Issues

Issues

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

Great Schools

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 DoingOurHomeworkOH.org.

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.

Reigning 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.

Healthy Communities

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 encourages bills at the national level that move us in that direction, including Sen. Sanders’ Medicare For All bill and Sen. Sherrod Brown’s bill to lower the eligibility age to 55. 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 addicts 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 recovering addicts 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 addicts 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 Statehouse 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.

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

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.

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.
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  • 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:

2012:

2013:

  • 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.

2014:

  • 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.

2015:

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

2016:

  • 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).

2017:

  • 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.