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House Bill 190 to virtually eliminate prevailing wage, reduce pay for middle class workers
June 19, 2013

Today, Ohio House Democratic Leader and State Rep. Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) denounced House Bill 190, a bill to dramatically increase the prevailing wage threshold to $3.5 million for state funded construction projects. Ohio will soon be in the third phase of raising the prevailing wage threshold to $250K, as prescribed by HB 153 of the 129th General Assembly.

“This bill would encourage disreputable out of state contractors to flock to Ohio, bringing their undertrained, underpaid workers with them and depressing the wages of hard working Ohio men and women-- union and non-union alike,” said Leader Heard. “For Republicans in the Statehouse to talk about the importance of creating Ohio jobs, then propose a bill that directly undercuts quality jobs for Ohioans is both derisive and hypocritical.”

 
 
Rep. Hagan proposes community investments through oil and gas severance
June 19, 2013

State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced his plan to capitalize on the boom in horizontal shale drilling by using an updated severance tax model to invest in communities through resources for public education, infrastructure and community services.

House Bill 212, introduced this week, would enact a 7.5% severance tax on oil, natural gas and condensate extracted from horizontal drilling. The bulk of the revenue raised from the tax would be reinvested in Ohio’s communities, with an emphasis placed on counties most impacted by drilling activity.

“Ohio’s severance tax is a pittance compared to other states with major shale drilling activity,” said Rep. Hagan. “We need to update the severance tax rate on horizontal drilling to ensure that our precious natural resources are not extracted without appropriate compensation.” 

 
 
Tax cuts for wealthiest, secret economic development deals fail our middle class
June 17, 2013

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard released the following statement in response to a Pew Charitable Trusts report that highlights Ohio’s pitiful job growth over the last year. Ther report can be found here: http://www.pewstates.org/research/data-visualizations/how-many-jobs-did-your-state-create-85899483589

“The fact that we have had one of the lowest job growth rates in the nation over the past year is disturbing. Clearly, such a troubling trend underscores the failure of Governor Kasich’s ‘trickle-down’ approach to job creation in our state.

“Prioritizing our schools, communities and middle-class families will create a strong environment for job growth. Yet, Gov. Kasich has turned his back on those priorities. Instead, he has made deep cuts to our schools and communities while at the same time he’s given tax breaks that favor the wealthy and taxpayer funded handouts to large corporations. This report is a clear indication that Gov. Kasich’s top-down economic policies aren’t working.

“It’s a recovery for the rich and a recession for the rest of us. A nearly jobless recovery is not what Ohio needs from its Governor and Statehouse.”

 

 
 
House Republicans introduce another bill to limit women's healthcare choices
June 13, 2013

COLUMBUS- Representative John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) released the following statement after learning of the introduction of House Bill 200, which would restrict a woman’s healthcare choices, force doctors to share factually incorrect information, and redefine “medical emergency” possibly putting women’s lives at risk. 

 
 
Proposal includes $2 million over next two years, trust fund and victim advocates
June 12, 2013

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) released the following statement upon House passage of Sub. HB 108, which would create a funding mechanism for Rape Crisis Programs administered by the Attorney General and funded through registration fees of sex offenders, new fines for sexually oriented offenses and donations.

“I applaud the creation of a state funding mechanism for the 27 Rape Crisis Centers in Ohio.  These centers provide critical care and assistance to rape survivors.  Rape is a heinous crime that happens all too often, and can have life altering effects on the victims and their families.  This fund is a step in the right direction but we must do more to prevent rape – not just deal with the aftermath.”

 
 
Pushes for bill to identify Veterans through tax returns, link to Veterans Services
June 12, 2013

State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery) today urged lawmakers to approve her legislation, House Bill 166, which would connect Ohio veterans to the Department of Veterans Services through income tax returns.

“This bill will provide a much needed linkage of services to the men and women who have served our state and nation so dutifully,” said Rep. Pillich.  “Too often a gap exists between our veterans and our Department of Veterans Services. By promoting the identification of veterans through income tax returns, the Department of Taxation and the Department of Veterans Services can work together to ensure our service members are connected to resources.”

 
 
Bill rushed through legislature and quickly signed into law in attempt to undermine Auditor's responsibility to taxpayers
June 10, 2013

Representative John Patrick Carney (D-Columbus) sent a letter to State Auditor Dave Yost today calling on him to perform a full public audit of JobsOhio before Senate Bill 67 takes effect in 85 days.  SB 67 was rushed through the legislature and signed by the governor in less than a week, in an effort to prohibit Auditor Yost from fulfilling his constitutional responsibility to Ohio’s taxpayers and ensuring accountability and transparency of their tax dollars.

A copy of the letter can be seen below:

 
 
Legislators Release Report on Real Problem in Ohio Elections: Voter Suppression
June 6, 2013

State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) and State Representative Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released a report documenting thousands of instances of voter suppression – discouraging people from voting, denying voters their ballots, and throwing out votes – that took place during the 2012 general election.  Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted in January instructed county election officials to investigate voter suppression and voter fraud and report it to him.  The Secretary recently released a report of his findings stating that no voter suppression took place.  

 
 

Ohio House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) joined with protestors to speak out against House Bill 151 and House Joint Resolution 5, both of which work to remove workers’ rights to collectively bargain.

 

 
 
Proposed bill will increase number of school safety drills each year
May 24, 2013