Working Beyond The Partisan Divide
By State Senator Gayle Manning
July 09, 2012
 
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With this year's presidential race in full swing and the November election only a few months away, political chatter seems to be working its way into every aspect of our daily lives. While it is undoubtedly an exciting time to be an American and participate in our beloved democratic process, the months ahead are sure to bring with them some of the partisan rancor that proves off-putting to our nation's citizens. Unfortunately, that same hostility between parties often lingers after an election and inhibits lawmakers from getting the job done. I am proud to report that members of the Ohio Senate have succeeded in working beyond such political divides in recent months to pass a number of bills that are leading to a more prosperous future. In fact, of the 198 bills passed by the Senate since the start of last year, 159 have been approved with bipartisan support. That means that 80 percent of the bills passed by our chamber received support from Republican and Democrat members. Clearly, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have recognized the many challenges that Ohio has faced in recent years and have chosen to work together on finding real solutions. Here are a few bills that have highlighted the bipartisan work of the Ohio Senate during the 129th General Assembly: -State Operating Budget - eliminated an $8 billion budget shortfall without raising taxes on hard-working Ohioans, while also providing historic levels of property tax relief to residents; -Common Sense Initiative (CSI) - an effort to ease the regulatory burden placed on Ohio's job creators; -JobsOhio - an innovative, new approach to job creation in Ohio that has helped to make Ohio the top job creator in the Midwest; -Cleveland School Reform - a collaborative plan to aid the struggling Cleveland Metropolitan School District; -Criminal Sentencing Reform - an overhaul of Ohio's criminal sentencing laws that will reduce low-level, short-term inmate populations by redirecting non-violent offenders to effective rehabilitation and job training programs; -Human Trafficking Laws - sweeping bipartisan support was given to a plan that stiffens penalties on the predators who take part in this illicit criminal behavior, while also providing new services and support to victims; -Cyber Fraud Legislation - laws have been implemented to crack down on offenders who prey on individuals through the internet and over the phone; -Energy Reform - companies wishing to drill or develop energy in Ohio will now face tougher standards for operation and will be required to disclose the method and chemicals that are used in their processes. Though some issues will always exist that illustrate philosophical disagreements between Republicans and Democrats, the work of the Ohio Senate demonstrates the positive results that come from collaboration and understanding. Without question, it has been a true honor to work beside my 32 colleagues and I am confident that this spirit of cooperation will continue in allowing us to build a better tomorrow for Ohio. Tip of the Month: Severe storms and weather conditions recently impacted residents across Ohio. The Ohio Department of Insurance is a great resource to Ohioans with insurance-related questions. If you wish to learn more about property damage or protection, call 1-800-686-1526 or visit the Department of Insurance's website at www.insurance.ohio.gov.
Senator Manning represents Ohio's 13th Senate District, which includes Lorain and Huron counties and the eastern portion of Seneca County. Her office can be reached by phone at (614) 644-7613 or by e-mailing Manning@ohiosenate.gov.
 
 
 
  
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