COLUMN: Improving Mental Health Treatment, Reducing Drug Relapses and Protecting Ohioans from Cyber Attacks
March 27, 2019
As your connection to the Ohio Senate, I feel it is vital to update you on the work being done on your behalf. The new General Assembly is in full swing and I am off to a fast start. I have introduced three bills and attended dozens of events across Wood, Ottawa, Erie, Fulton and Lucas counties since being sworn-in last month.
The first bill I introduced was Senate Bill 52, legislation I am working on with Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Adjutant General John Harris, to better protect Ohioans from cyber-attacks by establishing the Ohio Cyber Reserve. Specifically, the bill will ensure the accurate results of our elections by improving the post-election audit process and requiring staff to be hired to advise the secretary of state on matters of information security.
I’ve also sponsored legislation to increase the level of offense for those who target and prey upon addicts who are seeking treatment. Senate Bill 55, also known as the ‘Relapse Reduction Act,’ will increase penalties for drug traffickers who sell on or near the premises of addiction service providers.
I am also passionate about improving mental health treatment in our state, which is why I’ve sponsored a bill to reform the way we treat non-violent offenders who suffer from mental health issues. Too often, these individuals are sent to state hospitals when they would be better served by receiving treatment. It is my hope that Senate Bill 58 will close this gap and ensure that all Ohioans obtain the care and treatment they deserve.
In addition to my legislative work, I was recently honored by the Ohio Association of Senior Centers with the Muriel Bertsch Award. As you may know, last General Assembly I worked to secure $1.6 million for the new Wood County Senior Center, and it is truly an honor to be selected to receive this prestigious award.
It is my privilege to be chosen to serve as your state senator, and I enjoyed visiting many communities throughout our district this past month. I am excited for this new opportunity, and I look forward to continuing to work with you on the issues that impact our state and communities.
I value your feedback and encourage you to contact me at (614) 466-8060 or Gavarone@OhioSenate.gov if you ever have a question, concern or suggestion as to how we can make our state a better place.