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Dear Neighbor, 

I hope you and your family are enjoying this beautiful summer we are having here in Ohio. A time for grilling outdoors, working in the garden or going for a swim, summertime encourages us to make the most of these blissfully longer days.

I hope that in the midst of the recovery from COVID-19 and the reopening of our state, you and your loved ones are finding moments of this beautiful Ohio summer to enjoy. My colleagues and I have been working diligently over the summer to help rebuild Ohio's economy and repair the damage this pandemic has caused.

Below you will find an update on my work in both Columbus and across our 27th Senate District. I truly appreciate the questions and concerns that you have raised over the last several months, and my office is always available to assist you in any way we can. It is a true honor to represent you in the Ohio Statehouse.

I hope you enjoy reading this newsletter!
 

Respectfully,

State Senator Kristina Roegner
27th Senate District
www.OhioSenate.gov/Roegner
 
Senate Passes Legislation to Expand Access to Physical Therapy

The Senate voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 272, which I sponsored with my colleague, Senator Lou Blessing (R-Colerain Township). S.B. 272 expands access to physical therapy for Ohioans and increases economic opportunities for Ohio physical therapists as well as physical therapist assistants.

S.B. 272 joins Ohio to the Physical Therapy Compact, which is made up of 29 member states - with more joining all the time. This bill, if enacted, would allow physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in any of the member states to use their license across state lines without undergoing any additional training or occupational restrictions.

I had the pleasure of working on this legislation with the Ohio Physical Therapy Association and the Ohio Board of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Training. This bill now moves to the Ohio House for further consideration.

Read more about this bill by clicking below.

 
Expanding Opportunities for Ohio's Nurses

I also introduced S.B. 341 this month, a simple bill that would join Ohio to the national Nurse Licensure Compact. Similar to the Physical Therapy Compact, The Nurse Licensure Compact is an agreement between 34 states that allows nurses to work in any of the compact states without needing to obtain a new license. Occupational Licensure Reform, which reduces barriers to work, has been a passion of mine during this General Assembly. I look forward to helping Ohio nurses expand their opportunities across the country, and attracting new nurses to Ohio--improving healthcare access for all.

I would love to hear from you if you'd like to support this important effort to help Ohio nurses. Click here to email my office.

 
Senate Passes Legislation Modernizing Ohio Business Law

I introduced Senate Bill 276 to modernize Ohio's LLC statute, which has not been thoroughly updated since 1994 -- the same year Amazon was founded!

Today, LLCs make up over 70% of Ohio's registered businesses, and 88% of the businesses that were created in 2019. 

Many of the changes in S.B. 276 are small modifications designed to clear up areas of confusion in our current statute and reduce the costly litigation for business owners that often follows. However, the bill also makes a few substantive improvements to Ohio LLC law.

  • Clarifies that a person’s (member or manager) authority to bind an LLC must be determined by referencing the operating agreement, decisions of the members in accordance with the operating agreement, or the default rules in the bill.
  • Requires the Secretary of State to cancel an LLC that fails to maintain a statutory agent, but allows the company to be reinstated upon appointment of a new agent.
  • Allows an LLC to establish one or more designated series of assets that are associated with at least one member and that have separate rights, powers, duties, liabilities, purposes, or investment objectives.


The goal of this legislation is to help reduce paperwork and increase efficiency, saving all parties valuable time and money. Senate Bill 276 passed the Senate unanimously on July 21st and will now move on to the House. 

 
Protecting Ohio Businesses from Frivolous Litigation During COVID-19
This month the Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 308 to provide necessary protections so that responsible businesses in Ohio can reopen without fear of litigation due to COVID-19.

I co-sponsored this bill to promote the safety of Ohioans by providing legal protection to businesses that are acting responsibly, but not to those that recklessly fail to take reasonable precautions. This encourages businesses to protect customers, but also protects a business if it does so and the virus spreads despite these efforts.

This important bill is a critical step in ensuring that Ohio's economy can continue to rebound, particularly if the virus continues to pose a serious threat in the coming months.
 
Nearly $400,000 in Federal Funding to Repair Local Flooding Damage

While the 27th Senate District is blessed to have numerous beautiful creeks and streams, a few of these scenic waterways historically have struggled to handle the large volumes of water that can accompany Ohio’s unpredictable weather patterns. After heavy rains in spring 2019, many constituents reached out to me regarding flooding in the areas between Norton, Canal Fulton, Orrville, and Rittman. I appreciate them sharing their concerns, and was happy to work with Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, Governor Mike DeWine, State Representative Bill Roemer, Summit County Councilwoman Bethany McKenney, and a number of other local officials on a local flooding task force.

Thanks to the task force’s efforts and the support of local residents, $390,000 in federal funding was recently awarded to assist in flood mitigation efforts around the area. These funds do not require local matching dollars, and will be used to update floodplain data so that the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, FEMA, and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District are better equipped to protect life and property from flooding. With this new data and a renewed focus on this issue, I am confident that we will be able to enjoy the Portage Lakes, Tuscarawas River, and Chippewa Creek areas for many years to come.

If you have experiences with flooding that you would like to share, or ideas that you think may help, please do not hesitate to contact me and I would be happy to discuss them with the task force in the future.

 
Visiting Wayne County Board of Elections
I also had the opportunity to stop by the Wayne County Board of Elections this month to learn about the unique challenges that accompany running an election during this pandemic. It was very helpful to meet with the Wayne County team to hear directly from them how legislators can support election staff and poll workers as we work together to ensure that all eligible Ohioans are able to safely exercise their constitutional rights and vote in the upcoming November general election.
 
Touring Buckeye Agricultural Museum in Wooster
I had a wonderful time visiting the Buckeye Agricultural Museum in Wooster this month! The museum is directly across from the Wayne County Fairgrounds and is designed to educate Ohioans about the history of farming in Ohio. Click below to learn more!
 
Beekeeping in Ohio
Those of you who know me well know that beekeeping is one of my favorite hobbies. I love bees for a few reasons! Agriculture is one of Ohio's most significant industries, and bees pollinate plants and flowers, helping farmers and gardeners across our state. It is also fascinating to observe how the bees organize their hive and communicate. Of course, the best part is harvesting the honey which my family uses as a sweetener in tea, smoothies and more.

But you might not know that bees have been struggling across the country in recent decades. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that there were about 6 million beehives at about the time of World War II- but just 2.5 million today. 

Vice President Pence recently had a honey bee hive installed at his home in Washington D.C. and encouraged Americans to consider building hives and planting bee-friendly flowers and herbs.

 
  • To learn about how you can help the bees at your own home, check out the USDA tips for homes in our region by clicking here
  • If you're interested in learning about how to start your own hive, check out Beekeeping for Beginners by clicking here
 
Recently, the Senate passed Senate Bill 288, which protects student religious expression and ensures that students may wear religious apparel while competing in athletics, House Bill 341, which expands patient access to addiction treatment drugs, and Senate Bill 293, which strengthens transparency in Ohio government by improving the process for adjudicating Open Meetings Law violations.

If you're interested in following what else is happening in Columbus, feel free to check out our website, where you can follow along with the legislative process, find a bill, follow committee activity and watch our committees and sessions live.
 
 
Senator Kristina Roegner represents the 27th Ohio Senate District, which encompasses portions of Summit and Stark County, as well as Wayne County. Learn more at www.OhioSenate.gov/Roegner.