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Government & Politics

Outgoing Rep. Johnson Challenges Ohio's Gov. and Lawmakers Over the Opioid Crisis

Greta Johnson
Jo Ingles
/
State House Bureau

State Rep. Greta Johnson, whose 35th district includes Akron and Barberton, officially leaves the Ohio Legislature Sunday.  She announced several weeks ago she was resigning before the end of her term.  On the way out of Columbus she had a message for Gov. John Kasich. 

Greta Johnson, a Democrat, sent Republican Gov. John Kasich a letter asking him to do more to fight the opioid epidemic in Ohio and to declare it a health emergency. Johnson says both his efforts, and those of the  Legislature, have been piecemeal and uncoordinated.

“You have to look at them all together, and the way certain legislation will interact. Instead, we’re just throwing bills at different committees and hoping that they don’t interfere with each other.

"So, the Legislature has not responded in the way that they should have. But, certainly, our top administrator and executive has not done so either.”

Johnson says frustration with how things are done in Columbus is part of why she resigned.  But an opportunity to work for her mentor, Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro, is the biggest reason.