Columbus- Today, State Senator Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) released the following statement after the Ohio Senate announced committee assignments for the 131stGeneral Assembly.  Senator Cafaro will serve as the Ranking Member on the Medicaid Committee and the Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee.  She will also be the Vice Chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education.
 
“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to shape health care policy in Ohio as the Ranking member of the Senate Medicaid Committee.  I am also pleased to serve as Ranking member on the Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee, in addition to being a member of the Agriculture, Ways and Means, Health and Human Services, and Energy and Natural Resources committees. I have also been appointed as the Ranking Member of the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee and as a member of the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee and the Joint Committee on Gaming and Wagering.  These committees cover a variety of policy areas that I believe can directly impact the economic growth of our region.” 

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio Senate announced that State Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) has been appointed to serve as Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Public Utilities Committee and Vice Chair on the Finance Subcommittee on Workforce for the 131st General Assembly.
 
 “The committees that I have been assigned to will be facing some of the most notable and controversial issues in years and I look very forward to bringing my expertise and innovative ideas to the table,” said Senator Williams. “I welcome the opportunity to work directly on important matters, like access to a quality education, sentencing reform, and ensuring my constituents aren’t paying too much for their utility bills.”
 
In addition to her leadership roles on the Public Utilities committee and Finance subcommittee on Workforce, Senator Williams will also serve on the following committees:

  • Education
  • Energy
  • Criminal
  • Health and Human Services
  • Insurance
  • Ways and Means

 
Ad Hoc Committees:

  • Senate Bill 310 Study Committee
  • Correctional Institutional Inspection Committee
  • Ohio Taskforce on Community-Police Relations

 
“I am very excited to be in the Senate, and look forward to working with my colleagues in the statehouse to develop sound policy that is not only good for the people of Cleveland, but that also promotes the economic well-being of our state,” said Senator Williams.

 
 
  

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio Senate announced that State Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) has been appointed as Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committees on Government Oversight and Financial Institutions for the 131st General Assembly.
 
“I am truly honored to have been selected as the Ranking Member of the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee, as well as the Committee on Financial Institutions,” said Senator Yuko. “I look forward to working with my colleagues as we seek to promote transparency and accountability in our state and local governments, as well as our banking institutions.”
 
In addition to serving on the Government Oversight Committee, Senator Yuko will also serve on the following panels:
 

  • Education
  • Financial Institutions
  • State and Local Government
  • Transportation, Commerce and Labor
  • Finance Subcommittee on Education
  • Finance Subcommittee on Workforce

 
“Committees are an essential component of the legislative process,” said Yuko. “With these assignments, I hope to engage in meaningful debates and create sound public policies that benefit the citizens of this great state.”

 
 
  

Columbus—Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) issued the following statement in response to an investigation of charter school attendance by Auditor Dave Yost:
 

“Auditor Yost is right. Ohio’s system of regulating public charter schools is broken.  It’s something we have been saying for many years.  I hope we have reached a tipping point where both Republicans and Democrats can agree on the need for comprehensive charter school reform. That’s why I will be reintroducing legislation to bring more accountability and transparency to charter school sponsors and operators.  There are just too many examples of students being cheated out of a good education and tax dollars being wasted for the General Assembly to ignore the problem any longer.  This is the year to work together to pass meaningful reforms.”

 
 
  
 
Senate Democrats Outline Legislative Priorities For 131st General Assembly
Families, Communities, and Opportunities central to building a better future for Ohio
January 21, 2015
 
 

Columbus –Today, Senate Democratic Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus hosted a briefing to discuss legislative priorities for the 131st General Assembly focused on building a better future for Ohio.
 
“Members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus bring an enormous amount of experience from the areas of labor, law enforcement, and health care advocacy,” said Leader Schiavoni.  “Our legislative priorities are based on those experiences, and the concerns that we are hearing from Ohioans across the state. We are committed to helping families, growing our communities and increasing opportunities for all Ohioans.”
 
In the coming weeks, Senate Democrats will introduce bills that address the following legislative priorities:
 
Families
While the nation’s economy is improving and the unemployment rate is falling, many Ohio families are still struggling to make ends meet. This is why the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus will strive to raise the minimum wage, implement a permanent Medicaid expansion system, and make the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC) refundable.
 
Communities
Ohio’s cities and towns have suffered significant state funding cuts in recent years and that needs to stop. The Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus will propose to restore local government funding to ensure vital services are maintained, invest in infrastructure, improve police and community relations, and protect Ohio’s drinking water.
 
Opportunities 
Growing the middle class through increasing opportunities that lead to better-paying jobs is critical to the success of Ohio. Those opportunities begin with a quality education. The Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus will advocate for: college affordability for all, charter school reform, and investments in job training and support for our veterans.

 
 
  

Columbus – Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) released the following statement regarding her appointment to the Renewable Energy Freeze Study Committee:
 
“The state has a unique opportunity to be a leader in establishing energy standards that are in line with the needs of Ohioans. I look forward to working with members of the Energy Study Committee and  listening to both Ohioans and those in the energy community regarding best practices and policies, and implementing sound and effective energy standards for Ohio going forward.” 
 
The study committee was established with the passage of Senate Bill 310, which temporarily freezes and substantially modifies the state’s renewable energy and efficiency standards. It is tasked with studying the results of those laws and making recommendations for future energy policy.
 
The committee has also been charged with reviewing the current standards which say that 25 percent of the electricity sold by Ohio utilities must be generated from alternative energy sources, and half of that must come from renewables like wind power. Solar must account for at least 0.5 percent of the renewables load.

 
 
  

TOLEDO, OHIO--At the 21st Annual State Directors’ and 11th Biennial First Term Legislators’ Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, Senator Edna Brown of Ohio was sworn in as a 2015 State Director with Women In Government, following her election to this position by her fellow state legislative colleagues this past year. 
 
“Women In Government congratulates Senator Brown in her position as a State Director.  State Directors play a critical role in setting policy priorities for our organization,” said Dyan Alexander, Executive Director of Women In Government.  Senator Brown is a recognized leader in her state, and we are excited that she will now share her leadership skills with other women policymakers throughout the country.”
 
“I am excited to continue serving as the State Director for Women in Government in Ohio,” said Senator Brown. “Women in Government generates new ideas, collaborations and innovations that help us improve our constituent’s lives and I am pleased to continue connecting Ohio to these wonderful resources.”
 
At the 21st Annual State Directors’ Conference, women state legislators heard from expert speakers on a variety of public policy topics and their impact on states.  Topics included developing energy diversity, the role of nutrition in healthy aging, methods for creating opportunities for families, diabetes prevention and awareness, and many others.  This meeting also provided attendees with the opportunity to network with colleagues across state borders and share best practices to advance successful public policies.
 
About Women In Government
Women In Government Foundation, Inc. is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources. Women In Government serves all 1,785 women who serve in state legislatures from across the country. For more information, visit 
www.womeningovernment.org.

 
 
  
 
Local Cincinnatian Receives Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Social Justice Award
Honored for community activism to raise awareness of criminal justice system
January 15, 2015
 
 
Senator Cecil Thomas and honoree Hope Dudley at the 30th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration in Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus – Today, Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) presented Cincinnati resident Hope Dudley with an Ohio Senate Proclamation  for her community activism to raise awareness about the criminal justice system following the death of her son. She was honored with the Social Justice Award at Ohio’s 30th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration held at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbus. The annual awards program recognizes the service and achievements of Ohio residents and organizations in areas consistent with the teachings and example of Dr. King.
 
“I admire the courage and compassion Ms. Dudley has displayed since the death of her son,” said Senator Thomas. “Her work has made Cincinnati and the State of Ohio a better place to live by working to educate the community on criminal justice issues.”
 
Ms. Dudley’s work on unsolved murders began after her son was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2007 in Cincinnati. Shortly thereafter, she began distributing literature with information about unsolved homicides throughout the community hoping people with information about the crimes would contact police. In 2008, law enforcement mimicked her efforts with a statewide pilot program using posted designed after her bookmarks to report unsolved murders. 
 
In 2009, Ms. Dudley established a victims’ assistance program called UCanSpeakForMe that educates the public on how the criminal justice system works. In addition, the organization holds monthly support meetings for grieving family members as well as concerned community members and neighbors. UCanSpeakForMe was awarded State Victim’s Assistance Funding enabling Dudley to open the organization’s first office in Springdale on her son’s 31st birthday. 

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

 
 
  
Senator Williams and former Senator Nina Turner listen as Governor Kasich discusses the task force on December 5, 2015.
Columbus – Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) released the following statement regarding her appointment to the Ohio Task Force on Community-Police Relations:
 
“Securing the community’s trust is critical to ensuring the success and effectiveness of local law enforcement. This Task Force will help foster an environment of mutual respect, allowing peace officers to build stronger bonds in the neighborhoods they serve. This translates into increased cooperation from community members in investigations and crime prevention activities. I am optimistic on the anticipated outcome of this task force, and am committed to devising constructive strategies that keep our communities safe.”
 
In the coming months, the Task Force will conduct at least four public forums throughout the state to gather input from all Ohioans, especially those in the communities at the heart of the crisis—the African American community— on ways foster better police and community relations.
 
The task force will hold its first public forum on January 20th, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cleveland State University, Waetjen Auditorium, 2001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH, 44115. The Task Force will listen to community advocates and solicit expert testimony in hopes of creating policy-based initiatives considered important such as: best community policing practices, law enforcement training, standards for law enforcement interaction with the community, racial profiling and involvement in law enforcement.
 
 
 
  
 
Senator Thomas Touts Impact Of Cincinnati Initiative To Reduce Violence
2014 data reflects significant reduction in major crime categories
January 15, 2015
 
 

Cincinnati – The Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) was credited for its role in the reduction of violent crime in the city this week at a press conference featuring Mayor John Cranley, Police Chief Jeff Blackwell, and City Manager Harry Black. Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) was instrumental in the creation of CIRV, helped secure its funding, and was a steadfast supporter of the organization during his time on City Council.

“Throughout my career in public service, I have made it my mission to find effective methods of reducing crime and making Cincinnati a better place to live,” said Senator Thomas. “I am proud to have been a part of CIRV and I look forward to seeing the yields it will produce in the future.”

CIRV is an organization that identifies groups and gangs that have involvement with violent crimes, with an extra emphasis on combatting gun violence. Known offenders are brought in for “call-in” sessions or face-to-face warnings using CIRV resources.

For additional information on the announcement regarding the drop in Cincinnati crime rates click here.

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

 
 
  
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Senator Cafaro Appointed To Serve As Top Democrat On Two Senate Committees

 

Columbus- Today, State Senator Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) released the following statement after the Ohio Senate announced committee assignments for the 131stGeneral Assembly.  Senator Cafaro will serve as the Ranking Member on the Medicaid Committee and the Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee.  She will also be the Vice Chair of the Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education.



 
 

Senator Williams To Serve As Top Democrat On Public Utilities Committee And Finance Workforce Subcommittee

 

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio Senate announced that State Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) has been appointed to serve as Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Public Utilities Committee and Vice Chair on the Finance Subcommittee on Workforce for the 131st General Assembly.



 
 

Senator Yuko Named Top Democrat On Government Oversight And Financial Institutions Committees

 

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio Senate announced that State Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) has been appointed as Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committees on Government Oversight and Financial Institutions for the 131st General Assembly.



 
 

Senator Schiavoni Comments On Audit Of Charter School Attendance

 

Columbus—Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) issued the following statement in response to an investigation of charter school attendance by Auditor Dave Yost: