Senator Obhof joined Mayor Glen Stewart to celebrate Ashland's 200th Anniversary and presented a resolution honoring the occasion on behalf of the Ohio Senate. The bicentennial celebration was held in historic downtown Ashland.
ASHLAND - 

State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) joined the Ashland community today for the kick-off of the bicentennial-themed Annual Ashland Summer Celebration event held in the city's historic downtown. During the event's opening ceremonies, Mayor Glenn Stewart accepted a resolution presented by Senator Obhof on behalf of the Ohio Senate, officially recognizing the city's 200th Anniversary. 

"Despite the rain, it is a bright day for this wonderful city as we gather to celebrate another milestone and look ahead to a prosperous future for the Ashland community," said Obhof. "I'd like to thank Mayor Stewart, the Ashland city council and the event organizers whose commitment and determination made this celebration possible."

Early afternoon rain showers did not prevent area residents from coming out for the celebration kick-off. Events include historical reenactments, fun kids activities, festival food and a concert featuring local musicians.

William Montgomery is credited with the founding of Ashland in 1815. At that time, cabins were strung along both sides of the street, housing less than fifteen families. The city has continued to grow and prosper over the years. The bicentennial is a time to celebrate Ashland's founding and to recognize early settlers who endured hardships and uncertainties to make the opportunities of our time possible. 

A complete schedule of Ashland bicentennial events is available online at www.Ashland200.com

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 
State Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) today announced the passage of Am. Sub. House Bill 64, the state’s two-year operating budget. The Senate voted 23-9 in favor of the conference report approved earlier in the day. The bill gives nearly $2 billion in tax cuts to Ohioans and makes significant investments in both K-12 and higher education.
 
“This balanced budget builds on our continuing efforts to help Ohioans keeps more of their money to invest in education and workforce development, to encourage job creation and take care of those in need,” said Eklund. “Ohio's improving performance has also allowed us to tackle some specific needs right here in our community through the budget.” 

The Senate budget includes a number of amendments supported by Senator Eklund, including: 
  • Support for Mental Health and Addiction Services: The Senate proposal provides funding for prevention and wellness services which will be allocated to Northeast Ohio Medical University’s campus safety and health programs.
     
  • Services for Victims: Provides new funding to assist the Chardon School District to provide comprehensive support for the school community in the wake of the 2012 Chardon school tragedy. This program offers support services for students after they have completed their high school coursework.
     
  • Addresses Water Drainage Issues: Provides funding for Mentor's wetland and storm water project and the Portage County-Aurora East storm water project; both work toward long term solutions to area flooding issues that have strained local resources.
     
  • Enhances Alzheimer’s Support Programs: Provides critical support for individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease, including respite caregiver support; adult day care; guardianship programs; elder protection; nutrition assistance and more.
“From storm water projects in Mentor and Shalersville, to community recovery in Chardon, to Northeast Ohio's Medical University's suicide prevention efforts, I know this bill will make a real positive difference in the lives of local Ohioans,” Eklund said. 
 
The bill provides significant tax relief and support to Ohioans and small businesses with the purpose of keeping the state’s economy healthy and growing. The $1.85 billion net tax cut includes an across the board 6.3 percent income tax cut for all Ohioans. The bill also makes permanent the 75 percent tax cut on small businesses’ first $250,000 of net income and increases it to 100 percent in FY17 and establishes a three percent flat tax on income above that. 
 
The proposal, which will become law with the Governor’s signature, also provides much needed sustainability and solvency to the state’s K-12 school funding formula, investing over $900 million dollars over the next two years. Based largely on the current formula, this budget ensures that no school district loses funding and drives additional dollars to low-wealth, low-capacity districts while ensuring more districts are on the funding formula.
 
A hallmark of the bill is the Senate’s focus on making college affordable and accessible. A two-year tuition freeze will go into effect, and universities and colleges are required to reduce student costs by five percent. This budget also makes the largest state investment in SSI (state share of instruction) in higher education in eight years and creates and funds the Higher Education Innovation Fund to assist institutions with their cost reduction efforts.
 
Additional highlights include:
  • Reducing Infant Mortality: Infuses funding and outcome-driven programs to areas with prevalent infant mortality problems.
     
  • Women’s Health Funding and Coverage: Restores funding for Medicaid coverage of pregnant women up to 200% of the poverty level and restores coverage for breast and cervical cancer screenings for women on Medicaid.
     
  • Support for Developmental Disability: Fully funds DD initiatives outlined in the Governor’s plan and provides funding for ABLE savings accounts for the developmentally disabled.
     
  • Improved Mental Health Care: Provisions included to integrate behavioral health care services into a managed care model.
     
  • Increased Police Training: Includes additional GRF funding for a total of nearly $20M for police training and community police relations initiatives.
     
  • Local Township Support: Adds $20M in a local government support fund specifically targeted to township needs.
     
  • Modernizing Ohio’s Elections: Includes $12.8M for a state-local partnership to provide county board of elections with new, digital electronic pollbook technology, making it even easier to vote in Ohio.
     
  • Relief for Ohio’s Waterways: Provides additional loan and tourism funding for Ohio’s distressed lakes.
     
  • Additional Student Aid: Includes $100M for need-based student aid through the Ohio College Opportunity Grant.
     
  • Building Our Savings: Increases the maximum allowable rainy-day fund from 5 percent of general revenue funds (GRF) to 8.5 percent.
 
The conference committee report now awaits a vote in the House before moving to the Governor for his signature. The bill must be signed into law before July 1, 2015.
 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Joe Uecker (R–Miami Township) today announced the Senate passage of legislation prohibiting local governments from requiring contractors and design professionals to reside within a particular city as a condition for participating in city projects. 

“Numerous organizations representing dozens of businesses across Ohio testified in support of Senate Bill 152," Senator Uecker said. “It is my duty to combat these discriminating policies which limit competition and prevent the people of southwest Ohio, and all of Ohio for that matter, from having the best opportunities to thrive.”

The proposed legislation seeks to eliminate residency requirements on Ohio contractors and design professionals. Existing requirements drive up the costs for local infrastructure projects by lowering the number of qualified contractors eligible to bid of the project. 

Residency requirements reduce competition and increase project costs as fewer contractors are able to bid on these projects due to unknown labor expenses. Ultimately, they give an advantage to out-of-state workers and their employers. The U.S. Constitution protects against discriminatory hiring practices based on state of residence but no protection exists to prevent these practices based on residence within the same state. 

"Our bill is simple: it's about lowering costs for Ohio's cities; and eliminating baseless stipulations some cities have placed on small businesses that would otherwise be willing to perform higher quality work at a lower cost," said Uecker.

In 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court decided that cities could no longer require employees to reside within their city limits as a condition of employment. The Court determined that such requirements violated an employee's protected rights. 

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville) announced the passage of legislation to provide prompt access to potentially life-saving treatment for Ohioans with chronic medical conditions in an emergency situation. 

Senate Bill 141, jointly sponsored by Senator Burke and Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), would allow diabetes, asthma and certain cardiac medications such as nitroglycerin to be filled by pharmacists if a customer has made a reasonable attempt to contact a physician but has been unsuccessful.

The bill makes changes to the law governing physician-pharmacist consult agreements and ensures that pharmacists working under consult agreements have the ability to manage, modify, and initiate prescriptions within the desired scope.

“By revising the consult agreement statute we will improve patient care by reducing unnecessary administrative paperwork, and most importantly, improving disease management to help individuals with chronic conditions live long and prosperous lives,” Burke said.

The issue was brought to Senators Burke and Manning's attention following the death of an Avon Lake resident who passed away after when he could not get his prescription for insulin refilled on New Year's Eve in 2013.

“It just seemed ridiculous that a diabetic in 2015 could run out of prescription and die,” Burke said. “In a health care system that we pride ourselves on, something like this should not happen.”


The legislation allows a pharmacist to generate a prescription using the patient’s record one time per year, per drug. The bill does not give pharmacists independent prescriptive authority but allows the pharmacist to consult patients' prescription records to determine whether an emergency refill is warranted if a physician can not be reached. 

Narcotics and other pain medication refills are not permitted under the legislation. 

Senate Bill 141 passed the Senate with a vote of 32-0 and now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

 
 
  
Yesterday in the Senate Chamber, Senator Troy Balderson (far left) presented a resolution to Kaylee Antill (third from left) for winning the state discus championship title. She is joined by her parents Cheryl (far right) and Jeff Antill (second from left).
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) honored Tri-Valley High School senior Kaylee Antill yesterday for winning the Division I High School State Discus Championship. 

"We are so proud of Kaylee for all she has accomplished both as an athlete and as a student," said Balderson. "She serves as a role model for all of Ohio's student athletes and we are watching for more big things to come from this young lady as she begins her college career."

Antill graduated Tri-Valley High School last month at the top of her graduating class with a 4.0 grade point average. She also recently signed to throw discus for Arizona State University where she will attend on a student-athlete scholarship. 

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Bill Beagle (R–Tipp City) today announced the passage of legislation to designate the month of June as “Scleroderma Awareness Month." The bill, sponsored by Senator Beagle, passed the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support.

“Scleroderma is a terrible, life threatening disease and it is important to continue to advocate for a cure,” Beagle said. “It is my hope that the month of June will provide an opportunity for Ohioans learn more about the disease and the research potential treatments this awareness may promote.”

By designating June as “Scleroderma Awareness Month,” Senator Beagle hopes to bring awareness and advocacy to the disease. The idea for the legislation came from a local group that raises awareness and promotes research so that others with the disease have more information about the disease and available treatment options.

The disease can affect the skin and connective tissue and cause a buildup of collagen that limits mobility. It can affect any part of the body and even cause death in some instances. There is currently no cure for the disease but treatments can help to manage symptoms.

The bill now goes to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

 
 
  
Senator Uecker joins other regional and state officials to break ground on the Portsmouth Bypass project which is one of the largest state infrastructure projects in recent history.
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) joined regional and state officials in Minford, Ohio today to break ground on the Portsmouth Bypass project. The three-year road construction project is one of the largest state infrastructure projects in recent state history.

"With the completion of this project will come new economic opportunities for the entire region," said Senator Uecker. "This new bypass allows existing companies easier access to new markets for their goods and services."

The Portsmouth bypass, named the "Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway," was made possible through the first public-private partnership of its kind. Construction of the new bypass is expected to decrease travel time by more than one-half hour between U.S. Routes 23 and 52 and allows more convenient access to I-70 and I-64.

 
 
  
Senator Hite presents a resolution to the Defiance High School baseball team for winning the Division II state championship title.
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) today recognized the Defiance boys baseball team for winning the 2015 Division II State Championship.

Defiance High School defeated Poland Seminary 5-3 to capture the school’s third state title. Several of the student-athletes recognized were also a part of the 2015 Division II State Basketball Championship team that visited the Statehouse in April.

“Following an incredible 28-5 season, these boys deserved to finish the year as state champions,” said Hite. “This title continues the school's tradition of excellence in baseball and I look forward to following the success of this team next year.”

Defiance High School also won state baseball titles in 2013 and 1992. The high school has produced nine Major League Baseball draft picks.

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) today announced the passage of legislation to provide prompt access to potentially life-saving treatment for Ohioans with chronic medical conditions in an emergency situation. 

Senate Bill 141, jointly sponsored by Senator Manning and Senator Dave Burke (R-Marysville), would allow diabetes, asthma and certain cardiac medications such as nitroglycerin to be filled by pharmacists if a customer has made a reasonable attempt to contact a physician but has been unsuccessful.

"This legislation ensures that no more lives are lost due to red-tape," said Manning. 

Manning took the idea of the legislation to Senator Burke, a practicing pharmacist, in response to the death of a diabetic Avon Lake resident who died when he could not get his prescription for insulin refilled on New Year's Eve in 2013. 

"This was an active young man with a long-life ahead of him as he managed his diabetes," said Manning. "A lapsed prescription and unfortunate timing should not have denied this young man from receiving the life-saving medication that he needed. Ensuring quick and efficient access to such medication is the focus of this legislation."

The legislation allows a pharmacist to generate a prescription using the patient’s record one time per year, per drug. The bill does not give pharmacists independent prescriptive authority but allows the pharmacist to consult patients' prescription records to determine whether an emergency refill is warranted if a physician can not be reached. 

Narcotics and other pain medication refills are not permitted under the legislation. 

Senate Bill 141 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration. 

 
 
  
STATEHOUSE - 

State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) honored the city of Brunswick yesterday with a Senate resolution to commemorate its two hundredth anniversary. During a special presentation held at Brunswick City Hall, Mayor Ron Falconi accepted the bicentennial Senate resolution on behalf of the city. 

Brunswick, Ohio, now part of the Cleveland Metropolitan Area, is the largest city in Medina County with a population of approximately 35,000 residents. 

"This marks another milestone for the Brunswick community," said Senator Obhof. "I would like to commend the mayor, city council and all Brunswick residents on this momentous occasion and wish you all continued success as we turn another page in this city's long history."

Various events recognizing the bicentennial will take place during the city's annual Summer Celebration: "Happy Birthday, Brunswick!" which takes place June 30 through July 5.

Brunswick-area residents can view a full schedule of this year's Summer Celebration by visiting the event website at http://www.summer-celebration.com/Schedule.html

 
 
  
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Obhof Honors City Of Ashland At Bicentennial Celebration

 
ASHLAND - 

"Despite the rain, it is a bright day for this wonderful city as we gather to celebrate another milestone and look ahead to a prosperous future for the Ashland community," said Obhof. "I'd like to thank Mayor Stewart, the Ashland city council and the event organizers whose commitment and determination made this celebration possible."



 
 

Eklund Announces Senate Passage Of State Budget, Lowering Taxes And Investing In Education

 
STATEHOUSE - 

“This balanced budget builds on our continuing efforts to help Ohioans keeps more of their money to invest in education and workforce development, to encourage job creation and take care of those in need,” said Eklund. “Ohio's improving performance has also allowed us to tackle some specific needs right here in our community through the budget.” 



 
 

Uecker Announces Senate Passage Of Legislation To Eliminate Costly, Unfair Residency Restrictions

 
STATEHOUSE - 

"Our bill is simple: it's about lowering costs for Ohio's cities; and eliminating baseless stipulations some cities have placed on small businesses that would otherwise be willing to perform higher quality work at a lower cost," said Uecker.



 
 

Burke Announces Senate Passage Of Legislation To Improve Emergency Access To Life-Saving Medicine

 
STATEHOUSE - 

“By revising the consult agreement statute we will improve patient care by reducing unnecessary administrative paperwork, and most importantly, improving disease management to help individuals with chronic conditions live long and prosperous lives,” Burke said.