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Rogers February Newsletter 2013

Rogers February Newsletter 2013

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Published by HouseDemComm
Rogers February Newsletter 2013
Rogers February Newsletter 2013

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Published by: HouseDemComm on Feb 06, 2013
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Dear Constituents

I am truly honored and humbled by this privilege to serve as your State Representative. I look forward to listening and learning from you and others over the upcoming months. There is no doubt many challenges loom ahead as we begin this new General Assembly, but I am excited about the opportunities that are sure to present themselves. It is important that we remain mindful of the variety of critical issues facing our state. Our local governments must have the necessary resources to provide effective and efficient services while keeping our communities safe and providing great surroundings in which to live and work. We must focus on ways of strengthening our schools to ensure that our teachers have the assets they need to help our children succeed. We also need to support the business community and promote initiatives for job creation that prioritize small businesses. After all, it is the small business owner who is at the heart of economic growth in our state. These issues are all of vital importance and are but a few on the horizon. While successfully addressing these matters may not always be easy, and undoubtedly will at times involve disagreement, a genuine bi-partisan effort with our constituents’ interests at heart is the approach I intend to take in representing your interests and helping to move Ohio forward. As Ohio’s General Assembly addresses the challenges that face all of us, I hope to hear
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from you as my role is to represent all of my constituents. We all want to build a better community to enjoy a brighter future and create a stronger Ohio. Ohio’s citizens have, over the years, shown themselves to be a resilient group. We have always found ways to persevere through hard work and our commitment to service. Most of all, we have done so with a willingness to compromise. The sharing of ideas is often the first step to achieving practical, common-sense solutions.

OhioHouseDems Ohiohouse.gov

Please always feel free to contact our office by phone (614) 466-7251 or toll free 1-800282-0253. You may also reach us by email at Rep60@ohiohouse.gov

Columbus Office 60th District 77 South High Street 10th Floor Columbus, Ohio 43215 Phone: (614) 466-7251 Toll-free: (800) 282-0253 Fax: (614) 719-3962 Or E-mail At:

John M. Rogers State Representative Ohio’s 60th House District

February 2013

State Rep. John M. Rogers

Page 2

Contacting Representative John M. Rogers
You have several options if you would like to contact Representative Rogers. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions and will do everything we can to help you. We also welcome invitations to speak to your group or organization. Via Telephone (Columbus Office) Direct Phone: (614) 466-7251 Toll-Free Messaging System: (800) 282-0253 Via Postal Mail (Columbus Office) Hon. John Rogers State Representative, 60th District Ohio House of Representatives 77 South High Street, 10th Floor Columbus, OH 43215

Via Electronic Mail (E-Mail) To contact the office via e-mail, please use the following address:

Important State Contact Information
Ohio House of Representatives www.house.state.oh.us Legislative Information 800-282-0253 Insurance, Department of http://ohioinsurance.gov/ Consumer Hotline 800-686-1526 Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program 800-686-1578 Jobs and Family Services, Department of http://jfs.ohio.gov/ Veteran Services Division 800-253-4060 Unemployment Compensation Hotline 877-644-6562 Motor Vehicles, Bureau of http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/ General Information Public Safety, Department of http://publicsafety.ohio.gov/ Highway Patrol State Highway Patrol DUI Hotline Aging, Department of http://aging.ohio.gov/home/ Golden Buckeye Card Ombudsman/Elder Rights Unit 866-301-6446 800-282-1206



Public Utilities Commission of Ohio http://www.puco.ohio.gov/ General Information 800-686-PUCO Taxation, Department of http://tax.ohio.gov/ Form Requests Individual Taxpayer Assistance

800-282-1782 800-282-1780

Save these numbers for future reference!

February July 20122013

State Rep. John M. Rogers

Page 3

Watching The Money
An overview of the State Controlling Board and the oversight of government spending
“Government spending” is perhaps one of the most dominant subjects in recent American political discourse. Candidates, as well as officeholders, hotly debate the appropriate levels of government spending, but soon after rhetoric subsides the real work of government expenditures begin. ed by the leader of each chamber made up the membership of the Board. In 1975, the 111th General Assembly established the Board in statute. It was at this time that the Director of Finance or his or her designee was specified as President of the Board.

Although state appropriations, or government expenditures, are proposed Authority and through legislation, the Responsibility act of spending money must face further scrutiOver its history, the Board ny in Ohio. It’s not as has been viewed as a coneasy as writing a check. venient way to exercise legThe legislature maintains islative oversight of execua degree of oversight on tive actions. Thus the powalmost all appropriations ers of the Board have been through a committeeexpanded into areas beyond style process called the those contained in the State Controlling Board. Board's original authorizaThe board is currently tion. Recent history demoncomprised of four Restrates that the Board's aupublican members of the thority often is expanded as General Assembly and a reaction to the legislatwo Democrats. With the ture's perceptions of inapmost expensive state bipropriate behavior on the ennial budget in history being championed by Republi- part of the executive branch. cans this session (about $55 billion), there is no doubt Controlling Board members have their work cut out for The Controlling Board authority was made to include all them. leases above a certain threshold dollar value made by state government. This change was made in reaction to History and Context the scandal at the time surrounding perceived political favoritism in the awarding of telecommunication equipThe Controlling Board was first created in the General ment lease/purchases. Appropriations Act of 1917. Until 1969, the Board consisted of the governor, the attorney general, the audi- The Board is required by Section 127.13 of the Revised tor and the chairpersons of the Ohio House and Senate Code to meet at least once a month, and generally, Finance Committees. meetings are held every other Monday throughout the year. The schedule of meeting dates is published each In 1969, the composition of the Board was altered alOctober for the next calendar year and is available most to its present form with seven members. The from the Controlling Board Office. The President may governor was referenced as the chairman, although the schedule emergency meetings to address issues needlaw allowed the Director of Finance or an employee of ing immediate attention. the Department of Finance appointed by the governor to preside over the Board. The Department of Finance You can find out the most up to date information on was the predecessor to the current Office of Budget Controlling Board activity by visiting: and Management. In addition, the two finance committee chairpersons as well as one majority and one mihttps://ecb.ohio.gov nority member from each legislative chamber appoint-

February 2013

State Rep. John M. Rogers

Page 4

House Democrats Lead Effort to Establish Veterans’ Caucus
Bipartisan, bicameral body to focus on issues important to those with military service
The brave men and women who fight for our nation in the Armed Services deserve recognition for their sacrifices as well as policies to address the unique challenges they and their families face. Ensuring our current and former servicemen and women receive the help and support they deserve is a top priority of the Ohio House Democrats. Recently, State Rep. Connie Pillich, a Democrat from the Cincinnati area, invited all members of the Ohio legislature to join her in furthering causes that are of importance to veterans. The mission of this bipartisan caucus is to look at the impact of recent and current issues affecting veterans, active duty, guard, and reserve military and their families. The caucus is open to veterans and nonveterans within the Ohio General Assembly. The first meeting of the group took place on January 23rd in Columbus. The meeting included some formalities such as the election of officers and organizational planning, but it also included special guests, leaders from Ohio’s Operation Military Kids. It is the hope of some in the caucus that the group will be better able to limit competing agendas and differing views on how best to address The invitation to join the Veterans’ Caucus follows a different Democrat-lead proposal to soon introduce legislation that would expand unemployment provisions for spouses of active military personnel who must leave work due to their spouse being transferred. body could complement the important work of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs standing committee in the Ohio House. laws relevant to those with military service. The legislation and advocacy that may come from the

February 2013

State Rep. John M. Rogers

Page 5

Help Me Grow Program Offers Healthy Options
Programs available to give children and families the best start possible
For some Ohio families, finding programs to give their children a healthy start can be a challenge. Luckily, the Ohio Department of Health offers a program that gives infants and toddlers a chance at success in the early stages of their lives. Help Me Grow is administered in all 88 counties of the state. With the use of state and federal funds, Help Me Grow gives all children up to 3 years old access to vital services for them and their families. The program also encourages prenatal and well-baby care and provides programs for children with disabilities. er life-threatening diseases. With assistance from the Help Me Grow program, however, more than 33,000 infants and toddlers have been able to receive home visits that included developmental and health services in a single year.

Studies show children most eligible for the Help Me Grow program come from families up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level, from parents who have less than a ninth-grade education or from parents who are unemployed. There are no income requirements for the program. The services continuously protect children from disease and infection and work toward promoting Services offered through Help Me Grow provide children healthy living practices for them, despite what their livwith a better chance at starting school with the two ing situation may be. most important tools: a healthy body and a sharp mind. Local Help Me Grow programs provide home visits that: To find the Help Me Grow program available in your county, please call the Bureau of Early Intervention Identify children with, or who are at risk for, developServices at (614) 644-8389. mental delays or disabilities Services At A Glance Offer parents up-to-date information during a newborn visit from a registered nurse on child health, developPrenatal Visits: Education for expectant parents; ment, safety and community resources; during the vismaterials about maternal and child health, developit, a registered nurse conducts a physical assessment of ment and safety; referrals to community resources the newborn and mother Newborn Home Visits: Physical assessment of Give screenings for health, hearing, vision and developbaby and mother; newborn and postpartum care ment Service Coordination: Enrollment in multiple serPresent parents with information about their child’s sovices; transition to other programs cial and emotional development that lays the foundation for later school success Family Support Services: Parent mentoring; parent group activities; support for transition from Assure that parents have information on the importance hospital to home of early childhood immunizations and routine pediatric health care Specialized Services: Nutrition; physical therapy; social work services; psychological services; vision In years past, the state has seen more than 16,000 baservices; speech-language therapy bies born to mothers who did not receive prenatal care until after their first trimester. At one point within the last decade, one in five 2-year-old children had not completed immunizations for measles, mumps and oth-

February 2013

State Rep. John M. Rogers

Page 6

Ohio I-File Helps Ease Tax Return Hassles
Digital filing will speed refund
Tax season still tends to conjure visions of mounds of paperwork and long nights with a pen and a calculator. But it doesn’t have to be that way. More and more Ohioans are turning to Ohio I-File, a free service that allows almost any taxpayer to file a return online. In fact, if you still file the oldfashioned way – by mailing a return to Columbus – you are now in the minority. The Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site shows that now, more than half of Ohio’s income tax returns are filed electronically. There are two big advantages to trying Ohio I-File: It speeds up tax refunds. If you are due a refund and choose the direct deposit option, the money will be in your bank account in seven to ten days. It saves taxpayer dollars. It costs about three times as much to process a paper return as it does to process an electronic return. For more information on Ohio IFile or any other question about filing your state income tax return, visit The Ohio Department of Taxation’s Web site at tax.ohio.gov or call (800) 282-1780.

Are You Missing Out on Money that Belongs to You?
You may be eligible for the federal EITC refundable tax credit
It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Each year, more than $100 million that rightfully belongs in the pockets of hardworking Ohio families ends up bottled up in Washington. The problem: Too many lowand moderate-income Ohioans are inadvertently leaving money on the table by not claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit as part of their federal tax return. The federal EITC is a refundable tax credit designed to reward low-income wage earners by creating an incentive to work. It entitles those who work for lower wages to receive a larger tax refund. Eligibility is based on income and the size of a family for the credits, which can boost a tax refund up to $5,891. The credit is available to individuals who earned less than $13,980 last year and to couples (with at least two children) who earned up to $41,952. Unfortunately, as many as 15 percent of Ohioans fail to claim the credit, which experts consider one of America’s most effective anti-poverty programs. That means less money that could be in Ohio helping to fuel our economy and it means families are missing out on a tool that could help them stretch their resources farther.

If you or someone you know is missing out on this valuable credit contact the Internal Revenue Service at (800) 829-1040.

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