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From the Office of:

Senator K. Donovan

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

To the Great State of Ohio,

In keeping with the open communication I have always cherished, I am sending you this letter to keep you
apprised of the latest news from the 115th Congress.

My primary goal of this session was to promote the merits of clean and renewable energy for not only this
great state, but for our great nation. In doing so, I had hoped to further grow the renewable energy
industry in our state, bringing many necessary jobs to Ohio, boosting its economy and bringing us to the
forefront of the nation’s attention as existing leaders in solar manufacturing and “green” economic
growth. With this in mind, I introduced the Clean and Renewable Energy to Create Jobs Act. This
legislation was designed to build photovoltaic power stations, or solar power stations in every state. Solar
energy is energy created through the conversion of sunlight into usable energy by solar panels.
Photovoltaic power stations--a large system of solar panels--would use this same process to generate
energy on a massive scale. With the demand for energy growing not only nationwide, but
worldwide--even expected to grow by 28% by 2040--and with the amount of clean and renewable energy
jobs having grown by 25% in 2017 (surpassing the amount of fossil fuel energy jobs, according to the
National Resources Defense Council), I was sure that this bill would do wonders for Ohio and the United
States. U.S. job growth has hit a six year low, after all. Unfortunately, my fellow Senators on the
Environment and Public Works Committee did not reciprocate these feelings and thought the bill was
financially problematic. They were concerned about where exactly the funding for it would come from.
As such, the Clean and Renewable Energy to Create Jobs Act never made it out of Committee. However,
this does not mean that I will stop fighting for job growth in Ohio by continuing to promote its successful
renewable energy industry. I will continue to try, write and propose until Ohio gets it due; you fine people
of this remarkable state deserve that much.

Later in session, the Senate debated Senator Caroline Thorne of the Delaware’s bill, the Women’s
Education to Employment Act. I chose to vote Nay on this bill, as it is specifically stated that it would
draw $50 million from the United States’ defense fund to give to the Office of Global Women’s Issues for
its mission to educate women and girls around the world. I’m sure that many of my fellow Republicans
would agree with me when I say that defense funding and our defense forces should be valued very
highly, especially in the wake of recent increases in terrorist activities and attacks. If anything, our
defense forces require ​more ​funding to become better equipped for an increasingly dangerous global
climate and to improve parts of them that have been neglected. In addition, this bill would help women
and girls in foreign countries, and while I don’t dispute the notion that providing education to all
people--including foreign women and girls--is important, doing so wouldn’t have a direct impact on this
nation’s people. There are so many Americans that struggle every day in their own ways. We need to
focus on fixing American issues--​your​ issues--before moving on to foreign issues. Furthermore, there is
no way to be certain of how specific foreign governments would react to an American bureaucracy--a
foreign​ bureaucracy--overseeing the education of their women and girls. The risks were simply too great
to vote in support of this bill. Unsurprisingly, this bill was voted down almost unanimously by my fellow
Republicans, as well as by Democrats who acknowledged its absurdity.

The Senate also debated Senator Shifra Dayak of New Hampshire’s Sea Level Upward Rising (SLURP)
Act. The bill was created to combat sea level rise with living shorelines primarily in coastal states. Living
shorelines are coastal edges made of natural materials and according to Senator Dayak, are more effective
at stopping flooding and other negative consequences of sea level rise than concrete sea walls. The bill
focused heavily on four states with particularly severe flooding. Me and my fellow Senators quickly
became concerned with the aforementioned provision and another provision to “establish project grants of
$1 million.” The former provision was amended to include all states that required the funding (but still
with a strong emphasis on those four states with a high-level risk for flooding), and the latter provision
was amended by a vote of 27 to 10 to replace “establish project grants of $1 million” with “establish
formulated project grants which award $10,000 in funding for every mile of coastline being given a living
shoreline.” The general consensus was that the states could understand their individual ecosystems the
best, and would thus use the money most effectively. While I and my fellow Republicans were all for
protecting states’ freedoms with this latter amendment, I voted Nay on this bill. Ohio is not plagued by
rising sea levels, but by dangerous wildfires that take valuable lives, land and property. Water is the very
least of our worries. Thus, I ultimately voted against this rather niche bill that would have done nothing
for you fine Ohioans. While the SLURP Act passed 22 to 16 in the Senate, I am here to bring your
problems--Ohio’s problems--to the forefront of the conversation. Had it passed, the SLURP Act would
have done the exact opposite, and this is why--with you in mind--I voted against it. Happily, the bill was
voted down in the House, ensuring the protection of your voices.

Senator Alyssa Ma of Utah’s Juvenile Solitary Confinement Act was also debated on the Senate floor.
The bill would outlaw juvenile solitary confinement, as it can induce depression, anxiety and
schizophrenia in confined juveniles. It is also difficult to reintegrate juveniles into society after they’ve
completed their sentences due to the mental illnesses that they develop and the trauma that they endure as
a result of the confinement. While the part of the bill that mentioned reintegration caused me to hesitate to
vote in favor of this bill--as I don’t wish to see dangerous criminals out roaming the streets and
endangering people--solitary confinement is a morally objectionable, egregious infringement of the
personal rights of juveniles. It can also only serve to make these juveniles more unstable, endangering
people even more when they’re let free. I ultimately voted Yea on this bill, as I couldn’t allow myself to
sit idly by as Ohio’s children are confined and treated as if they are less than animals. This bill recieved
bipartisan support. It passed in the Senate and in the House, and was signed into law by President Lyons.

I hope that my work has given you a proper voice in Congress. Citizens of the great state of Ohio, I thank
you for placing your faith in me to act on your behalf. Serving you so far has and always will be an honor,
and I will remain committed to making your needs and demands heard in government and in the next

Senator K. Donovan