Ohio Political News Briefs

Today in the Ohio Senate

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Ohio Senate will recognize the following at the start of today’s session, beginning at 1:30 p.m.:

Upper Arlington Fire Division: Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) will recognize the Upper Arlington Fire Division on being named the 2017 Ohio Emergency Medical Services Agency of the Year.


Brown: New Secretary Should Work with Congress to Lower Costs, Improve Healthcare, Address Opioid Epidemic

CLEVELAND, OH —Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement following reports of U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price’s resignation.

“I hope the next Health and Human Services Secretary will work with Congress to lower costs and make healthcare work better for Ohio instead of trying to take away critical tools in the opioid fight and kick Ohioans off their insurance. HHS’ taxpayer dollars should go toward healthcare, not private jets.”

Conservative lies

President Trump has released his “tax reform” plan, and we at ProgressOhio were shocked: his proposal literally raises taxes on the poorest Americans in order to fund MASSIVE tax cuts for the 1 percent.

It’s reverse-Robin Hood: steal from the poor to give to the rich. However, there’s still time to let our Senators and Representatives know that their constituents oppose this immoral plan. Check out our petition, and sign today (Click here if you don’t have Facebook)

Trump’s proposal would raise taxes on hardworking Americans in order to:

Lower the tax rate for the wealthiest;

Slash the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent; and

Restructure tax brackets to disproportionately help the wealthy while blowing up the US deficit.

Here’s the thing: Republicans are trying to disguise this plan as a win-win, thinking that voters won’t pay attention. But we are, and that’s why we have to make our voices heard.

Sign today, and we’ll send your signatures to President Trump, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Sherrod Brown and your member of Congress. Then help spread the word by forwarding this email to a friend, sharing this Facebook post, or retweeting our petition.

Connie Pillich issues statement about Ohio’s Vote Purging Case

Cincinnati, Ohio — Today (Sept. 27), Connie Pillich released a statement in response to the Supreme Court’s scheduled November 8 hearing of the Husted vs. A Phillip Randolph Institute case concerning Ohio’s purging of voter rolls. As a former State Representative, former Air Force officer, and current candidate for governor, Connie urged the Supreme Court to strike down Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s appeal:

“Voting is a right that defines us as Americans. It is a right many of our young men and women died to protect. Our elected leaders should do everything they can to protect and expand this right. Secretary Husted’s efforts to purge voters from the voter rolls is shameful, undemocratic, and an affront to those who’ve served in our armed forces. If one registers to vote, failure to exercise that right is no reason for the government to take it away. I urge the Supreme Court to strike down these unconstitutional infringements on our right to vote.” — Connie Pillich

Connie Pillich is a former state representative, small businesswoman, and former US Air Force Captain running to be Ohio’s next governor in order to bring bold leadership and innovative policy solutions to Columbus.

To learn more visit ConniePillich.Com and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called for a bipartisan process on tax reform that will cut taxes for working Ohioans as White House and Congressional leaders released their tax reform framework.

“Working Ohioans deserve tax reform that helps them keep more of the money they’ve earned and creates good-paying jobs,” said Brown. “I’m glad President Trump’s plan recognizes the need to crack down on multinational corporations that shift their profits and jobs overseas – and I look forward to working with him on that. At the same time, we need to help American companies who do right by their workers grow and create more jobs. That’s what my Patriot Employers Tax Credit would do – cut taxes for employers that keep jobs here and pay their workers well. Those are the companies who should be rewarded – not Wall Street banks and pharmaceutical companies. I’m ready to work with Republicans and Democrats to make sure workers remain a priority as we take up tax reform.”

Brown also applauded a deduction for Ohio’s small businesses that would allow them to fully expense the cost of depreciable assets, things like equipment and buildings, so they can invest that money back into their workforce.

Brown is hopeful expanding the Child Tax Credit will be an area for bipartisan agreement, but wants to be sure that as details are hammered out, the expansion will result in more money back in the pockets of working families. Brown has worked to expand CTC and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Brown – a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees tax policy – has demanded that workers be a priority in ongoing tax reform discussions. Brown’s bill, the Patriot Employers Tax Credit would reward employers who keep jobs in the United States and pay workers well – encouraging them to create even more good-paying jobs in the U.S. Brown has also proposed a Corporate Freeloader Fee to require corporations that pay workers so little that their workers are forced onto government assistance programs to reimburse taxpayers for the cost. Brown is also the author of the Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would dramatically expand the Child Tax Credit for working families with young children and the Earned Income Tax Credit for workers without children, the only full-time workers that can currently be taxed into poverty. These efforts are part of Brown’s plan to make hard work pay off for Ohioans.


Columbus – The Ohio Federation of Teachers has become the 80th organization to join the still-growing coalition against Issue 2, while the Warren Tribune Chronicle has become the sixth daily newspaper to editorialize against the deeply flawed ballot initiative. No major daily has endorsed a “yes” vote on Issue 2.

Said Campaign Communications Director Dale Butland:

“We’re delighted to welcome the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), which represents thousands of hard-working teachers in urban areas throughout our state, to our coalition. The OFT knows that Issue 2 will neither reduce drug costs for its members, nor save money for taxpayers. In fact, it’s likely to make the problem of affordable prescription drugs even worse. That’s why business and labor—along with veterans, community groups and the medical community—are standing together to oppose Issue 2.

“And we’re also pleased that the Warren Tribune Chronicle has joined newspapers across the state in sounding the alarm on this deceptive ballot proposal. As the paper itself puts it: ‘Clearly, Issue 2 is bad medicine for Ohioans.’”

We can win a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama

In August, I traveled to Alabama to campaign with an accomplished lawyer running a long-shot campaign for U.S. Senate.

Now that candidate, Doug Jones — a Democrat committed to standing up for fairness and equality — will face Roy Moore in December to fill Jeff Sessions’ open Senate seat.

Roy Moore is one of the most extreme and divisive nominees in recent memory. He’s been removed from public office twice in his career for defying court orders, he’s publicly stated that being gay should be criminalized, and even wrote an op-ed saying Rep. Keith Ellison shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress simply because of his religion.

If you believe in equality for all Americans, defeating Roy Moore is now a TOP priority. Join me in supporting Democrat Doug Jones, a lifelong champion for justice, for U.S. Senate from Alabama.

Now more than ever, we need justice, compassion, and real leadership in the Senate. Doug has stood for these values his whole career.

As U.S Attorney, he successfully prosecuted a case that led to the conviction of two former Klansmen responsible for the 1963 bombing of Birmingham Baptist Church that killed four innocent little girls.

Doug wants to bring integrity back to Washington, and start talking about the issues that really matter to people: equality, job opportunity and growth, living wages, access to quality healthcare, and protecting our environment. He knows that America is strongest when its middle class is thriving.

Doug’s campaign is gaining in the polls — we have a real shot at a stunning upset! I was proud to endorse Doug in the primary, and I’ll be proud to fight with everything I’ve got to make sure we send him to Washington. Chip in to support Doug Jones today.

Thanks so much for your support,

—Tim Ryan

VoteVets supporters –

When I started VoteVets more than a decade ago after returning from Iraq, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just knew there were two problems we needed to solve:

First, the voices of veterans were often muted in Washington, D.C. And second, there weren’t enough progressive veterans in Congress who actually understood the cost of war and that the toll accumulates long after the last veteran comes home.

A decade later, I never expected that our organization would emerge as one of the most effective voices of the anti-Trump resistance, but it’s clear that our work has never been more important.

Tomorrow we have an important fundraising deadline for VoteVets. When it’s done, we’ll budget out our plan for the rest of the year. So I have to ask:

Can you donate $3 to VoteVets before our critical fundraising deadline so we can continue our work elevating the voices of veterans willing to stand up to Donald Trump?

You might not know this, but the overwhelming majority of the donations we receive come from lots of people giving small amounts of money.

So when you see our advertisements, or veterans we’ve worked with going viral online or conducting an interview in the news … that’s because people like you stepped up to answer the call from emails like this one.

Chip in $3 to VoteVets before tomorrow’s fundraising deadline.


Thank you.

All my best,

Jon Soltz

Iraq War Veteran and Chairman



Senator Secured Commitment from DEA to Reduce Production of Prescription Painkillers by 20 Percent in 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Edward Markey (D-MA) introduced the Opioid Quota Openness, Transparency, and Awareness Act (Opioid QuOTA Act) to shed light on annual quotas for prescription painkiller production and the secretive process by which the pharmaceutical companies gain approval to produce opioid painkillers that are taking lives all across Ohio. Despite the massive quantity of addictive opioid pain medication that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) approves for production, there is little public information about which individual companies are manufacturing prescription opioid pills or how many.

“Drug companies and the DEA have a responsibility to make sure they aren’t over-producing opioids that end up on Ohio streets,” said Brown. “As Ohio communities continue to combat the opioid crisis, they deserve to know that the DEA is doing its job to hold drug companies accountable.”

The legislation requires the U.S. Attorney General to make available through DEA’s website the quotas for an opioid painkiller issued to a registered manufacturer, as well as that manufacturer’s actual use of the quota. The bill also makes available the applications submitted to DEA by registered manufacturers requesting a particular quantity of active ingredient, and year-end reports on actual quota use, which DEA now treats as confidential.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Edward Markey (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Joe Manchin III (D-W.V.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

Last month, Brown applauded a proposal issued by the DEA to reduce the production of prescription opioids by 20 percent next year after Brown asked the agency to take this step. Brown and several of his Senate colleagues met with Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and urged him to reduce the amount of opioid pills allowed to be manufactured and sold in the United States in 2018.

Ohio Christian Alliance


September 28, 2017

To condemn the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel and to condemn increasing incidents of anti-Semitism on Ohio college campuses.

Today, we stand before the Ohio Holocaust and Liberators Memorial to draw attention to a serious growing problem in the State of Ohio with the increased incidents of anti-Semitism on Ohio college campuses. This memorial was erected in observance of those Holocaust survivors that made Ohio their home after the war, and to the military personnel who were their liberators from the concentration camps some 70 years ago.

The Ohio Christian Alliance is pleased to lend its support to the resolution that Representatives Andy Thompson and David Greenspan, along with 25 other co-sponsors, have signed on to, a resolution to condemn the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against the State of Israel, and to condemn increasing incidents of anti-Semitism on Ohio college campuses.

We are here to remind the people of the State of Ohio that the Holocaust began with boycotts and discrimination. In 1933, the German government enacted a series of anti-Jewish laws restricting the rights of German Jews to earn a living, to enjoy full citizenship and to gain education, and to work in the civil service. The subsequent 1935 Nuremberg Laws stripped German Jews of their citizenship and forbade Jews to marry non-Jewish Germans. These laws resulted in the exclusion of Jews from social and political life. These boycotts culminated in the Night of Terror on November 9, 1938, known as Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, in which Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and synagogues were ransacked and burned. Many Jews were beaten and lost their lives. It is estimated that that night 30,000 Jewish men were incarcerated and sent to the concentration camps. This was the beginning of the Holocaust.

The recent boycotts and sanctions movement by some groups on college campuses in Ohio have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation of Jewish students, as the State of Israel has been targeted, Jews specifically. Those liberators for whom this memorial is partly erected in their honor, would be ashamed to hear that this is happening again, for they were the eye witnesses of the atrocities as they liberated the concentration camps in Europe. Many who served with them died for the sake of liberty.

Our organization is working on an effort to add FDR’s D-Day Landing Prayer at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. President Roosevelt announced to the nation by way of radio on June 6, 1944, that the liberation of Europe was underway, and asked for the nation to join him in prayer. He began by saying, “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a might endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.” He closed with these words, “With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God.”

After the war, in 1946, one of the Jewish synagogues was rebuilt in Berlin. It has to this day a plaque on it that reads, “Never Forget.” That’s why we are here today to stand with the State of Israel and with American Jews, that they will never have to face that ridicule and persecution again.

And, for that reason, we are proud to support HCR 10 today, to condemn the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel and to condemn increasing incidents of anti-Semitism on Ohio college campuses.

Attorney General DeWine Offers Support for Waters of the United States Rule Repeal

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has registered his support for permanently rescinding language used in the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. DeWine filed two letters with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one solely on behalf of Ohio and a second as part of a 25-state coalition, as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s ongoing review of the WOTUS rule.

The letters encourage the EPA and the Corps to preserve the states’ role in protecting water resources by fully eliminating the Obama-era rule and enforcing pre-existing rules until more concise language can be adopted. The Obama-era regulation, if implemented, would have conflicted with the Clean Water Act by asserting federal jurisdiction even over many usually dry lands. In 2015, in connection with lawsuits brought by Ohio and many other States and recognizing that the Obama-era rule was likely unlawful , the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit halted its implementation nationwide pending the outcome of litigation.

“The unlawful and now stayed 2015 rule needs to be rescinded,” Attorney General DeWine wrote in his letter. “The Agencies improperly expanded their own jurisdiction under the 2015 WOTUS Rule, to the detriment of the States, and placed onerous permitting requirements on landowners who had no expectation that their properties contained ‘waters of the United States.’”

In addition to Ohio, states that signed the coalition letter include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Copies of DeWine’s letter and the coalition letter are available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

Led by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, 39 Attorneys General Call on Congress to Change Federal Law to Make Drug Treatment More Affordable and Accessible

DeWine and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with a bipartisan coalition of 39 Attorneys General and the National Association of Attorneys General, called on Congress to pass legislation that changes federal law to make treatment for drug addiction more affordable and accessible for Americans who most need it.

The coalition of Attorneys General sent a letter supporting HR 2938, the “Road to Recovery” Act, to the U.S. House of Representatives, describing the national epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse and overdose deaths, and stating: “… [W]e cannot arrest our way out of this problem, because it is not just a public safety challenge – it is a public health challenge as well.”

“In Ohio last year more than 4,000 people died as the result of a drug overdose,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine. “The ‘Road to Recovery’ Act will help those struggling with addiction gain access to treatment, and eliminate a decades-old Medicaid rule that limits residential treatment options. I am pleased to help spearhead this effort with my colleague Attorney General Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania and be supported by attorneys general from across the nation.”

The “Road to Recovery” Act will help increase access to treatment for opioid addiction by removing a more than 50-year-old provision in the Medicaid program that currently acts as a barrier to residential addiction treatment.

The bill addresses the “Institutions for Mental Diseases” (IMD) exclusion which was created in the original 1965 Medicaid legislation to prevent the funding of large, residential mental health facilities. While the exclusion led to the closure of what were, in many cases, inhumane institutions, it now has the unintended effect of limiting Medicaid funding for residential treatment facilities, which can be one of the most effective ways to treat drug addiction.

The “Road to Recovery” Act will remove the exclusion for addiction treatment facilities only. This will help open new avenues for addiction treatment while maintaining appropriate restrictions on mental health facilities.

The change in the law is supported by health care providers, insurers, treatment centers, governors of both political parties and the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

To view a copy of today’s letter, please visit the Ohio Attorney General’s website.


Today in the Ohio Senate

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Ohio Senate will recognize the following at the start of today’s session, beginning at 1:30 p.m.:

Upper Arlington Fire Division: Senator Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) will recognize the Upper Arlington Fire Division on being named the 2017 Ohio Emergency Medical Services Agency of the Year.