January 10, 2014
Ohio faces a race for governor this year. Not surprisingly, deciding who will hold this important office will present an election campaign that will attract the attention of statewide politicians.
It will, in fact, divert the attention of many from the work the constituents elected them to perform.
Two legislators who plan to keep their attention on the public’s business are Delaware County’s representatives in the Ohio House, Rep. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Rep. Margaret Ann Ruhl (R-Mount Vernon). They have legislative goals they hope to achieve.
Brenner plans to introduce legislation dealing with education, including a new school funding formula that would allow dollars to follow students.
“If we can do that, I think we can improve the school funding here in Delaware County,” he said.
Ruhl plans to introduce legislation dealing with mental health issues.
“I think we’ve got a problem there that we need to address,” she said.
From her seat on the agricultural committee, Ruhl also predicted that there could be several bills passed dealing with the issue of hydraulic fracturing, including legislation regulating abandoned wells.
“We need to get those under control,” she said.
Ruhl would also like to see some tweaks made to federal education standards.
“I’m not in favor of repealing Common Core,” she said, referring to a nationwide education initiative that details what K-12 students should have learned in math and English during each school year. “I think that would cause undue burden on our schools,” she said.
Also regarding Common Core, Brenner hopes to pass legislation that would prevent the state from transmitting student information to the federal government.
Brenner also expects the state to adopt a capital budget for the first time in several years, and he plans to introduce legislation that would benefit several Delaware County organizations, including Veterans Memorial, the Arts Castle, the Strand Theater and a bike trail in the Powell area.
A longtime advocate of lowered income tax rates, Brenner can also envision a scenario in which individual tax rates would be lowered in exchange for a severance tax on oil and gas drilling.
Brenner represents the 67th House District. Ruhl represents the 68th House District, including Delaware County’s easternmost townships.
Focusing on the state’s needs and potential legislation is why state representatives are in office. We commend Brenner and Ruhl for keeping that in mind as we advance into 2014.