Posts Tagged 'Rep. Fedor'

Democrats Applaud Decision of Federal Court to Restore the Last 3 Days of Early Voting to All

Today, a federal court decided that the GOP legislature violated equal protection of the laws by cutting off the final three days of early voting for some but not all voters.  The judge found that it was in the public interest to restore the last three days of early voting and to treat all voters equally.  The decision emphasized all parties’ strong interest in protecting active duty military voting rights. Here is what Democrats had to say:

Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish released the following statement:

“Today’s decision reinstates fairness for Ohio’s busy working voters.  Weekend voting has been a success in Ohio and helped us recover from the failed election in 2004 when long lines caused tens of thousands of voters to leave the polls without casting a ballot.  Some 93,000 voters came out to vote on the final 3 days before the election in 2008 and the court has refused to allow these days to be cut off by partisan legislative trickery.”

Democratic Whip  Tracy Maxwell Heard released the following statement in response to the ruling:

“This is what fairness looks like.  Excellent decision by the court.  This will reduce confusion and increase access.  That’s how a democratic elections process works.”

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde released the following statement in response to the ruling:

“The last three days of early voting are the three busiest, and it is a huge victory for all Ohio voters that these important voting days have been restored. First the Republicans tried to take them away in House Bill 194, but Ohioans fought back and put that legislation to referendum. Then the Republicans cemented the vote suppressing change by again inserting the language into SB 295.  Well, Ohio voters shouldn’t have to stand for the GOP’s tricks any longer.  Thank goodness for this ruling which protects the right to vote for all Ohioans on these 3 busiest days.”

State Rep. Fedor issued the following statement:

“More than 300,000 people signed the petition to keep the final weekend of voting that helped alleviate pressure on the polls after the long lines of 2004.  The Republicans tried to override the voters by reenacting the early voting cuts and then pulling the referendum from the ballot.  Today, the court rightly restored full early voting rights to all Ohioans, including veterans, helping to ensure that we will not return to the 3 and 4-hour lines of 2004.” 

State Rep. Alicia Reece released the following statement:

“Once again, federal courts have issued a ruling to create a balanced voting system in Ohio. I would urge Secretary of State Husted not to appeal the decision and to comply with the orders of the court which will ensure all Ohio voters have equal opportunities to get to the polls and have their voices heard.”

State Rep. Michael Stinziano released the following in response to the ruling:

“I applaud Judge Economus’ decision in the federal court case involving the restriction of voting hours. This is a win for the voters of Ohio and I’m pleased that the judge moved to restore voting rights to all Ohioans so that they can have every opportunity to cast their ballot when it is convenient for them including the last few days before Election Day when unplanned conflicts can arise.  As the former Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, I have seen and experienced firsthand the importance of an efficient early voting period.  In 2008, roughly 93,000 voters appeared at their early vote center during the last three days of early voting prior to Election Day. Unfortunately, instead of building on this success and a desire for a smooth election day, there are individuals who prefer the long election lines encountered in 2000 and 2004 and are fighting to limit voting rights instead of expanding them.”

State Rep. Sandra Williams released the following statement:

“Judge Economous’ injunction correctly pointed out that that there was no compelling reason for the Ohio Secretary of State to prohibit county boards of elections from allowing early voting for the three days before election day, especially when most county boards were open for early voting during those times in 2006, 2008, and 2010.   Reversing Secretary Husted’s decision will level the playing field as some 93,000 Ohioans took advantage of early voting to avoid long lines in 2008. The people of this state are well-served by having more time to vote, rather than fewer days and shorter hours to cast a ballot.”


Teacher Appreciation: by State Rep. Teresa Fedor

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, consider all the ways that teachers have impacted your life.  It is hard to quantify how much or how well someone inspires a child, but the proof is all around us: the American public education system has helped propel the United States to its position as a world leader and will help it stay there.

We need to remember the importance of public education to society and the importance of society to public education.  We need to support our public schools, because all children deserve the benefit of a well-rounded, comprehensive education that creates life-long learners.

Some years ago, I taught in the Toledo Public School system.  The Revolutionary War period was always my favorite thing to teach, and one year I integrated every other subject into a year-long study of the Revolutionary War.  I am also a veteran, so to me it seemed natural to connect social studies and civics.  I remember that year so well because the kids were so engaged – they were so intent on reading, they forgot when it was time to go to gym.  I wanted to pass that love of American history and civic responsibility to my students, because my teachers instilled it in me – and that changed the course of my life.

After 12 years in the Toledo Public Schools, I moved on to elected office and served as a legislator to the citizens of Northwest Ohio.  I have been both a State Senator and a State Representative, and in my years in the legislature, I have noticed that respect for teachers has significantly eroded.  I was shocked last year to hear people criticize teachers as the bane of society, when everything teachers do props society up.  The reality of the obstacles teachers face every day just to do their jobs is sobering – and it is all happening with larger and larger classrooms and smaller and smaller budgets.

When teachers are negotiating to do our jobs, we are advocating for our children.  Politicians think we’re separate from the children we serve, advocating only for ourselves as teachers, but we are advocating for the children we are working to inspire.  As an adult, I can look back at the teachers from my youth – the women and men who shaped me intellectually – and know that they had my best interests in mind, they worked hard, and they only made it look easy.  This week, show your teacher you appreciate the effort!

Women’s Caucus Calls for Focus on Policies to Support Women & Families

The Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus today held a press conference to discuss several pieces of legislation focused on advancing rights and opportunities in all aspects of women’s lives.

“Women are a majority of the population and can make a difference when we unite behind legislation that will improve lives of women and families,” said State Representative Nancy Garland (D-New Albany), Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “Women’s History Month is a great time to refocus our attention on common-sense policies designed to support, benefit and encourage the advancement of women here in Ohio.”

Several bills recently introduced by members of the Women’s Caucus help ensure all women have access to quality healthcare, including HB 419, the CARE Act; HB 281, the Prevention First Act; and HB 412, to establish health insurance exchanges in Ohio. All three bills were introduced by State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood).

“We must continue to support Ohio women’s right to access basic healthcare and accurate information regarding their healthcare decisions,” Rep. Antonio said. “These rights should not be legislated away nor used as a political football. Women’s lives hang in the balance.”

Members of Women’s Caucus have also introduced legislation to protect Ohio women and families from violations of their right to safety and security. HB 262, sponsored by State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), aims to stop human sex trafficking in Ohio and to protect young women and girls from being forced into sexual slavery.

“Human trafficking victims are more likely to have HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and are more likely to suffer from mental illness,” Rep. Fedor said. “And the average trafficking victim wants to leave prostitution but can’t.”

A woman’s right to security also extends to security in her own home. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) is cosponsoring HB 103, a bill to protect victims of domestic violence by keeping their home addresses confidential. Additionally, State Rep. Denise Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) is cosponsoring HB 105, legislation to protect and support domestic violence victims by guaranteeing their rights to safety at home and at work.

“Survivors of domestic violence deserve to live safe from their abusers. I truly hope Ohio can join 37 other states by enacting this important Address Confidentiality Program legislation,” said Rep. Clyde.

“Victims’ advocates have said that stability in housing and employment are the largest hurdles in keeping their lives together, staying safe and protecting their children,” said Rep. Driehaus. “We need to empower victims so they know it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to ask for time off, it’s okay to ask for new locks, and it’s okay to leave when their safety or their children’s safety are at risk.”

In addition to discussing the many pieces of women-focused legislation, the members of the Women’s Caucus reinforced their commitment to creating good-paying, long-term jobs for Ohio’s women through job creation measures such as the Local Government Jobs Fund and the Small Business Working Capital Loan Program.

House Democrats Respond to State of the State Address







House Democrats responded to the Governor’s State of the State address given in Steubenville on Tuesday afternoon.

Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood):

“While unemployment is at its lowest rate since January 2009, Gov. Kasich’s attempts to take credit for rescuing the economy are farcical.  He stood up and spoke out against policies such as protecting the auto industry, which saved over 8,000 manufacturing jobs in Ohio alone.  Almost all jobs created in 2011 were created in the first six months, before the governor’s policies took effect. During the last six months, the state actually lost jobs and many people have stopped looking for work but are still unemployed. And I encourage him to remember, Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped two full percentage points from 10. 6 percent to 8.6 percent before his policies even took effect.”

Rep. Theresa Fedor (D-Toledo):

“The issue of de-funding public education was not even addressed.  Funding charter and voucher schools only exacerbates a problem of under-funded public schools that then have to resort to levies.  Charter and voucher schools are not the right way to go.  Governor Kasich’s budget cut over $2.8 billion in state aid to schools and to date, nothing has been done to remedy Ohio’s unconstitutional method of school funding.”

Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati):

“Unfortunately, Governor Kasich’s State of the State did not address the many tough issues my constituents face every day, such as how to keep their homes and pay their utility bills, funding for education, and how to reduce barriers to gainful employment. Governor Kasich did highlight the need for bipartisan cooperation; therefore, I stand willing and ready to work with his administration on the issues that affect the middle class and working poor in my district.”

Rep. Matt Lundy (D-Elyria):

“It’s important that this governor recognize that public education must always be tied to economic development. Sadly, our schools continue to suffer because he promotes an agenda to essentially privatize public education by expanding vouchers. Right now his actions speak louder than his words.”

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