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Dear Neighbor,

Budget season is in full swing here at the Statehouse, and the 134th General Assembly is hard at work crafting a budget to serve all Ohioans.

Over the last several months, the Ohio Senate has passed some major legislation increasing broadband access to Ohioans, improving patient care, preserving historical artifacts, and restoring checks and balances to our government. You can find updates to some of these items below.

As always, it is an honor and privilege to represent you in Columbus. If you have any questions about a piece of legislation or feedback on an issue, please do not hesitate to contact my office at
sd20@OhioSenate.gov or (614) 466-8076.
State Senator Tim Schaffer
20th Senate district
www.OhioSenate.gov/Schaffer
 
In our district, we are home to a Civil War cannon used by Ohio native General William Tecumseh Sherman during his famed 'March to the Sea' through the South. These relics of our history are some of the most important tools we have in remembering and teaching the history of our conflicts.

Unfortunately, many relics have found themselves sold into private collections or destroyed for scrap, forever lost to the American public. The Senate recently passed my bill, Senate Bill 59, which would prevent war relics from the Revolution to the conflicts in the Middle East from being removed, sold or destroyed.

To watch my floor speech about the "Ohio Veterans' Heritage Protection Act"
click here
 
Ohio is currently in the midst of a fraud crisis. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) recently reported that of the 140,444 new claims filed between January 31 and February 6, 44,000 had been flagged as fraudulent. 
 
In response to this news, Senate Bill 116 was introduced, which will improve the safeguards of our unemployment systems and ensure that those who desperately need assistance receive it faster and more reliably.
 
If you or a member of your family believes that you have been the victim of a false unemployment claim, please report the incident at
www.unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov by clicking on the “REPORT IDENTITY THEFT” button and completing the form. This will allow ODJFS to verify that the claim is indeed fraud, and help protect you from having to pay taxes on benefits you did not file for or receive.
 
Should you have any questions about what to do if you receive a 1099-G for an unemployment claim you did not make, or questions in general about suspected unemployment fraud, please do not hesitate to contact my office at
sd20@OhioSenate.gov or (614) 466-8076.
 
COVID-19 has further amplified how essential it is to have access to reliable broadband internet in the modern era. Nearly one million Ohioans lack access to high speed internet, leaving them struggling to participate in online commerce, receive care through telemedicine, and access an education.

I was proud to cosponsor House Bill 2, which was signed into law earlier this month by Governor DeWine.  The new law will dedicate $20 million for the newly created Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program. This will increase broadband access in underserved areas of Ohio by incentivizing the completion of broadband projects in these areas
.
 
ForeverDads Tribute to Fatherhood Event
What a wonderful Forever Dads Tribute to Fatherhood program that I had the tremendous opportunity to attend in Zanesville. It was inspiring. Congratulations to all the award winners!
 
Engaging with Our County Commissioners
I enjoyed meeting with our engaged county commissioners from the 20th Senate district recently. We had a great exchange of information. Thank you all for your advocacy and action!
 
Honoring Logan-Hocking School District
I recently visited with the Logan-Hocking School Board and presented an award to Lisa Van Horn and Central Elementary School for excellence and to commemorate Central Elementary on being named a National Blue Ribbon School for the year of 2020.
 
The Columbus Dispatch: Anti-riot or anti-protest? Four Ohio bills would stiffen penalties for demonstrators

Cincinnati Enquirer: How to fix Ohio's unemployment compensation woes: ID checks? Million-dollar fraud contracts?

Farm and Dairy:  Ohio moves forward again on broadband expansion

Lancaster Eagle-Gazette: Letter to the Editor: Sen Schaffer says oil and gas industry benefits local economies

Logan Daily News: Commissioners talk Wayne Nation Forest, broadband

Logan-Hocking Times: Senate passes Schaffer bill protecting American war relics

Morgan County Herald: Senate Passes Schaffer bill naming Diabetes Awareness-Heart Connection Week

The Ohio Society of CPAs: OSCPA-supported tax conformity legislation signed into law

Patch: New Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Reduce Nurse Fatigue

Y -City News: Ohio's 'stand your ground' law takes effect, local elected leaders respond

Washington Examiner: Ohio spends more of its budget on Medicaid than any other state: Report

WSYX ABC 6 News: Criminalizing protests in Ohio? Group of bills would stiffen penalties, add new crimes
 
 
Senator Schaffer represents the 20th district in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses all of Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Morgan, Muskingum, and parts of Athens and Pickaway counties. Learn more at www.OhioSenate.gov/Schaffer.