During the holiday season, we are all reminded of the meaning of home. Home, for most, is the comfortable warmth of family and friends that surround us in our communities, which are the foundational strength of many Ohioans across the state. For our communities to thrive, we must all work together to give back and help those who are unfamiliar with the warmth of home this holiday season. Additionally, we as a state need to do all that we can to honor military members who are away from loved ones because of their service protecting those at home.
The Ohio House last week passed House Bill 716 to provide a warm welcome to active duty military families who recently moved to Ohio. This includes temporary state occupational licenses for military members and spouses that moved here from out of state. This measure provides a convenient and efficient way for our military men and women to carry on with their occupational duties after relocating. The House also recently passed House Bill 603, which supports our active duty service men and women who live in Ohio and are pursuing an advanced degree by granting them in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. It is important that as Ohioans we give back to the military families that give so much to serve our country.
I ask that all of us serve however and wherever possible during this season of giving, whether that means volunteering time at a food shelter, shoveling a neighbor’s driveway, or comforting a friend in need. As a state representative, I find that the most rewarding part of the job is helping those constituents who need it most. It is why I first ran for office and why I wake up every day to serve the people of my district and the state of Ohio.
In the Ohio House, it remains our priority to not only pass policy that positively impacts our brave veterans but also families across the state. So no matter where you live or who you will be celebrating with this year, from my family to yours, I wish all of you a safe and fulfilling happy holiday.
Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) is the State Representative for the 93rd District and the Ohio Speaker of the House.