COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Jim Hughes (R–Columbus) this week toured the new Cristo Rey Columbus High School facility in the Discovery District neighborhood of Downtown Columbus with the school’s President, Jim Foley.

The 88,000 square foot building was once home to the Ohio State School for the Deaf and is adjacent to both the Columbus Public Library’s Main Branch and the Topiary Park.

The college prep school, which is affiliated with the Diocese of Columbus, underwent $18 million in renovations made possible through tax credits and a loan from the diocese.

Senator Jim Hughes represents the 16th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses a portion of Franklin County. He currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance & Financial Institutions. Learn more at www.OhioSenate.gov/Hughes.
 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

COLUMBUS– Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) and State Senator Cliff Hite (R–Findlay) today toured Cooper Farms, operated by Gary Cooper and his son Cole. The elder Cooper currently serves as the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, a role that wins him the honor of raising the 2014 National Thanksgiving Turkey that will be presented to President Barack Obama for a Presidential Pardon.

According to Cooper Farms, the presidential flock was hatched on July 7 and will be 20 weeks old before two of them are chosen to make the journey to the White House.

Throughout the fall term, nearly 3,000 area school students have travelled to Cooper Farms to visit the presidential flock.

Cooper Farms is located in Mercer County, Ohio and has been in business since 1938.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

Senator Peggy Lehner (R–Kettering) today announced nearly 96 percent of third grade students from the 2013-2014 school year passed the new state standards implemented by Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  These results reflect the scores earned by third graders following the summer administration of the O.A.A. exam.
 
“Today’s outcome is a testament to the teachers in our schools across Ohio who know the impact early reading has on our children’s future learning and have made it their mission to see their students succeed,” said Lehner.
 
Senator Lehner serves as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Education, the panel that approved the guarantee and has been a leading proponent of the policy.  
 
The 95.8 percent passage rate is a significant improvement over the 2012-2013 academic year when 88.2 percent of students earned a passing grade.
 
“There is no mistaking that the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is a high benchmark and getting to this point was no small feat,” added Lehner. “But our educators and parents have risen to the challenge and by doing so, we’ve put our children’s education on firm footing.”
 
The Ohio Third Grade Reading Guarantee was implemented by House Bill 555 of the 129th General Assembly in December of 2012. It requires that students be assessed at the beginning of each academic year from kindergarten through third grade to ensure they are on track to meet the reading benchmark by the end of third grade. Parents are immediately notified if their child is having difficulty reading at which time an improvement plan is implemented in order to help them get on track.
 
The 2013-2014 academic year was the first since the Third Grade Reading Guarantee went into full effect having been tested the year prior.

 
 
  
 
 
 

The Senate will consider the following during today’s session (1:30p):

  • Promoting Healthy Babies: House Bill 465, sponsored by Representative Terry Johnson (R–McDermott), would designate the first week of July as “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Week” each year. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a series of health issues that arise in a newborn who was exposed to addictive opiate drugs during pregnancy. Nearly 19,000 days in the hospital and $70 million in medical charges resulted from NAS in 2011.
     
  • Straight A Governing Board: Sponsored by Senator Tom Sawyer (D–Akron), Senate Bill 241 would modify the membership of the Straight A Fund Governing Board to allow for an additional four members, giving the panel the benefit of additional perspective. Two of the additional vacancies would be filled by the Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives and the other two would be appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate.
     
  • Red Light Cameras: Senate Bill 342, sponsored by Senator Bill Seitz (R–Cincinnati), would put in place statewide standards for the implementation and use of red light and speed cameras. Among other things, the legislation would require both proper signage that warns a device is in use and the establishment of a clear appeal process so drivers can have a fair review of their case before being found guilty. The legislation would also require an officer to be present whenever a camera cites a driver.
 
 
  
 
 
 

The Senate will consider the following during today’s session (1:30p):

  • Promoting Healthy Babies: Senate Concurrent Resolution 37, sponsored by Senator Charleta Tavares (D–Columbus) would encourage hospitals and birthing centers to adopt policies that promote breastfeeding to further the Senate’s efforts to curb infant mortality and promote healthy babies and pregnancies.
     
  • Rare Disease Day: Jointly sponsored by Representatives Timothy Derickson (R–Oxford) and Tom Letson (D–Warren), House Bill 27 would name the last day of February each year as Rare Disease Day in Ohio. Rare diseases are those that affect fewer than 200,000 Americans at a time.
     
  • Strengthening Job Creation: House Bill 218, jointly sponsored by Representatives Cliff Rosenberger (R–Clarksville) and Mike Dovilla (R–Berea), would establish the Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) program in Ohio to strengthen the connection between successful and emerging entrepreneurs and state agencies. The initiative aims to continue fostering an environment where businesses can thrive and jobs can be created. This provision has already been approved by the Senate as part of the as-passed version of Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senator Frank LaRose (R–Copley).
 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

The Senate Majority Caucus today unanimously reelected its leadership team to their posts, positioning State Senator Keith Faber (R–Celina) to serve a second term as President of the Ohio Senate.
 
Faber has served as the head of the General Assembly’s upper chamber since January 2013. He has been a member of the leadership team since 2009, having previously served as both Majority Floor Leader and President Pro Tempore. Prior to his tenure in the Senate, President Faber served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.
 
“We have made unprecedented progress in Ohio over the past few years, which has taken us off a collision course that resulted in lost jobs and lost hope in our economy and put us back on the path to prosperity and opportunity for everyone who calls this great state home,” stated Faber. “But our work is far from finished. In the Senate, we are prepared to continue at full force ahead so the Ohio dream can remain a reality for generations to come.”
 
The Republican Majority also retained the other members of the leadership team including Senator Chris Widener (R–Springfield) as President Pro Tempore, Senator Tom Patton (R–Strongsville) as Majority Floor Leader, and Senator Larry Obhof (R–Medina) as Majority Whip.
 
“I remain honored and humbled to have the trust of our caucus to lead the Senate and the state during this historic period of transformation and growth,” added Faber.
 
Under the direction of the leadership team, the Ohio Senate has passed historic legislation leading to the launch of “Supporting Achievement Everywhere,” which accounts for the largest legislative investment in education in more than a decade. The legislature also enacted broad tax reform to spur job creation efforts, reducing taxes on individuals and businesses throughout the state by more than $3 billion overall.
 
The President and his leadership team will be officially reinstated during the opening ceremonies of the Senate on January 5, 2014. The Ohio Constitution requires the legislative session begin on the first Monday in January during the odd-numbered calendar years.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) today released the following statement in response to calls for joint legislative hearings on the state's Ebola response:

"You don't ask the firefighters to jump off the truck on their way to the fire and explain how they plan to put it out.

I think it's best right now for us to step back and let the experts do their jobs. Unlike the federal government, the Governor's administration has taken a proactive and transparent approach to the threat. We need to give them room, and that isn't helped at this point by a legislative hearing process.

I have no problem with evaluating the state's response retroactively or stepping in if a problem arises, but that's not the case at this point. If legislators have proactive suggestions, I'm confident the administration is listening.  

The Governor's team will come in on Monday to the joint legislative Controlling Board and tell us what kind of financial support they need to tackle this now and into the future."

 
 
  
 
Changing The Face Of Manufacturing In Ohio
A Guest Column by State Senator Bill Beagle
October 03, 2014
 
 
COLUMBUS - 

If someone asked you to name a career that was innovative and challenging, in a precise and highly advanced field, what industry comes to mind?

If you answered manufacturing, you’d be right.
 
October is the third annual “Ohio Manufacturing Month” and October 3 is “National Manufacturing Day,” and here in the Miami Valley we take this opportunity to celebrate those working in this growing industry.
 
The days of dark and dirty manufacturing jobs are a thing of the past. In fact, many manufacturing jobs offer exciting career paths in the fast growing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Today’s manufacturing industry provides real career opportunities for young Ohioans as well as those seeking a new career. Although jobs in these fields may require additional education and training beyond a high school diploma, they may not necessarily need a four-year degree.
 
These jobs are high-paying, highly skilled jobs that encourage a strong tradition of hard work and pride in Ohio, especially right here in the Miami Valley.

Since the beginning of this year, over 2,600 new jobs have been created in our community, many of them in manufacturing. While we continue to see more jobs created in Ohio, manufacturers are struggling to find qualified applicants to fill these positions. Many people often turn away from these jobs due to a negative perception of the manufacturing industry, and that’s why bringing awareness to this growing industry and the opportunities it presents is more important than ever.

Our state must have a qualified workforce to continue on the path to economic recovery, and we are looking to Ohio’s youth and young adults to take an active role in our recovery by pursuing manufacturing as a career. One great way to do this is by taking a firsthand look inside these companies.

Friday, October 3, many of our local manufacturing companies are opening their doors to students and their families to take a tour and learn more about careers in this exciting industry. I encourage everyone to join as I visit some of these companies and learn more about this critically important sector of Ohio’s economy.

To learn more about Ohio Manufacturing Month, visit OhioManufacturingMonth.com, and for more information about all the tours and open houses taking place locally, visit MfgDay.com. I hope to see you there.

 
 
  
 
September Is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
A Guest Column by State Senator Dave Burke
September 18, 2014
 
 

In addition to serving as a Senator in the Ohio General Assembly, I have owned and operated a pharmacy in my hometown of Marysville, Ohio since 1997. As health care providers, one of the most important roles of pharmacists is to promote health and prevent disease within the community. With this in mind, I want to let you know that September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Late last year I sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 10, which called on Congress to seek the withdrawal of the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation against prostate-specific antigen-based screening for prostate cancer for men in all age groups. 

Simply put, the USPSTF recommendation against screening puts men in harm’s way. Fortunately, my legislative colleagues agreed with me. Both the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives unanimously adopted SCR 10.  

But my work on this issue isn’t done; a resolution alone won’t save lives. Allow me share a few facts about prostate cancer with you to illustrate the importance of screenings and early detection:

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in men in the United States, with one in six American men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States.
  • Just last year, the American Cancer Society estimated that more than 240,000 men in the United States would be diagnosed with prostate cancer and nearly 30,000 men would die from the disease. In Ohio alone, there are approximately 7,961 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer and 1,232 deaths from the disease on an annual basis.
  • Those who are most at risk are the underinsured; those who live in areas where health care is not readily available; those who have a family history of prostate cancer; and African-American men, who have a higher incidence of and higher mortality rate from prostate cancer than Caucasian men. 

By the time a man experiences symptoms of prostate cancer, the disease is generally too advanced to cure. So what can you do to make to take charge of your prostate health? First, start the discussion with your doctor sooner than later. While you may not need a screening today, a doctor is in the best position to talk about the benefits and risks of testing.  For information on low cost and free prostate cancer detection events visit www.prostateconditions.org or www.zerocancer.org.

Remember, understanding prostate health today could help save your life or the life of someone you love tomorrow.

 
 
  
 
September Is Campus Fire Safety Awareness Month
A Guest Column by State Senator Bill Beagle
September 16, 2014
 
 

September marks the beginning of a new school year, the start of football season and cooler weather, but more importantly, it’s Campus Fire Safety Month.  Last month I introduced Senate Bill 359 which addresses the very real need for improved fire safety measures in off-campus and rental homes.

Nearly two years ago on January 1, 2013, two families in our community endured a horrific tragedy.  Ellen Garner, graduate of Tippecanoe High School, and Chad Kohls, graduate of Centerville High School, were trapped in a third story attic bedroom when a fire started on the second floor of a University of Cincinnati off-campus house.  The only safe exit from the room was an internal staircase, which quickly became engulfed in smoke.  The 36-foot jump from the third story window that was blocked by an A/C unit onto the cement pavement was not a viable escape route.  Ellen and Chad were trapped and decided to try to escape through the smoke-filled stairwell.  Ellen and Chad passed out from smoke inhalation before the fire department could rescue them, and tragically, the two later passed away at a nearby hospital.

After subsequent conversations about fire safety with fire prevention experts, rental property owners, and parents, like Ellen's and Chad's, I discovered that according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, egress and escape problems account for one-third of fire fatalities.  The need for legislation to protect our students and others who rent homes with a third-floor bedroom is all too apparent. 

As a solution to this problem, Senate Bill 359 requires a separate means of egress for all dwelling areas above the second story of a residential rental property, like the one that Ellen and Chad were trapped inside.  An egress ladder, a one-time $250 cost, is an inexpensive safety measure that could save lives in the event of a fire. 

It is my hope that Senate Bill 359 will honor Ellen and Chad and work to encourage greater fire safety awareness that could save lives.  One basic fire safety tip is to always have two ways out.  When a fire breaks out, you have moments to make a decision on how you will escape.  Every second matters and ensuring you have an escape plan is critical. I encourage you to make that plan now. Once you have a plan, practice your home fire drill with your family or roommates at least twice a year.

More tips on fire safety and information on Senate Bill 359 are available at: www.ohiosenate.gov/Assets/Media/FireSafetyFactsandTips.pdf. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions about Senat Bill 359 or other issues that are important to you. I can be reached at (614) 466-4247 or Beagle@OhioSenate.gov.

 
 
  
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Senator Hughes Gets Inside Look At New Cristo Rey Columbus High School

 
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Jim Hughes (R–Columbus) this week toured the new Cristo Rey Columbus High School facility in the Discovery District neighborhood of Downtown Columbus with the school’s President, Jim Foley.



 
 

Ohio Farm Raises The 2014 Presidential Turkey

 
COLUMBUS - 

Senate President Keith Faber (R–Celina) and State Senator Cliff Hite (R–Findlay) today toured Cooper Farms, operated by Gary Cooper and his son Cole. The elder Cooper currently serves as the Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, a role that wins him the honor of raising the 2014 National Thanksgiving Turkey that will be presented to President Barack Obama for a Presidential Pardon.



 
 

Senate Education Chair Praises Success Of Third Grade Reading Guarantee

 
STATEHOUSE - 

Senator Peggy Lehner today announced nearly 96 percent of third grade students from the 2013-2014 school year passed the new state standards implemented by Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.  These results reflect the scores earned by third graders following the summer administration of the O.A.A. exam.