State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today responded to the legislature’s approval of Senate Bill 96, a bill that allows full online voter registration in 2017. The Euclid lawmaker also commented on the federal courts striking down Ohio Republicans’ restrictions on voting and registering to vote on the same day in Ohio, or “golden week.”
“With federal courts today finding Republican efforts to restrict voting violated the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, we should be very attentive to the details of bills claiming to modernize or reform voting in Ohio, especially when such bills have the same author,” said Smith. “With that in mind, I am disappointed that today’s legislation prevents online registration from taking place until 2017. The technology exists to implement online voter registration right now."
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the passage of House Bill (HB) 523, legislation to legalize the use of certain forms of medical marijuana in Ohio to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease spinal cord injury, HIV and AIDS.
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today reacted to Governor’s Kasich’s State of the State address, saying that the reality on the ground for working people does not match the rosy picture painted by the governor Wednesday night in Marietta. The Cleveland-area lawmaker noted that the governor especially failed to address the real state of cuts to communities in Ohio.
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist 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 over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.
State Reps. Greta Johnson (D–Akron) and Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the introduction of the “Ohio Jobs Guarantee” to ensure policymakers and the public have full access to information necessary to evaluate job creation efforts in Ohio. The bill would allow the Auditor to conduct full audits of JobsOhio and require that JobsOhio submit a quarterly progress report detailing all of its active projects. The bill’s introduction comes amidst news that two of Gov. Kasich’s presidential campaign mega-donors were recommended by JobsOhio for tax incentives that will cost Ohioans close to $1 million.
Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) issued the following statement in response to reports that the CEO of Ohio’s privatized economic development entity received a $122,634 pay increase this year for a total salary just shy of a half million dollars:
State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Hearcel Craig (D-Columbus) this week introduced House Bill 486, legislation to modernize the state’s minimum wage in order to give hardworking Ohioans the ability to make ends meet and support their families.
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today applauded the passage of House Bill (HB) 405, legislation to increase the safety of Ohio children by strengthening penalties against sexual predators.
“This legislation will help protect Ohio’s most valuable asset – our children,” said Smith, a primary sponsor of the bill. “Internet predators in Ohio need to know there will be consequences for their despicable actions. This legislation will put predators behind bars and help keep our kids safe.”
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced a $320,000 in Roadwork Development Grants to improve roadway infrastructure in Euclid, Ohio. Improvements will allow Lincoln Electric Company to open a new facility and create 40 new, full-time jobs in the area.
House Democratic lawmakers today pushed back against House Bill 377, saying passage of the so-called “right to work” legislation will lead to lower wages, more workplace accidents and deaths, and an overall race to the bottom that will harm Ohio’s working families. Introduced by Republican Tom Brinkman, HB 377 would effectively weaken collective bargaining rights in the state by outlawing what are known as fair share fees, or costs stemming from the collective bargaining process that typically brings higher wages and better benefits for all employees, union and non-union alike.
“A healthy middle class is the most important component to a growing economy. What the Ohio GOP either fails to understand or refuses to acknowledge is that right to work laws harm the middle class,” said Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “According to the US Census Bureau, the median household income in the states with right to work restrictions is $6,437 less than in other states. If the middle class incomes are falling, then Ohio’s economy is failing too. Right to work is wrong in Ohio because it’s bad for Ohio families and therefore bad for Ohio’s economy.”
National studies show that workers in states with so-called right to work restrictions have a 36 percent higher chance of dying on the job and are stuck in more low-wage occupations than workers in free-bargaining states like Ohio. The Economic Policy Institute calculates that workers in states with right to work restrictions earn $1,540 less a year, while U.S. Census Bureau data shows that median family income is at least $6,000 less compared to other states.
A study by The National Education Association also reveals that right to work states invest some $3,000 less per-pupil for public education than their free-bargaining counterparts. Children and families in so-called right to work states are also more likely to lack he