Senate District 31
Jay Hottinger
A Look Back at Ohio's 131st General Assembly
A Guest Column by State Senator Jay Hottinger
January 11, 2017

Over the last two years, my colleagues and I have been addressing various issues aimed at making our state and region a safer, better place to live, work and raise a family. 

In 2015—after less than a month into my term—I received a phone call from a parent concerned about bureaucratic red tape affecting her child's school district. She explained that state building inspectors were preventing the district from installing door barricades devices that would be used to protect students in the event of an active shooter situation. 

As a father, I was shocked that state bureaucrats could be so unwavering in their enforcement of outdated building codes, even if it could mean the difference between life and death for a child. I immediately introduced a bill to revise the state building code and, thanks to a mother’s dedication, we were able to pass legislation allowing schools to use door barricade devices. While we hope the need for these barricade devices will never be realized, it's important that we take whatever steps are necessary in order to protect our children from danger. 

Our public servants, like teachers, firefighters, and police officers, deserve options to help ensure their financial security when it is retirement. That is why I was proud to sponsor legislation making Roth IRA's available to them through our public deferred compensation plans. This change was a matter of common sense and was long overdue. 

In my role as Chairman of the Senate's Insurance Committee, I led the charge to improve efficiency in our healthcare system by creating guidelines for prior approvals between doctors and insurance companies. Senate Bill 129 established new guidelines that will lead to better care coordination and better patient outcomes by streamlining a complex system to make it easier to use.

Members of the Senate Insurance Committee unanimously passed ignition interlock legislation aimed at preventing future deaths as a result of repeat drunk driving offenders. Recently signed by Governor Kasich, House Bill 388 was named in honor of attorney Annie Rooney who lost her life in accident involving a drunk driver. “Annie’s Law” was supported by numerous organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).  

Those who abuse and neglect animals should be held accountable under the law. This was not always the case, until a Senate colleague and myself took on the daunting task of updating Ohio's animal abuse laws. These changes were signed into law through Senate Bill 195, which outlaws one of the most abhorrent forms of animal abuse. Ohio prosecutors and animal rights groups have advocated for changes for years, while prosecutors were faced with the impossible task of convicting offenders who commit the despicable act of sexually abusing animals. 

To find out more about Senator Hottinger go to Senator Hottinger represents the 31st Ohio Senate district, which encompasses all or part of Coshocton, Holmes, Licking, Perry and Tuscarawas counties.

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