State lawmakers recently announced the need for legislation to make state government more open and accountable. Citing recent controversial legislative maneuvers and continued reports of secrecy at JobsOhio, Democratic lawmakers say that economic growth and stability can’t happen with a dysfunctional and unaccountable state government.
“Ohio’s economic recovery has come to a grinding halt over the last year,” said State Rep. John Carney (D-Columbus). “If we are going to turn this around, we need stability to help foster economic growth and accountability to restore trust amongst Ohio taxpayers.”
In recent reports, Ohio ranks low on issues of integrity and accountability. Ohio scored well below the national average in the Better Government Association Integrity Index Report published in July of 2013. Ohio scored a “D” in State Integrity Investigation. The Buckeye State had a near-failing grade in the Georgia PIRG, state-by-state study of spending transparency. And just last week, a new report was published, Creating Scandals Instead of Jobs, which outlined numerous problems at JobsOhio.
State Reps. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) sent a letter to Gov. John Kasich on Thursday requesting that he immediately rescind the decision to unfairly alter requirements for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Gov. Kasich recently extended the SNAP federal waiver to only 16 Appalachian counties, disproportionately affecting Ohio’s urban areas and other rural counties around the state. The federal waiver was preapproved for all 88 Ohio counties.
State Representative and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) released the following statement in response to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s recently unveiled agenda. Husted outlined his proposed limits on voting rights in a letter to legislative leaders yesterday, showing his support for shortening early voting hours and limiting minor party candidates from being placed on the ballot.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D- Kent) responded to Secretary of State Jon Husted’s suggestion that the legislature again try to make drastic cuts to early voting with the following statement:
State Rep. Heather Bishoff (D-Blacklick) offered testimony on Wednesday for her bill to help streamline and update medication administration in Ohio, House Bill 301. HB 301 would allow certain Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) the ability to delegate the administration of medications to other qualified medical assistants.
State Rep. Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) voted in favor of funding Medicaid expansion at today’s state Controlling Board meeting, but not without concerns regarding Gov. Kasich’s failure of leadership on the fundamental part of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA).
State Rep. Connie Pillich (D- Montgomery) joined female Democratic colleagues today to announce a proposal that would bring Ohio in line with the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Ohio Equal Pay Act would essentially close state loopholes that allow employers to engage in discriminatory and unfair gender-based pay practices.
“Closing loopholes to ensure that women have a pathway to restitution when they have been financially discriminated against in the workplace makes too much sense to ignore,” said Rep. Pillich. “This isn’t just about women—it’s also about middle class families. When working mothers lose out on hard earned pay, the whole family feels the effects. Our economy should reflect our values of hard work, fairness and equal opportunity.”
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) hosted national and Ohio election experts on Tuesday for a discussion of “The National Voter Registration Act in the Buckeye State: What Ohio is Doing Wrong.” The discussion highlighted multiple problems in Ohio’s compliance with the NVRA.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the following statement on the Preterm Cleveland, Inc. v. Kasichlawsuit, which challenges three of the attacks on women’s health care in Governor Kasich’s budget.
State Rep. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) recently introduced House Bill 282, legislation to improve the security of Ohio’s small businesses that operate out of the owner’s home. Currently, the Ohio Department of Taxation publishes identifying information-- the type, location and contact information-- of all Ohio businesses online.
“Information of this nature being so readily available can leave individuals and their families more vulnerable to criminals with an interest in what might be found in the home,” said Rep. Rogers. “With internet driven start-ups becoming more and more popular, our state should address the safety concerns that arise from running a business out of your home.”