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From the Desk of Rep. Dovilla At the Statehouse Around the 7th Upcoming Events
Dear 7th District Resident: A busy spring continues at the Statehouse. While the House has sent the budget to the Senate for further action, our chamber remains busy with other legislative priorities and I am maintaining a full schedule around our legislative district at a variety of events. In this month’s “At the Statehouse” section of this newsletter, you’ll have the opportunity to read about my first bill to pass the house this session, a bipartisan measure to help promote Ohio’s manufacturing sector. In addition, you’ll find information on two additional good government bills on which I’m working: one to improve government accountability and transparency and another to take away the public pensions of corrupt public officials. Closer to home, we’ve concluded our first set of district office hours and turned to a series of district days. For example, I recently spent an entire Friday in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, visiting with constituents of all ages, touring small businesses, and meeting with some of my partners in local government. You can read about these and other activities in our “Around the 7th” segment below. Thank you for the opportunity to continue serving you in the Ohio House of Representatives. If I may ever be of assistance to you or your family, please contact my office at 614-466-4895 or Rep07@ohiohouse.gov. I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely, State Representative Mike Dovilla At the Statehouse It has been a busy month at the Statehouse, where we recently welcomed the winners of our 3rd Annual “Representative for a Day” reading contest. On May 9, about 65 students and parents joined us in
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Jim Coury 2013 Jeopardy! College Tournament Champion Tim Fox David Graham Michael Stamper Troop 201 Eagle Scouts Michael Yanetta Anthony Kowalski Cameron Perisutti Adrian Padin
Nathan Doty Troop 701 Spring 2013 Eagle Scouts
Columbus for a half-day program that included a mock legislative session on the House floor, a tour of the Statehouse, and lunch at the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts. Thanks again to our partners in 7th House District public schools and libraries, and congratulations to all of our young readers for participating in this year’s contest. Stay tuned for details on our 2014 reading program. On the legislative front since our April update, the House has taken immediate action on our budget amendment to engage in further examination of Medicaid expansion. Speaker Batchelder established the Healthier Ohio Working Group, a combination of two Finance Committee subcommittees, as well as several full committee members, to conduct this analysis. I am pleased to be serving on this new panel, which thus far has conducted three hearings. We will continue to meet in the coming weeks, as we develop a set of recommendations for our colleagues to consider. On April 30, the House passed my first bill of the 130th General Assembly. House Bill 77, a bipartisan measure I sponsored with Rep. Anthony Celebreeze (D-Parma), would designate October of each year as “Manufacturing Month” in the state of Ohio. With this action, manufacturers will have an enhanced ability to highlight their success stories while informing our state’s residents of the critical skills needed to fill open jobs and pursue careers in this important economic sector. Manufacturing accounts for more than 600,000 jobs and annually produces more than $80 billion worth of goods. H.B. 77, which passed by a vote of 94-2, is now before the Ohio Senate for further consideration. On May 7, I held a news conference with Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to announce legislation to establish “Open Ohio,” a state government expenditure database showing taxpayers exactly where their money is being spent. This bill underscores my commitment to increase government accountability and transparency by creating a searchable, freely accessible database that displays the expenditure information of state agencies, including the amount of the expenditure, the date of the expenditure, the person to whom the expenditure was paid, and the state entity that made or requested the expenditure. I firmly believe Ohio’s hardworking taxpayers deserve to know how their state government is spending their tax dollars. This new database, if approved by the legislature, would help advance efficient, effective state government that respects taxpayers by allowing Ohioans to help root out government waste, fraud, and abuse. “Open Ohio” is in the final stages of the legislative drafting process and soon will be introduced, assigned a bill number, and referred to committee. I also recently announced with my joint sponsor Rep. Marlene Anielski (R-Independence) the introduction of House Bill 162, legislation
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to protect hardworking Ohio taxpayers from public corruption. This bill builds on House Bill 323 of the 129th General Assembly, which made its way partially through the legislative process. Our new measure would require the forfeiture of public pension benefits for public officials convicted of extortion and perjury and strengthen current state law to allow pensions to be forfeited based on federal criminal convictions. Currently, only elected or appointed officials convicted of the felonies of (1) bribery or engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; (2) theft in office of property or services; and (3) conspiracy, complicity, or an attempt to commit any of these offenses, at the state level forfeit their retirement and disability benefits. This legislation is designed to protect the taxpayers of Ohio, not the public pensions of corrupt politicians. It is simply inexcusable that public officials who engage in corrupt activity are able to receive reduced sentences by using their public pension as a bargaining chip. H.B. 162 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration. Around the 7th While the budget is under consideration in the Senate, I have been scheduling additional district activities, including a series of cityspecific days. I recently completed a round of visits with municipal and township elected officials, and a day focused on meetings and visits in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township (described below). I also participated in the following events: On April 22, I met in Berea with representatives of the Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership to discuss the state budget and Medicaid expansion. On April 28, I presented commendations to eight newly minted Eagle Scouts from Boy Scout Troops 201 (Olmsted Falls) and 701 (Strongsville). On May 2, I attended a retirement recital and reception for Dr. Margaret Scharf, lecturer in organ at Baldwin Wallace University. I presented Maggie with a House commendation in recognition of her many years of mentoring to students at the BW Conservatory of Music. On May 6, I met with Strongsville Mayor Tom Perciak and Economic Development Director Brent Painter to discuss ongoing and upcoming economic development projects and other priorities for the city. On May 10, I spent the day in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, visiting with teachers and students at the Early Childhood Center, touring the Schady Road Farm operated by Cleveland Crops, commending the Family Dollar store on its service to the community,
meeting with the Olmsted Township Trustees to discuss the township’s strategic plan and economic development efforts, and visiting with Olmsted Falls Mayor Bob Blomquist and constituents at the Jenkins Senior Center. On May 12, I participated in the 163rd commencement exercises and various campus receptions at Baldwin Wallace University. On May 13, I toured the new Strongsville facility for IMARC, a contract research company that conducts clinical monitoring and auditing. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the firm’s executive leadership and to present a commendation welcoming them to the 7th House District from their previous location in Fairview Park. On May 13, I visited with Mayor Bob Stefanik to discuss municipal tax reform, oil drilling, and other matters of importance to the city. Upcoming Events On May 25, 2013, the Berea High School Alumni Association will host an open house at Berea High School. Meet in the cafeteria beginning at noon to see videos, view memorabilia, and take tours of the building that has housed BHS for every class since 1882. A final assembly will take place in the auditorium at 2:30 p.m. Within two weeks of this event, all BHS historical or Braves-related items will be removed from the building and placed in storage. This will be the last time for BHS alumni to see the school the way we remember it; dramatic physical changes will occur throughout the summer to prepare for the opening of Berea-Midpark High School. All alumni, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend this special “end of an era” program. For more information, please contact my fellow Class of 1993 graduate, BHS Social Studies Department Chairman Bill Boone, at email@example.com. Other upcoming community events and meetings of note in and around our district include the following: May 28: Berea High School Commencement, CSU Wolstein Center May 30: Olmsted Falls High School Commencement, CSU May 31: North Royalton High School Commencement, State Theater June 2: Strongsville High School Commencement, CSU Wolstein Center June 10: Town Hall Meeting with senior citizens, The Renaissance, Olmsted Falls
June 13: Rep. Dovilla offers remarks to Cuyahoga County Municipal Office on Aging, Independence June 15: Berea High School 20th Class Reunion, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Middleburg Heights
For more information on any event or to submit an event for inclusion in a future issue of the 7th District Newsletter, please email me at Rep07@ohiohouse.gov. Thank you!