On Monday morning, March 25th, we arose early in order to go to the Greater Cleveland Partnership on Huron Road to attend a “Morning Conversation” with Ohio State Representative Emilia Sykes (District 34 that takes in Akron) who was first elected in November, 2014 and is now the Democratic Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Because GCP Morning Conversations series is meant to be “informal, off-the record meetings” we will not go into too much detail about who was present and what was said.
However, we will share that a great deal of the discussion centered on the fierce debate about raising the Ohio gas tax wherein, as we know, the Ohio Senate only wants a $.06 a gallon increase, while the Ohio Assembly wants the increase per gallon to be $.107. and the Ohio Governor wants an increase of $.18 per gallon to pay for badly needed road/bridge/highway repairs.
To be sure, though, such topics as funding for the higher education and economic development were also brought forward as well as the Ohio Fairness Act which would offer protections for the LGBTQ.
Our purpose for being there was to ask Ohio State Rep. Sykes if there were any bills/resolutions pending that involve people who have immigrated to the United States from other countries. Ohio State Rep. Sykes said that there was one resolution that states opposition to the diversion of federal funds to constructions of the wall construction along the U.S./Mexican border that were initially slated for needed projects at such locales as the Toledo Hangar and and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
We read into this and discovered that both U.S. Senators Brown and Portman (although the latter supports the border wall) have gone on record as opposing this re-direction of funding.