COLLUMBUS, Ohio (CGE) – Republicans Tuesday gushed over their legislative accomplishments in the first 100 days of the year. Democrats, quick to respond, said it just showed how out of touch with people’s lives it was.
GOP crows over bill victories
Back again as the majority party due to the thrashing they deliver to Democrats last November, giving them a commanding 59-40 voting advantage over Democrats who won the House in 2008 after a decade and one-half under continuous Republican control, Republicans offered a rundown of what they’ve done so far this year.
GOP State Representative Bill Hayes (R-Harrison Township) made the case for his team. “Ohioans overwhelmingly voted for positive change last November, and if you look at the list of our accomplishments, that is exactly what they are getting,“ Hayes said.
In the first 100 days, Majority Members introduced 200 bills Hayes noted will improve Ohio’s business climate, protect vital local services, preserve jobs and small businesses, restore accountability to elections and government spending, improve community safety, and reduce damaging mandates on school districts—with more pragmatic solutions continuously being drafted and introduced.
Through the creation of the “agile economic development entity JobsOhio” and the establishment of a regulatory reform program through the Common Sense Initiative, Hayes said that “illustrates the House Republicans’ commitment to creating jobs and assisting small business development.”
He also pointed to House Bill 58, which would offer tax relief to families and retain businesses that have received offers to relocate to other states.
“Over the next 21 months, House Republicans will continue the work of the people of Ohio and pursue initiatives to create jobs, improve the business climate and address the many issues Ohioans face today,” Hayes said.
Ohio House Dems counter
“Republicans promised job creation and have delivered something entirely different,” Minority Leader Armond Budish [Beachwood] said. Budish, who presided over the House as Speaker for the last two years, added, “It is disappointing that the voices of thousands of Ohioans can be heard so clearly, yet ignored so easily. The GOP’s partisan agenda is out of touch and, if it continues, it will place us on a path towards destruction of our local communities, school districts and an erosion of the middle class in our state. It’s time they start listening more to the people of Ohio than their political allies.”
Democrats said the House Republicans’ first 100 days has been more focused “on an out-of-touch political agenda, instead of creating jobs.”
“This legislative session has done nothing but divide Ohioans, attack middle class families, lose jobs and hurt education reform in Ohio,” Budish said.
He continued with his now-familiar theme that one-party rule by Republicans has divided “Ohioans with politically motivated legislation” that shows him and his caucus Members “how out of touch they are with Ohioans.”
Budish said Republican bills like SB5 that takes away workers rights, and HB61 that limits overtime are bills that hurt middle class families. Undoing all-day kindergarten and other education reforms accomplished under former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, which received national recognition, and cutting $3.1 billion in state funding for Ohio’s school children is not what voters voted for.
Democrats said Republicans are more concerned with social wedge issues like abortion – four bills dealing with abortions have been introduced, passed out of committee or passed on the floor – than with creating jobs. He also said HB59, a bill requiring a photo ID to vote, is “one of the most restrictive voting rights laws in the entire country.”
Rep. Hayes listed a baker’s dozen of bills he believes establishes a good track record, one he promises the GOP will build on going forward.
H.B. 2 to improve transparency by auditing certain state agencies
H.B. 20 to prohibit intimidation of victims of a crime
H.B. 21 to bring Teach For America to Ohio, improve schools and attract young, educated people to the state
H.B. 30 to repeal costly unfunded school mandates that were included in the Democrats’ “evidence-based” model
H.B. 36 to restore school calamity days from three days back to five days
H.B. 63 to amend judicial consent to an abortion and ensure that minors comprehend possible physical and emotional complications
H.B. 64 to add K2/Spice, a synthetic marijuana, to the list of controlled substances in Ohio
H.B. 66 to create a fraud-reporting system in an effort to save tax dollars and make state spending more accountable
H.B. 93 to crack down on “pill mills” that have led to rampant prescription drug abuse in Ohio
H.B. 114 is a fiscally responsible transportation budget that eliminates millions of dollars in fee increases and embraces consolidation of services
H.B. 159 to strengthen voter identification laws and ensure that elections are as fair and accurate as possible
S.B. 5 to retain middle-class jobs, reduce costs on local governments and help hold down local tax burdens through collective bargaining reform
S.B. 73 to amend liquor permitting for businesses that use liquor as an ingredient in food, which will lighten the costs on small businesses
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