COLUMN: A Year in Review by State Senator Theresa Gavarone
December 23, 2019
2019 was a great year, and I am honored to serve you in the Ohio Statehouse.
At this time last year, I was preparing to serve my second term as State Representative for the people of Wood County, but shortly after the New Year, Governor DeWine asked former Senator Randy Gardner to serve as the Chancellor of the Department of Higher Education, and an opportunity opened up for me to seek the appointment as Senator of the 2nd Senate District. Thanks to the support I received from across the region, I was sworn-in on the Senate floor on February 6.
The friendship and mentorship of Chancellor Gardner and former State Representative Steven Arndt have been instrumental in making my transition to the Senate a smooth one. I welcomed the opportunity to get to know the new counties I now represent in addition to Wood – Erie, Ottawa and parts of Fulton and Lucas – and I spent much of my year meeting constituents, visiting local businesses and listening to community leaders to learn how I can best represent the people and priorities of northern Ohio. That will continue in 2020. I look forward to traveling around the district as much as I can, and I encourage you to connect with me on social media or via my e-newsletter to stay in touch and learn more.
Since joining the Senate, I have sponsored nine pieces of legislation. Those bills range from improving the water quality in Lake Erie, increasing access to mental health care, ensuring the safety of children around school buses, and making it easier for first-time buyers to purchase their first home. The first bill I sponsored, SB 52, dealt with better protecting Ohioans from cyber attacks and ensuring election security, and I am proud to let you know that Governor DeWine signed that legislation into law a couple months ago.
The Senate also took a leadership role in passing priority legislation to increase funding for public schools, fight against human trafficking, protect Ohio’s most vulnerable families, and remove job barriers for military families. We also continued our pro-growth agenda to keep our economy moving forward thanks to significant tax cuts, support for growth in disadvantaged areas, and the elimination of red tape that stifles small businesses and job creation.
As we begin a new year, I am grateful for the time I get to spend with my family in Wood County for Christmas, and I am looking forward to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Port Clinton at the Walleye Drop. I look forward to continuing our good work together in 2020. From my family to yours, I wish you a peaceful holiday season and a Happy New Year!