat child hunger in Ohio. HB 80 would allow outside organizations to use schools as summer meal sites to ensure hungry children have access to a nutritious lunch even when school is out of session.
“It is unacceptable that over a half million Ohio children go hungry when they are not in school,” said Smith. “By allowing schools to partner with qualified organizations in the summer to provide healthy meals to students in need at no cost to the school district, we can help reduce child hunger in our state.”
State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today issued the following statement responding to the governor’s assertion that legislation to require the state’s chief executive to complete an annual 40-hour externship in a public elementary or secondary school is motivated by “partisan politics”:
“We believe what is “more than disappointing” is the fact that under Governor Kasich’s leadership, Ohio has slashed critical funding for local communities and schools; has supported a for-profit charter school industry is failing to educate our children; and even allowed data-scrubbing to cover up charter school shortcomings to occur under this watch.
State Reps. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced new legislation – The “GET REALS Act” – to require the governor to complete an annual 40-hour externship in a public elementary or secondary school ranked A-F.
The Governor’s Externship for Training of Realistic Expectations of Academic Leadership in Schools (GET REALS) comes as Gov. Kasich seeks a law change in his state operating budget to require teachers to shadow businesspeople as a condition of maintaining their professional education licensure.
“If Governor Kasich is serious about strengthening our schools and preparing our students to succeed, his public policies should be informed by real world, on-the-ground experience that, quite frankly, he lacks,” said Smith