As I embark on my fourth and final term as your state representative, I have a number of priorities on which I intend to focus over this legislative session. Over the last six years, the state has improved in a variety of ways, from cutting taxes to fostering job growth. I feel proud to have been a component of this success, and I hope I have been a strong voice for my constituents in Columbus. While Ohio is thriving, there is still work to be done and many issues to address for its continued improvement.
It is pretty clear, one of the most pressing concerns of the legislature and of Ohio’s communities is the opioid epidemic that has been plaguing our state for years. We’ve done some positive work regarding this issue, increasing access to a life-saving overdose reversal medication and strengthening channels to rehabilitative care for those struggling with addiction. However, we need to get ahead of this issue and educate our children on the dangers of substance abuse and addiction. Championing programs and policies that connect directly to our kids and schools to prevent opioid addiction from further infiltrating our communities is of the utmost importance to me.
Considering education, another area to focus on is educational funding. Every two years, the state legislature passes the state operating budget, a package of bills proposed by the governor that the House and Senate vet through an extensive and thorough process. The funding of our school districts is a big part of the budget, and ensuring our schools have adequate resources while considering state revenues is a delicate balance. My goal through this collaborative process is to advocate for our schools getting the proper funds so that our children are better set up for success, and that control remains at the local level when making decisions regarding our educational system.
As the chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, energy resources, mandates, and more are crucial in my work, but they are also hot topics statewide. With a wealth of different resources, from coal to natural gas to wind energy, Ohio has the ability to become a nationwide leader in efficient energy production and use. Discussing these resources and developing appropriate standards will be a large part of my work over the next two years.
This legislative term is looking to be a busy one, but I am hopeful it will be productive and I will accomplish much in terms of my goals. Ohio is on the path to success, and I feel honored to be able to contribute to the good policies enacted to help promote that success. As we get to work, I encourage you to reach out to my office with ideas or questions on how I can better serve you.