Blog

Dedication of Richard Celeste Highway

On Saturday, November 9, State Representative Michael J. Skindell and State Senator Nickie Antonio led a ceremony honoring former Ohio governor Richard F. Celeste, in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Lakewood High School. The official occasion for the ceremony was the christening of three miles of U.S. Interstate Highway 90 as “Governor Richard F. […]

Skindell Calls for Action On Ohio Fairness Act

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) and Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) joined Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein and Equality Ohio today to urge action on the Ohio Fairness Act to protect LGBTQ+ Ohioans from discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations.

The call follows a new directive issued by Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) on Friday that failed to extend non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ+ House employees despite Democratic requests to the Speaker to include the provisions during the drafting process.

“Businesses and workers alike say non-discrimination policies often determine investment and relocation,” said Rep. Skindell, who plans to introduce a version of the Ohio Fairness Act in the Ohio House. “That’s why we’re bringing business leaders and advocates to the table to make our state more inclusive and attractive to young workers, their families and the businesses who will drive Ohio’s economic future.”

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Skindell discusses Ohio Promise, budget and more at town hall

State Rep. Michael J. Skindell discussed the state budget and other issues at a town hall in Lakewood, this week, affiliated with the Ohio Promise Tour organized by the Ohio House Democratic Caucus.

Discussing the state budget passed this year, Skindell noted that these budgets are invariably a complex assortment of policies. He said that the new budget’s positive features included increased funds for county indigent defense programs, for foster care, for tutoring and counseling in schools, among other things.

State budgets also typically include a number of policy changes outside a strict definition of budgeting, and among these was a decrease in reliance on standardized test results for high school graduation requirements; “my office got many calls” from parents concerned about overemphasis on standardized testing, he said.

Skindell also noted that Ohio has never previously had a state program to sustain and improve maritime ports—unlike many other coastal and Great Lakes states—but that he introduced legislation to create such a program for the third time, this year, and it has now been signed into law as part of the state budget.

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Shoreline erosion legislation update

Rep. Michael J. Skindell succeeded last year in getting shoreline erosion financing legislation through the legislature. Crain’s Cleveland Business has published an update: Lakefront owners always have dealt with shifting shores, but the heavy rains and record-breaking water levels of the last two years have exacerbated normal loss. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, […]

Skindell advocates restoring Ohio wind-energy development

Rep. Mike Skindell and Rep. Fred Strahorn have introduced legislation to allow wind-energy development to resume in Ohio.

Ohio is a major manufacturer for the expanding wind-energy industry. But in recent years, Ohio-made equipment has mostly been going to build up others states’ wind-energy capacity, because of excessive setback requirements for large wind turbines in Ohio.

At a recent hearing on energy policy, numerous witnesses testified that Ohio’s wind setback requirements are too restrictive.

“The barriers that exist in Ohio to wind are hurtful, not helpful,” Alex Fischer, president of the Columbus Partnership, told lawmakers. “Our clients ask about that. You ought to know that.”

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Skindell Applauds Historic Increase In Transit Investment

State Rep. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) today applauded the Ohio House for including a historic increase to public transit funding to $100 million per year in the State Transportation Budget, Substitute House Bill 62 (Sub. HB 62). This commitment increases the state’s investments in public transit, which has been one of the lowest in the nation for nearly twenty years

“I am pleased that the Ohio House made a significant commitment to greater public transit funding in the transportation bill,” said Skindell. “This investment recognizes that we need to create a transportation system that addresses Ohio’s changing demographics and transportation preferences, links people to jobs and training opportunities, and provides access to businesses and healthcare.”

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Skindell: expand low-income tax credit

Representatives Mike Skindell, and Erica Crawley, today introduced the Working Families First act which would remove limitations on Ohio’s earned income tax credit.

Ohio currently has a state earned-income tax credit, created in 2013 and expanded in 2014. But the credit is capped, and unlike the federal EITC, is nonrefundable. The result, Skindell says, is “one of the weakest earned income tax credits in the nation.”

As the DeWine administration is seeking a gas-tax increase which would fall hardest on low-income Ohioans, House Democrats are promoting Skindell and Crawley’s EITC changes to help hundreds of thousands of working people.

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Skindell, Upchurch call for investment in public transportation

State Reps. Michael Skindell (D-Lakewood) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) today held a Statehouse press conference announcing legislation to increase state investments in public transportation. Ohio currently ranks near the bottom among states for public transportation funding.

“Ohio currently ranks near the bottom of states when it comes to investing in public transit. We cannot afford to fall further behind,” said Rep. Skindell. “By reinvesting in our infrastructure, we attract business and development, connect people to jobs and services and grow our economy. This plan puts Ohio in the driver’s seat again.”

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Skindell appointed to rules-review committee

As Innovation Ohio has reported, House Speaker Larry Householder has named Rep. Mike Skindell to the 10-member Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review.

From the JCARR web site:

The committee consists of five State Representatives and five State Senators. JCARR’s primary function is to review proposed new, amended, and rescinded rules from over 110 agencies to ensure they do not exceed their rule-making authority granted to them by the General Assembly. If a rule violates one or more [of six tests], the JCARR committee could make a recommendation to invalidate the rule. 

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