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Dear Neighbor,

As the State Senator for Ohio's 16th Senate District, it is my goal to make my office a resource to my constituents to help them navigate issues within state agencies and provide information to address concerns you may have.

I also value feedback on the legislation being debated within the Ohio Statehouse. Please know that I thoroughly review all testimony presented during the committee process, as well as emails, letters and phone calls my office receives regarding pending legislative proposals. It is important to me that any legislation I vote for is something the public would support and feel addresses the concerns raised by my constituents.
 

Below is an update on our recent work in the legislature and various events happening in our community. I encourage you to reach out to me if you have questions regarding state government. My contact information is at the bottom of this email and I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

 
Mark your Calendars for Tax Free
Back-to-School Shopping

Earlier this year, the Senate passed legislation to make Ohio's popular Sales Tax Holiday permanent. This weekend, August 3rd-5th, all shoes and clothing priced less than $75 will be exempt from state and local sales and use taxes, and school supplies and instructional materials priced at $20 or less will also be tax exempt.

Knowing the many costs associated with getting my daughters ready for "back-to-school," I was happy to co-sponsor this legislation and establish this tax holiday as an annual event for Ohioans.

 
Improving the Safety of our Schools  
Speaking of getting our kids ready for the school year, I wanted to share information about an important piece of legislation we recently passed in the Senate. House Bill 318, which I co-sponsored, will implement new standards for school resource officers and includes $14 million in funding for schools for safety programs and training, as well as a measure aimed at curbing suspensions among young students.

As elected officials, the safety of our children is top priority. When parents send their young learners to school, we expect the students to learn in a safe and caring environment. 

I commend the hard work of my colleagues and those in our community, including law enforcement, parents, teachers and local leaders, who helped work on this legislation.  

 
The Ohio Department of Education and Department of Public Safety launched the SaferOH tip line that will accept both calls and texts 24 hours a day for schools that register for the service.  
 
Helping Victims of Human
Trafficking Rebuild Their Lives
Since becoming your State Senator, I have made it a priority to work alongside my colleagues and President Obhof to fight the scourge of human trafficking in our state and help victims rebuild their lives.

Lingering convictions for crimes resulting from their forced prostitution often make it impossible for survivors to pass employment background checks or find permanent housing. 

Senate Bill 4 provides a process for human trafficking victims to apply for expungement of their non-violent criminal records so that they can start anew. This summer the Governor signed the bill into law. 

 
For more information on efforts to stop human trafficking in Ohio, click here.
 
2018 Joint Agriculture Committee 
Held at the Ohio State Fair
The 2018 Joint Agriculture Community was held at the Ohio State Fair. The committee recognized and heard from young Ohioans who are involved in the state's agriculture industry. 

I also had the opportunity to honor Virgil Strickler, General Manager of the Ohio Expositions Commission, with a Senate Resolution commemorating the 165th Anniversary of the Ohio State Fair.
 
SMART Columbus Experience
To learn more about Smart Columbus, please go to: https://smart.columbus.gov/about/
The Smart Columbus Experience Center opened on June 30th, welcoming over 1,000 visitors to their new home at 170 Civic Center Drive.

As vice-chair of the Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce committee, I am excited to see the ways these technological advances in the automotive sector will improve the quality of life for Ohioans.

 
 
Grand Opening of New Hilliard Library
I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the opening of the Hilliard Branch Columbus Metropolitan Library.

We are very fortunate to have this treasure in our community. I encourage you and your families to take time to visit the new facility at 4500 Hickory Chase Way in Hilliard. 
Speaking of libraries, did you know Ohioans will now have free access to online courses from Lynda.com with a valid Ohio Library card? 

Lynda.com has thousands of courses, ranging from computer programming to project management. The courses are designed for any skill level and the lessons are delivered via video by industry experts.
 
Summer of Serving 
Celebrating the 100,000th meal of SON Ministries 
It was a joy to join SON Ministries in Hilliard as they served their 100,000th meal to children in need. 

I am always humbled to see the incredible work being done in our community as neighbors help neighbors, working together to meet the needs of those in need. 
 
 
 
Senator Stephanie Kunze represents the 16th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses a portion of Franklin county. Learn more at www.OhioSenate.gov/Kunze
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