Op-Ed: Cut the Bureaucratic Red Tape and Fix the Workforce Shortage

In our community, we know that Ohio is a wonderful place to live. As our Columbus office says when you call in, “It’s a great day to live in Ohio!” 

While we love living in Ohio, there are things we can do to make Ohio a more attractive place to live and work. Right now, we have a workforce shortage in Ohio. One way to help families, businesses, and individuals in our state is through initiating license reciprocity in a way that will cause Ohio’s economic climate to thrive.

License reciprocity says that if you hold an occupational license in another state, you can come and practice that occupation here in Ohio without having to go through the whole education, training, and testing component again. For example, if you are an electrician in Indiana, and you want to work in Ohio and/or move to Ohio, right now you would have to apply for an occupational license in Ohio take a test, pay a fee, and jump through bureaucratic hoops.

The House recently passed temporary license reciprocity for members of the military and their immediate family members. We want to expand this reciprocity for every individual whose license is held in good standing in their state. If we allowed for license reciprocity, that Indiana electrician would need to show Ohio’s licensing authority his Indiana occupational license, and after receiving an Ohio-reciprocal license, would be allowed to practice his trade in Ohio.

Cutting through red tape will allow workers to use their skills, and will encourage businesses and entrepreneurs to move to Ohio. License reciprocity will bring more business and more income to our state. This is something that our office is excited to be researching and working on. If you have any questions, let me know.

-Jena Powell, State Representative

Free Bike Helmets at the Fairs!

 

Representative Powell will be giving out free bike helmets at both the Miami and Great Darke County Fairs.

At 5pm on Monday, August 12th, stop by the GOP tent at the Miami County Fair. The first 50 children will receive bike helmets (sizes are first come, first serve).

At 5pm on Monday, August 19th, stop by the GOP tent at the Darke County Fair. The first 50 children will receive bike helmets (sizes are first come, first serve).

Rep. Powell looks forward to seeing you and your family!

Constituent Liaison In District

Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) will be sending a constituent liaison from her Columbus office to the district every month to meet with constituents.

“We are here to serve the people of Miami and Southern Darke County,” said Powell. “We understand that government can be challenging and hard to navigate on your own. I’m thrilled to have a constituent liaison here to help you navigate the bureaucratic process we’re fighting so hard to simplify.”

On the first Monday of every month, Representative Powell’s office will hold in-district office hours at the local libraries from 9am-1pm.

On August 5th, a constituent liaison will be at the Troy-Miami County Public Library in Troy. On August 6th, a constituent liaison will be at the Arcanum Public Library in Arcanum.

To schedule a personal meeting with Rep. Powell, or if you have any state government concerns you can give our office a call at 614-466-8114 or email Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.

* Constituent liaison hours is where a liaison from Rep. Powell’s office will be in district to help with government questions and issues. If you wish to meet specifically with Rep. Powell, come to one of her town halls and/or schedule a personal meeting with her.

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Op-Ed: What Keeps People Coming Back to the Fair — Community

As you many of you know, I grew up a 4-H kid. All summer I would have a countdown leading up to the great Darke County Fair. I loved everything about it! Showing my sheep, camping, and spending long days in the showing barns.

I haven’t missed a fair in my entire life, because to me the fair is more than a week of fun; it is what our country is so badly missing – tight-knit community that cheers each other on in the good times and the bad. We can look around and see an epidemic of loneliness far reaching throughout the nation, and it is wreaking havoc on society, especially our children.

Many people have tried to solve this problem of loneliness – some have succeeded and others have not. I’ve learned over time that to receive love, you must be open to giving it. In other words, you must give of yourself in the community before you can be part of a community.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to give. Maybe the talents, time, or resources aren’t available to you and maybe you just don’t know where to go. I understand that, but community is available because community starts with you.

The fair is almost here. Students in our community have worked long days getting animals and projects ready for the fair. For some of the students this is a huge step outside their comfort zone. Whether it’s showing an animal, running for Jr. Fair Board, or entering a cooking competition, they’ve chosen to put themselves out there in public to win or lose. It’s scary. I remember one year my sheep got loose in the arena and ran all over. I was embarrassed and crying by the end. But because of the encouragement of my parents and leaders around me, I tried again and didn’t give up.

For many students the fair is shaping much of their future, and determines how they react and act in challenging situations. Sometimes all one student needs is a bit of encouragement.

If you’re looking for community, the fair is the place to be. But don’t go looking to be a consumer of community. Go and give back! Volunteer at a local booth, encourage the students, sit in the stands and cheer them on, show up with a smile. Community is all around us and fair season is the time to open our eyes and invest time, love, and a smile.

Together let’s make our community great!

-Jena Powell. State Rep for Ohio 80th house district

    

Looking for a fair schedule or a way to be part? Email or call our office: (614)466-8114 rep80@ohiohouse.gov

NEW BILL: Tax Code Streamlining and Correction Act

COLUMBUS –
Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) is joint-sponsoring a bill with Rep. Derek Merrin (R-) to streamline the Ohio tax code. At their direction, the Legislative Service Commission identified errors in the tax code, of which 125 are corrected by HB 197. HB 197 fixes typographical errors, incorrect or non-existent cross references, obsolete sections, awkward organization, and generic references to the effective date of an amendment.

“Thrilled to be working on tax policy here in Ohio,” says Powell. “The tax code is confusing, and HB 197 will help clean up some of the mistakes in the code that make it hard to read. This bill will make it easier for businesses and families to thrive in our state.”

The bill has had its first hearing in Ways and Means Committee. You can read the bill and see the analysis at www.ohiohouse.gov if you search legislation for HB 197. As always, if you have state government concerns you can give our office a call at 614-466-8114 or email Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.

“Local lawmakers want to brand pornography as a public health crisis in Ohio”

Full Article from the Dayton Daily News, checkout the article here.

“We are saying enough is enough. We’re tired of the exploitation of women and children in Ohio,” said Powell, a freshman lawmaker from Laura. She ties the use of pornography with the sex trafficking and sexual abuse.

Powell represents Ohio’s 80th House district which covers all of Miami and southern Darke counties.

Powell is joined by 18 legislators who are among the most socially conservative members, including local Republican lawmakers Nino Vitale, R-Urbana; Candice Keller, R-Middletown; Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield; George Lang, R-West Chester Twp.; Bill Dean, R-Xenia, and J. Todd Smith, R-Farmersville.

“The use of pornography in the younger age demographic is becoming more and more common. When you look people around you, you can see the hardships that addiction to pornography have on families,” she said. “This has been a big movement around the United States, to declare it a public health crisis, because that is what it is.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio declined to comment on the resolution since it would not have the force of law even if passes.

Citizens for Community Values, a Cincinnati-based non-profit that in 2004 put an anti-gay marriage measure on the statewide ballot, is backing the resolution.

“The #MeToo movement has awakened America to the epidemic of sexual assault, human trafficking, and the objectification of women,” said Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values in a written statement. “But any serious conversation about ending a toxic sexual culture must include an honest assessment of the harms of pornography. Pornography is more widely available than ever before, and until we get serious about enforcing our existing obscenity laws and ensuring children aren’t exposed to porn, we will never end the exploitation.”

CCV reports that 15 states have passed similar resolutions. CCV said it worked with the National Decency Coalition to help Powell draft the resolution. The National Decency Coalition also campaigns for displaying “In God We Trust” in public classrooms, making sure public schools and libraries have adequate online filtering tools, and keeping internet porn from being accessible to children.

Ohio lawmakers occasionally support laws that crack down on adult businesses, such as strip clubs and pornography.

In 2007, Ohio legislators passed a law that forces strip clubs, peep shows, and other adult businesses to close between midnight and 6 a.m. and institutes a no-touch rule between strippers and patrons.

 

News Release: Ohio Resolution Declares Pornography a Public Health Crisis

Article from  Citizens for Community Value

Sponsored by Rep. Jena Powell, resolution also highlights the connection of pornography with human trafficking.

COLUMBUS — Representative Jena Powell and 18 co-sponsors have introduced a powerful Ohio House resolution to declare pornography a public health crisis. Along with highlighting the serious hardships pornography causes for men, women and children, the resolution emphasizes the connections between pornography and human trafficking.

A recent study ranked Ohio the “4th worst state in the nation for human sex trafficking.” As lawmakers and law enforcement work to end the exploitation of Ohio’s most vulnerable, the resolution brings to light the importance of protecting children from pornography, and enforcing existing obscenity laws.

“The #MeToo movement has awakened America to the epidemic of sexual assault, human trafficking, and the objectification of women,” said Aaron Baer, President of Citizens for Community Values. “But any serious conversation about ending a toxic sexual culture must include an honest assessment of the harms of pornography. Pornography is more widely available than ever before, and until we get serious about enforcing our existing obscenity laws and ensuring children aren’t exposed to porn, we will never end the exploitation.”

If the resolution passes in the House, Ohio will join at least 15 other states who have passed similar resolutions: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.

Citizens for Community Values and the National Decency Coalition worked with Representative Jena Powell to draft the resolution. Eighteen other House members have signed on as cosponsors—Rep. John Becker, Rep. Louis Blessing, Tom Brinkman, Rep. Bill Dean, Rep. Tim Ginter, Rep. Diane Grendell, Rep. Ron Hood, Rep. Candice Keller, Rep. Kyle Koehler, Rep. George Lang, Rep. Riordan McClain, Rep. Derek Merrin, Rep. Tracy Richardson, Rep. Craig Riedel, Rep. Mark Romanchuk, Rep. Todd Smith, Rep. Reggie Stoltzfus, and Rep. Nino Vitale.

You can read the resolution online here.

 

 

The Legislative Process

Since taking office in January our office has been working through new policy (bills) that will give our community more freedom! In the coming weeks we will be rolling those bills out for you to look over & support!
 
To best understand the legislative process checkout the graph below. As always let us know if you have any questions.

Meet Our Summer Interns

 

This summer we have some amazing interns in our Columbus office. From research, to joining me at committee and session. They are getting experience at the Statehouse as we fight for our community. Follow along and meet the summer team!

 

Meet Austin:

“My name is Austin Lucous, and I am eager to work with Representative Jena Powell in serving Miami and Darke counties! I am currently beginning my junior year at Wright State University studying political science, and I am a proud 2017 graduate of Milton-Union High School in West Milton, Ohio. I began my journey in politics my senior year of high school when I campaigned for Rob Portman for US Senate. From there, I campaigned for Steve Huffman for State Senate, and finally, I campaigned for Representative Powell in her run for State Representative! When I’m not working on a campaign, I enjoy going out to eat with friends, playing tennis, and learning French. Living in the district my entire life, I am thrilled to work for my community and you!”

 

Meet Cameron:

“Hello my name is Cameron Haught, and I have interning in Representative Powell’s office since January. I am currently attending Clark State Community College in Springfield with plans on attending Wright State University next year to major in political science. While going to school and interning in Columbus, I work full time at Kroger in Springfield. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, and watching the Cincinnati Reds.”

 

Meet Mason:

“Hello, I am Mason Gordon and I began interning with Representative Powell in May of 2019. I am from Wayne Lakes, I went to Franklin Monroe High School and Edison State Community College, and I am an incoming political science major at the University of Dayton. I spend my free time with my family and playing soccer.”

 

 

 

 

Looking for a fall internship? Contact our office to submit an application.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to our office at 614-466-8114 or email Rep80@ohiohouse.gov.