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Just recently, the Ohio House passed legislation that would require a prescriber to receive a signed form of consent from the parent or guardian of a minor before issuing that minor a prescription for a controlled substance. This legislation, House Bill 314, is just one of many bills that House has been considering on the issue of Ohio’s opiate epidemic.

As Chairman of the Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security committee in the Ohio House of Representatives, it was encouraging to see that 2013 was the safest year on our roadways since record keeping began in 1936. There were fewer than 1,000 traffic-related fatalities last year. For comparison’s sake, the high point came in 1969 with 2,778 fatalities in the state.

There are numerous holidays that celebrate and honor all that is good about our country. Independence Day is a festive time when we celebrate the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans. On Veterans Day and Memorial Day we pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who have risked their lives so that we may live in that freedom. September 17th is a holiday that asks us to reflect on the American system of government and the document on which it was founded.

It was a great honor to see House Bill 18, legislation that encourages expanding and moving businesses to consider moving into vacant buildings, signed into law by Governor Kasich last week. A lot of work went into crafting and revising the bill to make sure that the final product does all that it can to promote economic growth in the Cleveland area and across the state.

Ohio is one of the nation’s largest glass manufacturing states. With negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) set to begin this week, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) are urging the Administration to stand up for critical glassware jobs in Toledo and Lancaster. 

Flexibility has always been a key component to the successful operation of local government. As we all know, government operations can become very costly, so it is important that municipalities find the most efficient way to offer crucial public services. House Bill 509 will provide this flexibility by allowing local governments to collaborate with other municipalities to deliver shared services.

Throughout this legislative session, the Ohio House has been working hard to promote job creation, business growth and economic recovery. In recent months, Ohio has experienced a dramatic influx of industry and jobs. In January of this year, the Buckeye state gained 25,000 jobs, and in February, we led the nation in jobs gained with an uptick of more than 28,000. With more and more businesses relocating within our borders, these trends are poised to continue as we move forward in 2012.

A group of Northwest Ohio veterans recently traveled to Washington, D.C. as part of the Honor Flight program. More than 150 veterans flew from Northwest Ohio to visit the World War II, Vietnam, Iwo Jima, and Korean War memorials and Arlington National Ceremony. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown met with the veterans near the World War II memorial on the National Mall.

Lucas County Children Services (LCCS) joins child welfare agencies nationwide in recognizing May 2011 as National Foster Care Month, and is appealing for more adults and families to become foster caregivers in Lucas County.

Ohio’s education system is one of our most important state investments. To move successfully into the future, we must give our students the best learning environment possible. I want to make sure that the configuration of our public school systems is most conducive to these objectives. We are currently providing our children with excellent opportunities for educational advancement, and it is one of my top priorities to make sure that this trend is continued and strengthened.

In today’s fast-paced world, the most successful businesses are those that take advantage of every available resource. To achieve a competitive edge, Ohio’s small businesses need to be aware of the resources available to them through their state government. Ohio is at a crossroads when it comes to business growth and job creation, and our economic prosperity largely hinges on the success of our small businesses.
 

The good news is that death rates for many major diseases - HIV, stroke, heart disease, prostate cancer, and breast cancer - are declining. Sadly, we can't yet say the same about Alzheimer's. This year, the first of the Boomer Generation turns 65 and with increased age comes increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Job creation, economic development and efforts to promote a more effective government are just a few of the ideals I have striven for since taking office earlier this year. Now, having been in office for more than 100 days, I feel that we have accomplished a lot, yet there is still more to do during these difficult times. I continue to work on legislation that will close the budget gap by reducing spending without raising taxes on Ohio’s hard-working families.

 Toledo Mayor Bell held a press conference today to discuss Dahing's decision to put "The Docks" purchase on hold. Press release below:

A New York Daily News story asks whether Toledo should be eligible for anti-terror funds. Apparently the love does not go around.

In every aspect of my life—from parenting to small business ownership—I have continually sought ways to trim wasteful spending so I could save money for the future. I’m sure that your household or your business runs the same way, because this is the not-so-secret to financial success. However, it’s a well-known fact that government does not always follow this same principle, and as we face an $8 billion deficit, it is very important that we make our state spending more accountable.

In my work as mayor of Walton Hills and now as your state representative in Columbus, I know how easy it can be for our state and local governments to squander tax dollars if elected officials are not careful. At the state level, this sort of inefficiency has largely contributed to the $8 billion budget deficit Ohio faces today. Any Ohioan who operates a small business or manages their family’s finances understands the need to manage spending practices. Over the past few years, this attentiveness has not been addressed successfully in the state government, where the taxpayers have not seen their money being used efficiently or effectively.

 

First and foremost, I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank you for giving me the great honor and privilege of serving as your voice in the People’s House. To have the opportunity to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives is extremely humbling, and I look forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to create jobs, boost economic development and bring Ohio back to life.

I believe in the resiliency of Ohio and the ability of our people to bounce back from what has been a very difficult recession. We have a history of overcoming obstacles and growing stronger than ever before, and I look forward to pursuing common-sense solutions to our economic crisis.

With the winter months upon us, many of you are planning to take a family a vacation. Luckily, you do not have to look far for fun diversions and entertainment to enjoy this season. The greater Cleveland area is host to many family-friendly attractions this time of year, and I encourage you to take advantage of the vibrant community life located in your own backyard. To this end, I would like to tell you about a few of these inexpensive, unique opportunities. 

With the state economy languishing, many Ohioans will feel the strain of heating costs in the coming months. No matter what the economic situation, it is an inevitability that utility bills will increase in the wintertime. Thankfully, there is government assistance for those who would otherwise be unable to pay for the necessity of home heating.

Michael Miller’s recent editorial calling for Iott to bow out of the District 9 US House Race caught me by surprise. He is the editor–in–chief of the only local paper I can stand to read.

With the 128th General Assembly coming to a close in just two short months, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents of the 46th Ohio House District for their input and suggestions on how we can restore Ohio’s economy.