Good Jobs

As Governor, Joe Schiavoni will:

  • Protect collective bargaining rights to ensure workers get paid a decent wage and are protected on the job.
  • Invest in upgrades for our roads, bridges and sewage systems to create thousands of jobs right here in Ohio.
  • Encourage new jobs in growing fields by supporting green tech and emerging industries.
  • Train skilled workers with career tech education and union training programs.
  • Support small businesses with targeted tax credits that add new jobs and make important upgrades.
  • Make potential job sites build-ready by cleaning up blight.
  • Raise the minimum wage to give more workers the ability to support their families.
  • Protect existing Ohio jobs by ending tax credits to companies that go overseas.

And Joe knows exactly how to pay for it!

Read Joe’s full plan here: Joe Schiavoni’s Jobs Plan

K-12 Education

Joe has been tackling education issues since he started in the Senate. He believes every student deserves a quality education that prepares them for the future.

Joe works with educators to write bills that will make a real difference for our students.

Joe’s Record on Education

Charter School Reform: Joe has introduced several bills to bring accountability and transparency to charter schools, including bills to:

  • Require charter schools to comply with the same audit and public records laws as traditional public schools.
  • Make sure students only transfer from traditional schools to charter schools if the charter school has a higher ranking.
  • Provide notice of a charter school’s report card to parents.
  • Prevent charter schools from using state money on advertising.
  • Prohibit failing charter operators from opening new schools in the same location as their closed schools.
  • In 2015, the Ohio Statehouse passed HB 2 into law. This comprehensive charter school reform bill incorporated many pieces of Joe’s bills.

Online School Reform: There is a reason that ECOT and its blog, 3rd Rail Politics, are constantly taking shots at Joe. He has made enemies in the right places by waging a constant battle at the Statehouse to bring accountability and transparency to online charter schools. Joe has been leading the charge on this issue for several years and sponsored legislation aimed at improving online charter schools.

Working with Students and Teachers to Create Good Policy: As Minority Leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus, Joe made it a priority to visit different types of schools around the state. He asked administrators, educators, parents, and students their thoughts on how to improve our education system. Then Joe turned those ideas into legislation. Learn more at

Anti-Bullying: Joe successfully passed the “Jessica Logan Act” to address anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies in schools, especially as it relates to cyberbullying.

School Safety: Joe has introduced several bills to help fund school safety programs and grants. Click here and here for more.

Local Control: Joe knows from personal experience what happens when educators are not involved in education policy decisions. When Joe learned that Governor Kasich and Statehouse Republicans had planned a secret takeover of Youngstown City Schools, he drove from Youngstown to Columbus in the night to try and stop an unelected CEO from making decisions about Youngstown students without advice or support from the community.

After that, Joe met with educators and local leaders to craft a community-based bill to improve Youngstown Schools and keep educator input involved in the process.

Graduation Crisis: Too many Ohio students are at risk of not graduating due to impossible and ever-changing regulations coming from the Statehouse. Last year, after hearing from several passionate Ohio teachers, Joe pushed for a state budget amendment that would provide a safe harbor for thousands of seniors who had been harmed by Ohio’s shifting testing requirements.

Eventually, Joe and his colleagues were able to put enough pressure on the majority to provide more graduation pathways for the class of 2018. That was an important fix, but a temporary one. The legislature needs to address Ohio’s testing and education requirements soon in order to prevent a long-term graduation crisis.

Joe will continue to fight for Ohio students in the Senate and as governor. His plans include:

Proper school funding: School funding should be a priority, not an afterthought. For too long, we’ve drastically underfunded our schools and forced taxpayers to make up the difference through levies and increased local taxes. The state needs to take responsibility and invest in a Constitutional funding system once and for all.

Reining in standardized testing: The federal government requires only 17 tests, but Ohio mandates up to 26. It’s time to reduce the amount of testing to allow for more flexibility and individualized learning. Joe has had productive conversations with the Superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education about this, and he will keep working to decrease our reliance on standardized tests.

Accountability for online charter schools: Joe recognizes that some online charter schools (e-schools) can benefit students with unique circumstances, but thousands of e-school students fall through the cracks. That’s why Joe has introduced bills to create accountability and transparency for online charter schools, especially related to attendance. E-schools should be held to the same standards as brick-and-mortar schools, to make sure all kids are learning, no matter where they attend school.

Local control in education: Each community in Ohio has unique circumstances; it is vital that we maintain local control when it comes to education policymaking.  Educators, parents, and students deserve a voice when any state law change is made. Joe fought hard against the unelected CEO takeover of Youngstown City Schools, and he will do the same for every Ohio community going forward.

Meaningful changes to address poverty: There is a direct correlation between poverty and educational achievement.  Every year when report card scores come out, we see the trend: schools with higher percentages of students living in poverty have lower scores than schools in wealthier areas.  The achievement gap between rich and poor students will only grow unless the state makes an honest effort to implement policies that put our children first.  We must expand wraparound services in our schools to address barriers like access to food, healthcare, and career mobility that students face as a result of poverty.


As Governor, Joe Schiavoni will:

  • Protect the expansion of Medicaid that has given health insurance to over 700,000 Ohioans.
  • Use just 10% of the state’s emergency fund to fight the opioid epidemic that is devastating our communities. There is a way to battle Ohio’s opioid crisis now and prevent future addictions – all in a fiscally responsible manner. Read Joe’s full plan here.
  • Continue to fund Planned Parenthood to provide affordable healthcare to women across Ohio. Read more here.
  • Fight any attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Work with local communities to reduce the rates of infant mortality.

Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable healthcare.

Joe supports bills at the national level that move us toward universal coverage, including Sen. Sanders’ Medicare For All bill and Sen. Sherrod Brown’s bill to lower the eligibility age to 55.

If there’s a way to pay for universal coverage at the state level, Joe will be interested in that too.

As governor, Joe will do everything he can to increase and improve healthcare options for all Ohioans.

As state senator, Joe has been fighting to protect Medicaid from constant attacks at the Statehouse. Right now, the GOP Speaker of the House is gathering votes to freeze Medicaid expansion in Ohio. This would cost thousands of Ohioans their health insurance.

Joe has also been working to increase access to providers across the state, especially in underserved areas.

  • His new bipartisan bill to expand broadband internet would help rural hospitals treat more patients using telemedicine.
  • He’s always fighting for state support for healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood. These providers offer options to low-income families in underserved rural and urban areas.

We won’t sugarcoat this reality: if the Affordable Care Act (Also known as the ACA or Obamacare) is repealed or replaced with current GOP plans, it will cause immense harm to Ohio. Ohioans who currently have healthcare through the exchanges and through Medicaid risk losing their care.

That’s why Joe is fighting every day to preserve and improve healthcare and block GOP efforts to cripple Medicaid and jeopardize private insurance.

When Joe is governor, Ohio’s Department of Insurance, Department of Medicaid, and Department of Health will be entirely committed to getting as many people as possible the care they need to live independent, productive lives.

Joe will not sign a state budget or any bill that doesn’t recognize citizens’ health as a primary responsibility of government.

Fighting to End Ohio’s Opioid Crisis

The ongoing heroin and opioid crisis has hit families in every corner of our state. Ohio ranks #1 in overdose deaths. Several counties have been forced to bring in refrigerated trucks to store the overflow of bodies.

Joe’s GOP colleagues refuse to treat this issue like the health epidemic it is. Lack of action costs Ohio 10 lives and millions of dollars per day. It’s time to stop simply talking about the problem and start doing something about it.

As Governor, Joe Schiavoni will:

Rebuild Mental Health and Addiction Services across Ohio:
Our current healthcare and mental health programs are underfunded. This leaves too many Ohioans without the help they need.  Joe will enact comprehensive policies that:

  • Make resources immediately available to help our communities fight this epidemic.
  • Provide resources to the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health (ADAMH) Boards.
  • Increase capacity for inpatient treatment beds and incentivize doctors to offer outpatient treatment, especially in underserved areas.
  • Expand Medicaid coverage and reimbursement rates.
  • Require insurance companies to cover alternatives to opioids for pain management.
  • Incentivize medical providers to use alternatives to opiate prescriptions.

Provide Comprehensive Criminal Justice Tools
Law enforcement is often on the front lines of the opiate scourge.  First responders need the tools and the training to prevent the spread of deadly narcotics, lock up drug traffickers, and help citizens recover. Joe will:

  • Provide law enforcement and first responders with resources to keep overdose victims alive until appropriate treatment is possible.
  • Support law enforcement efforts to stop the movement of deadly illegal fentanyl, carfentanil, and heroin across the state.
  • Study drug courts as an alternative to conviction.
  • Support changes to Ohio law to give those recovering from addiction a fresh start.
  • Promote the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative.

Support Our Local Communities
The ripple effects of the opiate crisis hit child protective services, law enforcement, health care providers, and tight knit communities especially hard. We must:

  • Increase local government funds to help communities battle this crisis at home.
  • Target resources to child protective services as they help so many Ohio children dealing with addicted parents.
  • Build opportunities for people in recovery to pursue housing and employment.

Ohio has the ability to invest in programs and research to help end this crisis – WITHOUT breaking the bank.

How Do We Pay For It?

  • Use just 10% of Ohio’s emergency fund to immediately and thoroughly address this crisis in a fiscally responsible way.
  • Roll back the Kasich administration’s reckless tax cuts for the wealthy.
  • Take advantage of available federal dollars to help fight this battle from all sides.
  • Build treatment and prevention programs that will last for decades. We must not only save lives and end this crisis, but give Ohioans a comprehensive behavioral health system for years to come.

Every one dollar spent on effective treatment saves several dollars in criminal justice and emergency health spending. We save money – and lives – by addressing this crisis head-on right now.


Supporting Our Veterans

This issue is personal for Joe. His grandfather served during the Korean War, and his grandmother was a military nurse in WWII who took care of veterans at home. She saw the toll that war took on many vets, before anyone was talking about post-traumatic stress as we now understand it.

In Joe’s district and at the Statehouse, He has made it a priority to help increase access to basic services and find funding for veterans’ programs wherever possible. Joe believes access to proper resources can go a long way toward addressing the issue of veteran suicide. And legislators can play an important role in that process.

In the Valley, Joe worked to bring the Ohio Military Veterans Legal Assistance Project to his district to give more veterans access to legal resources.

He also helped set up the Youngstown Municipal Veterans’ Court to direct veterans who have committed low level, nonviolent crimes to the mental health and substance abuse resources they need and have earned.

At the Statehouse, Joe repeatedly introduces bills to give tax relief to disabled veterans. He has also joined forces with different agencies and colleagues across the aisle to help increase job opportunities for vets and end veteran homelessness.

Joe’s jobs plan includes tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, including disabled veterans. This will help many veterans get back on their feet and help local businesses hire Ohio’s best.

Joe knows there is much more we can do for Ohio’s active duty service men and women as well as our veterans. As governor, Joe will work with veterans and active duty military organizations to address issues that matter most to Ohio’s heroes.

Protecting Workers’ Rights

As an attorney for injured workers, Joe has dedicated his career to protecting workers’ rights. He took that passion with him to the Statehouse.

In 2011, Joe was the leader in the Senate Democrats’ fight against Senate Bill 5 (the Republicans’ attempt to limit collective bargaining rights). He was Ranking Member on the committee that heard the bill.

During the SB 5 fight, Joe worked every day with labor leaders to ask pointed questions and stop the bill’s movement wherever possible. Joe later helped alert the public about this issue, which led to the referendum overturning SB 5.

When it comes to “Right To Work,” Joe has seen the proof. “Right to Work” states have a higher poverty rate, fewer benefits, and a stunningly higher rate of workplace death. These workers make on average $6,100 less than workers in other states. That is unacceptable.

There will never be a “Right to Work” law in Joe’s state while he is Governor.

And it’s not just the big SB 5 and Right to Work (Is Wrong) issues that come our way. Democrats see smaller attacks on labor every day at the Statehouse. Ohio’s GOP majority has hit workers with privatization, school takeovers, and recently lowered the statute of limitations for injury claims to one year. As a state senator, Joe fights against constant legislative attempts to chip away at workers’ rights.

As governor, Joe would veto any attempt to attack or undermine workers’ rights. Joe is a workers’ compensation attorney. He sees what the Valley’s injured workers are going through. This issue is personal for him.

“The legislature would have to override my vetoes every single time on anti-worker issues. I will always support the fundamental rights of all workers, including the right to collectively bargain.”

Joe Schiavoni’s Jobs Plan was written with workers in mind. As governor, Joe will not only defend workers’ rights from constant attacks, he will proactively work to improve the lives of hardworking Ohioans and their families. It’s time to finally elect a governor who will fight for us.

Reliable Internet

Right now, 300,000 rural Ohio households and 88,500 businesses do not have access to broadband internet. This slows economic development and limits employment opportunities.

Only 58% of Appalachian Ohioans have access to broadband internet. This includes hospitals and schools.

Joe is working with Republicans and Democrats to make progress on issues like this one, which shouldn’t be political. He recently announced a new bipartisan bill to bring reliable broadband internet to more Ohio homes and businesses.

How the Broadband Bill Works
Joe’s bill is a grant program based on a program in Minnesota. It’s so popular in Minnesota that Republican legislators there just voted to increase its funding to bring reliable internet to more Minnesotans.

The bill would use available bond money to create a grant program for groups interested in expanding broadband internet to underserved areas. It would give about 14,000 more Ohioans access to reliable internet each year.

Grants would be administered through the Developmental Services Agency (DSA).

  • Preference is shown to applicants who offer creative ways to stretch dollars and help as many people as possible.
  • Preference also shown to applicants who would expand broadband to vital services such as schools, hospitals, police and fire departments, etc.
  • The program is careful to avoid any possible duplicate future projects in nearby areas.

And we know how to pay for it.

  • We would pay for this bill using Third Frontier development bonds
  • These bonds must be spent on 1.) infrastructure or 2.) research and development meant to keep Ohio up to date. That’s exactly what this bill does!

Ohio needs this bill.

  • Many of Ohio’s government services – including job search sites – operate online. But a lot of Ohio residents can’t access internet fast enough to use these services.
  • Many rural Ohio hospitals and medical providers are still operating without 21st century internet. This is unacceptable.
  • Four out of every five Ohio children are expected to do school work online. Many are not able to do so.

Thanks to Joe’s efforts to bring people together, Republicans and Democrats are working as a team to bring reliable internet to more Ohioans and help our businesses grow and thrive for years to come.

RELATED: Joe Schiavoni pledges to defend Net Neutrality as Governor.

Career Tech Education

Too often, Ohio businesses can’t find enough skilled Ohio workers to fill open positions. Joe has a plan to change that. He’s been meeting with business leaders, workers, and several chambers of commerce throughout the state. From their advice, Joe wrote a career tech bill (SB 140) to help train skilled workers and provide targeted assistance to Ohio’s business community.

As Joe puts it, “Ohio needs a strong workforce for the future. That means investing in career tech funding for our schools to ensure students are exposed to alternative career paths. We also need to do more as a state to encourage collaboration among businesses, local organizations, and higher education institutions. We should build classes around the skills these businesses actually need.”

How Joe’s Career Tech Bill Works

Career Tech Education Funding

  • Adds $25 million over the biennium ($12.5 million annually) to the Career Technical Education Fund.
  • Improves access to workforce training programs by assisting students in grades K-12 with shop fees, industry credential testing fees, technology support, etc.
  • Expands existing workforce education programs.

Incentives for Business and Higher Education Partnerships

  • Creates a $25 million competitive grant program between businesses and two and four-year institutions of higher learning that offer associates and industry credential programs.
  • The grant would work as a dollar for dollar match between institutions and businesses to provide students the skills they need for high demand jobs.

Business Development Funding

  • Invests $30 million over the biennium to support existing state programs such as:
    • Minority Business Loan Program
    • Ohio Brownfield Fund
  • Creates the Sector Partnership Grant Program.
    • $10 million each FY will help fund collaboratives that provide employer driven, advanced skills training in targeted industries.

This career tech bill is part of Joe’s larger jobs plan. We can pay for it by closing just one tax loophole for the rich that has failed to create any jobs. Learn more here.

College Affordability

Ohio can significantly lower college tuition costs by simply funding colleges and universities properly. Like with k-12 schools, recent Ohio budgets have cut or flat funded support for higher education, which is unacceptable.

As governor, Joe will support significantly increasing the state share of instruction for our colleges. He will also increase need-based aid for students via the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG). The state should never put colleges and universities in a position where they feel they must pass costs onto their students.

Joe also knows that legislators need to be creative in finding ways to lower student debt. He is currently working on a bill to help address both the loss of college graduates after graduation (brain drain) and the high amounts of student debt in our state. This bill is based a program used in Maryland.

Under Joe’s bill, college graduates who purchase a house within a few years of graduation in specified zones that the state is hoping to develop will be able to erase a large percentage of their student debt. This would:

  • Help keep talented young people in our state
  • Help develop new or underutilized areas of the state
  • Help graduates build a successful life and career without the burden of massive student debt.

Ohio leaders can no longer ignore the fact that we have the most student debt in the country. As governor, Joe will make quality, affordable higher education a priority.

Reproductive Health

  • Joe has consistently fought back against attacks on women’s health in the Statehouse. He has a proven track record as an advocate for access to care. Ohioans who support reproductive freedom can feel confident voting for Joe.
  • The Ohio Senate Democrats face an uphill battle as the minority party, but Joe and his colleagues continue to loudly oppose outrageous restrictions on women’s reproductive rights and GOP efforts to defund quality providers like Planned Parenthood.
    • Planned Parenthood provides affordable healthcare services, such as life-saving preventative care and cancer screenings, to over 80,000 Ohioans each year.
    • Ohio Planned Parenthood helps combat infant mortality with programs like “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” in Mahoning County.
    • More than half of Planned Parenthood health centers are in rural or medically-underserved areas. Without them, many Ohio patients would have nowhere else to turn.
  • Joe trusts women to make their own decisions about their medical needs. He supports access to affordable birth control, safe and legal abortion, and accurate medical information from qualified professionals.
  • Reproductive freedom means respecting working parents as well. Every Ohio worker deserves paid leave to care for a new child or sick relative. Joe cosponsored his colleague Senator Cafaro’s paid leave bill. He also co-sponsored this bipartisan bill to require accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding workers.
  • Joe knows that “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) and other alternatives offered by his GOP colleagues to replace quality providers are often purely political.
    • Crisis pregnancy centers do not have the ability to provide reproductive healthcare, cancer screenings, HIV testing, STI/​STD prevention services, or even sex education.
    • When Joe is governor, he will work to make sure state funds support legitimate medical options.
  • Joe will veto any bill (or item) that attacks a woman’s right to choose or access to care.
  • Click here to read more about this issue in Joe’s own words.

Transportation & Infrastructure

Ohio has been failing to properly invest in public transportation for years. In fact, we haven’t invested this little in public transportation since 1976.

The state recently budgeted only $16.5 Million for transit systems and public transportation. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recommended $120 Million.

It’s time to stop placing this issue on the backburner. We must repair, rebuild, and expand our infrastructure now.

Local governments can’t address this issue on their own. They’re already struggling under the burden of Republican cuts. But avoiding needed repairs can be dangerous and harmful to our citizens. And without resources there’s no chance at all to expand public transit.

Ohio desperately needs to change the way it funds transit systems. Due to changes in tax policy, transit authorities will have $23 Million less in revenue to maintain roads, bridges, and public transportation by the end of 2019. On top of that, vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, making the motor fuels tax an unsustainable revenue source for these types of repairs.

We can’t ignore this issue any longer. 8% of Ohio bridges are structurally deficient. Our roads are littered with potholes big enough to cause serious damage to vehicles on the road. Traffic problems are increasing. And thousands of Ohioans struggle to get to work every day. All you have to do is drive down some of our local streets to see that something needs to change.

As State Senator, Joe is working on legislation to create a funding mechanism to assist local governments with road and bridge repairs. He has also introduced bills to:

  • Repair and rebuild Ohio’s underground water systems.
  • Create a dedicated funding source to support green infrastructure projects in Ohio.

As governor:

  • Joe will push for a one-time meaningful investment to repair Ohio’s failing infrastructure and increase travel options for our citizens.
  • Joe’s budgets will provide adequate funding to local governments for public transportation assistance.
  • Joe will prioritize research to find ways to fund new rail and transit infrastructure in the long term.

Hardworking Ohioans deserve to see their tax dollars working for them. They deserve safe, accessible, and affordable transportation options, as well as infrastructure that is safe and up to date. Ohio can and must do better.

Fair Districts

In 2020, Ohio will redraw its legislative district lines in a fairer, less partisan way. This state level redistricting is one of Joe’s most important Statehouse accomplishments.

As Senate Minority Leader, Joe successfully negotiated with Democrats and Republicans in both chambers to get legislative redistricting on the ballot as Issue 1.

He sat in a room and negotiated for hours with Rep. Huffman, then-Senator Faber, and then-Rep Sykes to make sure the bill that became Issue 1 passed the Statehouse with bipartisan votes.

Because of these legislators’ efforts and the passion of Ohio volunteers and voters, Statehouse districts will be redrawn in 2020 with fairer lines.

Joe and some of his colleagues have been trying for years to do the same thing with Congressional redistricting, but that effort has faced even more resistance. It is likely we will need a citizens’ ballot initiative to get it done the right way.

Right now, hundreds of dedicated volunteers are collecting signatures to put Congressional redistricting on Ohio’s ballot. Joe fully supports that effort and encourages volunteers to collect redistricting signatures at his events.

Bottom line: Fair districts mean fair elections.
Joe firmly believes we must end gerrymandering and take politics out of the process of drawing district lines.

Politicians shouldn’t be able to pick their voters. It’s time to elect a governor with a long history of fighting for fair districts.

Voting Rights

Joe has fought hard throughout his time in the Statehouse to defend voting rights for all Ohioans. He will continue and expand that fight as governor.

You only need to look at Joe’s record to know he’s a strong supporter of voting rights:



  • Co-sponsored SB20 (Turner), a large pro-voter bill that included early voting protection, online registration, better handling of provisional ballots, and protection against long lines.
  • Strongly opposed and voted against SB 205, which made it harder to count absentee ballots.
  • Strongly opposed and voted against SB 216, which made it harder to count provisional ballots.
  • Strongly opposed and voted against SB 238, which eliminated “golden week” by shortening early voting to begin after the registration deadline.
  • Strongly opposed and voted against SB 193, which unfairly limited third party ballot access.


  • As Senate Minority Leader, Joe joined an amicus brief filed by House and Senate members with the 6th Circuit Ct. of appeals–attempting to protect “golden week.”
  • As Minority Leader, Joe was the caucus’ lead in negotiation on the resolution that, upon approval by voters, reformed how Ohio House and Senate districts are drawn.


  • Cosponsored S.B. 158 to create automatic voter registration in Ohio.


  • Voted for SB 63 to create online voter registration in Ohio.
  • Voted against SB 296, which limited court access for emergencies on Election Day (bill was ultimately vetoed).


  • Signed on to an amicus brief with legislators from around the county supporting an end to gerrymandering in the Gill v. Whitford case.

Joe also fully supports the effort to put Congressional redistricting on Ohio’s ballot through a citizens’ ballot initiative. He encourages volunteers to collect redistricting signatures at his events. Read more here about Joe’s fight for fair districts here.

Environment & Energy

In order to move our state forward, Ohio needs to focus on diversifying our energy portfolio and supporting emerging technologies such as wind, solar, and energy efficiency.

These growing industries will help protect Ohio’s environment while also creating long-term tech and labor jobs for our residents.

Joe fought hard in the Statehouse to restore Ohio’s clean energy standards, which are under constant attack by the majority party. Ohio needs these standards to protect our environment and encourage clean energy and tech companies to invest in our state.

Joe has also introduced bills to invest in green infrastructure and new water projects, both of which would create jobs for Ohio workers.

Joe is strongly opposed drilling in areas such our state parks, which should be protected for use by future generations. He has introduced amendments to protect these areas. He has also fought for years for a bill to increase penalties for people who dump brine (a byproduct of drilling) into waterways.

Joe realizes that drilling is a reality in Ohio, so we need to do it properly. With reasonable regulation, greater transparency, and reinvestment into local communities, responsible drilling can provide good jobs in areas of the state that desperately need them. Joe has fought to protect homes and residents from drilling, as well as for increased regulations surrounding its use.

In order to support responsible drilling, we must address real concerns about drilling waste disposal in order to protect our water supply.

As governor, Joe will work to encourage clean energy and properly regulate the existing oil and gas industry to provide a clean environment for future generations and jobs for today’s workers.

Clean Water

Joe is especially passionate about clean and safe water, and has been working hard to address these issues in the Valley. Ohio can’t just dump chemicals into our water and call it safe. We need to invest in repairing and replacing crumbling water systems so they don’t harm our water in the first place.

For several years, Joe has been fighting for his resolution, SJR 4 (previously SJR 3), which would use bond money to fix and replace crumbling underground water infrastructure. This bill would NOT raise taxes. It has earned bipartisan support from some of Joe’s Republican colleagues.

He has also been working to prevent illegal brine dumping in our waterways by increasing penalties for those who commit such crimes.

Joe has even joined forces with US Senator Sherrod Brown to fight for water infrastructure at a state and national level.

Joe will continue to fight for these bills and policies like them until Ohio treats our water systems as a priority.

In 2015, the village of Sebring in Joe’s district learned that the city had failed to properly notify residents of potentially harmful lead levels in their water. Joe worked closely with community leaders to understand the factors leading up to this issue. He then introduced legislation to make sure Ohio residents are always alerted to potential dangers in their water.

This water crisis pushed Joe to fight even harder for his bill to fix Ohio’s water systems, and support for the bill has been growing. Last year, the Dayton City Commission publicly endorsed the bill and urged the state to pass it.

This year, in addition to reintroducing SJR 4 and the bill to ban illegal brine dumping, Joe also introduced a bill to create a new funding stream for green tech projects such as water system repairs. Ohio leaders need to take the issue of clean water seriously.

Joe has been traveling the state speaking to experts about Ohio’s water issues. He recently went out with a scientist from the Ohio Seagrant Program to see the Lake Erie algal bloom in person and ask questions about how we can address this growing issue.

As governor, Joe will make sure this issue is a state priority. He will fight to keep Ohio’s water safe, clean, and protected for future generations.

Medical & Recreational Marijuana


Joe was an early supporter of medical marijuana. In 2015, Joe and Senator Kenny Yuko sent a letter to their Republican and Democratic colleagues encouraging the discussions that became Ohio’s new medical marijuana law.

As two supporters of medical marijuana, we are available and willing to collaborate with all stakeholders interested in this cause. Together, we can assist the many Ohio families who are searching for ways to alleviate the pain of chronic and debilitating diseases.” –Senators Joe Schiavoni and Kenny Yuko

Joe then cosponsored Senator Yuko’s bill to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio and create a program to grow, produce, and distribute this medical product to patients seeking care for many chronic and debilitating illnesses and injuries.

Joe was motivated to support medical marijuana after speaking to families who were being forced to leave Ohio to seek medical marijuana for their children who suffered from severe seizures. No one should have to uproot their family to access medicine that could provide relief to a child.


Joe would be in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana for personal use. This new industry would provide needed funding to our state and allow police to focus resources on more pressing matters. But we need to do it properly.

For example, we need to make sure the money this new industry generates is directed at something specific, such as Ohio’s education system. It should not just go to the state and disappear.

As governor, Joe would be open to working to experts, community leaders, law enforcement, and many others to explore ways to approach this issue responsibly.

Net Neutrality

Joe has been working to give every Ohioan access to reliable internet (Click here for more information). Without it, everything from education to job creation suffers.

Net neutrality is the same fight. A fight for an even playing field. Without equal internet access, new businesses and ideas wouldn’t be able to compete.

All of Joe’s bills aim to give people a fair shot. That means fighting for good jobs, quality schools, and equal access to basic resources like the internet. State leaders must demand net neutrality.

LGBTQ Rights

Joe is a proud supporter of equal rights for LGBTQ Ohioans. Marriage equality is finally law of the land, but there are STILL places in Ohio where people can be fired, denied a mortgage, or even refused service in a restaurant for their sexual orientation.

That is unacceptable, and it needs to change.

As senator, Joe has cosponsored several bills to prevent discrimination against Ohio residents based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This includes SB 100 and SB 174, both of which are currently awaiting hearings in the Ohio Statehouse.

As governor, Joe will push for the passage of similar bills to prevent discrimination and build a culture of support for all Ohioans, no matter who they are or whom they love.

Team Joe would like to thank Prizm News for their recent in-depth interview series regarding each candidate’s stance on LGBTQ rights.

Read Joe’s full interview here. Here are some of his answers:

If a bill reached your desk that would add sexual orientation and gender identity/expression to the laws that make discrimination illegal in Ohio, would you sign it?

“Absolutely. I cosponsored this bill in the Ohio Statehouse.”

Do you support House Bill 160, the Ohio Fairness Act?

“Yes! In my position as state senator, I submitted testimony (see below) to the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee in support of HB 160, the ‘Fairness Act.’

“It’s 2018. LGBTQ Ohioans are free to marry the person they love. How can Ohio justify a legal system that still allows someone to deny them a job or home?”

Joe Schiavoni’s Testimony to the Ohio House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee Re: House Bill 160

January 30, 2018 Good Morning Chairman Blessing, Vice Chair Reineke, Ranking Member Clyde and members of the House Government Oversight Committee. Thank you for allowing me to submit proponent testimony for House Bill 160.

As you know, this bill would create the Ohio Fairness Act, providing protections to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. I was compelled to show support for this legislation to ensure all Ohioans are treated equally and are provided the same opportunity to succeed.

The fact that it is still legal in our state to discriminate against anyone shows just how much work we still have ahead of us. In 2018, when LGBTQ Americans are free to marry the person they love and build a life with that person, how can we justify a legal system that still allows someone to deny those same Ohioans a job or a home?

We cannot claim to be providing all Ohioans a fair shot at success when state-sanctioned discrimination still exists in our own state. We cannot hope to attract the most talented and qualified individuals to Ohio when such discrimination is still permissible. And we cannot hope that our own children will stay close to home and help move Ohio forward when we will not move forward ourselves.

I ask that you help Ohio take this simple but critical step forward by passing this bill out of committee and moving it to the floor for a full vote. Too many Ohioans have waited far too long for this day. We shouldn’t make them wait another minute. Thank you for your time and your consideration.

In 2011, Gov. John Kasich eliminated gender identity from an executive order barring discrimination in state government employment. Will you add gender identity back in? 

“Yes, I will.”

Ohio is one of three states that do not let transgender people correct the gender marker on their birth certificates. Will you work with the Ohio Department of Health to resolve this? 


Do you support a hate-crimes law that includes gender identity and sexual orientation? 

“Absolutely. We have seen proof in recent years that these incidents are still occurring. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2017 saw the most murders of transgender individuals in a decade. Now more than ever, we need to include gender identity and sexual orientation in hate crimes law. Everyone deserves to feel welcome in our state.”

Do you support a statewide ban on so-called “conversion therapy” for minors? 

“Yes. This past year, I cosponsored Sen. Charleta Tavares’ SB 126, which would ban conversion therapy in Ohio. I will push for passage of that bill as governor.”

Would you support or oppose any legislation to dictate the public restrooms used by transgender people in Ohio? 

“People should be able to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender they identify with. This shouldn’t be an issue.”

Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton all ranked among the top cities on the Human Rights Campaign’s most recent Municipal Equality Index survey of local policies toward LGBTQ people. In the HRC’s State Equality Index, Ohio ranked among the lowest states. How do we make all of Ohio as welcoming and inclusive as its big cities? 

“Every human being deserves to feel welcome and respected in the community where they live. We need to make sure our laws reflect that mentality.

“Several larger Ohio cities have passed local laws banning the housing, employment and other forms of discrimination that are currently legal statewide. But many smaller communities still allow LGBTQ Ohioans to be treated unfairly.

“Until we make it clear that discrimination is unacceptable in the eyes of the law, we may have trouble making positive change on a societal level.”.

Tell us about some of the actions you have taken as a public official or elected office-holder to support and advance equality for LGBTQ people. 

“For me, it’s all about bringing people to the table and making sure everyone has a say in policies that impact their lives.

“I have built relationships with LGBTQ Ohioans throughout my years in the Statehouse, and I will never write a bill or push an agenda impacting the LGBTQ community without their input. That’s how leaders should approach every policy decision.

“Real people know each issue best. You have to meet with people and ask what they need in order to make meaningful change. I will always operate that way as governor.”


Firearms Legislation

Joe Schiavoni supports the Second Amendment right to own firearms. He also believes in common sense firearms regulation. Common sense laws do not infringe on our 2nd amendment rights.

Change starts by acknowledging that something needs to change. The United States is the only developed nation that experiences regular shootings. We must work together now to find solutions at every level.

Joe is proud to be an official Moms Demand Action “Gunsense Candidate,” and the only candidate with a step-by-step plan to address gun violence from several angles.

No more vague tweets. No more empty condolences. Elected officials need to take action.

Joe has a plan to protect Ohio kids, and he’s not waiting until he’s governor to get started:

1.) Before this year, Joe had twice introduced a bill to fund increased safety measures in schools. Both times, his GOP colleagues in the Statehouse failed to pass it. Joe has now reintroduced this bill a third timeThis time, we’re going to get it passed.

2.) Joe and his office are sitting down with policy experts, firearms experts, advocacy groups, law enforcement, and others to write legislation that would strengthen background checks in Ohio and help stop individuals with severe mental health issues from obtaining firearms.

  • They will examine potential gun show, pawn shop, inheritance, and internet loopholes in the law.

3.) Joe and his office are sitting down with policy experts, firearms experts, advocacy groups, law enforcement, and others to write legislation to increase regulations on AR-15 style firearms. AR-15s are easily adaptable, highly accurate, and have been used in several of the deadliest mass shootings in recent months. They shouldn’t be so easily accessible.

“Individuals who want to own these firearms should be required to complete regular trainings, pay additional fees, and pass thorough background checks. These changes would help limit the number of AR-15 style weapons sold in Ohio, but would still allow responsible Ohioans to go through a process to own them.

    • Joe would sign a ban on AR-15 style firearms if it reached his desk as Governor, but he urges Congress to work on this issue at the federal level. A state level ban would not be the most effective method of gun reform. Without a federal ban, Ohioans could simply go to Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, etc to purchase these firearms.

4.) Joe is calling for the state to work with communities and educators to fund and expand wraparound service models in Ohio schools. These types of education models are used in several schools across the state to great success. They help us provide mental health care, skills training, physical health services, and after-school programs for children and parents in the community. If we can provide holistic care at every level of a child’s development, we can catch some of the warning signs early and work to prevent future tragedies. 

5.) Joe is working with Senator Sandra Williams to write a “red flag” bill that would allow family members or law enforcement to ask a civil court to temporarily remove firearms from people who present an imminent threat to themselves or others. This “extreme risk protection order” (ERPO) could last up to one year.

  • Republicans such as Governor John Kasich and President Trump have expressed support for red flag bills.

6.) Joe has pledged not to accept money from the NRA.

7.) Joe is cosponsoring Senator Cecil Thomas’ bill to ban bump stocks.

Quotes from Joe on this issue:

  • “Basic safety measures do not infringe on anyone’s rights. We will never stop all of these tragedies, but we can stop some. And every child spared is worth it.”
  • As a parent, I can’t comprehend the pain those families are experiencing. It’s made even worse when I wonder if something could have been done to prevent this tragedy.”
  • “I firmly believe in our Second Amendment right to own firearms, but our kids trust us to keep them safe from evils like this. At least six school shootings in the first two months of 2018 means something isn’t working.

Joe also posted this Facebook Live video on 2.22.18, updating voters on his search to find the most effective gun reforms for Ohio. He expressed his fears as a parent, and shared his plans for gun reform moving forward.

Joe wants to hear from everyone about this controversial issue. All input and research are welcome.

  • Email to reach Joe’s Statehouse office with policy ideas.
  • Email to reach the campaign.

Revitalizing Ohio Cities


In recent years, Ohio’s GOP majority has taken money meant for local governments and used it to patch state budget holes.

Because of this, our local governments have been left drastically underfunded and forced to ask residents for more and more money in ballot levies.  Many cities have been forced to make significant cuts to critical services like police and fire.

This is not a sustainable practice. We cannot continue to shortchange our communities in order to fund tax cuts and tax loopholes for wealthy corporations. We need to fund local governments properly in order to invest in our residents and our future.


As Senator, Joe has pushed several bills to remove blight and restore Ohio’s urban areas. As governor, he would push for a similar plan that:

  • Combats urban blight by creating a 5-year property tax exemption for the increased value of a distressed residential or commercial property that is remodeled within the rst year of ownership.
  • Invests $50 million per year into infrastructure for local governments to repair roads and bridges based on the most urgent need.
  • Invests $50 million in public transit per year to help keep Ohioans working and self-su cient.
  • Creates a Neighborhood Assistance Program to promote community collaborations among residents, nonprfits and businesses to improve distressed neighborhoods.


Too many businesses come to Ohio looking to expand and nd brown elds and abandoned areas that need extensive cleanup before any progress can take place. We need to clean up these areas and make Ohio build-ready so businesses can come in and get to work creating jobs.

Joe has introduced the following two bills on this subject and would strongly encourage and support similar legislative e orts as governor:

  • Bill #1: Allows community organizations to x up/improve abandoned land.
    • Allows people to enter abandoned land pursuant to a permit without risk of punishment for trespassing.
    • Shields property owners from liability when a person enters or remains on the land in order to improve it.
    • Provides that the person who enters or remains on the land in order to improve it is not entitled to reimbursement unless the property owner agrees.
  • Bill #2: Allows proceeds from urban renewal bonds to be used to demolish blighted buildings on tax-delinquent property. The property does not need to be situated in a designated urban renewal area.

Developmental Centers

Ohio’s current state administration has closed several developmental centers across the state, including one in Joe’s own district in Youngstown.

Joe and Senator Capri Cafaro of Hubbard fought for months to save the Youngstown Developmental Center (YDC). They were joined in their fight by Representative Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown) and State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown).

This group of Valley legislators were one step from saving the centers when Governor Kasich stepped in.

It crushed Joe when their efforts were unsuccessful. He couldn’t believe the state would allow YDC’s residents to be ripped from their homes in that manner.

What Happened:

Joe and Senator Cafaro fought YDC’s closure every step of the way. They started by meeting with community leaders and OCSEA to discuss what they could do.

Then they introduced a bill to save the developmental centers. This bill would have created a bipartisan commission to review every center up for closure and reject harmful closures like the one in Youngstown.

Then the Valley legislators fought to make sure Governor Kasich did not close the centers while their bill to save them was moving forward.

They even got their plan inserted into the state budget – and it passed. Literally all it needed was for the governor to sign it into law.

But Governor Kasich chose to single handedly line item veto that piece of the budget bill and take the provision to save YDC out.

Because Dems are in such a huge minority in the Statehouse, they couldn’t get the votes to override Governor Kasich’s veto.

Keeping Up The Fight

Joe lost that fight at the very last hurdle. But he still hasn’t given up. This year, he got a provision added to the newest state budget to give the YDC building to the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board.

That provision passed and was signed into law.

Hopefully the Mental Health and Recovery Board will now be able to use the YDC facility to help the disabled community.

What’s Next?

As governor, Joe will support legislation similar to the provision that Governor Kasich vetoed. A closure commission would help prevent the unnecessary closure of developmental centers, which are critical for residents and their families.

Joe will also work to invest the proper resources into programs and facilities to help developmentally disabled Ohioans live full and rewarding lives.


Immigration Reform

Ohio’s next governor needs to push Congress to reform our immigration system now, in a way that treats human beings with dignity and respect.

Our current system is broken. Amer “Al” Adi Othman, who was recently deported from Joe’s hometown of Youngstown, is a perfect example.

Al was a contributing member of Joe’s community. He built businesses in Youngstown and helped rebuild the downtown area. He employed Ohio residents and paid his taxes.

Al was well respected and has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown Youngstown. He is exactly the sort of person we should want living in our communities.

But despite years of attempts to regain his legal US status, Al was taken from his family without warning, thrown in jail, held there for days without explanation, and eventually torn from his family to be sent to a place he no longer knows.

Something needs to change.

(Joe speaks at a rally demanding the release of Al Adi from the NE Ohio Correctional Facility in Youngstown. Credit: Nikos Frazier, Youngstown Vindicator)

As Governor, Joe would use his voice and his platform to call for reform.

Renew DACA

Joe has also been honored to spend time recently with DACA recipients in Columbus. These Dreamers were brought to the US when they were small children. This is the only home they know.

Due to Congress’ current failure to renew DACA, these young people face uncertainties on a daily basis. They are afraid to pursue additional degrees, buy a home, or accept their dream job because they don’t know what their future holds.

It’s time for Congress to renew DACA and allow these young people to continue contributing to our communities.

A Stronger Ohio

Overall, Ohio should welcome those who want to live and contribute and thrive here. As governor, Joe would push the state legislature to strengthen laws surrounding workplace and housing discrimination, as well as hate crimes and targeted harassment.

Joe believes in leading by example. He doesn’t just go into a community once and then expect a vote. Joe builds real relationships that last.

Leaders can accomplish so much by actually spending time in different communities, meeting with people of all religions, cultures, and backgrounds, and making sure each community has a voice in policymaking.

Ohio’s next governor must bring every community to the table to ask people what they need. That way, we know we’re creating policy that makes sense for the people who will be impacted by it.

That’s how Joe operates as a senator, so you know it’s how he would act as governor.

Criminal Justice Reform

There is so much that Ohio must do to improve our criminal justice system.

1.) Step One: We have to fund local governments properly so we can fund police training.

Over the past several years, the Kasich administration has gutted local government funding to pay for massive tax loopholes for wealthy Ohioans.

  • When local governments lose funding, they are forced to make cuts. And they often cut things like police trainings first.
  • Why? Because it’s a lot easier to cut police training than to lay off police.
  • But that’s not fair to anyone in the communities, or to the officers we’re putting out on the streets.

One of Joe’s top priorities has been to restore local government funding so we can have proper deescalation training, crisis training, mental health training, and cultural awareness training.

2.) Joe has also cosponsored several bills to expand officer training.

  • Including Senator Cecil Thomas’ SB 23, to increase resources and requirements for training.

3.) Ohio needs a program that incentivizes law enforcement officers to live where they work.

  • Baltimore recently implemented a program to incentivize officers and first responders to live in the communities they serve.
  • This helps create an environment in which officers and community members know each other personally – as neighbors – which encourages communication and trust.

4.) No one is above the law – including law enforcement.

  • If a police-involved shooting is suspicious, the officer should have to prove just like everyone else that they had genuine cause. Otherwise, people lose trust in the system.
  • We’ve all seen several troubling videos and images of police-involved shootings over the past couple years. And we haven’t seen many of those officers go through the proper court process to determine what happened. That erodes trust in law enforcement as a whole. We must reverse this trend for the safety of police and community members.

5.) Joe has detailed plans based on his bills at the Statehouse that will decrease the number of Ohioans in prison.

  • Joe’s plan to address the opioid crisis would focus on treatment and rehab rather than jail time.
  • In Youngstown, Joe helped create special courts for veterans and those with mental health issues that favor treatment over prison. As Governor, Joe would encourage the expansion of these types of courts throughout the state.
  • Joe has detailed plans to reform Ohio’s education system so that ALL districts have quality schools, career tech programs, and pre-k options. We have to end the school-to-prison pipeline, and a quality, affordable education from pre-k through higher ed would be a huge step forward.
  • A big piece of Joe’s plan to decrease gun violence in Ohio involves expanding mental health resources and counselors in schools through wraparound service models. This would help catch warning signs of dangerous behavior before incidents occur, and would likely also help prevent some students from ending up in the criminal justice system at a young age.
  • Joe supports legalizing recreational marijuana in a real and responsible way. It is unacceptable that Ohio sends people to prison for using or selling a substance that is completely legal just a few states away from here.

6.) As a state senator, Joe has also fought hard against the privatization of state industries such as prisons.

  • Joe and his colleague Senator Cafaro introduced a bill requiring the Governor to get consent from a commission before closing/selling entities run by the state. That provision made it all the way through the Statehouse only to be line item vetoed by Governor Kasich.
  • When prisons become for-profit, it creates a motivation to make more money by letting more people rot in jail under worse living conditions. That is inhumane and unacceptable.

7.) As Governor, Joe will also push to reform Ohio’s jury pool, so the “jury of your peers” looks more like the general population.

  • Other states have accomplished this by, for example, selecting jurists based on drivers’ licenses rather than voter registration. It can be done – we just need a leader who wants to do it!

Joe also welcomes all input on ways to improve Ohio’s criminal justice system. 

  • Please send policy ideas to his Statehouse office:
  • To speak with the campaign, email

Minimum Wage

The Kasich administration continues to craft tax loopholes for Ohio’s highest earners while everyone else gets scraps. That approach doesn’t give hardworking Ohioans a fighting chance.

It’s time for Ohio to raise our minimum wage. Doing so would be good for our economy and our businesses.

When people bring home more money, they spend more money in their local economy. That means increased demand for goods and services, which creates more jobs.


  • Right now, nearly 70% of new Ohio jobs pay poverty-level wages.
  • If the head of 3-person household works full time at minimum wage in Ohio, that family will live $3500 below the poverty line.
  • A 2014 survey by GOP pollster Frank Luntz found that small business owners believe raising the minimum wage will increase consumer purchasing power, boost the economy and increase productivity.
  • 88% of Ohio’s minimum wage workers are over 20 years old.
  • The average minimum wage worker is a 35-year-old woman with some college education working full-time.
  • If Ohio increases its minimum wage, nearly 700,000 Ohio children will have a parent who gets a raise.

Joe’s Plan

Joe’s plan to raise the state’s minimum wage is based on a bill he and his Democratic colleagues have introduced at the Ohio Statehouse.

  • Raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $12 per hour in January 2019.
  • Then increase the wage by 50 cents per year until we get to $15 per hour in 2025.
  • The minimum wage would then continue to be adjusted upward for inflation every year.

This plan respects workers AND small businesses.

It’s time to improve Ohio’s economic future and workers’ economic security by raising the wage.

Payday Loan Reform

In 2016, the Pew Charitable Trusts reported that “Ohio Has the Highest Payday Loan Prices in the Nation.” There is no acceptable reason for this to be the case.

1 in 10 adults in Ohio has taken out a payday loan. This issue therefore impacts hundreds of thousands of Ohioans as well as their families. We cannot expect Ohioans to thrive when they’re being vastly overcharged for loans they would get at much cheaper rates in neighboring states.

It’s time to reform payday lending in Ohio. Joe is a proud supporter of Ohio House Bill 123, a bill to reform payday lending practices in our state.

Joe has pledged to cosponsor this bill when it reaches the Ohio Senate. He will then work to pass it through the Statehouse as quickly as possible.

Joe has also been an outspoken advocate for holding state leaders accountable since it was reported that the Speaker of the Ohio House may have agreed to slow payday lending reform in exchange for campaign contributions.

Joe has made clear that this activity is not only unacceptable, but that the Speaker’s resignation should be the beginning, not the end, of this investigation. Any involvement in a plan to kill legislation based on campaign contributions should lead to serious consequences.

As Governor, Joe will work with experts in the field to continue reforming Ohio’s payday lending system until no one is able to take advantage of Ohio residents again.