Edward Snowden recently declared “mission accomplished” in his crusade to change the NSA, although the collateral damage will cost us all in the long run. You could tell by his smug response that he knows what he did has broad consequences. The problem is that the consequences are bigger than he wants to admit and I am sure will he will choose to ignore.
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.
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 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.
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.
There are currently more than 900,000 veterans living in Ohio, including more than 200,000 who served in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf. These veterans risked their lives to defend our country and establish freedom worldwide, and we must do all we can to give back to those individuals who put their lives on the line when they answered the call to duty.
As a small business owner, it is disappointing to watch jobs and businesses flee from our state when there are so many ways we can improve the business climate. I know firsthand how a burdensome business climate hinders job creation and economic development, and throughout this General Assembly, I have fought to make Ohio’s business climate more competitive. Unfortunately, due to political gamesmanship, we are still at square one.
Here in Ohio, farming represents a vital component of our economy and ensures the livelihood of a number of Ohioans. Agriculture ranks as Ohio’s largest industry, which is an indicator of its importance to the well-being of our communities as well as to Ohio’s economic success.
Ohioans have long felt the effects of the downturn in our state’s economy. With unemployment in the double digits for the 14th consecutive month, the vitality of our communities is being challenged and the wellbeing of our families compromised.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited the University of Toledo’s Lake Erie Center to discuss efforts to combat Asian Carp. Brown was joined by Carol A. Stepien, Director of the Lake Erie Research Center who conducts research on invasive species, and Don McGee, a charter boat operator.
Recognizing the failed policies and agenda of the current Democrat leadership in Congress and the need for new ideas, I was proud to stand with House Republican leadership last week to help launch “America Speaking Out.”