Senate Democrats believe all Ohioans deserve good-paying jobs, quality, affordable health care and fair treatment under the law. That’s why we support investing in Ohio’s future by building quality schools and strong communities. We are committed to giving everyone a fair shot at success regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We are focused on policies that reward hard work in every corner of our state, from the farms to the factories and from the cities to the small towns.
Creating jobs and protecting workers' rights
We are committed to creating good-paying jobs that allow all Ohioans to support their families and to giving workers access to training opportunities. We will fight to protect workers' rights and to make sure that all jobs pay a living wage and provide good benefits. We also believe that employees should always feel safe and free from any type of discrimination when at work.
Improving Ohio's economy and investing in infrastructure
We believe it's important that we fix our state's aging infrastructure. We have proposed a number of plans to maintain and improve our roads, bridges and water and sewer lines, as well as public transportation. We are also working to provide assistance to the business community, especially to small and minority-owned businesses, believing this will encourage innovation and build stronger communities in Ohio.
Making our tax system fairer
Giving all Ohioans a fair shot at success requires a tax system that is fair to working families. Unfortunately, in recent years, changes to Ohio's tax code have mostly benefited the wealthy. That's why Senate Democrats have proposed eliminating tax loopholes that reduce funding for our schools and local communities and that do not help to grow the middle class.
Guaranteeing affordable, quality health care
Today, more Ohioans than ever receive quality health insurance through their employers, the health insurance marketplace or Medicaid. It is a priority of the Senate Democrats to protect coverage and to make sure that Ohioans continue to receive quality health care. We believe that investing in greater health care access will improve health outcomes, reduce diseases and premature deaths and give every person a better chance to succeed.
Combating opioid addiction
It is a sad and disturbing fact that Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. Senate Democrats are calling for comprehensive legislation to address this crisis by giving our local communities and first responders the resources they need to save lives. Our Senators also support expanding drug treatment services across Ohio to help more people break the cycle of addiction.
Providing quality education
Every child in Ohio deserves to receive a good education in a safe environment. As Democrats, we strongly support investing in early childhood education because evidence shows it provides the greatest benefits to children, giving them the tools they need to be successful in school and life. We also believe we should offer professional development to teachers throughout their career and require greater accountability for charter schools. Finally, we oppose greater privatization of education.
Defending voting rights
The right to vote is at the heart of America's democracy and so is the government's obligation to protect and promote this right at every level. As Democrats, we support investing in new voting technology that ensures elections are secure and fair. We want barriers to voting to be eliminated and voter education and participation to be encouraged. We also support ending gerrymandering so that voters can choose their representatives and not the other way around.
Protecting the environment
We want to provide a healthy environment for all Ohioans. This includes making sure that our communities have safe drinking water, free of harmful algal blooms, lead or any other dangerous contaminants. We also support investing in alternative and renewable energy sources as a way to both protect the environment and create jobs and economic development in the state.
Reforming the criminal justice system
We want to reform our adult and juvenile criminal justice systems to ensure they are fair to all citizens, no matter their background. It is also a priority to give police more funding and better training so that citizens can be confident officers can handle stressful situations. We are also working to reform our bail and bond system so that people are not punished simply for being poor.
Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Governor Mike DeWine commending his decision to veto Senate Bill 22, a dangerous piece of legislation that "would put Ohioans' lives at risk and prevent future administrations from being able to swiftly respond to deadly pandemics or other public health crises."
Today, state Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard announced that they will soon introduce legislation to remove the predicate offenses required for a victim of human trafficking to qualify for the expungement of their criminal records in Ohio.
This week, state Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville) introduced a bill to expand the teacher tax deduction for supplies passed in the 133rd General Assembly from $250 to $1,000.
This week, state Senators Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale), Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) and Sandra R. Williams (D-Cleveland) announced that they will soon reintroduce six commonsense gun reform bills that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
Today, state Senators Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) and Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) introduced legislation to declare Juneteenth a paid state holiday in Ohio. Senate Bill 78 is a reintroduction of Senate Bill 334 from the past General Assembly, which passed unanimously through the Senate.
Today, state Senators Sandra R. Williams (D-Cleveland) and Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 to declare racism a public health crisis. Twenty-five cities, counties and boards of health across Ohio alonehave passed similar declarations.
Today, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) and state Senator and Minority Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) released the following statements after Governor Mike DeWine announced the biennial budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023: