State Senator Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) today was recognized by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools for a commitment to growing and advancing successful charter public schools in Ohio.

Individuals at the federal, state and local level from across the country who have championed the most impactful charter school initiatives and support charters as a high-quality public school option have been chosen for the honor.

"We've made great strides to ensure that Ohio's children are provided the highest quality educational opportunities and I am proud of our work in Ohio to strengthen and improve Ohio's charter public schools," said Lehner. "The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is committed to charter school excellence and I thank them for this great honor."

Along with Senator Lehner, this year's national Charter Champions include U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Governor Charlie Baker (R-Mass.) and Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost.

“We celebrate the courage and persistence of lawmakers who make charter public schools a reality for parents and students in communities across the nation,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

 
 
  
Senate President Keith Faber outlines a plan to ease access to public records with Auditor of State Dave Yost and Ohio Newspaper Association Executive Director Dennis Hetzel
COLUMBUS - 

Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) introduced legislation this week designed to make it easier for Ohioans to navigate the public records request process. Senate Bill 321 provides an expedited process to an individual who has had a public records request denied by a public office at the state, county and local levels.
 
At a press conference last week Faber previewed the legislation, joined by State Auditor Dave Yost, representatives of the Attorney General’s office and Dennis Hetzel, the Executive Director of the Ohio Newspaper Association.
 
“This is about open government and building fairness and the public’s confidence in a process that often is out of sight and out of mind until someone needs to put government to the test,” Faber said. “I greatly appreciate the recommendations and support of Auditor Yost, Attorney General DeWine, the judicial branch and the Ohio Newspaper Association over the last several months as we worked on making this process more affordable and accessible to Ohioans.”
 
The bill, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, will establish procedures for filing a dispute if a person’s public records request is denied. If that happens, the individual can file a complaint with the Court of Claims that will begin with a mediation process designed to resolve the dispute over access to the requested public records.

“Too many citizens get stonewalled by someone who doesn’t want a record to become public, and this bill will help tear down those stone walls,” said Ohio Auditor Dave Yost. "Senate President Faber’s bill will help stop the foot dragging and make it easier, faster and cheaper for people to obtain records."
 
By starting with mediation, the requestor and the public office would avoid the traditional court process that is prolonged and often requires costly legal fees. If the mediation fails, then a Special Master at the Court of Claims will issue an expedited recommendation on how to resolve the dispute that will then be reviewed by the Court of Claims who ultimately issues a binding decision.

"Senator Faber's bill will help make public records more easily accessible and would save Ohioans from having to pay expensive legal fees," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. 

"It’s important to remember that the public owns public records, and government only is the custodian of them," added Dennis Hetzel, Executive Director of the Ohio Newspaper Association. "With this bill, Ohio can join the majority of states that have an expedited process to settle many disputes over records without citizens having to hire lawyers and go to court. Not only that, Sen. Faber’s proposal offers a fresh approach that could become a national model."
 
Ohioans still retain the right to seek available remedies under the current, existing legal process by filing a traditional mandamus action.
 
Senate Bill 321 can be viewed here. Faber’s comments on the bill can be viewed here. He delivered sponsor testimony on the bill today in the Senate's Government Oversight Committee meeting.

 
 
  

Welcome to May! It promises to be a busy month at the Ohio Senate. Watch this brief video update to learn what the Senate is doing to make sure you have access to public records, as well as to protect student athletes around Ohio:

  • Ensuring Access to Public Records: Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) unveiled legislation designed to make it easier for Ohioans to navigate the public records request process. The bill will provide an expedited process to an Ohioan who has had a public records request denied by a public office at the state, county and local levels.

    "This is about open government and building fairness and the public's confidence in a process that often is out of sight and out of mind until someone needs to put government to the test," Faber said.

    The proposed legislation received widespread support across the state, including support from Auditor Yost, Attorney General Dewine and the Ohio Newspaper Association. Read more here.

  • Protecting Youth Athletes from Preventable Deaths: the Senate passed legislation to address and prevent sudden cardiac arrest in Ohio's student athletes.

    Known as "Lindsay's Law," the bill was championed by former Miss Ohio and student athlete Lindsay Davis who suffers from a heart condition and has dedicated her career to raising awareness of this number one cause of death in student athletes nationwide.

    Sponsored by Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), the bill calls for online training for coaches and guidelines for recognizing and dealing with the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest.


These bills were also passed in the Senate last week:

  • Strengthening Ohio's Infrastructure: Senate Bill 315, sponsored by Senator Gayle Manning, provides the Ohio Department of Transportation $450 million in necessary funding to complete highway construction and transit projects to strengthen Ohio's infrastructure.

  • Removing Unnecessary Barriers for Military Servicemembers: Sponsored by Senators Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) and Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), Senate Bill 199 permits active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces to forgo obtaining a concealed handgun license if the member is carrying valid military identification and documentation of successful completion of firearms training as part of their service.

  • Creating More Opportunities for Retirement: Senate Bill 220, sponsored by Senator Jay Hottinger (R-Newark), allows the Ohio Public Employees Deferred Compensation Board and local governments to establish Roth accounts for deferred compensation plans.

  • Raising Awareness for Hypoparathyroidism: Sponsored by Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park), Senate Bill 225 designates the first day of June as "Hypoparathyroidism Awareness Day."

  • Expanding Opportunities for Children with Autism: House Bill 299 increases opportunities for children with autism by giving the guardian of the student the ability to apply for an Autism Scholarship on their behalf. 


For daily updates on what your Ohio Senators are doing on your behalf, connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube @OhioSenateGOP.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) announced the passage of legislation to designate August 7th as “Purple Heart” Day in Ohio.

“As the son of a World War II Navy fighter pilot as well has having an uncle who was wounded in action and two grandfathers who served in World War I, I am humbled to have garnered the unanimous and bipartisan support of my colleagues in the Ohio General Assembly,” Hughes stated. “I am proud to have sponsored this measure to designate a special day for those who have received a Purple Heart."

The proposal would mirror the National Purple Heart Day to honor the brave men and women who were either wounded on the battlefield or made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

Senate Bill 239 now heads to Governor Kasich for his consideration and signature.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay) this week announced the Senate passage of legislation to address and prevent sudden cardiac arrest in Ohio's student-athlete population. 

The legislation, known as "Lindsay's Law," calls for pre-participation education, online training for coaches, and guidelines for recognizing and dealing with the symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest. It aims at raising awareness of sudden cardiac arrest to ensure preparedness and proper response in the event of medical emergencies.

Hite, a former educator and football coach, knew firsthand that awareness has the potential to save lives. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one cause of death in student-athletes nationwide.

"I just cannot imagine losing somebody because we haven't taken the time to learn more about this," said Hite. "As a former coach and educator I realized that if we raise awareness of this often-preventable condition lives could be saved."

Senator Hite traveled the state last year to hold public forums to hear from parents, coaches and medical experts on the issue among others. 

"If nothing else, this bill will educate and raise awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest," said Hite. "This is a chance for all of us to save lives."

An online video would inform coaches of symptoms to better identify the onset of sudden cardiac arrest in their young athletes. The budget neutral legislation, modeled after concussion legislation that has passed in all 50 states, will be await consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 252 is named for national heart health advocate and former Miss Ohio Lindsay Davis who suffers from a heart condition and has since dedicated her career to raising awareness of this potentially fatal condition.

"Sudden cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student athletes," said Davis. "At any moment I could have died because coaches and teachers had no idea this was even a possibility for someone who looked as healthy as I did at that age."

 
 
  
Senators Eklund and Yuko present a resolution to Cornerstone Christian High School basketball coach Dan Selle in recognition of the team's victory at the state championship tournament
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator John Eklund (R-Munson Township) today presented a resolution to the Cornerstone Christian High School boys basketball team for winning this year's division IV state championship.

"These men have proven that the path to achievement is not always a straight one," said Eklund. "This team has demonstrated their strength of heart and made the entire community very proud."

Silencing the nay-sayers with a 72-54 victory, the team clinched their first-ever state title in a match-up against Lincolnview.

Click here for video coverage of today's presentation, provided by the Ohio Channel.

 
 
  
Senator Hackett was joined by Dr. Theresa Ferrari with Ohio Military Kids and a representative from the Ohio National Guard to present a resolution to Katie Pauley
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Bob Hackett (R-London) today honored Katie Pauley, of Beavercreek, on receiving the Ohio Military Youth of the Year Award.

“Katie has shown great initiative, ingenuity and compassion in her volunteer efforts for the Ohio Military Kids,” said Hackett. 

Ohio Military Youth is a partnership between the Ohio National Guard and Ohio 4-H to support children of military families before and during their deployment cycles.

Pauley, a senior at Beavercreek High School, serves as the President of the Air Force Teen Council and the President of the Keystone Club. She is the first Wright Patterson Air Force Base representative of the Ohio 4-H Healthy Living Advocates.

In addition, Pauley organized a health fair that reached over 200 children and created an annual charity event which collects and provides toys and hygiene items for underserved children in the Greater Dayton area. After graduation, she plans to attend Wright State University where she will study Sports Science and pursue her dream of becoming a physical therapist.

Click here for video coverage of today's presentation, provided by the Ohio Channel. 

 
 
  
Senator Obhof presents a resolution to Lexington High School cross country coach, Denise Benson, on the floor of the Ohio Senate
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today honored Lexington High School cross country coach Denise Benson with a resolution on behalf of the Ohio Senate for being named Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. 

"Remarkably, Coach Benson led both the Lexington High School boys and girls cross country teams to Division II state championships," said Obhof. "She is truly an outstanding role model for these runners and we thank her for her dedication to Lexington's student-athletes." 

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association selected the Coach of the Year based on their teams’ performance throughout the 2015 cross country season. Among the factors taken into consideration were team score and placement at the state championships, margin of victory, performance against rankings if available, individual championships, and how their teams’ performances compare to previous years.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) this evening issued the following statement on the passing of Ohio's former Chief of Wildlife Scott Zody:

"Ohio has lost an exceptional public servant and a highly respected voice for sportsmen today with the passing of Scott Zody. Scott's tenure with the Department of Natural Resources was marked by his extraordinary ability to bring people together, representing the diverse interests of the state's hunters, anglers and trappers. I was fortunate to have known Scott as a friend. He will be greatly missed."

Senator Uecker is chairman of the Ohio Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, a bipartisan caucus of state legislators that serves to promote outdoor recreational pursuits.

 
 
  
COLUMBUS - 

State Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today announced the Senate passage of legislation allowing active-duty servicemembers with the appropriate military firearm training to legally possess a concealed firearm in Ohio.

"This common sense legislation will allow our service men and women to enjoy their Second Amendment rights when they are off duty," said Obhof. "I am glad that we are correcting this problem in Ohio's law. Our brave men and women in uniform who carry firearms in defense of our country should also be allowed to carry their handgun for personal defense while at home." 

Senate Bill 199 allows active-duty military personnel to carry concealed handguns if the member is carrying valid military identification and a certificate indicating successful small arms qualifications, even if they do not have a concealed handgun license. Senate Bill 199 now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

In other business, Senate Bill 315 passed today which appropriates $700 in additional funds for the construction and maintenance of Ohio’s job-sustaining highway system. The appropriation comes from a combination of state and federal transportation funds.

"Senate Bill 315 builds on the progress we have made in improving Ohio's infrastructure and supports major projects that will benefit northeast Ohio," said Obhof.

Senate Bill 315 now proceeds to the House of Representatives where it will receive further consideration. 

 
 
  
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Featured Posts

Lehner Receives National Honor For Commitment To Charter School Success

 

"We've made great strides to ensure that Ohio's children are provided the highest quality educational opportunities and I am proud of our work in Ohio to strengthen and improve Ohio's charter public schools," said Lehner. "The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is committed to charter school excellence and I thank them for this great honor."



 
 

Faber Introduces Bill To Ease Access To Public Records

 
COLUMBUS - 

“This is about open government and building fairness and the public’s confidence in a process that often is out of sight and out of mind until someone needs to put government to the test,” Faber said. “I greatly appreciate the recommendations and support of Auditor Yost, Attorney General DeWine, the judicial branch and the Ohio Newspaper Association over the last several months as we worked on making this process more affordable and accessible to Ohioans.”



 
 

Ohio Senate Weekly Report For April 25-29, 2016

 

Welcome to May! It promises to be a busy month at the Ohio Senate. Watch this brief video update to learn what the Senate is doing to make sure you have access to public records, as well as to protect student athletes around Ohio



 
 

Senator Jim Hughes Announces Passage Of Legislation To Designate Purple Heart Day In Ohio

 
COLUMBUS - 

“As the son of a World War II Navy fighter pilot as well has having an uncle who was wounded in action and two grandfathers who served in World War I, I am humbled to have garnered the unanimous and bipartisan support of my colleagues in the Ohio General Assembly,” Hughes stated. “I am proud to have sponsored this measure to designate a special day for those who have received a Purple Heart."