Monday, January 23, 2012

Rep. Richard Adams and House Republicans Outline Priorities for 2012

Workforce development, beginning hearings on fixing school funding formula among top goals for legislative session

COLUMBUS—On the heels of a successful first half of the General Assembly that saw the passage of more than 90 bills that address issues from regulatory reform and the creation of JobsOhio to prescription drug abuse, State Representative Richard Adams (R-Troy) today joined Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) and members of the House Republican Caucus at a press conference to unveil their legislative priorities for 2012.

The priorities outlined by House Republicans include a close analysis, fact finding, and making recommendations for revising Ohio’s school funding formula, which in 1997 was deemed unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court. Despite the court ruling, Ohio’s school funding system has not undergone any transformative changes that have wholly fixed the root of the problem. To address this issue, House Republicans announced that they will initiate comprehensive, bipartisan hearings on both the funding formula and student achievement throughout the duration of 2012.

The House Republican Caucus also laid out a proposal to implement the recommendations of the JobsOhio report through the creation of the Development Services Agency. The proposal will complete the transition to a lean, streamlined public/private partnership free of the cumbersome bureaucracy that characterized Ohio’s economic efforts in the past. Additionally, the caucus discussed strategies for implementing the findings of the Ohio Workforce Development Study Committee, specifically focusing on helping career tech schools and community colleges to prepare a ready workforce, as well as training Ohioans for imminent shale and energy jobs.

“I served on the Workforce Development Study Committee,” said Rep. Adams. “My background at the Upper Valley Career Center and Edison Community College will be useful and it’s providing informed input into preparing our citizens for good jobs.”

The caucus has also revealed plans to reform the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, building upon existing reforms to go further in assisting injured workers while identifying other cost-saving possibilities.

Other legislative items that the House Republican Caucus intends to address include:

  • The Great Lakes Compact
  • Casino and gaming laws
  • Healthcare exchange
  • Laws pertaining to exotic animals

“As we look forward to the continuation of economic development and creation of good jobs, I welcome the input of my constituents,” Rep. Adams said.

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