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State Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) introduced House Bill (HB) 641 this week, pro-voter legislation that would allow Ohio voters to join a permanent absentee voter list. Registered Ohio voters who opt in to the permanent absentee voter list would automatically be mailed an absentee ballot application prior to the beginning of early voting for every election.

“HB 641 would strengthen our democracy by expanding access to absentee voting,” said Rep. Skindell. “More people than ever before are choosing to vote by mail. Creating a permanent absentee voter list would make this process more efficient, thereby increasing voter participation in our elections.”

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Ohio Patient Protection Act introduced

State Reps. Michael J. Skindell (D- Lakewood) and Catherine D. Ingram (D-Cincinnati) today announced the introduction of Ohio House Bill (HB) 637, legislation designed to increase patient safety by setting limits on the number of patients a registered nurse (RN) may care for at one time. The RN-to-patient ratio requirements will be based on the seriousness of the condition being treated or the medical procedure in which the respective patient is undergoing.

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Shoreline Improvement Districts

This week, Lakewood City Council voted unanimously to create a shoreline special improvement district, permitting special assessment levies to finance erosion-control solutions.

State Representative Michael J. Skindell has been a consistent proponent of legislation to permit shoreline improvement districts [SID], recently adopted by the Ohio General Assembly.

It took nearly six years to get through the legislature, but I am glad communities are benefiting from the legislation I got passed allowing the establishment of SIDs for erosion control. The concept for the legislation came from a constituent who convinced me of the possible benefits,” said Skindell.

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Skindell calls on CIFF to negotiate with union workers

State Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) and the Cuyahoga County state legislative delegation sent a letter to the Cleveland International Film Festival and Playhouse Square urging them to return to negotiations and come to an agreement to utilize the union workers of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 160 in this year’s festival. The Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) had refused to negotiate with IATSE Local 160, notifying them that they would not be utilizing unionized workers to operate the projection equipment in the upcoming 2022 festival.

“The union projectionists of Local 160 are professionals in their trade and should have the opportunity to work at the 2022 Cleveland International Film Festival being held at Playhouse Square,” said Rep. Skindell.

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Skindell defends public safety laws

House Government Oversight Committee Member Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) issued a statement following the committee’s passage of Senate Bill (SB) 215, Republican-backed legislation that undermines public safety laws that currently require permits for people who carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. SB 215 would eliminate the need for concealed weapon training.

“The passage of SB 215 out of House Government Oversight puts the safety of all Ohioans at risk,” said Rep. Skindell. “I am an ardent supporter of reasonable firearm reform and commonsense gun laws in the state of Ohio. Commonsense public safety laws keep guns out of the hands of people who pose a risk to our communities. SB 215 isn’t commonsense, it is dangerous. We should be keeping our communities safe, not creating legislation that undermines commonsense safety measures.”

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Cleveland to receive $5 million to clean up lead paint

Today, State. Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) announced that Cleveland will receive a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify and remediate lead paint in low income families’ homes.  The grant is part of the Biden administration’s Lead Pipe and Paint Action Plan, which aims to reduce lead exposure in communities by replacing lead pipes and remediating lead paint across the country.
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Legislature approves $4 billion for jobs, people and families

Today, Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) voted in favor of Substitute House Bill (HB) 169 to appropriate $4.18 billion to support education, expand access to childcare and improve public health, among other investments in Ohio’s working people, families and communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill is funded through several federal COVID-19 relief packages, the majority of which comes from the American Rescue Plan Act backed by Democrats and signed into law by President Biden earlier this year.

Hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to Ohio under the American Rescue Plan were at risk of expiring had the General Assembly not taken legislative action on the funds this month.

“It is essential to distribute these funds in order to advocate and provide for all Ohioans during these unprecedented times, and I was pleased to cast a vote in favor of the work put forth by the Biden Administration with the American Rescue Plan to help all the people of Ohio,” said Rep. Skindell.

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Skindell Defends LGBTQ Rights

State Rep. Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood) spoke in the Ohio House, Thursday, against a ban on transgender girls from school sports.

This is a shameful day for Ohio. This amendment would enact an extreme transgender discrimination law,” said Skindell. “It shows a complete ignorance about trans people and their participation in sports.”

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Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit would provide economic security

State Reps. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus) provided sponsor testimony, Tuesdasy, before the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee on House Bill (HB) 59, which would modify the State’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

HB 59 would provide a refundable 10 percent tax credit for EITC recipients in addition to a 20 percent nonrefundable credit. These modifications come after recent changes to the EITC during the 133rd General Assembly, which increased the EITC from 10 percent to 30 percent but left it nonrefundable, offering no boost for working families.

“I have been advocating for a refundable Working Families Tax Credit for more than a decade as it is recognized as one the largest anti-poverty measures in the United States, while promoting and supporting work and families,” said Rep. Skindell. “The fact that Ohio’s EITC is not refundable makes Ohio’s tax credit one of the weakest of the 30 states with an EITC.”

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