Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Reps. Joyce, Fudge, Kaptur announce Restore Our Neighborhoods Act
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce announced legislation aimed to protect responsible homeowners by allocating funds to demolish vacant, abandoned, or foreclosed properties.
Joyce, R-Russell Township, was joined at a press conference Wednesday by Reps. Marcia Fudge, D-Warrensville Heights; Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo; Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson; and Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed.
The legislation is named the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act, H.R. 656, said Joyce.
“This common-sense bill will increase home values, decrease crime, and protect responsible homeowners from the enormous economic drag of vacant or abandoned homes in their neighborhoods," Joyce said. "For too long, responsible Ohioans paying their mortgage every month and meticulously taking care of their homes have been punished. This legislation will protect Ohio homeowners who are doing exactly what they should be doing and I look forward to bipartisan support.”
According to the Government Accountability Office, a foreclosed, vacant, and tax-delinquent property reduces neighboring property prices by almost 10 percent and can reduce values of nearby homes by as much as $8,600 to $17,000 per property, Joyce said.
The Restore Our Neighborhoods Act creates a national qualified urban demolition bond limitation that the Secretary of the Treasury shall allocate among the states to empower states to undertake significant residential and commercial structure demolition projects.
The bonds will be issued by land banks, and in cases where a state does not have a land bank, by the state itself.
John Arthur Hutchison
Saturday, February 16, 2013
State of the Union speech interesting, questions remain
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce signs letter to leadership supporting VAWA reauthorization (document)
U.S. Rep. David P. Joyce and 16 Republican colleagues sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to urge the House of Representatives reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
“As a former public prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand the crucial resources the Violence Against Women Act provides victims of abuse and law enforcement officials,” Joyce, R-Russell Township, said in a statement.
“Violence has absolutely zero place in a civilized society and we must do everything possible to help the victims. I urge my colleagues to reauthorize this important legislation so that we’re able to provide victims of abuse the best resources possible and hopefully prevent further tragedies.”
The Violence Against Women Act was first signed into law in 1994 and subsequently reauthorized in 2000 and 2005.
The legislation is a vital resource for communities and organizations that help victims of sexual abuse and violence.
During the 112th Congress, both the House of Representatives and Senate passed their own versions of VAWA but no final legislation was presented for a vote in either chamber.
Members of Congress who signed the letter believe that this legislation should be advanced quickly to ensure the programs that rely up VAWA will not be put in jeopardy.
John Arthur Hutchison
Monday, February 11, 2013
Kasich announces public lottery for State of State speech tickets
Gov. John Kasich announced that an internet lottery will be used to distribute a limited number of tickets to his 2013 State of the State address on Feb. 19.
Interested individuals can register for the ticket lottery at: http://governor.ohio.gov/tickets/.
Names will be collected until 6 p.m. Thursday and people selected for tickets by random lottery will be notified via e-mail by noon on Friday.
Kasich will conduct the speech in Lima at Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center. The Center offers a spacious auditorium that allows for more Ohioans to attend.
The governor continues a tradition to conduct the speed outside the state capital that he began last year at Steubenville’s Wells Academy.
Kasich said his decision to deliver the State of the State outside the capital is again rooted in a desire to make state government more accessible to Ohioans and shine a light on communities across Ohio making contributions to the state’s success.
John Arthur Hutchison
Saturday, February 9, 2013
State budget battle looms large
Thursday, February 7, 2013
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce plans to sit by Democrat at State of the Union
U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce plans not to sit next to a fellow Republican during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Instead Joyce, R-Russell Township and U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., announced they will sit together.
“In the spirit of bipartisanship and working together, we look forward to attending President Obama’s State of the Union address together,” the two federal lawmakers said in a statement. “As freshman Members new to Washington, we understand our constituents want to see common-sense solutions to our nation’s problems, not partisan bickering.
“We look forward to hearing the president’s proposals to address our challenges and working together to tackle the serious issues facing the U.S. such as reducing our debt, creating jobs and growing our economy.”
Joyce and Bustos now serve their first term in the U.S. House of Representatives. They met while attending a bipartisan Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service with eleven other Members of Congress.
John Arthur Hutchison
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Joyce votes in favor of balanced budget legislation
The legislation, H.R. 444, would require the White House to either produce a balanced budget within a 10-year window or by April 1, 2013, provide a supplemental budget plan that identifies what year their plan would achieve a balanced budget.
“Today, I voted to put the U.S. on a path toward balancing our budget,” Joyce said in a statement. “No more budget tricks. No more accounting gimmicks. No more empty promises. Every year, Northeast Ohio families sit down to write a budget, why shouldn't Washington do the same? It’s my hope that this starts a serious conversation in Washington about controlling spending to provide a more stable and secure future.”
The Require a Plan Act passed by a vote of 253-167 and the current U.S. debt is more than $16.5 trillion.
Joyce also commented on introduction of the bipartisan Protect Medical Innovation Act, which would repeal a nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices.
The legislation was introduced by U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wisc.
“Now is not the time to be raising taxes on American manufacturing,” Joyce said. “Congress should make it easier, not harder for American businesses to create more high-paying jobs and careers for qualified Americans ready to work. We need to protect jobs, not threaten them.”
Ohio’s 14th Congressional District is home to several device manufacturers including Mentor-based STERIS Corp. and Philips Healthcare in Highland Heights, Joyce noted.
He said that according to The Lewin Group, Inc., national health care and human services consulting firm based in Virginia, the tax puts at risk the 422,778 American jobs in the medical device industry.
John Arthur Hutchison
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
NAMI Ohio applauds Kasich for proposing Medicaid expansion
The Ohio chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness applauded Gov. John Kasich today for including an expansion of Medicaid for Ohio residents into his biennnial budget proposal.
The advocacy group send a letter Tuesday to Kasich to thank him and said it would work with state legislators to convince them to include the expansion in the budget.
Here’s what the letter stated:
An Open Letter to Governor John Kasich
February 5, 2013
Dear Governor Kasich,
On behalf of the thousands of Ohioans with mental health disorders and their families, the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Ohio (NAMI Ohio) wants to THANK YOU for including Medicaid expansion in your budget proposal. Your decision will make an enormous difference in the lives of those who struggle with holding down a job while battling depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia and other mental health disorders that make it difficult to cope with everyday life.
Ensuring that those in need have access to Medicaid services, including mental and physical healthcare, will not only make it easier for Ohioans with mental illness to fulfill their job responsibilities, but it will also improve the quality of their lives and the lives of those who love them.
NAMI Ohio, the state’s voice on mental illness, will be working with the legislature to convince them this is crucial legislation that addresses both mental and physical health care needs of working Ohioans.
Thank you, Governor Kasich, for your commitment to improving the lives of all Ohioans.
Your friends at NAMI Ohio
Phone: 614-224-2700 / 800-686-2646
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Can Washington move forward now after debt ceiling crisis?
Friday, February 1, 2013
Sen. Rob Portman disappointed by latest jobs report
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman was disappointed with the latest jobs report that showed the nation’s unemployment rate rising to 7.9 percent.
Portman, R-Ohio, noted the report comes after the Commerce Department announced earlier this week that the U.S. economy shrank in the last quarter of 2012 for the first time since the recession ended.
“This week, we were sad to learn not only that unemployment remains high, but also that the economy actually shrunk in the most recent quarter,” Portman said in a statement. “This is far from the robust economic recovery that we hope for and that was promised; it’s time to face the facts and start implementing pro-growth policies to rejuvenate our economy and put people back to work.”
Portman said that in order to get the economy back on the right track, lawmakers must rein in Washington’s out-of-control deficits, modernize an antiquated and inefficient tax code, reform important but unsustainable entitlement programs, and reduce onerous regulations that prevent businesses from expanding here at home.
“Yesterday, I fought to tackle one piece of the problem by introducing two commonsense amendments to the debt limit bill that would provide a pathway forward to really address our soaring debt, but unfortunately they did not pass the Senate,” Portman said. “This week’s two troubling reports are the latest sign in a string of evidence that we need to get serious about growing our economy, and I am disappointed that the Senate Democrats shied away from having a real conversation about DC’s reckless spending habits.”
John Arthur Hutchison