Batchelder announces summer legislative study committees
Speaker of the House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) recently announced the creation of three summer legislative study committees that will conduct a series of hearings around the state through August and September focused on higher education, prescription drug abuse and tax reform.
“The committees present an opportunity to hear from experts and others impacted by these policies to learn more and help us make well-informed policy decisions,” said Batchelder.
The bipartisan committees and their chairs are as follows:
- Higher Education Reform: Representative Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), chair
- Prescription Drug Addiction and Healthcare Reform: Representative Robert Sprague (R-Findlay), chair
- Tax Reform: Representative Gary Scherer (R-Circleville), chair
Committee chairs must submit final reports on their respective topics to Batchelder. The reports will include possible legislative recommendations.
Two of Governor Kasich's cabinet members resign
Two members of Governor John Kasich’s cabinet have announced their resignation prior to the 2014 reelection campaign. Department of Veterans Services (DVS) Director Thomas N. Moe retired on July 22, 2013 following 46 years of public service, and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Tom Charles retired on July 31, 2013.
Governor Kasich touted Moe’s leadership in his efforts to help out-of-work veterans and veterans returning from active duty find meaningful employment and gain new access to healthcare. Moe served in the Vietnam War and in 1968 was captured behind enemy lines as a POW for more than five years. Following his rescue in 1973, Moe continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force until his retirement in 1995.
Jason Dominguez is currently serving as interim director at DVS, having previously served as the assistant director and chief of staff of the department since February 1, 2011. A longtime aid for Congressman Patrick Tiberi, Dominguez served in Iraq with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines.
Charles is retiring from public service after a nearly five-decade-long career in which he led the Ohio Highway Patrol, served as Inspector General and led the Department of Public Safety. According to Governor Kasich, Charles is in discussions with JobsOhio CIO John Minor about serving in an advisory role for the state’s private economic development entity.
Replacing Charles as director of the department is Ohio Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. John Born. Born has served in the Ohio Highway Patrol for 25 years, rising through the ranks from his start as a State Trooper to being named superintendent by Governor Kasich in 2010.
Bills introduced in July
Legislation continues to be introduced while the legislature is on summer recess. These bills provide a glimpse of the topics legislators continue to work on while away from Columbus.
Public Works Contracts: Sponsored by Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy), House Bill 229 would expand the number of potential bidders for public works funded by a state agency and not discriminate in favor of or against labor organizations by requiring or prohibiting certain labor requirements as a condition of performing these public works. The bill would also apply to public works conducted by a political subdivision of the state.
Employment Tax Credit: Sponsored by Senator Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus), Senate Bill 157 would create a tax credit for the employment of individuals who have been convicted of criminal offenses.
Charity Tax Credit: Sponsored by House Majority Whip Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City), House Bill 230 would authorize an income tax or commercial activity tax credit for businesses that donate food inventory to charitable organizations.
Employment Applications: Sponsored by Representative Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland), House Bill 235 would prohibit employers from including on an employment application any question concerning whether an applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony.
Medical Deductions: Sponsored by Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), Senate Bill 163 proposes to increase the amount of unreimbursed medical expenses that an individual may deduct in computing Ohio income tax.
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