Columbus—Today, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) issued the following statement after the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives reached agreement on bipartisan redistricting reform plan (HJR 12), which the Senate passed early this morning 28-1:
 
The passage of redistricting reform is a victory for bipartisanship and for the citizens of Ohio.  HJR 12 represents a significant improvement over Ohio’s current system of drawing legislative maps that leads to gerrymandered districts.  We hope this legislation will lead to more competitive elections that better reflect the political diversity of Ohio.
 
“Senate Democrats spent many months negotiating in good faith to reach agreement on a plan that was fair and bipartisan.  We worked with the Senate majority, our counterparts in the Ohio House and the Constitutional Modernization Commission.  We remained committed to passing redistricting reform before the end of this General Assembly even when it looked unlikely. Thankfully, our efforts and the tireless work of Rep. Vernon Sykes and other reform advocates paid off.”

 

 
 
  

Columbus- March in Ohio will be a little sweeter with the passage of Senate Bill 272 by the Ohio House yesterday. The bill, joint sponsored by Senator Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) and Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) designating March as Ohio Maple Syrup Products Month will soon be signed into law by Governor Kasich.
 
“I am excited to engage my district in the first celebration of this industry in March," said Cafaro. "I believe that it will bring acclaim to this industry that can only thrive in certain conditions, one of which is Northern Ohio.”
 
According to the Ohio Maple Producers Association, each year Ohio is ranked 4th or 5thin the country in maple production. Approximately 100,000 gallons are produced each year by 900 producers.
 
State Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson) introduced companion legislation in the House to honor the industry as well.
 
“Maple syrup has been a driver of economic development not only in northeast Ohio, but throughout our state,” said State Rep. Patterson. “In fact, as a maple syrup-producing state, Ohio currently ranks 5th in the nation. Naming March in honor of maple syrup raises awareness provides the hard-working families that produce this delicacy with the recognition they deserve.”
 
Prior to House passage, Senate Bill 272 was amended to include provisions declaring September as School Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month.  Also, February 21, will be known as Rascal Flatts Day in Ohio.

 

 
 
  
 
Portion Of I-75 To Be Named William L. Mallory, Sr. Memorial Highway
Legislation added to House Bill 474 to Honor Legacy of First African American Majority Floor Leader
December 11, 2014
 
 

Columbus –Today, Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-Cincinnati) was successful in amending House Bill 474 joint sponsored by Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) to name a portion of Interstate 75 between the Freeman Avenue and Hopple Street exits in Cincinnati as the “William L. Mallory, Sr. Memorial Highway”. The legislation was originally introduced in House Bill 401 by State Representative Dale Mallory (D-Cincinnati), son of the former lawmaker.  It unanimously passed the Ohio Senate and will soon be signed into law.
 
“A year ago yesterday, the Cincinnati community and the state of Ohio lost one of the greatest legislators to walk the halls of the Ohio Statehouse,” stated Senator Kearney. “As the 130th General Assembly draws to a close, it is befitting that we honor the life and legacy of former Democratic leader William L. Mallory, Sr. by naming a portion of Interstate 75 near his home where he embarked on an exemplary career in public service.”
 
Mallory, a native of Cincinnati’s West End community, died at the age of 82 following a lengthy illness.  His legacy includes serving for over twenty-eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives culminating with his election as Ohio’s first African American Majority Floor Leader from 1975 to 1994.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years Fannie;  sons:  Judge William Mallory Jr., former Cincinnati Mayor Mark L. Mallory, Judge Dwane Mallory, Joe Mallory, State Representative Dale Mallory, and daughter Leslie Mallory. 

Senator Kearney represents Ohio’s 9th district, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, Golf Manor, Hollydale, Columbia Township, Silverton and Springfield Township.

 

 
 
  
 
Legislation To Modify Accessible Signs Passes In House Bill 552
Change signals Ohio's progress to become more inclusive
December 11, 2014
 
 

Columbus –Today, Senator Eric H. Kearney was successful in amending House Bill 552 sponsored by Representative Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Township) to include a portion of Senate Bill 552, sponsored by Kearney, requiring the use of the word “accessible” on new handicapped signs erected in Ohio.
 
“I was inspired to pursue this legislation after speaking with constituents from Hamilton County Development Disabilities Services,” said Senator Kearney. “The use of the words such as “handicapped” or “disabled” evokes a negative association and this change signals Ohio’s progress to become more inclusive.”
 
House Bill 552 is expected to be signed into law by Governor Kasich soon.
 
Senator Kearney represents Ohio’s 9th district, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, Golf Manor, Hollydale, Columbia Township, Silverton and Springfield Township.

 

 
 
  

Columbus – Today, the Ohio Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 352, a highway-naming bill to honor fallen heroes from across the state including Army Specialist Angel L. Lopez of Cleveland.  At the request of Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Senator Tom Patton (R-Strongsville), the bill was amended to designate a portion of Interstate 71 within the corporation limits of Cleveland as the “Specialist Angel L. Lopez Memorial Highway.”
 
“Naming a highway after Specialist Lopez will be an appropriate and fitting tribute to this fallen American Hero and his family,” said Senator Skindell.  “He was an outstanding young man who paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.”
 
Specialist Lopez, age 27, died on October 5, 2013 in Afghanistan when his unit was attacked by a group of enemy forces.  He was a wheeled-vehicle mechanic assigned to the 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division based at Fort Knox.
 
Specialist Lopez was a graduate of John Marshall High School in Cleveland.  He was a husband to Maria and a father to his children Lydia and Antonio and stepson Isaiah Ramos.

 

 
 
  
Senator Michael Skindell and Lakewood Superintendent Jeffrey W. Patterson on the Senate floor during session.

 

Today during Senate Session, Senator Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) recognized Jeffrey W. Patterson as the 2015 Ohio Superintendent of the Year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators. 

During his tenure as the Superintendent for Lakewood City Schools, Patterson has overseen labor negotiations with unions and raised student achievement scores. 

 
 
  
 
Companion Pets To Be Protected In Civil Protection Orders
Senate Bill 177 empowers domestic abuse victims to leave volatile environments
December 10, 2014
 
 

Columbus—A bill to empower domestic abuse victims to seek safety from volatile environments without worrying about the well-being of their pets will now go to the governor to be signed into law after passing the Ohio House yesterday.  Senate bill 177, sponsored by Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood), allows judges to authorize the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders. 
 
“The final passage of this legislation sends a message to victims that their safety as well as those who are considered family members, such as their pets, is a top priority,” said Senator Skindell. “Animals are a piece of property and abusers should not use them to overpower victims.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), seventy-one percent of pet-owning women entering domestic abuse violence shelters report that their abuser killed, harmed, or threatened their animal.  Too often, a woman will not leave an abusive situation if she has to leave a pet behind unprotected.

To date twenty-four other states have passed similar measures to not only protect pets but provide support to victims of domestic violence who are pet owners. Supporters of Senate Bill 177 include the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Cruelty Task Force of Ohio, Ohio Federated Humane Societies, and the Ohio Voters for Companion Animals.

The Ohio House also included an amendment to provide critical funding for the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation. The amendment would eliminate the surcharge exemption for domestic relations cases while also providing a fee surcharge for juvenile custody, visitation and parentage filings to support the foundation which was created by the General Assembly to fund and improve civil legal aid. It relies on the interest on lawyer trust accounts and a civil filing fee surcharge to fund Ohio’s civil legal aid services.

“Due to the state of the nation’s economy and a substantial decrease in the number of civil filings in Ohio, the foundation is facing a critical funding crisis,” said Skindell. “This change in statue would allow the foundation to continue to provide funding for much needed services to thousands of Ohioans navigating Ohio’s court system.”

 

 
 
  
 
Sen. Tavares To Address Racial Fairness In Judicial System
Will Introduce Recommendations from Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Racial Fairness Report
December 10, 2014
 
 

Columbus—State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D – Columbus), Assistant Senate Democratic Leader will be introducing legislation to implement the recommendations of the Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness. The Ohio Commission on Racial Fairness was created as a joint initiative of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1994 and created the report in 1999. The Court and the State Bar presented the Commission with the following mandate:
 
“...to identify racial bias where it exists and propose methods for eliminating it from the legal profession and the justice system. This will include gathering information about the perception and reality of disparate treatment towards African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans, and recommending methods of addressing and eliminating those perceptions and realities.
 
The commission was charged to: (1) study every aspect of the state court system and the legal profession to ascertain the manner in which African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Americans are perceived and treated as parties, victims, lawyers, judges and employees; (2) determine public perceptions of fairness or lack of fairness in the judicial system and legal profession; and (3) make recommendations on needed reforms and remedial programs.
 
The Commission adopted 70 recommendations in the following areas: Judges and Attorney Perceptions; Employment and Appointment Practices in the Courts; Jury Issues; Criminal Justice and Sentencing; Law Schools; Interpreter Services; and Juvenile Justice Recommendations.
 
“These recommendations were taken from research conducted in our own state” stated Tavares. “This comprehensive report shows that there is racial bias within our justice system from arrest to sentencing. The commission made these recommendations to help alleviate the racial biases in our justice system, but the state has left it on the shelf for nearly 15 years. Current events in Beavercreek, OH, Cleveland, OH, Ferguson, MO, New York, NY and etc. show that this legislation is needed. The report shows that there is not just a perception but documented bias and discrimination in our justice system; a system that should be fair and equal,” concluded Tavares.

 

 
 
  
 
Senator Brown's Bill Allowing Electronic Proof Of Insurance Passes Ohio House Of Representatives
SB 255 will now go to the Governor for his signature
December 09, 2014
 
 

Columbus—Today, the Ohio House of Representatives voted to pass SB 255 which allows Ohio motorists to provide proof of financial responsibility via a smart phone or other mobile electronic device during a traffic stop. When signed into law, Senate Bill 255, sponsored by State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) will make Ohio the 36th state to pass similar legislation.
 
“I am very pleased that the Ohio House of Representatives supported SB 255 and moved Ohio one step closer to codifying this very simple rule that will add convenience for Ohio motorists,” Senator Brown said.
 
The proposed law would not eliminate the printed insurance identification cards currently in use, but would give Ohio drivers the option of providing the same information through an electronic device. 

 
 
  
 
Bill To Establish Ohio Poet Laureate To Become Law
Bill passage underscores importance of arts education in schools
December 09, 2014
 
 

Columbus – Ohio will soon join 44 other states and the District of Columbus with the establishment of the Ohio Poet Laureate. Senate Bill 84, sponsored by Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-Cincinnati) passed the Ohio House (82-1) today.  Now it will go to the governor to be signed into law.
 
“As the home to many poets such as Langston Hughes, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, James Wright and Nikki Giovanni from my district, Ohio has a rich history in arts community nationwide,” said Senator Kearney. “The passage of this bill is important because it underscores the importance of literary arts in Ohio as we debate the impact of the genre on our children’s education.”
 
The governor selects the poet laureate from a list developed by the Ohio Arts Council. The poet laureate will then work with the Ohio Arts Council to establish programs to promote awareness of the literary arts and encourage citizens to develop their own creative interests.
 
 “Throughout the process of consideration for this bill, I have received support from libraries, universities, professors, and letters from students at Dater Montessori,” said Kearney.  “In creating the post of Ohio Poet Laureate we will show Ohioans the esteem we hold for civil and meaningful discourse. We will also show our appreciation for deeper thinking and set a good example for our students.”
 
In celebration of Senate Bill 84 becoming law, Senator Kearney composed the following limerick:
 

Ohio joined 44 other states today.
We created a poet laureate, Hooray!
Great poets like Cary, Hughes, Dove, and Dunbar’s.
Ohio’s poets are admired near and far.
Ohio poets have important things to say!

 
Senator Kearney represents Ohio’s 9th district, which includes parts of Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Elmwood Place, Norwood, Golf Manor, Hollydale, Columbia Township, Silverton and Springfield Township.

 
 
  
<< Older Posts
Featured Posts

Senator Schiavoni Comments On The Bipartisan Agreement On Redistricting Reform

 

Columbus—Today, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) issued the following statement after the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives reached agreement on bipartisan redistricting reform plan (HJR 12), which the Senate passed early this morning 28-1:



 
 

Maple Syrup Industry To Be Celebrated In March

 

Columbus- March in Ohio will be a little sweeter with the passage of Senate Bill 272 by the Ohio House yesterday. The bill, joint sponsored by Senator Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) and Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) designating March as Ohio Maple Syrup Products Month will soon be signed into law by Governor Kasich.



 
 

Portion Of I-75 To Be Named William L. Mallory, Sr. Memorial Highway

 

Columbus –Today, Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-Cincinnati) was successful in amending House Bill 474 joint sponsored by Representatives Mike Dovilla (R-Berea) and Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville) to name a portion of Interstate 75 between the Freeman Avenue and Hopple Street exits in Cincinnati as the “William L. Mallory, Sr. Memorial Highway”. The legislation was originally introduced in House Bill 401 by State Representative Dale Mallory (D-Cincinnati), son of the former lawmaker.  It unanimously passed the Ohio Senate and will soon be signed into law.
 



 
 

Legislation To Modify Accessible Signs Passes In House Bill 552

 

Columbus –Today, Senator Eric H. Kearney was successful in amending House Bill 552 sponsored by Representative Peter Stautberg (R-Anderson Township) to include a portion of Senate Bill 552, sponsored by Kearney, requiring the use of the word “accessible” on new handicapped signs erected in Ohio.