Senate District 18
Jerry C. Cirino
Cirino's Higher Education and Workforce Reform Bill Heads to Governor
April 6, 2022

COLUMBUS—State Senator Jerry C. Cirino (R-Kirtland) today announced the House passage and Senate concurrence of Substitute Senate Bill 135, which aims to enhance higher education and workforce development in Ohio.

“This bill is for Ohio students and their families. Receiving quality education and training had an incredible impact on my life and my career," said Cirino. "It is imperative for this state to increase the affordability and accessibility of higher education for our students, so that our in-demand jobs are met with a qualified workforce." 

Major components of the legislation include:

  • Continuing the Second Chance Grant Program to incentivize students who have dropped-out to obtain a degree or credential.

  • Promoting a collaborative effort to explore the viability of a statewide apprenticeship program for high school students.

  • Ensuring Ohio’s educational systems have free speech policies that protect the rights of students and faculty, and reinforcing the requirement for due process when free speech is violated.

  • Enhancing counseling for students in primary/secondary schools by including information about career training programs and financial options.

  • Providing guaranteed pathways for the transfer of credits from one higher education institution to another.

  • Allowing Ohio’s Community Colleges to offer BSN degree programs to help with the extensive nursing shortage in Ohio. (Passed in the state's operating budget, House Bill 110, last June).

"This legislation is the product of an open and collaborative process between a wide array of stakeholders and interested parties. Much of the input we received is not only included in this legislation, but makes Senate Bill 135 a win-win for our students and post-secondary institutions,” added Cirino.

“Senate Bill 135 is one of the most comprehensive higher education reform bills passed by Ohio legislators in many years,” Chancellor Randy Gardner said. “Our colleges and universities are important to our state’s workforce and economic future, so I’m pleased the Senate and House worked closely together on this impactful legislation.”

For more information on Senate Bill 135, contact Senator Cirino's office at (614) 644-7718 or

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