Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) issued a statement Tuesday on the one-year anniversary of Ohio’s first confirmed coronavirus cases. The governor issued the state of emergency on March 9, 2020, after three Ohioans reportedly tested positive for the virus.
“This past year have shown us all that government and society must do better for the vulnerable. Whether it is safety and protection or economic relief, due prior years of disinvestment many have suffered. Unfortunately, it has been an uphill struggle when politics gets in the way. We must do better to improve the infrastructure to help and protect our citizens. I will continue to raise the issues and fight for the resources that our community and state needs,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson.
Since the onset of the pandemic, House Dems have pushed for the health, safety and security of working people and families, helping to pass a sweeping relief bill that provided immediate supports to working people, families and businesses.
Additionally, Democrats laid out their “responsible restart” plan for Ohio, focusing on supporting small businesses and protecting workers.
Democrats have been critical of the governor’s vaccine rollout in recent weeks, which they say fails to address racial disparities and creates scheduling and scarcity issues that turn away too many vulnerable and elderly Ohioans.
Other key Democratic responses to the virus include:
· Advocating for a halt to debt collection, foreclosures and evictions;
· Implementing the Worker Protection Act, which the governor made an executive order;
· Allowing ODJFS to automatically re-determine benefits;
· Making the November general election safe and accessible for all eligible voters;
· Passing a bill to expand broadband access to unserved areas of the state;
· Pushing for virtual committees and testimony at the Ohio House;
· Fighting against Republican efforts to undermine the state’s response to COVID-19;
· Introducing a legislative package to support schools during the pandemic;
· Covering telehealth in times of crisis.