Ohio hosted the professional baseball All-Star Game this week, and we are hoping for Ohio’s legislators to step up and hit a home run for the unborn in the later innings!
NEWS AND VIEWS
1. The state budget deliberation are entering the (possibly) later stages, but it is looking like this will go all the way to the (2nd) deadline of July 17th. Negotiations are ongoing, but an agreement has not been secured. However, this delay has given time to take a somewhat deeper dive on some provisions of the bill, and one in particular is raising some questions. A line item in the Medicaid budget added in the Senate to provide $5 million for “practice transformation activities that increase safe spacing initiatives with high volume Medicaid providers serving women in high infant mortality regions” sounds compassionate on the face, but could be a way to funnel tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. We are digging in to this, and may be sending around an action alert if it is determined that this funding could be directed to abortion-advancing organizations.
2. Showing a great deal of confidence in the ultimate outcome of the legal wrangling over the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection Act (Senate Bill 23), Speaker of the House Larry Householder made appointments today to the Joint Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support, a special committee created by the provisions of the Heartbeat bill. The Speaker appointed Republican Representatives Susan Manchester and Brian Baldridge, and appointed Minority Leader Emelia Sykes’ choice of Democrat Representative Janine Boyd to the panel. The Senate has yet to name appointees to the group tasked with finding ways to make adoption more attractive and easier for compassionate Ohioans wishing to help children.
3. The very liberal 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals may just have become the unborn’s best friend. That court has just refused to issue an injunction against the implementation of what the abortion-advocacy organizations call “Trump’s Gag Rule”, which prohibits federal Title-X (Title 10) funded entities from referring for abortions. For this court to refuse to halt the rule’s enactment while lawsuits filed against it are still pending is a positive signal regarding the future of this pro-life policy.
4. The Trump Administration is announcing a new initiative which may be helpful in the fight to protect life. The “Commission on Unalienable Rights” is being formed to advise on human rights policies to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. With a directive to focus on “natural law and natural rights” this panel could significantly bolster the Administration’s strong position on promoting pro-life policies like the Mexico City Policy.
5. In the category of “Did they really do that?”, the National Education Association (NEA) at their annual convention last week adopted ‘New Business Item 56’ which is a statement that the country’s largest teachers’ union stands firmly behind “the fundamental right to abortion”. The item states in part “The NEA vigorously opposes all attacks on the right to choose and stands on the fundamental right to abortion under Roe v. Wade.” We all know that the NEA always seeks smaller classroom numbers, but this is a tragic way to achieve that objective. PROFILES Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction—Annette Chambers-Smith leads the state’s prison system. Director Chambers-Smith in her twenty-one year career with the Ohio Department of Correction held numerous positions including Inspector of Institutional Services, Assistant Chief Inspector, Deputy Warden, Warden and Chief of the Bureau of Medical Services. Later, after working for prison vendor JPay for four years as general manager, she was tapped by Governor DeWine to become the director of the Department. Director Chambers-Smith was a National Merit Scholar, and attended Wilberforce University where she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. Director Chambers-Smith was honored with the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s Gold Star Award in 1997, 1998 and 2002. In 2010 she received a mark of distinction from the American Correctional Association when she was named the Best in the Business. More recently, Director Chambers-Smith received former Director Gary Mohr’s Impact Award in 2011 and twice in 2014.
Senator Nickie Antonio (D)--The first-term Senator from Lakewood in Cuyahoga County’s 23rd District served four terms in the Ohio House before advancing to the Senate. Antonio, an Adjunct Professor of Women's Studies and Public Policy at Cleveland State University, is the ranking minority member on the Senate Health, Human Services & Aging, Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee, and Transportation, Commerce & Workforce Committees, and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, its Health and Medicaid subcommittee, and the Ways & Means Committee. Antonio, herself in a same-sex “marriage”, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 11, which is the state version of the “Equality” bill to normalize sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and has also been a vocal opponent of pro-life legislation during her entire career.
Representative Bill Reineke (R)--Tiffin is where the third-term Representative Reineke calls home. Owner of automotive dealerships in north-central Ohio, Reineke is the vice-chair of the Aging and Long-Term Care Committee, as well as serving on the Economic & Workforce Development and Ways & Means Committees of the House. Reineke, who has announced his candidacy for the 26th Senate District race in 2020, has voted pro-life while in the House, but hasn’t co-sponsored House-introduced pro-life legislation.
Representative Tracy Richardson (R)--Serving in her first legislative term, Tracy Richardson, a Marysville native, serves the citizens of the 86th House District. A veteran of the United States Army who graduated from West Point with an Engineering degree, Richardson had been a Marysville City Council member before moving to the Statehouse. She serves as a member of the Armed Service & Veterans Affairs, Finance, and Higher Education Committees of the House. Richardson has voted pro-life during her first seven months in office.
Representative Craig Riedel (R)--The second term legislator from Defiance County’s 82nd District (including Van Wert, Paulding and parts of Auglaize Counties) is a civil engineer by training, graduating from The Ohio State University. He is the vice chairman of the House Higher Education Committee and serves on the Commerce & Labor and Economic & Workforce Development Committees in the House. Riedel has been a consistent pro-life vote and co-sponosor during his two terms in the chamber.
Ohio Department of Public Safety--Director Thomas Stickrath has been involved in administering state government agencies for a significant portion of his career. Stickrath received both his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and his Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University, and has more than 30 years of experience in the criminal justice field. He began his career in 1978 with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) where he served as Chief Inspector, Warden, Regional Director of Prisons, and Assistant Director. In 2005, Governor Bob Taft appointed him the Director of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (DYS) and he was reappointed by Governor Ted Strickland. In May of 2010, Governor Strickland appointed Stickrath as Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. He subsequently served under Governor Kasich (until this year ) as the Superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), overseeing the state crime lab and a team of law enforcement professionals. Govenror Mike DeWine appointed him to be Director of the Department of Public Safety in January 2019. Senator Sandra Williams (D)--The second-term Senator from Cleveland’s 21 st District is an extremely busy legislator. Serving as the Assistant Minority Whip for the Democratic Senate caucus, Williams also is the ranking minority member on Energy & Public Utilities, Ways & Means, and Higher Education Committees, and serves on the Rules & Reference and Insurance & Financial Institutions Committees. A former corrections officer with degrees in criminal justice, Williams also serves on the special Correctional Institutions Inspection Committee and the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. She has voted consistently pro-abortion during her legislative tenure. Representative Rick Perales (R)--The former Beavercreek Council member and Greene County Commissioner has served four terms in the 73 rd House District, representing the citizens of Greene County. Perales has degrees in building construction from Auburn University, and a Masters in international Relations from Troy State University. He works as the University of Dayton Campus Planning and Real Estate Director. A former member of the US Air Force, Perales is the chairman of the Armed Services & Veterans Affairs Committee in the House. He also serves on the Finance Committee, the Finance Higher Education subcommittee, and the Higher Education Committee. A member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, Perales has been a regular pro-life vote during his time in the House. Representative Phil Plummer (R)--The former Montgomery County Sheriff is now the Representative of the 40 th House District. Plummer serves as the vice-chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee and on it’s Criminal Sentencing subcommittee, as well as serving on the Finance and Health Committees. Plummer has a solid pro-life voting record during his first term in the Legislature. Representative Jena Powell (R)--Powell, serving her first term from western Ohio’s 80 th House District (Miami County and parts of Darke County), has hit the ground running. Representative Powell, who has a business marketing degree from Liberty University, serves as the vice-chair of the Economic & Workforce Development Committee, as well as serves on the Aging & Long-Term Care, Agriculture & Rural Development, and Ways & Means Committees. Powell, who has two bills featured above in our weekly run-down, is a pro-life stalwart, and her voting records has been 100% for life.
Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities—Director Kevin Miller, a former member of the West Jefferson City Council, has over 25 yeas or governmental service with the state of Ohio. An Ohio Commodore, he leads the agency (formerly called the Rehabilitation Services Commission) providing individuals with disabilities the services and support they need to attain and maintain employment; and is charged with making determinations on Social Security disability claims. As a father of a son diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Director Miller believes strongly in being active in organizations and advocacy groups. He is a member of the National Autism Society and Autism Speaks, among others.
Senator Tim Schaffer (R)--This long-term veteran of the Statehouse is the newest member of the Ohio Senate, having been chosen by the caucus to fill the 20th Senate District seat last month. Previously, Schaffer was a representative of the 77th House District. The executive director of the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, Schaffer is very active in his home district (Fairfield County) and the other counties of the Senate district. Schaffer has been a consistent pro-life vote and a pro-family leader on various policy issues.
Representative Scott Oelslager (R)--This “first term” member from the 48th House district actually brings 30+ years of experience in the Ohio legislature. Scott Oelslager from Stark County’s Canton, has been both a Representative and a Senator for the region multiple times in succession. Currently the chairman of the powerful House Finance Committee and member of the State Controlling Board, Oelslager is an attorney and former Director of Public Relations at Malone College. Oelslager has consistently voted pro-life during his extensive public career.
Representative John Patterson (D)--The fourth term Representative of the 99th House District in Ashtabula County is a retired high school teacher in his home town of Jefferson. He serves on the House Finance Committee and the Primary & Secondary Education Committee. He is co-leading with Rep. Robert Cupp on legislation to attempt restructuring of school finance and policy. Patterson has voted against pro-life legislation during his tenure in office.
Representative Tom Patton (R)--A veteran member of the Assembly from Strongsville in the 7th House District, Patton has been a former House member and Senator and is now in his second term in the House during this cycle. The vice-chair of the Civil Justice Committee, Patton also serves on the Commerce & Labor, Insurance, Public Utilities and Transportation & Public Safety Committees. A member of the Knights of Columbus, Patton has been a regular pro-life vote in the Assembly.
Ohio Department of Medicaid—State Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran oversees the Ohio Department of Medicaid, which administers health care coverage to nearly 3 million Ohioans through a network of approximately 130,000 providers. Previously with the Department of Job and Family Services, Corcoran has been in state government since 1984. She has been recognized nationally as a leader in the field of services for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Director Corcoran received her undergraduate degree from Case Western University; and her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve.
Senator John Eklund (R)—The second-term senator from Geauga County’s Chardon (18th Senate District), serves as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and also sits on the Finance, Ways & Means, Rules & Reference, General Government & Agency Review, and Energy & Public Utilities Committees. A partner at Calfee Halter and Griswold, Eklund also serves on the Great Lakes Commission and the Geauga County Republican Executive Committee. Eklund has a mixed voting record on life issues, having voted against the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection bill on more than one occasion.
Representative Riordan McClain (R)—The second term Representative from the 87th House District (Morrow, Crawford, Wyandot, Marion (part) and Seneca (part) Counties) serves in the seat vacated by his father Jeff McClain. He is married with three children. He is the Vice Chairman of the Transportation and Public Safety Committee and serves on the Economic & Workforce Development and Ways & Means Committees. McClain has voted pro-life during his two terms in the House.
Representative Derek Merrin (R)—Also a second term member, Representative Merrin serves the 47th House District (parts of Lucas and Fulton Counties), and lives in Monclova. A realtor and real estate investor, Merrin was formerly the mayor of Waterville. He currently serves as the Chairman of the House Health Committee, along with serving on the Insurance and Ways & Means Committees. Merrin has been a pro-life champion during his tenure, shepherding the Human Rights and Heartbeat Protection law through his committee, and was a primary sponsor of the Down’s Syndrome abortion ban law.
Representative Adam Miller (D)—And yet another second term member makes this week’s list: Adam Miller represents the 17th House District in Franklin County. Miller has significant experience, having been a former public school teacher, a superintendent, a school board member, and also a faculty member for the National Defense University, as well as being a partner in the law firm of Taft, Stettinius and Hollister. He is currently a student at the U.S. Army War College (he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve). He serves as ranking member of the House Federalism Committee, as well as on the Finance Committee, Public Utilities and Armed Services & Veterans Affairs Committees. Miller’s voting record has been consistently pro-abortion during his terms in the House.
Greater Toledo Right to Life 5726 Southwyck Blvd., Ste. 120 Toledo, Ohio 43614 phone: (419)535-5800