State Rep. Nick Barborak's message in his recent newsletter and on Comcast Newsmakers was heavy on political grandstanding, but very light on sincerity. Despite his demand for his bill to be passed, Barborak has repeatedly voted against other measures that would have helped solve the problem.
For example, last year he voted against the state operating budget (House Bill 59), which provided additional state aid to people who are struggling with addiction despite saying in a recent interview on Comcast Newsmakers that funding for treatment needs to be "a No. 1 priority." The bill increased funding levels by nearly $50 million annually for drug addiction and mental health services. He also voted in opposition to a measure directing more than $24 million to improved treatment for mental health and addiction. He also voted against an important education provision in HB 483 which increased funding to a program dedicated to raising awareness about the harmful nature of prescription narcotics, particularly to Ohio's children about the dangers of heroin.
Thankfully, many of these provisions passed and are now law despite Barborak's "no" votes on them. While Barborak is right that we need to get tough on heroin dealers, he hasn't even been able to work across the aisle to accomplish that, and he's voted against several other measures to help us fight this epidemic.
Nick Barborak should devote less time to political grandstanding and more time to actually supporting the ideas and policies that are strengthening our state.