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Looking back on Rep. Jay Edwards’ first year in office

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It’s been just over one year since Rep. Jay Edwards took office, and he’s already planning for a second term. Here’s a look back at what he’s done in office. 

Jay Edwards filed re-election papers for his position as Ohio’s House Representative for the 94th district last Wednesday and will be running unopposed in the May Republican primary election barring any other entries into the race. As of now, Taylor Sappington (D-Nelsonville) is the only other contender for the 94th District representative seat.

Since being elected to the 132nd general assembly for the Ohio House of Representatives last January, Edwards has served on four house committees and sponsored or cosponsored 58 House and Senate bills. Edwards has been the primary sponsor on four of these bills

In light of his upcoming bid for reelection, here is a look back on Edwards’ most notable sponsored legislation during his time in the House.

House Bill 1:  This bill authorizes dating violence protection orders and provides access to domestic violence shelters for victims of domestic violence. It also requires the Attorney’s General victim bill of rights pamphlet to include a notice that a person alleging domestic violence has the right to petition for a domestic violence civil protection order. The bill is currently in the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 80: This bill requires school districts to allow approved summer food service program sponsors to use school facilities to provide food service for summer intervention services under certain conditions. The bill is currently in the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee.

House Bill 116: This bill exempts glasses, contact lenses and other optical aids from sales tax. The bill is also estimated to save taxpayers $29 million annually and is currently in the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

House Bill 167: This bill would amend sections of the Revised Code “regarding addiction treatment and opioid prescribing by physicians and dentists,” specifically to limit the dosage of opioid medication that physicians would be allowed to prescribe. The bill would also provide additional privacy and counseling to addicts.

“We can hardly pick up a paper or watch the news without hearing about someone that has been affected by the opioid epidemic,” Edwards said to the House committee.

“I think we can all agree we are not going to legislate our way out of this epidemic, nor are we going to arrest our way out of it. I believe it will take a holistic approach. And I believe House Bill 167 is an important part of that overall solution.”

The bill is currently in the Ohio House Health Committee.

House Bill 332: This bill prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals by preventing them from being placed on the organ and tissue transplant list. This bill came forth in the light of transplant teams displaying bias against patients with intellectual disabilities after medical professionals stated that it is harder for disabled patients to recuperate after the surgery.

“The passage of House Bill 332 will ensure all Ohioans have equal access to life-saving medical procedures,” Edwards said after the passage of the bill in the House.

“I proudly supported House Bill 332 and hope to continue this dialogue to reduce discrimination and expand access to quality healthcare.”

The bill passed in the House in January and is currently in the Senate.

House Bill 451: This bill excludes depictions of crime victims’ bodies from public records, including photograph, film, video tape or digital, visual or printed material evidence. The bill is currently in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.

House Bill 470: This bill outlawed assisted suicide, required licensing of palliative care facilities and established requirements for hospital aftercare and discharge planning. The bill was written in response to concern over Senate Bill 165, which encouraged doctors and their patients to more thoroughly discuss end-of-life care. Many citizens were concerned that this bill would start the path to legal assisted suicide. The bill was effective on March 21, 2017.

House Bill 491: Requires the State Board of Education to issue a substitute license for Ohio school districts to qualified professionals. The bill was introduced to the House in January.

All of Edward’s sponsored legislation can be found on his House of Representatives website. The May Primary will take place May 6.

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