Political briefs – July 3


RESPONSIBLEOHIO SUBMITS 695,273 PETITION SIGNATURES TO SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE, INCLUDING 2,473 SIGNATURES FROM CRAWFORD COUNTY – ResponsibleOhio this week delivered 695,273 petition signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, including 2,473 signatures from Crawford County, to qualify for the November 2015 ballot.

“I am so proud of the hard work and dedication our team has shown in gathering this many signatures,” said ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James. “With yesterday’s filing, ResponsibleOhio took the last critical step toward qualifying for the November 2015 ballot. We look forward to continuing our conversation with voters about the urgency of marijuana reform, the critical need to offer patients access to medical marijuana and the thousands of jobs that will be created by legalizing marijuana.”

By the time the legal marijuana market stabilizes in 2020, ResponsibleOhio projects that the industry will generate $554 million in new tax revenue statewide. Crawford County and its municipal governments are projected to receive a total of $1,690,942 in new tax revenue each year should the amendment pass.

Projections show the marijuana industry in Ohio will create ample opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment, with around 10,000 jobs predicted statewide. Ohioans will have the opportunity to own and operate one of the state’s 1,150 retail stores or additional medical dispensaries, testing labs or product manufacturing facilities. There will be new employment opportunities at these facilities and at each of the state’s 10 growing facilities.

ResponsibleOhio’s Marijuana Legalization Amendment will legalize marijuana for medical use and personal use by adults 21 years of age and older.

BROWN HIGHLIGHTS INITIATIVE TO HIRE VETERANS DURING VISIT TO SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO – During a visit to Union County today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) highlighted an initiative to hire veterans at Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG). Brown, who has sponsored recent initiatives to expand education and work opportunities for veterans, toured the facility, and met with SMG employees who previously served in the Armed Forces.

“Servicemembers who risk their lives protecting our nation shouldn’t have to wonder whether they’ll be able to find a job when they leave the service,” Brown said. “But it’s not just an obligation to hire veterans. It makes good business sense to hire a veteran because these men and women bring unique skills and experiences to help their organizations grow and thrive. Scotts Miracle-Gro is just one of Ohio’s many employers that has realized this and funnels resources toward recruiting and keeping veterans on staff. Through my perch on the Veterans’ Committee, I’ll continue working with veterans, the VA, and Ohio employers to ensure that we connect veterans with jobs so they can succeed when they return home.”

Earlier this month, SMG launched its Veterans Employee Resource Group to help with recruitment and retention of veterans. The company currently employs more than 200 veterans.

“ScottsMiracle-Gro is a big supporter of our veterans and a big part of our outreach not only helps military men and women become aware of our career opportunities but also provides hiring support and guidance to help apply their military service experience as they enter into the civilian workplace,” said Mike French, vice president and general manager of RoundUp and Asset Utilization and U.S. Army veteran.

Brown, a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, was an original cosponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, enacted in 2012, which offers job retraining assistance to veterans between 35 and 60 years of age.

DEWINE ANNOUNCES GRANT TO ATHLETES IN ACTION – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine this week announced a $300,000 grant for Athletes in Action (AIA), a Xenia-based nonprofit organization that works to help form well-rounded athletes of integrity in their sport and beyond.

“For more than 45 years, Athletes in Action has helped competitors of many ages,” said Attorney General DeWine. “I am pleased that this grant will help them continue to serve Ohio communities through athletic programming.”

AIA will use the grant to initiate new, or accelerate existing, sports and training projects for Ohio youth, with plans to reach more than 3,700 athletes and students over a two-year period. The funds will be used in several programs, including: scholarships for AIA Inner City Ultimate Training Camps for high school athletes; team-building facility use for Southwest Ohio Volleyball and Dayton Metro Youth Basketball; the inaugural Total Athlete Football Experience for urban players; and scholarships for athletes in financial need to attend AIA Little Dribbler Camps.