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Gambling, Turnpike on List of Concerns

Lawmakers are either disconnected or believe money will benefit their communities.

Gambling, Turnpike on List of Concerns

I have always believed that we must work together to solve the serious problems facing Ohio families. This session, we worked closely together to crack down on pill mills in our state. We also worked across party lines to put together a comprehensive law to protect minors and strengthen penalties for those engaged in human trafficking. 

Gambling was another area where we worked together. I worked to earn bi-partisan support for an amendment to generate more revenue from the gambling industry to help address gambling addiction in our state. A new survey conducted by the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and Kent State University showed that about a quarter of a million Ohioans have a gambling problem or are at risk of developing one. 

I am concerned about how the governor’s plan to sell or lease our Ohio Turnpike, will be a real challenge to our ability to work together on an important issue in Ohio. The governor appears determined to do so, even if there is strong opposition to the idea. Also, many lawmakers, who represent communities far away from the turnpike, are either disconnected or believe money from a sale/lease of the turnpike could benefit road projects in their communities.

I have been clear in my position that I do not support the sale/lease. My concerns are that the turnpike will not be well maintained under private ownership, tolls will increase greatly and heavy trucks will then tear up nearby roads. Only a handful of residents have written me and said they support privatization of our turnpike. Most of you have emailed and written my office to urge me to continue my fight to stop the governor’s plan. A contracted study on what best to do with our turnpike is expected to be completed and released next month.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about state government issues. I can be reached at 614-644-5076 or by email at district57@ohr.state.oh.us. I work for you and I am here to serve you. 

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