"I'm running for State Senate because we can do better. I'm tired of watching the revolving door of Columbus churn out the same, tired results. An endless cycle of rotating career politicians backed by the political power brokers is detrimental to everyday Ohioans. It's time to break that cycle. As someone who has a history of success in business and intimately understands what Ohio families needs, I feel like I have been called to serve. The political insiders may not be ready for someone like me, but I think the people of Ohio are more than ready."
LIST OF ISSUES
Melissa believes in energy independence and sustainability at every level. Here in Ohio, we are naturally gifted with incredible reserves of shale oil and natural gas. As reported by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, conservative estimates have oil reserves at 1.3 billion barrels and natural gas at 3.7 trillion cubic feet with an estimated 2% rate of recovery. However, Ohio differs from many other oil and natural gas rich states because it is a “Home Rule” state. This deters oil and gas innovation in Ohio because prospective companies would have to pay taxes to multiple municipalities, on top of going through the hurdles of an excessively complex licensing process.
Melissa believes that centralized licensing for Oil, Mineral, and Gas prospects under the Department of Natural Resources will result in greater energy innovation in Ohio. Not only will hundreds of jobs be created as more companies come to the state, but Ohio-based energy companies will accrue savings through locally-sourced raw materials.
In addition to supporting gas and oil as energy sources, Melissa is eager to explore additional scientifically-proven and environmentally-friendly energy alternatives.
The current Ohio occupational licensing system presents an unnecessary barrier to thousands of Ohioans. In a 2018 report from George Mason University, Ohio ranks third nationally in state administrative code regulatory restrictions. These regulatory restrictions needlessly prevent hard-working Ohioans from advancing in their careers and also serve as a costly detriment to businesses looking to fill certain skilled vacancies.
Melissa believes the occupational-licensing system must be reformed through the elimination of unnecessary, time-consuming, and costly regulations. As a State Senator, she will push for legislation which codifies the least restrictive requirements possible for occupational licensure for multiple industries to ensure that hard-working Ohioans have opportunities for advancement in their career of choice.
As a small business owner, Melissa knows firsthand how hard it is for employers to staff vacancies because of Ohio’s current entitlement structure and the “benefit cliff” we face as a state. Melissa believes it is irresponsible for politicians to talk about creating “jobs” without a capable and willing workforce looking to fill those new positions.
The current benefit arrangement in Ohio creates a “benefit cliff” which forces good, hard-working citizens to choose between a career-advancing promotion and assistance options which are necessary to sustain themselves and their families. Because of this, some Ohioans simply cannot afford to take a promotion. This benefit cliff is extremely hurtful to employees and employers alike, as employers are forced to spend extra money looking for external recruits for skilled vacancies.
Between entitlements and a consistent Medicaid expansion environment, there are far too many instances of Ohioans consciously overlooking career advancement for subsidies.
This is a huge driver for Melissa as a Human Resource Professional. Through owning an employment staffing agency, she understands the gaps in the labor pool and knows what can be done through common-sense legislative action to ensure Ohioans are reaching their full potential and filling the talent pool.
As a small business owner and someone who has traveled the country in the private sector, Melissa understands why business owners and investors are frustrated with the regulatory compliance environment in Ohio. In the private sector, Melissa wrote policy, protocols and processes that ensured smart and streamlined thinking to achieve business outcomes, while eliminating duplicated efforts or unnecessary steps for efficient, measurable deliverables.
Melissa is fed up with the severe regulatory compliance forced upon the men and women of Ohio who provide economic opportunities as business owners.
Currently, the state of Ohio is operating at over 246,000 unique restrictions to a variety of industries in addition to 1.08 million restrictions in the federal code. Ohio ranks third in the nation for most regulatory restrictions. Not only is this practice exceptionally costly to the business community, but the cost of taxpayer dollars used to fund the administrative burden of enforcing regulatory compliance is staggering.
At the Federal level, President Trump has made incredible strides toward regulatory relief. Melissa will be a loud voice for the entrepreneurial spirited citizens as well as the business community. She pledges to work within the State Senate to eliminate duplicate processes, cut costs of administrative oversight, and take unnecessary regulations out of Ohio code.
Melissa is a strong believer in municipal tax reform. Currently, the State tax system requires businesses to file municipal income tax returns in each of the municipalities they operate in. This can be incredibly costly to small businesses and also discourages some businesses from expanding operations to other areas to avoid the added tax complexity. Melissa believes in a centralized filing system as well as a simplified tax code which will make filing taxes vastly easier for businesses across the state.
Melissa will also fight to lower taxes for all Ohioans. As a State Senator, she will work to ensure that unnecessary taxes are kept out of the state budget and is committed to alleviating tax reduncies in current Ohio code.
Women, Children, and Families
All Ohioans have the God-given right to life. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you...” (Jeremiah 1:5a)
We have a duty to protect those who others seek to do harm, especially babies who cannot defend themselves. “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17 The right to life is also a Constitutional right.
The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution says no one shall be "deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law." No Court ruling can take away these rights.
As a repentant, postabortive woman who experienced a first trimester abortion as a sixteen-year-old, Melissa is a fierce advocate for the unborn. It is her personal mission to share the truth about abortion and see the practice come to an end.
In 2018 alone, there were approximately 20,000 abortions in Ohio. That means roughly 57 children were destroyed every day through abortion. Melissa says enough is enough and is prepared to fight for complete abolition at the State level.
Additionally, Melissa believes that a healthy, connected family is vital to the success of a child. That is why she fully supports ending unnecessary and damaging “marriage penalties” in Ohio, supports massive foster care reform, and will continue to fight to protect our children from sexualization in public schools and libraries.
Protecting the Second Amendment
Melissa has been a concealed carry card holder since 2009. As a proud gun owner, Melissa is an advocate for legal gun ownership and gun safety. She believes that the right to bear arms is an essential right given to Americans in the United States Constitution.
Melissa enjoys the outdoors and has two deer stands at her residence in Marysville, Ohio. She enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping and sport shooting with her family and loved ones. As a State Senator, Melissa intends on working to craft legislation similar to other states to encourage High School and College Shooting Teams.
Melissa has an A-rating with the NRA and is a member of the Ohio Gun Owners Association, Buckeye Firearms, and many other pro-gun organizations.
“Red flag” gun laws open the door to corruption and abuse by the State through the removal of due process, which all American citizens are entitled to. That is why Melissa will never support a “red flag” gun law in any form.
Melissa does not believe in penalizing the many responsible, law-abiding gun owners of this great state because of the despicable actions of a few. Additionally, she is a supporter of lifting gun free zones in locations of vulnerability such as schools, churches, and malls.
A Healthier, Safer Ohio
In 2017, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that Ohio ranked second nationally for highest overdose rate per capita. In total, 5,111 people passed away that year as a direct result of drug use.
Although the state of Ohio has made tremendous strides in addressing the Opioid Crisis, Melissa knows that we cannot slow down now. She believes that cooperation between state agencies, local law enforcement, and nonprofits is vital to combat the spread of the Opioid scourge.
Melissa also believes in higher penalties for drug dealers. At the end of the day, drug dealers are directly responsible for poisoning the men, women, and children of this great state. However, the solicitation of addictive drugs goes far deeper than the streets. Pharmaceutical companies and shifty doctors must be held accountable for the role they played in fueling the opioid epidemic. That is why Melissa is ready to fight alongside other Ohio lawmakers to ensure that drug companies are held accountable.
Melissa believes that no Ohioan should live in fear because of their race, religion, gender, or creed. Any group, person or organization coercing, participating in or funding the indoctrination of radical ideals under the guise of a perceived religious obligation, political agenda advancement, or racial supremacy must be held accountable for their actions.
In the wake of tragedy, Ohio’s Police and Firefighters are often thrown to the wolves by the media, their employers, and opportunistic politicians. Unions are historically important to protect and preserve those whose job it is to protect us. Through her work in the Private Sector, Melissa knows that genuine, productive collaboration between Unions and the Private Sector is possible through open communication, outlined expectations and honesty.
Melissa had exceptional relationships and an impressive track record with existing unions and their members during her career as a Human Resources professional in a manufacturing environment. There, she was responsible for contract negotiations on behalf of the organization that employed her. In one facility in which Melissa was responsible for managing and leading contract negotiations, the union workers successfully decertified.
Melissa has worked side by side with Unions throughout her career. Melissa believes that Unions are only as strong as their leaderships’ desire to have an honest and collaborative relationship with the employer. It is Melissa’s personal belief that Unions have lost ground because of the Democratic Party’s recent predation on Union employees. In reality, the Democratic Party does not mirror the incredible work ethic, dedication, and social values of our country’s Union workforce.
After fighting for this great country abroad, Ohio’s veterans are now fighting a much different fight right here at home. Every day veterans in this state struggle with health care, housing, and even securing a meal. The Veterans Administration (VA) must be held accountable for its transgressions against those it was created to protect and serve. As the proud mother of a service member, Melissa is ready and eager to fight for the representation our veterans and current service members deserve in the state legislature.
In lieu of the current VA health care system, Melissa is interested in the implementation of a voucher system that would allow Veterans to receive care and services at hospitals of their choice.
Melissa has worked directly with communities in Ohio which have their own programs to help immigrants from other countries assimilate to the American way of life. These same programs also aim to stop the cultivation of home-grown terrorism among religious sects. Melissa believes that immigrants who do not have the resources or structure available to them in order to fully assimilate to American culture are stripped of their chance to live the American dream. Therefore, it is vital that there are policies and resources in place to help those looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Melissa believes that “Sanctuary Cities” are a lawless affront to domestic security and have no place here in Ohio.
In the Private Sector, Melissa worked for an organization where she was directly responsible for the integration of refugees. Some of those refugees ultimately became citizens of our great nation and remain supportive of Melissa’s political efforts to this day.
Being the primary contact and facilitator of refugee job placement, Melissa saw the devastating effects of irresponsible immigration to the workplace, American communities and the school system. Assimilation and the desire to participate in productive work is vital for a person's ability to be self-sustaining in our great state.
Welfare and Entitlement Reform
Alongside Medicaid, Ohioans are kept dependent on the State through dozens of state aid programs and entitlements. For a low or median-income Ohioan, dependency on benefits can often be more desirable than a promotion at their place of employment. Melissa has seen firsthand how the siren song of entitlements keeps good Ohioans trapped in a cycle of poverty and dependency on the state. As your State Senator, Melissa will fight tirelessly for a social support system that promotes growth and prosperity.
Melissa knows that the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund (TANF) must be overhauled, but she believes there are legislative opportunities at the state-level to redefine benefits and set common-sense parameters to stop people from becoming reliant on government assistance.
Investing in Our Future
A traditional four-year-degree is not the only avenue to success for young Ohioans. For far too long, our primary school systems have dissuaded young people from pursuing a vocational or technical education. With a shortage of skilled workers, it is no wonder why Ohio currently ranks 43rd in National Labor Supply. That is why Melissa believes Ohio must move toward a state system of school-choice and integrate career and skill credentialing certificates into the high school curriculum.
Melissa comes from a long line of men and women who pursued longstanding careers through vocational opportunities and apprenticeship programs. It is absolutely possible to be productive in society without the college debt that comes along with attending college. Melissa herself explored alternatives to a four-year-degree after being diagnosed with a debilitating disease in high school. Through hard work, she was able to successfully graduate from high school while working full-time in the private sector.
Melissa also believes that Common Core standards should not be forced upon Ohio’s school districts. She believes that parents, teachers, and school boards should be able to make such impactful decisions for themselves.
Charter schools, vocational schools, homeschooling opportunities, and alternative educational plans need to be integrated into students' lives. Above all, Ohio’s public learning institutions are not social engineering experiments for our children and any politicization of the classroom must be stopped.
In July 2019, Melissa received Mission America and Ohio Value Voters annual award for her work to advance the protect Ohio's Children coalition. Melissa was recognized for her brave work to facilitate child exploitation in Ohio and was featured nationally and locally for stopping gender confusion materials from coming into the public classrooms. Melissa works closely with the Protect Ohio CHildren's coalition and her work resulted in the creation of legislation in the 133rd House of Representatives as well as bi-partisan support in the current State Senate.
Ohio was a “beacon of amazing healthcare” prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which was signed into law in 2010 by former President Barack Obama. In the Private sector, part of Melissa’s job included purchasing health care for her company’s national branches. As a witness to the damage done by ACA, Melissa is not surprised that Ohio currently ranks #40 Nationally in overall health care.
Like so many others, Melissa has also seen firsthand how destructive the Affordable Care Act can be to the average working American. That is why it is her personal mission to ensure that Ohio’s healthcare system has a free market design and promotes marketplace competition, while protecting patients with healthcare transparency and fair drug pricing.
The State of Ohio puts more money into Medicaid (backed by ACA) than any other state program. What was once a necessary social support for the elderly, infirm, and children has become an entitlement for people who are very capable of sustaining themselves and providing for their families. That is why Melissa believes in work-requirements for Medicaid recipients.
Prior to seeking election in the State Senate, Melissa sought out to change the socialistic approach within ACA. In 2017, her efforts were recognized by President Trump, Vice President Pence and members of President Trump's Administration. In 2017 and 2018, she worked in tandem with the President’s Administration to communicate the devastating effects of government programs forced upon hard-working families, as well as the crippling effects such programs have on the businesses and employers. Melissa has been featured nationally on national and local news programs to discuss the truths of socialized programs.
As a mother, Melissa strongly supports parental liberty. That is why she believes the decision to vaccinate should be left entirely to parents and guardians. Schools, public officials, and physicians can suggest vaccinations, but under no circumstances should the government have the power to force or coerce parents into vaccinating their children. Doing so is a direct affront to the inalienable rights given to Ohioans through the United States Constitution.
Melissa is a verified candidate of Ohioans For Medical Freedom and has been invited to speak at public events in support of alternative medicine. Melissa believes that the ability for parents and patients to select health care that includes homeopathic treatments or non-traditional medicine is an individual liberty.
Those who commit grievous crimes against the most vulnerable populations of our state must be met with equal force. That is why Melissa is in full support of increased penalties and capital punishment for extremely violent offenders and repeat violent offenders. Melissa also believes that criminals who perpetrate against children must be punished to the fullest extent possible under law, including but not limited to capital punishment.
Child Protective Services and Foster Care Reform
Children and their families are continually failed by Ohio’s Child Protective Services (CPS). In 2016 the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services found that 77 of the state’s agencies failed to meet Federal child welfare performance standards. In 2017, there were only 7,700 qualified foster homes for 27,000 children who needed them. There is a major problem with Child Protective Services (CPS) here in Ohio and that problem is too much power, little accountability, and no transparency.
Ohio’s foster parents are repeatedly and horrendously penalized by the current system which favors caseworkers, judges, guardian ad litem (GAL), and supervisors over foster parents. Potential foster parents are deterred from fostering children because of the horrific stories they hear from other parents detailing their experience(s) with CPS.
Melissa knows how frustrated and hopeless many foster parents feel through their interactions with CPS. Melissa is prepared to fight for YOU in the state legislature.
A Commitment to YOU
All Ohioans deserve a voice in their state government. As a legislator, Melissa will ensure that your questions and concerns are answered promptly and properly by her dedicated legislative team. As a business leader, she knows that proper customer service is vital to retaining clients and customers. Your state legislature should be no different.
As your State Senator, Melissa will work diligently with her dedicated legislative team to ensure that no urgent call or email is left unreturned. It will be Melissa’s personal mission to create an environment where her staff and other legislators are reminded that we work for the taxpayer, not the other way around.