Tuesday, August 31, 2010

State Land Bank Legislation Yields Results in Lucas County

Senator Fedor supports new Lucas County Land Reutilization Corp.

Columbus – Today, Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) expresses her support for the newly-established Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation. The Lucas County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved legislation to create the land bank earlier this afternoon.

The Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation will be able to purchase and upgrade neglected properties, and quickly return them to the market. The program will be funded with dollars accrued from an increased interest rate for delinquent taxpayers.

A long-time advocate of land banks, Senator Fedor said today, “It is my hope that the Land Reutilization Corporation begins work as soon as possible. I am thrilled that the County Board of Commissioners acted so quickly on this important legislation. This is a big step for Lucas County in its efforts to restore struggling neighborhoods.”

This year, Senator Fedor worked with State Representative Peter Ujvagi on House Bill 313, to enable counties with populations greater than 60,000 to organize a county land bank. Once a land bank is established, it purchases foreclosed and abandoned properties within the county so that the property can quickly be returned to the market. The bill passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Ted Strickland on April 7 this year. Peter Ujvagi presently serves as Lucas County Administrator.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Senator Morano Congratulates North Ridgeville High School

Ohio Lottery Partners in Education School of the Year

NORTH RIDGEVILLE – State Senator Sue Morano (D-Lorain) congratulates North Ridgeville High School today for achieving the title School of the Year for academic year 2009-2010. The school was selected as School of the Year by the Ohio Lottery Partners in Education program. Senator Morano joined the students of North Ridgeville High in the gymnasium today to kick off the school year by celebrating the school’s achievement.

“Today’s event at North Ridgeville High School is a great way to recognize high quality education,” Senator Morano said. “The partnership between the Ohio Lottery Commission and North Ridgeville High is an example of a collaboration that can lead to excellent schools in our community. It was an honor to take part in the celebration of this great accomplishment.”

Among the attendees today were North Ridgeville Mayor David Gillock, Executive Director of the Ohio Lottery Commission Kathleen Burke, North Ridgeville City Schools Executive Director Craig Phillips, and North Ridgeville High School Principal Patricia Bahr.

According to the Ohio Lottery Commission, the Partners in Education program was established in 2007 as a way to recognize and reward deserving K-12 teachers and students throughout the State.

For being selected as School of the Year, North Ridgeville High School will be recognized on the Ohio Lottery website and will receive a School of the Year trophy and a variety of sponsor and program merchandise.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Senator Schiavoni Helps Paint Idora Neighborhood Mural

The Idora Neighborhood Association has been transforming its streets with projects including urban agriculture and corner store clean-up campaigns for more than a year. The organization's latest beautification project caught the attention of State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Canfield), as well as many Youngstown residents. A mural stretching the length of an old grocery store building now greets neighborhood residents as they drive up the main street of the neighborhood.

The Idora Neighborhood is a historic district on the city's southwest side and INA president, "Big" Jim London, said the mural was a year in the making. "Welcome to the Idora Neighborhood" is what the mural reads and the letters are surrounded by bright shapes mimicking a stained glass window.

"I had a blast painting, climbing ladders and mixing colors," Senator Schiavoni said. "Big Jim is one of the hardest working and most caring residents in Youngstown. His efforts and those of his neighborhood group are what will help turn the city around."

The mural took more than two days to finish and it was unveiled to the public and media on Tuesday, August 25. "We're not dead, we're alive and you can see that right here," said London referring to his neighborhood while pointing at the mural. All those who painted a piece of the mural were able to sign their names and an anti-graffiti coat was painted over the artwork to ensure the mural remains in the neighborhood for years to come

To see pictures, visit:

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dedication Ceremony Scheduled for Richard “Doc” Powell Highway

AUSTINTOWN – State Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Canfield) announced today the sign dedication ceremony for Youngstown native Richard “Doc” Powell will start at 2 p.m. Friday at the Korean War Veterans Park at Wickliffe Circle in Austintown.

The stretch of Interstate-680, starting at the intersection of State Route 711 and extending northwest to State Route 11 within Mahoning County, is being named the Navy Hospitalman Richard “Doc” Powell Memorial Highway. Senator Schiavoni introduced this measure as an amendment to House Bill 27, which passed the General Assembly and was signed by Governor Ted Strickland in February.

Powell was a medic during the Vietnam War and was killed while assisting the wounded on August 29, 1968. He was recently inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame in recognition of receiving the Navy Cross for valor in combat while serving in the United States Navy.

“I received an outpouring of support for Doc Powell, not only from the Youngstown area, but from people around the country who served with him,” Senator Schiavoni said. “I’m so pleased that we are able to honor his heroic efforts with this dedication ceremony and road naming.”

Senator Schiavoni will be speaking during the ceremony, as well as State Representative Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown), Austintown Trustee Lisa Oles, Former State Senator Harry Meshel, and Bob Cruikshank who served with Doc Powell and championed the road naming efforts.

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Senator Nina Turner appears on Ohio in Focus

Thursday, August 19, 2010

State Senator Nina Turner - August E-Newsletter

State Senator Nina Turner's August 2010 E-Newsletter is now available online.

To download, Adobe Reader is required. Get it for free by clicking here.

To receive Senator Turner's e-newsletter by e-mail, sign up here!

Senator Turner - August 2010 E-News

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trafficking in Persons Study Commission Subcommittee Report Released Today

Senators Fedor and Grendell highlight findings from the report

– The Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study Commission’s Training and Law Enforcement Subcommittee released a report today stating that comprehensive law enforcement training should continue and be kept up to date to most effectively combat human trafficking. The report also recommends that regional law enforcement working groups be implemented throughout Ohio. Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Timothy Grendell (R-Chesterland), Co-Chairs on the Commission, highlight some of the key points of the report.

“These key recommendations are critically important for our law enforcement officials,” Senator Fedor said. “For those who are on the front lines of combating human trafficking the report’s recommendations are timely and will be effective.”

In the past year, Ohio’s law enforcement training regarding human trafficking has significantly increased. Since the Commission’s creation, the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) and other state and non-profit organizations developed an introductory class on human trafficking for Ohio’s peace officers. The course provides officers with victim and perpetrator profiles, highlights trafficking networks, and gives officers action steps. Nearly 400 officers have enrolled since the course was established. This is one of numerous training opportunities Ohio’s peace officers now have.

The City of Toledo is a prime example where increased training has had a significant impact,” Senator Fedor said. “Toledo is leading the country in the rescue of trafficking victims and in the arrests of those involved in trafficking.”

The Subcommittee also recommends that regional law enforcement working groups be formed throughout the State. These groups would gather multiple jurisdictions together to discuss individual trafficking cases and trends in specific regions. The creation of working groups would be more cost-effective and, should the working groups prove successful, task forces would be the next step. Federal grant dollars may also be possible if the working groups are a success.

“Human trafficking working groups and up-to-date training are essential for Ohio’s law enforcement to combat human trafficking,” Senator Tim Grendell said. “These recommendations further our goals to prevent human trafficking and prosecute offenders, and to protect our children and communities in Ohio. We will continue to address this issue this fall in committee.”

The full report from the Ohio Trafficking in Persons Study Commission Training and Law Enforcement Subcommittee may be read here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Senator Turner Supports Call for Sentencing Reforms

Changes would cut costs and focus resources on the most serious offenders

ColumbusState Senator Nina Turner (D-Cleveland) spoke out in support of sentencing reforms today at a bipartisan news conference sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. Also participating in the news conference was State Senator Bill Seitz (R-Green Township), the sponsor of Senate Bill 22.

“I applaud the ACLU and Senator Seitz for calling attention to this issue,” said Senator Turner. “Enacting sentencing reforms will allow us to concentrate our scarce resources on the worst and most dangerous offenders as a more cost effective way to promote public safety.”

Senate Bill 22 would increase the use of community based corrections and earned credit programs while also eliminating the sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine. Senator Turner voted for SB 22 when the bill passed the Senate Criminal Justice committee in June, 2009. The legislation has not been brought up for a vote yet by the full Senate.

“These changes would give low level non-violent offenders a greater opportunity for rehabilitation so they can become a positive and productive member of society,” said Senator Turner. “Sentencing reforms represent a win-win for the citizens of Ohio by lowering costs and reducing the number of repeat offenders.”

According to the ACLU, the State of Ohio spends an average of $66.31 per day to incarcerate an inmate compared to $3.42 per day to supervise someone on probation. Yet, more low level offenders are being locked up in Ohio’s overcrowded prison system when they could be placed in community based corrections programs.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Senator Smith Introduces Legislation to Expand Records Sealing Laws and Protect Ohio Businesses

Bipartisan Bill Would Help End Cycle of Recidivism

ColumbusSenator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) issued the following statement today following the introduction of Senate Bill 291. The legislation expands Ohio’s records sealing laws to those with multiple convictions and protects Ohio businesses from lawsuits based on sealed records.

“Currently, only first time offenders are eligible to apply to have their records sealed. My bill would allow non-violent offenders with multiple offenses to apply to seal their records. To be eligible, they must be clean for the last five years after prison, probation, or any other form of post-release control. Additionally, it is important to note that violent crimes and official Offenses of Violence are not eligible for sealing under my legislation.

“The stigma of criminal records makes it difficult for reformed offenders to fully integrate back into society. I believe that expanding the opportunity to seal certain offenses will help ex-offenders find employment, allow them to support themselves and their families, and increase the economic productivity of the state.

“I understand that some Ohio businesses are apprehensive of expanding records sealing laws, because they want to know as much as possible about job applicants. Fear of hiring employees with a criminal record – no matter how dated it may be –prevents many honest, industrious Ohioans from securing jobs and careers because of foolish mistakes made when they were younger. That is why I included provisions in this bill to protect businesses from being sued based on sealed records.

“This legislation is important to me because I have faith in redemption. All people make mistakes, but I believe that they can successfully and permanently turn their lives around. When someone finishes paying his due to society, he should not suffer through that stigmatization for the rest of his life. We need to give these people a second chance and let them know the conditions for that opportunity.”

Senator Smith Introduces Legislation to Update Ohio’s Child Support Laws

Bipartisan Bill Would Erase Two Decades of Disregard

ColumbusSenator Shirley Smith (D-Cleveland) issued the following statement today upon the introduction of Senate Bill 292, legislation designed to comprehensively reform Ohio’s Child Support laws.

“Ohio’s Child Support laws are outdated, and they no longer effectively serve the children meant to benefit from them. They have not been adjusted for inflation, there is no adequate schedule for shared parenting agreements, and support for medical expenses is poorly contrived. My legislation will address all of these issues.

“This legislation is rooted in the official recommendations of the 2009 Ohio Child Support Guidelines Advisory Council. (That report can be accessed by clicking here.) Unfortunately, the legislature has not adopted substantive reforms in nearly two decades.

“This bill creates the Self-Support Reserve Test for Ohio’s poorest fathers and mothers and updates the Basic Child Support Schedule and Underlying Economic Assumptions by rule every four years, so they do not become outdated. Updating this schedule is partially offset by reducing Child Support payments for non-custodial parents who maintain parenting time with their children. This offset, which does not exist in current law, will help the parents pay for housing, food, clothing, entertainment, and other expenses necessary for raising a child.”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Senator Fred Strahorn to Hold Constituent Day at Tipp City Public Library on Saturday

COLUMBUS – State Senator Fred Stahorn (D-Dayton) will hold a constituent day meeting at the Tipp City Public Library on Saturday, August 14, 2010. Community members are invited to speak one-on-one with Senator Strahorn in the Community Meeting Room at the library from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public.

State Senator Fred Strahorn & Members of the community

Constituent Day – Free and open to the public

August 14, 2010
9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Tipp City Public Library
11 East Main Street
Tipp City, Ohio 45371

Contact Carol Prewitt in Senator Strahorn's office with questions.
(614) 466-6247

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Senator Sue Morano - Around the District - Summer, 2010

State Senator Sue Morano around Ohio's 13th Senate District, Summer 2010

Senator Joe Schiavoni attends National Night Out in Youngstown's Wick Park

Last night, Senator Joe Schiavoni attended National Night Out in Youngstown's Wick Park. Senator Schiavoni, Mayor Jay Williams and Police Chief Jimmy Hughes address the crowd of about 300 people.

The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about crime in the city neighborhoods and to give all of the block watch and neighborhood organizations an opportunity to get together in one location.

Below is the text of Senator Schiavoni's address:


Everyone knows that we all have to be on the same team to move our valley forward.

I grew up on Elva and used to ride my bike up to Handel’s and United Family to buy baseball cards and always felt 100% safe. I have watched the neighborhood that I grew up in take a dip in quality and it has been upsetting to me.

But in recent years, I have seen a steady improvements in many parts of our valley, which is reassuring. It is exciting to see the strength and dedication that all of you show.

An example of this just happened this year. I had many members of the MVOC/Lien Forward and other citizens coalitions make multiple road trips down to Columbus to argue on the importance of the creation of a county wide land bank. It was just recently signed into law a few months ago due to the persistence and dedications. This will give our community another tool in the fight to rebuild the neighborhoods and also help us to be more competitive for clean up grants.

This is just a start. We need to continue to grow neighborhood associations and educate young people to take care of finances and to take care of their things.

I am currently working with community leaders on other bills that can further assist the push in neighborhood improvement.

I’m always available for meetings to discuss ideas and take suggestions how I can help in this fight and will continue to as long as I have this job.

Thanks again for your continued work and have a nice night.


To see pictures from the event, visit:

Read the Youngstown Vindicator article here:

Senator Nina Turner - Around the District, Summer 2010

Senator Nina Turner around Ohio's 25th Senate District - Summer, 2010.

To see Senator Turner's pictures, visit:

The Caucus

Minority Leader Eric H. Kearney - Cincinnati - 9th District
Assistant Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni - Canfield - 33rd District
Minority Whip Nina Turner - Cleveland - 25th District
Assistant Minority Whip Edna Brown - Toledo - 11th District
Senator Tom Sawyer - Akron - 28th District
Senator Charleta B. Tavares - Columbus - 15th District
Senator Shirley Smith - Cleveland - 21st District
Senator Michael J. Skindell - Cleveland - 23rd District
Senator Lou Gentile - Steubenville - 30th District
Senator Capri S. Cafaro - Hubbard - 32nd District

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