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State Rep. John Boccieri (D-Poland) today applauded ridesharing company Uber’s decision to offer its services in the Youngstown area. The expansion allows the Valley to join other Ohio population hubs like Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron that all already have access to the service.

 
 
Says Ohio women deserve freedom from violence, threats when seeking medical care
June 20, 2016
Johnson hails anticipated passage of Columbus buffer zone ordinance

State Rep. Greta Johnson (D-Akron) today applauded Columbus City Council’s anticipated passage of a local ordinance to establish a 15-foot “buffer zone” around reproductive health clinics in the city. The Akron lawmaker attended a Columbus news conference with Councilwoman Liz Brown to draw statewide attention to the local initiative. 

“Healthcare in America must include safe access to the doctor’s office – access free from intimidation, free from fear, and free from the threat of physical violence,” said Johnson.

Johnson is a co-sponsor of House Bill 408, state legislation she helped introduce earlier this year to create “buffer zones” similar to what the Columbus city ordinance proposes. The House Bill was part of a larger effort by Johnson to ensure “Access Without Apology” to women’s healthcare in Ohio.

“I congratulate Columbus and Councilwoman Brown for leading the charge to protect women’s safety and access to healthcare,” Johnson added.

 
 
Grants will help house homeless veterans, promote student achievement
June 17, 2016

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today announced the release of over $300,00 in grant funding for organizations in Mahoning County working to house homeless veterans and support student mentorship initiatives. 

 
 

State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood, Ohio) today released the following statement regarding the tragic mass shooting in Orlando this weekend that left 50 dead and 53 wounded:

 
 
Lawmaker disappointed Kasich did not veto state-level restrictions
May 31, 2016

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President and State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) today expressed disappointment in the signing into law of House Bill (HB) 180, saying the ban on local hiring goals will disproportionately harm African American workers and minority communities while jeopardizing infrastructure projects in Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Cleveland. 

“I am deeply disappointed that the governor ignored the request by the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus to veto these unfair restrictions,” said Reece. “At a time when African Americans in our state are struggling economically and remain out of work at a rate two times higher than the state average, local hiring goals are a critical tool for urban communities trying to combat local unemployment. By banning local hiring goals, we are handcuffing our communities from making economic development decisions that put more money in the pockets of local residents and more money into local economies.” 

 
 
Annual recognition date will educate Ohioans about challenges faced by those with communication disorders
May 31, 2016

State Reps. Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) today applauded the signing into law of House Bill (HB) 431, legislation to designate February 17 – Annie Glenn’s birthday – as the “Annie Glenn Communication Disorders Awareness Day” in honor of  Mrs. Glenn and to recognize all Ohioans who struggle with a communication disorder. 

 
 
Fedor issues statement on report of decade-long multi-million dollar charter school embezzlement

Lead Democratic member of the House Education Committee State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) today issued the following statement in response to reports that one-third of charter schools have closed or failed to even open after receiving $30 million in federal grants during the last decade: 

“In no organization, public or private, is this abhorrent level of mismanagement and waste tolerated. But in Ohio it has not only been tolerated, but encouraged by state education officials who directed thirty million dollars over the last decade to charter schools that have closed or never even opened. By failing to hold charter schools to the same standards and expectations as traditional schools, the state is failing an entire generation of children who will not be able to earn the skills they need to succeed. State inaction has allowed charter schools to not only embezzle tax dollars, but to embezzle something more precious that cannot be measured or counted – the hopes and dreams of so many Ohio children and families.”

 
 
Landmark legislation will give patients, doctors alternatives for treatment of severe injuries, illnesses
May 25, 2016

State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) today announced the final passage of House Bill (HB) 523, legislation to legalize the use of certain forms of medical marijuana in Ohio to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, including cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, spinal cord injury, HIV and AIDS. Ohio will become the 26th state in the nation to grant access to legal medical marijuana once the bill is signed into law.    

“After an historic vote, Ohio citizens suffering from severe pain or chronic illness will now be able to seek relief through the use of this non-addictive medicine,” said Ramos, who served as ranking minority member of the Select Committee on Medical Marijuana, was a founding member of the Medical Marijuana Task Force, and was instrumental in penning HB 523. “From children with seizure disorders to returning war heroes with PTSD, this bill will help to manage symptoms that get in the way of everyday life. I am honored to have had the opportunity to take part in drafting monumental legislation that will dramatically change so many people’s lives for the better.

 
 
Bipartisan legislation will close loophole that leaves victims vulnerable to intimate partner violence
May 25, 2016

The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill (HB) 392, legislation to modernize Ohio’s domestic violence laws. The bill, sponsored by Democratic freshman State Reps. Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Christie Kuhns (D-Cincinnati), will allow victims of domestic violence at the hands of an intimate partner to obtain civil protective orders against their attacker. 

If enacted, HB 392 will close a loophole in existing state law that leaves thousands of Ohioans without recourse in the event of domestic violence. Ohio only defines domestic violence as occurring between spouses, family members, those cohabiting, or parents. People in ongoing, substantial, intimate and romantic relationships are not included in Ohio’s definition. 

“The most dangerous moment for a victim of domestic violence is when they try to separate from their abuser,” said Sykes. “By modernizing Ohio’s domestic violence laws to include individuals in serious dating relationships, we can help victims in any abusive relationship access the recourse they need to end the cycle of violence.” 

 
 

Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) President and State Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) and members of the OLBC today introduced a resolution to remove slavery references from the Ohio constitution, calling the references archaic and offensive to all Ohioans, including those whose ancestors were kidnapped and held captive as slaves.