On Wednesday, State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Ohio House Democratic Caucus members stood in opposition to the state’s two-year, $131.6 billion budget proposal, House Bill 64. Democratic members said a bill of that magnitude should have been a strategic and targeted blueprint to grow the state’s economy for the future, but instead became a vehicle for tax cuts that favor the richest one-percent and last-minute attacks on working Ohioans.
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced a proposal to promote music industry growth in Ohio. The proposed Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, or "OhioSounds," would provide incentives for music production, studio construction and recording within the state. Smith submitted the proposal for consideration in the state budget.
“OhioSounds would solidify the state’s commitment to our musical legacy and help encourage further creative endeavors from Ohio musicians while driving economic growth in a competitive industry and making Ohio a destination for musicians and producers,” said Rep. Smith. “This will not only inspire the next generation of The Black Keys or Bootsy Collins, but will provide a substantial economic return for communities across the state.”
Current data lists music industry revenues at nearly $7 billion annually. Rep. Smith wants to see some of that investment come to Ohio.
Rep. Smith’s proposal would provide tax credits for 25 percent of the related sound recording production costs for music projects created in Ohio. It would also refund 25 percent of music studio construction and recording infrastructure costs. To qualify for OhioSounds, production costs must exceed $5,000 per project, with a maximum incentive set at $50,000. If OhioSounds becomes law, the total amount of initial incentives would be capped at $3 million.
“We have the ability to attract talent not only from Ohio, but across the globe to create music, pioneer new technologies and contribute to our local economies. It’s a win-win,” said Smith. “We have the opportunity for people to be exposed to and fall in love with more Ohio talent. I think its a solid gold opportunity— maybe even platinum.”
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced he is working to get an amendment in the state budget to restore nearly $6.7 million in Local Government Funds (LGF) to East Cleveland. The amount, which would come from the state’s $1.5 billion Rainy Day Fund, reflects the state’s cuts to East Cleveland since 2008.
The Ohio House today approved the strictest anti-abortion bill in the nation, the six week ban, largely along party lines. House Bill 69 would outlaw abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as 6 weeks gestation—often before a woman knows she is pregnant. H.B. 69 makes an exception only in cases where the life of the mother is at risk and does not include exceptions for rape or incest.
The bill, which was introduced and failed to garner adequate support during the last two General Assemblies, is generally recognized as unconstitutional. Democratic lawmakers say the bill would amount to a near total abortion ban and is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade which established viability, not a heartbeat, as the determining factor for whether or not abortions should be legal.
In 2014, federal judges overturned so-called fetal heartbeat legislation in North Dakota and Arkansas.
Here is what Cleveland-area lawmakers are saying about the passage of the six-week ban:
“I voted against this legislation because I support a woman’s right to make her own health care choices free from government intrusion.”- Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights)
“Abortion bans do not stop abortions they simply move the procedure to the shadows and make it unsafe and dangerous.” –Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid)
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) today announced the committees on which he will serve to help shape and refine public policy.
State Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) Monday was named Economic & Workforce Development Committee’s Ranking Member, the House Minority’s highest ranking official on the legislative panel.
Kent Smith (D- Euclid) was officially sworn in to the Ohio House of Representatives Monday as State Representative for the 8th House District. Rep. Smith, elected to his first term in the House in November, will serve the citizens of eastern and northern parts of Cuyahoga County, including parts of the city of Cleveland and its eastern suburbs.
“I am excited and honored to represent the hardworking people of the 8th district,” said Rep. Smith. “I embrace the opportunity to improve lives in the 8th district by attracting quality jobs, improving our schools and strengthening our communities.”
Rep. Smith served on the Euclid Board of Education from 2002-2013, where he won the “Award of Achievement” from the Ohio School Boards Association four times. In his twelve years on the school board, Rep. Smith never missed a meeting. Rep. Smith was also elected the local leader of the Euclid Democratic Party in 2006 and reelected to that position in 2010 and 2014.
In 2006, Rep. Smith earned a Graduate Certificate in Urban Economic Development during his Ph.D. coursework in the Economic Development program at Cleveland State University. His Masters thesis dealt with the emerging threat of predatory lending. He used this expertise to co-author the first Predatory Lending Report by Policy Matters Ohio in 2002.
Rep. Smith is a 2013 graduate of the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps. He has worked for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office and also for four Northeast Ohio non-profit organizations.