COLUMBUS— The Ohio Senate today approved a bi-partisan bill sponsored by State Senators Michael Rulli (R-Salem) and Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) to create an Office on Eastern European Affairs and a Commission on Eastern European Affairs. The Office and the Commission will educate the public on issues of concern to Ohioans of Eastern European origin, and advise the Governor, the General Assembly, and state agencies on these issues.
"I have been convinced of the need for the Office and the Commission by the many persuasive voices in our district," said Rulli. "Especially now, in this time of war and perilous uncertainty in Eastern Europe, solid information and clear dialogue are needed more than ever."
In addition to advising lawmakers and state agencies, the Commission and Office of Eastern European Affairs will:
- Gather and distribute information of special concern to Eastern European people.
- Conduct hearings, conferences, investigations, and special studies.
- Secure recognition of accomplishments and contributions of Eastern European people to Ohio.
- Develop, coordinate, and assist other public and private organizations that serve Eastern European people.
- Establish relationships with local governments, state governments, and private businesses that promote and ensure equal opportunity for Eastern European people in government, education, and employment.
- Develop and implement policies addressing the special needs of Eastern European people in education, employment, energy, health, housing, welfare, and recreation.
- Ensure that Eastern European people have access to decision-making bodies in all state and local government departments and agencies
- Apply for and accept grants and gifts from government and private sources.
The Office on Eastern European Affairs will serve the Commission, which will meet at least six times a year.