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From the Desk of


Rep. Dovilla
At the Statehouse

Around the 7th

Upcoming Events

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125 Responses to
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From the Desk of Rep. Dovilla

Dear 7th District Resident:


The last few weeks have been particularly
busy at the Statehouse, where legislative activity
has centered on House passage of the states
biennial operating budget. This months newsletter
contains detailed information on key elements of
that 3,000+ page bill, which passed the House on
April 22. My main budget priority again this year
was public school funding, and I appreciate the
active involvement of our local partners who worked
with me to advocate for holding harmless school
districts that would have realized devastating
budget cuts. Now, we must continue working to
ensure the Senate retains the funding we restored in
the House.

During the past month we also welcomed the


winners of our 5th annual Legislator for a Day
reading contest for elementary school students.
About 40 constituents joined us in Columbus for a
program that included a mock legislative session on
Logan James
the House floor, a tour of your historic Ohio
Pearce
Statehouse, and a lunch conversation in the majority
Graduation from the caucus room of the Vern Riffe Center overlooking
U.S. Military Academy Capitol Square. Its always one of my favorite days
at West Point
of the year, as we have the opportunity to open the
Glen Stacho
Peoples House to the wonderful people of our
National
legislative district.
Distinguished
56 - Proud New
Homeowners

Principal
D.J. Arslanian and
Carter Ostrowski
Boys Swimming and
Diving Honorable
Mention

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Thank you for this opportunity to communicate


with you on our work in the Ohio House of
Representatives. It is an honor to serve you and
your family, and as always I welcome your thoughts.
Contact us at 614-466-4895 or
Rep07@ohiohouse.gov to share your perspectives
with me.
Sincerely,
State Representative Mike Dovilla
House Majority Whip

At the Statehouse
The Ohio House resumed its active legislative
schedule after the two-week district work period
around Easter and completed work on its version of
House Bill 64, the main operating budget for Fiscal
Years 2016 and 2017. This budget, one of four
appropriations bills enacted in every odd-numbered
year, is the most comprehensive piece of legislation
the General Assembly undertakes during each twoyear session. The bill currently numbers more than
3,000 pages and will appropriate over $72 billion for
the biennium starting July 1, 2015.
As you may know, my primary focus in this
biennial budget once again has been fighting to
protect state funding for our suburban districts four
excellent public school districts. The governors

proposed school funding formula, while


recommending certain much-needed reforms, would
have left two of our districts Berea and
Strongsville with substantial deficits that could
only have been filled by cutting programs or
returning to the voters for additional property or
income tax increases. In all, nearly one-in-six school
districts around Ohio would have lost funding due to
the ongoing phase-out of tangible personal property
(TPP) tax reimbursement payments.
Working with my fellow members of House
leadership, I was able to secure an additional $100
million for districts like ours to address projected
funding shortfalls over the next two years. In
addition, our House-passed version of the budget
includes the establishment of a Joint Education
Oversight Commission to provide analysis to the
General Assembly on education issues, including
school funding, something that is long overdue. It is
my hope that nearly two decades and five different
school funding formulas after the first DeRolph
case was decided before the Ohio Supreme Court,
we will be able to move forward with a plan that
works for districts all across the Buckeye State.
I appreciate the active engagement of board
members, administrators, teachers, and parents in
the Berea and Strongsville school districts, many of
whom contacted our office, lent support on social
media, and even traveled to Columbus to offer
testimony before the House Finance Committee.
Working together as a team, we achieved a good
outcome. Now, it is important to engage in just as
robust a manner with the Senate to ensure our
changes remain in the final version of the budget.
Here are some additional highlights of House
Bill 64, as passed by the House:
Reduces spending by $359 million in FY 16
and $417.9 million in FY 17 compared to the
executive proposal.
Continues to lower taxes for all Ohioans,
providing over $1.2 billion in tax relief, to
include:

o a 6.3 percent across-the-board tax cut


beginning this year;
o a lower top marginal rate below 5
percent;
o a permanent 75 percent small business
tax reduction all building on our efforts
since 2011 to lower taxes and make Ohio
more competitive;
o removal of tax increases in the
governors proposal (i.e., sales tax
increase and expansion, severance tax
increase, cigarette tax increase, and
commercial activity tax (CAT) increase);
and
o creation of the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy
Study Committee to take a
comprehensive look at Ohios tax
policies in comparison to other states.
Reforms Medicaid to focus on those who need
assistance and develop plans to move people
up and off government assistance by:
o implementing cost transparency
measures;
o allowing Ohio to seek waivers to allow
for health savings accounts and work
requirements;
o requiring a report to the General
Assembly on the clinical care and
outcomes of the expansion population;
and
o returning eligibility determinations to
the General Assembly.
Makes the pathway to a college degree more
affordable and accessible for all Ohioans by:
o Prohibiting state universities from
charging an overload fee for taking more
than a certain number of credit hours;
o Reducing the Student Debt Loan
Repayment Program to $15 million per
year and using the balance to support a
new workforce grant program proposed
in House Bill 1; and
o Requiring all colleges participating in
the College Credit Plus Program to offer
an associate degree pathway.

Around the 7th

During the past month, I have maintained an active


schedule around our district, participating in the
following key events and meetings:

On April 7, I hosted students and families for


our 5th annual Legislator for a Day program
at the Ohio Statehouse.
On April 13, I met in Berea with the Greater
Cleveland Partnership to discuss various policy
matters related to our region in the budget.
On April 17, I visited Strongsville High School
to talk with students on the Start Talking!
anti-drug initiative and to meet with Principal
Mark Smithberger.
On April 18, I participated in a ceremony at
Baldwin Wallace University to unveil a new
statue honoring four-time Olympic gold
medalist Harrison Dillard, Class of 1949.
On April 26, our office presented
commendations to newly minted Eagle Scouts
in a ceremony at Strongsville High School.
On April 27, I met in Berea with
representatives of Voices for Ohios Children.
On April 27, I met with AP Government
students and presented a commendation at
Saint Joseph Academy in honor of the schools
125th anniversary.
On April 27, I observed a music therapy
session with Lalene Kay at Baldwin Wallace
University. (This week, I introduced House Bill
184, bipartisan legislation with 20 original
cosponsors to provide for music therapy
licensure, which has been requested by music
therapists across Ohio).
Upcoming Events

Upcoming events of note on our official


calendar and in the communities of the 7th House
District include the following:

May 10: Undergraduate Commencement


Exercises, The George Finnie Stadium,
Baldwin Wallace University, Berea
May 11: Jewish Federation Public Officials
Breakfast, Beachwood
May 12: Rep. Dovilla will receive the COSE
Small Business Advocate of the Year Award at
a reception in Columbus
May 12: Cleveland International Piano
Competition (CIPC) Young Artists Opening
Ceremony, Lindsay-Crossman Chapel, Baldwin
Wallace University, Berea
May 17: Eliza Jennings Best of the Wild Wild
West Auction, The Renaissance, Olmsted
Township
May 18: Standing monthly meeting, Ohio
Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission,
OTIC HQ, Berea
May 21: CIPC Young Artists Closing Ceremony,
Cleveland Museum of Art
May 22: Rep. Dovilla will participate in a ridealong with the Ohio State Highway Patrol
May 25: Rep. Dovilla will offer remarks at a
Memorial Day Ceremony in Parma Heights
May 26: Rep. Dovilla will offer remarks to the
MetroHealth Veterans Research Group at a
breakfast event in Cleveland
May 30: Rep. Dovilla will offer the
commencement address at Bryant & Stratton
College in Lakewood

For more information on any event or to


submit an event for inclusion in a future issue of the
7th District Newsletter, please email our office at
Rep07@ohiohouse.gov. Thank you!