The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jun. 19, 2024

Bills to keep Ohio moving forward

The Ohio House of Representatives has been hard a work the past several months passing legislation that will benefit all Ohioans in all corners of the state. Three pieces of legislation in particular that I was proud to vote in favor of was a bill to give small businesses increased access to small claims courts, a bill to establish online voter registration for Ohioans, and a bill to prevent child sexual abuse to protect our children.

By Ohio Rep. Tony Burkley
By Ohio Rep. Tony Burkley

House Bill 387 increases the maximum monetary limit for businesses trying to settle claims in a small claims court. Currently, the limit is $3,000; however, after unanimous passage by both the Ohio House and Senate, the limit will soon become $6,000.

Although this may seem like a minor adjustment, this will benefit Ohio’s businesses tremendously. Prior to this legislation, any cost above $3,000 that a company wanted to recoup required utilizing a higher court, meaning higher court fees and attorney fees. Doubling this limit will not only put Ohio on par with our surrounding states, but it will also help business owners keep court costs down so they can focus their time and money on growing their businesses.

The second beneficial piece of legislation for Ohio is establishing an online voter registration system. Clearly, we have entered the age of technology where almost anything can be done with the click of mouse or the tap of a finger on a smartphone. So why can’t registering to vote be just as easy? Starting in 2017, it will. Allowing Ohioans to register to vote, or change their voting address, through the Internet, is a huge step forward in encouraging more participation in our cherished democracy.

Finally, the Ohio House also passed House Bill 85, also known as “Erin’s Law.” Although a difficult topic to discuss, House Bill 85 establishes curriculum to teach students in grades K-12 about the signs of sexual abuse.

The unbearable reality is that far too many of our young children are put in a situation that they do not understand, or are too scared to speak up about what is happening to them. This can unfortunately happen to any of our children, and we must not ignore the issue. Teaching our children the basics about appropriate sexual behavior is crucial to preventing abusers from damaging their victims’ lives forever.

As your state representative, I am proud to be a voice for northwest Ohio in Columbus. I am confident that these three pieces of legislation will have a tremendously positive impact on all Ohioans, whether it be by improving business prospects, making government more accessible or protecting our most vulnerable generation.

POSTED: 06/27/16 at 6:32 am. FILED UNDER: Opinions