Craig on the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings

Congressman Elijah Cummings was a giant of a man whose light touched all Americans. He was an exceptional legislator and national leader who built bipartisan relationships and worked tirelessly on behalf of the marginalized, poor, and disenfranchised. Congressman Cummings also cared so very deeply about his family and the broader community. His monumental impact was even felt here in Columbus in his close friendship with Rev. Dr. Charles Edward Booth, the late pastor of the First Church of God. I extend my sincerest condolences to Congressman Cummings’ family, as he will be truly missed. I hope all those mourning this loss will work to preserve his exceptional legacy of service to this great nation.


Ohio lawmakers take aim at Brice speed trap

Legislation that would limit civil traffic fines issued by tiny communities — namely, a small village in southeastern Franklin County — was approved Wednesday by the Ohio House.

“I believe this bill address what is a fundamental issue of fairness,” said Rep. Hearcel Craig, D-Columbus, a primary co-sponsor of the bill. “This legislation will ensure our citizens are not falling victims to speed traps and abusive, excessive fines by a different set of rules beyond what the state law prescribes.”

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Lawmaker says emergency declaration could help fight opiate crisis

“It’s clear that we can and we must do more,” said Rep. Craig. “I believe the Governor cares and certainly from the legislature, many of us we’re wrestling with this issue. We’re looking at identifying resources.”

He said he believes an emergency declaration would free up money, possibly from the state’s rainy day fund, helping addicts get treatment faster.

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New Ohio legislation would double instruction permit stage for teen drivers

A state bill introduced in Ohio would increase the temporary instruction permit stage from six months to twelve months for drivers under 18. It would also increase the prohibited nighttime driving period for newly licensed drivers by an additional three hours; from midnight to 6 a.m., to 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

House Bill 293 was introduced by Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville, and Rep. Michael P. Sheehy, D-Oregon, and is co-sponsored by Rep. Hearcel F. Craig, D-Columbus.

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HB 16 (‘Toy’ gun control) won’t make officers’ jobs any easier

Late in 2014, and in the wake of an incident in which a 12 year-old Cleveland boy was killed by police after he attempted to draw what turned out to be an airsoft pistol from his waistband, Rep. Alicia Reece’s (D) knee-jerk reaction came quickly. The anti-gun rights politician from Cincinnati introduced legislation based off of a recently-passed California gun control law, requiring all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns sold in Ohio to be brightly colored or have prominent fluorescent strips. Admitting the bill had no chance of passage in the waning days of the 130th General Assembly’s lame duck session, Reece vowed to reintroduce the bill again after the New Year.

The bill has resurfaced as House Bill 16, and is co-sponsored by Democrat Reps. Kevin Boyce, Michael Sheehy, Nickie J. Antonio, Janine R. Boyd, Stephanie D. Howse, Teresa Fedor, Nicholas J. Celebrezze, Fred Strahorn, Mike Ashford, Emilia Strong Sykes, Christie Bryant Kuhns, Michele Lepore-Hagan, and Hearcel F. Craig

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