Democrats Push Economic Agenda As Republican-Backed Bills On Abortion, Guns Are Heard In Committee

Jan 27, 2016

As committees led by Republicans considered bills related to abortion and guns, Democrats are drawing attention to their bills on economic and educational issues that they say are being ignored. 

Democrats are pushing bills on equal pay, paid family leave, college affordability, and sales tax exemptions for diapers and drugs. And they say the ones that have been introduced are not moving in the Republican-dominated legislature. Rep. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) said it’s time to consider his minimum wage increase, because Republican tax cuts for the wealthy aren’t helping working Ohioans. “The prescription for economic health on the Republican side is like the doctor who would only prescribe penicillin for every conceivable illness,” Smith said.

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

A few of these bills, such as the one increasing the minimum wage, have been proposed before and gone nowhere. And since some of them reflect Democratic Party platform positions on those issues, it’s considered unlikely they’ll be taken up in an election year.