Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Committee Assignments Will Impact Us in West Central Ohio

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

Recently, appointments were made for standing committees for the 130th General Assembly. This term there are 17 standing committees and 6 sub committees in the Ohio House and each member sits on approximately three committees. This term I will serve on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Rules and Reference, and the new Policy and Legislative Oversight.

For as long as I have been a legislator I have served on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. The work of this committee directly impacts our lives in west central Ohio, and for that reason I value the opportunity to weigh in on the agriculture and natural resources bills. Last year we had a round house in the committee where I stood up for farmers against HSUS and voted in favor of economic development by supporting drilling in the state parks. This year we will again battle HSUS because they continue to encroach on the rights of farmers, we will also continue to work on the algal bloom issue in Grand Lake St. Marys and the western basin of Lake Erie. This issue is not only important for you in your homes, but it is a focus of my office as State Representative.

I have been appointed to the Rules and Reference committee which, except in certain parliamentary situations, by law hears every bill before it goes on the floor. This committee has the power to amend bills although that is reserved for very unique situations. I have served on this committee previously and look forward to the opportunity to return.

This year the Ohio House of Representatives created a new committee called Policy and Legislative Oversight and I am fortunate to be appointed as the Vice Chair of this committee. On this committee I look forward to questioning the actions of our government. At this point gambling parlor reform and elections reform bills have been assigned to this committee. I will ask the tough questions and as a result I will work to reduce government spending and make our government work better for each of us.

In the legislative process it is the committee room where changes to policy are debated. The assignment of committees is key in determining the legislative expertise and focus of each member. The three committees I serve on will have a direct impact on our lives in west central Ohio. Your concerns on all legislation is valuable in the legislative process. In particular your concerns on bills assigned to my committees can play a very valuable role in the debating of Ohio policy moving forward. Thank you for the opportunity to serve in the 130th General Assembly.

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