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House leaders announce first of eight rooms now wired for broadcast
March 19, 2019
Broadcasting committees a win for taxpayers, says Sykes

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) joined Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) today to announce that the first of eight remaining House committee rooms has been wired to broadcast committee hearings through the Ohio Channel. 

“Taxpayers deserve more access to what’s going on at their Statehouse, the People’s House,” said Sykes. “Increasing transparency and making government more accessible lets taxpayers know we’re working for them—together—to restore Ohio’s promise as a place where you can live, work and have the opportunity to get ahead.”

 
 
Legislation would restore local control to school districts
March 19, 2019

State Reps. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Don Jones (R-Freeport) today introduced bipartisan legislation to end state takeovers of local schools. Three districts, including Rep. Miller’s own Lorain City Schools, are currently under state control, while ten districts across the state could potentially join them over the next two years.

 
 

State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) announced her support today for bipartisan legislation aimed at repealing and replacing House Bill (HB) 70, known as the “Youngstown Plan.” Lepore-Hagan added her support as a cosponsor to Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) and Rep. Don Jones’ (R-Nottingham Township) legislation that would terminate Academic Distress Commissions, restore local control over public schools and move to a building-based, bottom-up reform model.

 

“This legislation offers a much-needed opportunity to end the failing system of Academic Distress Commissions and restore our district’s control to a democratically elected school board,” said Lepore-Hagan. “We also need an evidence-based turnaround model that allows children and teachers to truly have the opportunity they need to succeed.  My colleagues on both sides of the aisle have recognized the ineffectiveness of HB 70 in Youngstown, Lorain and East Cleveland and the need to refocus on public education in the wake of charter school scandals. The Youngstown City School District has suffered under our former governor’s disastrous plan for too long, and I look forward to finally passing a real solution.”

 
 
Costly Medicaid work restrictions will keep people from having healthcare needed to work
March 15, 2019

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today responded to the federal approval of an Ohio Republican-led Medicaid waiver that is likely to result in some 36,000 Ohioans losing access to healthcare.

 

“With these new restrictions, tens of thousands of Ohioans stand to lose their healthcare, some when they need it the most,” said Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron). “We all want better lives and brighter futures for ourselves and our families, but restricting access to healthcare makes it harder for our state to live up to its full promise.”

 
 

Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and state Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), the House Democratic budget panel leader, today issued the following statements in response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s news conference outlining almost $1 billion in new spending in the upcoming biennial state budget:

 

“While we are encouraged by the governor’s commitment to supporting Democratic policies of investing in children and families, maintaining access to quality, affordable healthcare and cleaning up Lake Erie, the devil will be in the details.

 

 
 
Say Ohioans deserve better jobs, brighter futures and economy that works for everyone
March 14, 2019

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today joined Democratic lawmakers to unveil the Ohio Promise, a blueprint to renew the Buckeye State’s promise of better jobs and brighter futures.

 
 
Says increasing penalties for solicitation will help break the opioid - prostitution cycle
March 13, 2019

State Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) today announced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen penalties for soliciting prostitution and increase funding for Ohio’s Victims of Human Trafficking Fund. 

 
 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) today introduced legislation, House Bill 127, to stop the state from taking over additional local school districts and privatizing local school boards. The legislation follows the controversial state takeovers of Youngstown City Schools, Lorain City Schools, and, most recently, East Cleveland City Schools. Ohio Department of Education reviews of these districts post-takeover show the districts are still failing to meet key state education standards.

 

“House Bill 70, which created state takeovers, was poorly designed, rushed into law, and done with zero public input,” said Rep. Smith. “School districts that were headed in the right direction have had their voices silenced, their students harmed, and their communities upended by a ‘Columbus’knows-best’ approach that has made the situation worse, not better.”

 
 

State Rep. Joe Miller (D-Amherst) today announced he will soon introduce bipartisan legislation with Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) to repeal portions of House bill 70, the 2015 bill that brought on state takeovers of local schools in Lorain and throughout the state.

 

“Placing these districts under state control has been a disaster,” said Miller. “In each case, the Academic Distress Commission has been unable to work effectively alongside the district’s teachers, school leaders and community at large. After three years, we haven’t seen any evidence that state takeovers improve academic achievement. It’s time for us to restore local control and give struggling schools the support they need to succeed.”

 
 

State Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today released a statement following the House passage of House Bill 62, the two-year state transportation budget:

 

“Though there were significant Democratic improvements to the state transportation budget, I don’t believe supporting a tax increase today can make up for the Statehouse failures of the past. We owe it to our fellow citizens to work together to find permanent solutions to permanent problems that have held back communities like ours for too long. I will continue to push for long term solutions that bring home steady and sustainable funding for our community.”