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Ohio Democrats Outline Statehouse Priorities

photo of Democratic Ohio Representatives and Senators
Democrats in the Ohio House and Senate gather at a news conference to discuss their priorities

As committees lead by Republicans consider bills related to abortion and guns, Democrats are drawing attention to their bills on economic and educational issues that they say are being ignored.  Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Democrats say they’ve introduced or are drafting bills on equal pay, paid family leave, college affordability, and sales tax exemptions for diapers and drugs. And they’re not moving in the Republican-dominated legislature. Kent Smith of Euclid says it’s time to consider his minimum wage increase, because Republican tax cuts for the wealthy aren’t helping working Ohioans.

“The prescription for economic health on the Republican side is like the doctor who would only prescribe penicillin for every conceivable illness.”

But House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger says over the last five years, Republican policies have created 400,000 jobs, boosted the state’s credit rating and returned billions in tax cuts to residents, so he says the record speaks for itself.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.