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Dear Neighbor,

I've worked hard with my Senate colleagues on reopening our state to business while also prioritizing the safety of Ohioans as we live with COVID-19. We have passed legislation to distribute funds to our local communities as they combat the coronavirus, assist our students and teachers in the fall when school resumes, and have proposed updates to our unemployment compensation system. There are still many challenges ahead of us, but together we will continue to overcome them.

Hearing from you is essential as we work to solve these challenges. Countless constituents have reached out to me with their concerns in the months since the pandemic began, and they have informed me in ways that have led to real solutions in our community. Some of these ideas have even turned into legislation and, in one case, law.

Meanwhile, I've been overjoyed to restart traveling around my district even more this month, which means I can hear from constituents face-to-face! I look forward to seeing you, listening to your concerns, and working with you to help Ohio rebound and become a better place to live, work, and play!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any thoughts or suggestions to improve our community. I’m available at Gavarone@OhioSenate.gov or 614-466-8060 or through my social media pages.

We are in this together! 

Sincerely,
State Senator Theresa Gavarone
2nd Senate District
www.OhioSenate.gov/Gavarone

 
The majority of the ideas I receive for legislation come from my constituents.

After a constituent told me about her inability to teach swim lessons due to an antiquated law, I began fighting to ensure our kids have access to life-saving swim lessons, especially since many public pools remain closed because of the pandemic. That fight resulted in an amendment to
H.B. 65, which was signed into law by Governor DeWine recently. Now certified swim lessons can occur in residential pools across the state, just in time for summer.

Another constituent of mine from Sylvania also inspired one of my bills. Noor Alexandria Abukaram was disqualified from a cross country race last fall for wearing her hijab, and her story soon went viral. After I met with Noor and her family, we immediately got to work to prevent this from happening ever again. That effort became
S.B. 288, which allows students to wear religious apparel in athletic competitions. Our students should not have to choose between expressing their religious beliefs and playing the sports they love. S.B. 288 unanimously passed the Senate last week and now heads to the Ohio House for consideration. It has been a pleasure working with Noor on this legislation.

To learn more about these bills and others, visit
www.ohiosenate.gov/senators/gavarone or click "Learn More" below.
 
 
After spending months fighting COVID-19 and flattening the curve, our state is getting back to business! Recovery will take time, but we are on the right path to restart our local economies. I've spent a good portion of my time working on the reopening. One notable example involves our tourism industry, specifically in Erie County.

This month, I met with Cedar Fair, Kalahari Resorts, and local officials from Sandusky and Erie County on plans to reopen these crucial tourist destinations for the summer. Together, we worked with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted to  reopen these attractions with proper safety protocols in place. Cedar Point and Kalahari are two pillars for the County's economy. Their reopening will spark a recharge to the economy that our region so desperately desires.

To learn more about how businesses like amusement parks and resorts are reopening, visit the
Responsible Restart Ohio website at the link below.
 
Back in the District!
Now that we are reopening, I have been back in the district for in-person events and meetings! Here is some of what I have been up to in the 2nd Senate District this month:
I've missed exploring northern Ohio over the past few months, and so it was great to recently visit Hoffman Forest Metropark in Erie County! Park staff and leaders from Western Reserve Land Conservancy showed me all the activities the park offers through the Clean Ohio fund. Visiting local parks is also a great way to get outside while practicing social distancing.
Attending township trustee meetings has been a joy for me since I was appointed to the Senate. This month, I visited Put-in-Bay township to discuss some transportation improvement projects and toured the island. I also visited Florence Township in Erie County, Gorham Township in Fulton County, and virtually attended meetings with Sylvania and Berlin Heights townships.
Seeing the impact legislation can have on lives is one of the most rewarding parts of my job as your State Senator! For my work on H.B. 65, I was invited to meet with Infant Swim Rescue students and families through my constituent, Annette Lazenby. We discussed the importance of access to swim lessons, and I loved spending time with the kids and parents!
Storms devastated part of Sandusky a few weeks ago, including the iconic State Theatre. I toured the damage with other local officials and representatives from the Theatre. The loss is saddening, but we will collaborate on finding ways to rebuild one of Sandusky's gems and a trademark of the region.
 
I was honored to be recognized by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers as their "Legislator of the Year" earlier this month. The award goes to a legislator who shows a committment to the engineering profession and its service to the public.
 
In light of food security issues resulting from the pandemic, a new federally-funded program has been established to assist families with food purchases. The Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) program will help families with children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals through the National School Lunch Program. Through the P-EBT Program, it is estimated that 850,000 children in grades K-12 across the state will benefit from the funds, and this program will also support our economy by injecting more than $254 million into our local businesses and communities.
 

For additional information on the P-EBT Program, visit: OhioPEBT.org or call 1-866-244-0071.

 
Access to coronavirus testing is increasing here in Ohio. Those who wish to be tested can now do so at various locations around the state, including new pop-up testing sites. If you want to be tested for COVID-19, you can find a site near you by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov or by clicking the link below:
 
 
 






 
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