Columbus-Today, State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) announced that the Ohio Controlling Board approved funds for Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools to create the Willoughby Eastlake School of Innovation, which will offer students in grades 3-5 a STEM education curriculum. The district was one of just 37 educational entities selected among over 600 applicants to receive funding in the second round of grants from the newly created Straight A Fund Program. 

"Our world is in need of bright, motivated leaders in the science and technology fields, Senator Turner said. " Integrating STEM concepts early in a child's education will help inspire students to excel in these subject areas and prepare them for careers in this high-demand area of expertise. I am exceedingly proud that Willoughby-Eastlake Schools will receive over $500,000 to help create this initiative."

The Straight A Program, established during the 130th General Assembly provides grants to city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school districts, educational service centers, community schools, STEM schools, individual school buildings, education consortia, county boards of developmental disabilities, institutions of higher education, and private entities partnering with one or more of these educational entities.
 
The projects must aim to achieve one or more of the following: student achievement, spending reduction in the five-year fiscal forecast, utilization of a greater share of resources in the classroom, and use of a shared services delivery model.

 
 
  

Columbus –Today, Democratic Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) congratulated schools in the 33rd Senate District for receiving $975,250 from the Straight A Fund Program to improve STEM education through Project Inspire.  
 
“I am proud to see this additional funding come to the 33rd Senate district to support a fast growing field in education and rewarding our schools for their innovative practices,” said Leader Schiavoni. “By incorporating STEM education at an early age, our students will be prepared for the challenges and changes they will face in their future careers.
 
Project Inspire will expand STEM programming to 7,018 K-8 students in eight county districts, including the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center to provide a stimulating, real-world, problem based curriculum that builds excitement and high interest in STEM programs. The following districts received Straight A Funds:

 
Consortium Members Amount
Columbiana County ESC $157,380
Columbiana County JVSD $126,340
Crestview Local $98,790
Leetonia $98,790
Columbiana $98,790
East Palestine $98,790
Lisbon $98,790
Southern Local $98,790
Wellsville $98,790
Total $975,250
 
 
The Straight A Program established during the 130th General Assembly provides grants to city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school districts, educational service centers, community schools, STEM schools, individual school buildings, education consortia, county boards of developmental disabilities, institutions of higher education, and private entities partnering with one or more of these educational entities.
 
The projects must aim to achieve one or more of the following: student achievement, spending reduction in the five-year fiscal forecast, utilization of a greater share of resources in the classroom, and use of a shared services delivery model.

 

 
 
  
 
Senator Brown Announces Funding For Upgrades At Toledo Correctional Institution
Money to go towards replacing the perimeter fence alarm system and two hot water boilers at the facility
July 28, 2014
 
 

Columbus – State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) announced today that the State Controlling Board has released $44,288 to replace two hot water boilers and $143,385 for the Perimeter Fence Alarm project at the Toledo Correctional Institution (ToCI).

The boilers being replaced were installed when the facility originally opened 14 years ago. They were damaged during the subzero temperatures experienced this past winter. The perimeter fence alarm system being replaced also dates to the opening of the facility in 2000. The current system is experiencing numerous problems, including sensing device failure, computer failure, and “dead zones” within the system.

“Although the Toledo Correctional Institution has experienced some security issues, improvements continue to be made,” said Senator Brown. “Expenditures like those approved today demonstrate a commitment to improve safety and security at ToCI for both inmates and personnel.” 

The Infinity 2000 system that is being installed to replace the current one has already been implemented at several other facilities throughout Ohio since 2009. The Infinity 2000 system is less expensive to install and maintain and the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has been satisfied with its performance at the facilities where it is currently in use. 

 
 
  
 
Senator Turner Speaks At National Urban League Conference
Receives "Women of Power Award" for Social Justice Advocacy
July 28, 2014
 
 
Senator Nina Turner greets National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the National Urban League Convention in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati-On Friday, July 25, Senator Turner delivered the keynote address at the National Council of Urban League Guild's Leadership Luncheon in Cincinnati. She encouraged attendees to continue their important work toward making America a more equitable nation, with an emphasis on ensuring access to the ballot and increased economic opportunity. 

For her advocacy for voting rights and social justice, Senator Turner received the Women of Power Award at a ceremony hosted by CBS News Correspondent Michelle Miller on Saturday, July 26. The awards are presented to influnetion women in the civil rights, government, entertainment, journalism, sports and corporate sectors. Past winners include MSNBC Anchor Tamron Hall, professional boxer Laila Ali, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice, and the Honorable Maxine Waters (D-CA). 

 
 
  
 
Senator Schiavoni Recognizes Students For Completing Summer Program
The Children Defense Fund Freedom School is a national summer and after school program to connect children and their families to enrichment opportunities in their community
July 28, 2014
 
 
Senator Schiavoni speaks during the ceremony.

Senator Schiavoni was thrilled to attend the Finale Celebration of Tabernacle Baptist Church's Children's Defense Fund Freedom School to recognize the children who completed the summer program with Senatorial citations. 

At the celebration, Senator Schiavoni helped to honor the scholars, interns, staff, donors, and volunteers who made the program possible. The Senator also got an in depth look at what the scholars have been learning throughout the summer at Tabernacle CDF Freedom School. 

The Children Defense Fund Freedom School is a national summer and after school program to connect children and their families to enrichment opportunities in their community. The program focuses on "five essential components" including: high quality academic enrichment; parent and family involvement; civic engagement and social action; intergenerational leadership development; and nutrition, health and mental health.

 
 
  

Senator Gentile (D-Steubenville) and Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) attended the Hannibal Industrial Park celebration of the installation of track eight/Locomotive 1501.  The economic development project is expected to create 20-25 new jobs in Monroe County.

 
 
  
 
Senator Schiavoni Talks About The Need For Charter School Reform
Gives a mid-year legislative update on Ohio in Focus
July 25, 2014
 
 

Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) talks about budget priorities and the need for charter school reform on this mid-year legislative update.

 
 
  
 
Senator Tavares Looks To Strengthen Ohio's Workforce
Developing partnerships and building on what works
July 24, 2014
 
 

Columbus—Today, State Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D – Columbus) applauded the efforts of President Obama who signed into law this week a workforce bill that is expected to help unemployed workers connect with open jobs and support job training programs. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act will help us to bring job training programs into the 21st century.  According to President Obama, the bill builds on what we know works based on evidence – tracking what actually delivers on behalf of the people who enroll in the programs; developing more partnerships with employers; creating tools to measure performance and more flexibilities for states and cities to innovate and to run their workforce programs in ways that are best suited for their particular demographic and their particular industries.
 
“As the Ranking Member of the Workforce and Economic Development Committee I plan to work with the chair, Senator Bill Beagle (R –Tipp City) to conduct a small business roundtable to identify tools and strategies to assist small businesses or microenterprises on a state level to complement the work of our partners at the federal and local levels," stated Senator Tavares.
 
“One of the complaints I hear from companies that have openings is that the workforce does not have the necessary skills to successfully fill the job openings available." added Senator Tavares. "I believe our work with the Office of Workforce Transformation and the Small Business Roundtable will help us as legislators to craft the right policies, align our programs and eliminate the barriers in order to strengthen our businesses and provide employment opportunities for our residents.  I plan to work with Columbus City Council Workforce Committee chair, Priscilla Tyson to expand on the Columbus Small Business Workforce Survey commissioned by the City of Columbus with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce to help us identify the challenges and opportunities to grow our small entrepreneurs in Ohio.” 

The Columbus survey studied issues such as workforce quality, recruitment, retention, and training.

 
 
  
 
Democratic Legislators Introduce "Not My Boss's Business" Act
Bill would protect women from discrimination and their boss's interference in personal healthcare decisions
July 22, 2014
 
 

COLUMBUS – Today, State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) held a press conference announcing legislation to address the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. In that decision, the Court ruled that some corporations cannot be required to provide insurance coverage for contraception methods that would violate the religious beliefs of company owners. The development was widely panned as a setback to the personal liberty of hard-working American women. 

“We are introducing this legislation to protect the health care decisions of women and their health providers. Physicians are best able to decide appropriate health care and prescriptions needed by their patients. Employers should not be able to selectively decide which care or prescriptions can be given to whom,” stated Tavares.

The Not My Boss’s Business Act will prohibit employers from excluding birth control from coverage and from discriminating against an individual based on reproductive health decisions. Recent polling from Hart Research indicates that 84 percent of women agree that birth control “should be a woman’s personal decision.” 

State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland), a joint sponsor of the Senate bill, commented that the bill “ensures the right that women should be the sole decision makers regarding their reproductive health—not their bosses, their insurance company or their government.”

“Women work hard to earn their workplace insurance plans, and to have CEOs dictate what forms of birth control are acceptable is a slap in the face to American women.” said Turner.

“Women can’t afford these recent attacks on this very basic part of their preventive health care, not when the costs of some birth control methods are as much as a minimum wage worker’s monthly take-home pay. It is not fair to target medicine taken only by women for exclusion from basic health coverage,” said Rep. Clyde, who will be introducing the bill in the House.

Rashida Manuel, a patient from Cincinnati, elaborated on the need to have guaranteed access to contraceptive coverage. “I’ve had two surgeries in the last few years because of my polycystic ovarian syndrome, and birth control pills are the preventative care that I need to ensure my body functions at its best,” Rashida said. “I’m more than willing to share my story, but I shouldn’t have to. My medical conditions are not my boss’s business—they’re mine and my doctor’s.” 

“When we force women into deeper poverty or force them into a situation in which they must rely on an employer’s religious beliefs in order to make decisions about their own health care, we are not being kind,” said the Reverend Kate Shaner, Minister of Missions at the First Community Church in Columbus. “The thought that my daughters and your daughters would have their reproductive decisions made by an employer instead of themselves in consultation with their families, their clergy and their God seems archaic and inhumane at best.”

 
 
  
Columbus –An article authored by State Senator Eric H. Kearney (D-Cincinnati) and Senate Democratic Counsel Pavan V. Parikh and Bethany E. Sanders analyzing Election Day error in Ohio was recently published by the Cleveland State Law Review. “Perfect is the Enemy of Fair: An Analysis of Election Day error in Ohio’s 2012 general election through a discussion of the materiality principle, compliance standards and the Democracy Canon” proposes a framework for improving election administration to ensure fairness in Ohio’s voting system and all legitimate votes are counted.
 
“In order to have fair elections, Ohio must enact common sense reforms that contain voter-oriented principles far superior to current law,” stated Kearney. “These reforms should be designed to respect each voter’s intention and honor each individual vote.”
 
This goal can be achieved by implementing a system that does the following: invalidates ballots only for material error, accepts substantial or constructive compliance of completed ballots and uses the Democracy Canon to guide pre- and post-election litigation and administrative remedies.
 
Democracy Canon states that when the law is unclear, the law should be construed for the benefit of the voters. The materiality principle states that votes should be counted so long as no reasonable decision maker could question either the voter’s eligibility or ballot preference.
 
Assisted by students from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Legislation Clinic, Senator Kearney and counsel reviewed evidence from court cases, data from the Secretary of State’s office and 24 counties including meeting minutes from boards of elections and canvass results.
 
The data revealed that counties frequently had difficulty giving voters provisional ballots or applying the identification standard in a way that threatened to disenfranchise. In another instance, a voter inadvertently selected more than one candidate for a race. When the in-precinct scanner gave the option to recast, the poll worker selected “no” on behalf of the voter. These examples led to the following conclusions:
 
  • Ohio should collect and use better data for Election Day functionality with a goal of creating real time Due Process protection for Election Day concerns.
 
  • Too much of our current knowledge of Election Day errors is obtained through litigation that occurs well after the Election Day.
 
  • Ohio should manage elections and related disputes through legislative adoption of policies incorporating the materiality principle and the Democracy Canon.
 
  • The Election Assistance Commission and federal agencies should provide more support for election review and analysis.
 
“It is important that we create comprehensive election day procedures to prevent honest mistakes from costing someone’s vote from being counted, “said Kearney. “The ultimate goal should be to support Ohioans efforts to exercise their right to vote, not restrict it.
 
An electronic version of Perfect is the Enemy of Fair: An Analysis of Election Day error in Ohio's 2012 General Election is available below. 
 

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Senator Turner Congratulates Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools On Straight A Fund Award

 


Columbus-Today, State Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) announced that the Ohio Controlling Board approved funds for Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools to create the Willoughby Eastlake School of Innovation, which will offer students in grades 3-5 a STEM education curriculum. The district was one of just 37 educational entities selected among over 600 applicants to receive funding in the second round of grants from the newly created Straight A Fund Program. 



 
 

Senator Schiavoni Congratulates Schools In 33rd District On Straight A Funding To Improve STEM Education

 

Columbus –Today, Democratic Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) congratulated schools in the 33rd Senate District for receiving $975,250 from the Straight A Fund Program to improve STEM education through Project Inspire.



 
 

Senator Brown Announces Funding For Upgrades At Toledo Correctional Institution

 

Columbus – State Senator Edna Brown (D-Toledo) announced today that the State Controlling Board has released $44,288 to replace two hot water boilers and $143,385 for the Perimeter Fence Alarm project at the Toledo Correctional Institution (ToCI).



 
 

Senator Turner Speaks At National Urban League Conference

 

Cincinnati-On Friday, July 25, Senator Turner delivered the keynote address at the National Council of Urban League Guild's Leadership Luncheon in Cincinnati. She encouraged attendees to continue their important work toward making America a more equitable nation, with an emphasis on ensuring access to the ballot and increased economic opportunity.