Issues

Why Vote Vaughn?

I am 100% committed and have the TIME to represent the best interests of the 51st District. I’ve lived in the community all of my life and I have worked extremely hard to serve others and will continue to do so as State Representative. I grew up in a working class family, my father retired from General Motors. He was a strong supporter of education and hard work. I went to college while also working and raising two children. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Miami University and retired recently after working 32 years in higher education administration. I bring experience in policy development and implementation, years of working collaboratively with community leaders, law enforcement and educators at the local, state, and national level. I’ve served as an adjunct professor in criminal justice studies. My commitment as State Representative will be to listen to the constituents of the district, actively engage at the local and state level and represent their best interest.

Bring Our Tax Dollars Home

Ohio is a state of proud working families, but taxpayers are getting hit twice – their paychecks and tax dollars are being sent to the State of Ohio, Ohio is saving their money in the “Rainy Day Fund” of $2.7 Billion, and Hamilton, Fairfield, and Ross are cutting services while raising taxes on these same working families. Isn’t this backwards?

The State of Ohio has taken over $10.5 Million from the people of Hamilton, $6 Million from the people of Fairfield, and $500,000 from the people of Ross Township – it’s time to “Bring Our Tax Dollars Home”.

Since 1937, 3.86% of the taxes we pay to Ohio were legally supposed to be returned to the communities from which they came. In 2010, Governor Kasich decided to rob our communities to balance his budget; today our money is sitting in a “Rainy Day Trust Fund To Nowhere” in Columbus worth over $2.7 Billion.

While our streets are full of potholes, the State of Ohio grows richer by taking $10.5 Million from Hamilton. While our young people continue to die from the horrors of heroin addiction, the State of Ohio takes $6 Million from Fairfield. While our police departments are cut and threatened to close, the State of Ohio takes $500,000 from Ross.

Jobs and Economic Development

I believe that local governments are the engines of job growth in Ohio. As a state legislator, my job is to empower and support economic development and see that cities and townships have the resources needed to create new, high paying jobs and bring new businesses to the area. Hamilton is a great example of a community that is seeing success in economic development but the state is hampering their efforts-Hamilton lost $10.5 to Ohio’s rainy day fund and it’s time to bring our money home.

JobsOhio has successfully created jobs throughout the state by cutting regulations and creating incentives however, they tend to create jobs in already prospering communities. JobsOhio needs to take a more transparent and comprehensive look at all areas of the state, especially the rural and areas hard hit by loss of manufacturing. I will fight to reform JobsOhio to benefit Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross.

Fair Wages

Ohio’s minimum wage is higher than the federal minimum however, working people are sending their tax dollars to Ohio so the state can put our money the in the state rainy day fund while having their local taxes raised as a result.

Our factory workers, tradesmen and women and middle class work hard for their paychecks yet do not reap the benefits-they deserve their potholes filled, police on the streets and safe neighborhoods. It’s time to bring our tax dollars home to our communities.

Vocational and Skills Training

Ohio is failing those who don’t wish to attend college but hope to learn a skill or a trade. There are jobs in Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross that go unfilled because of the lack of skilled workers. We need more machinists, welders, mechanics, carpenters, to name a few. I believe Ohio can be a national model if we were to establish and support high school co-op programs that will allow students to work at local businesses while earning their diploma. My grandson is an example of a good student who did not wish to attend college yet now struggles to find a job.

Healthcare

Yes, I support Medicaid expansion because it provides access to health insurance for low-income working families. Federal funding covers more than 90% of the costs of the expansion. The expansion has reduced the number of uninsured adults in Ohio, decreased emergency room visits, provides for mental health care which is often related to substance abuse therefore, also addressing the opioid crisis. After the expansion in 2014, Ohio saw an increase in health care sector jobs and for those with access to Medicaid, they are more likely to be able to work or seek employment if they maintain good health. I do believe that proposals for work requirements should be continued.

Ending the Opioid Epidemic

We must respond to this crisis as both a criminal and health issue. It requires a multifaceted approach. Drug dealers and traffickers must be dealt with as criminals and must feel the full force of the law. For those using and abusing drugs we should provide treatment and consequences, as appropriate. Criminalizing use should come only after attempts at rehabilitation have failed because incarceration is the most expensive and least successful response.

Funding must be available to communities to support law enforcement, treatment options and social services. Ross Twp lost $500,000. to the state rainy day fund and they are currently seeking a tax levy to maintain a local police force. Tax payers should not have to choose between their police and higher taxes. We must bring the tax dollars home.

Equal Education Funding

K-12 education in Ohio ranks low nationally and improvements must be made. Measuring success is complicated and for those schools that are “successful”, the success is often attributed to funding, in particular, the wealthier communities perform better. The funding of education in Ohio has been ruled unconstitutional and currently only favors wealthier communities. Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross are not among the wealthier communities and the “report cards” do not adequately grade the quality of students and teachers.

This is unfair and must change. My daughter has been a teacher for 20 years and she is extremely dedicated, as are all other teachers in her district. Mandatory testing has taken a priority over general education and the growth of the students. Ohio needs to evaluate the testing procedures, the funding and more importantly the overall well-being and needs of the students in our schools today. Ohio should look at vocational education, opportunities for co-op and skills training for those students who do not choose to attend college.

I support early childhood education, pre-K, and I agree this is a way to close the race and income-based achievement gap. The creation of a state level child tax credit would allow working families to have 11.

Charter Schools

Taxpayers fund our public schools – it is not fair that taxpayers in Hamilton, Fairfield, and Ross lost $5.6 Million to failed, criminally indicted, private charter schools like ECOT all while seeing their taxes go up. Ross taxpayers lost $325,000, Fairfield taxpayers lost $1.6 Million, and Hamilton taxpayers lost $3.7 Million – working people do not have money in their paychecks to give to failed charter schools when their kids are going to a better public one.

As a graduate of Ross High School, I am proud of the public education I received in my small community. The Ross Local School District is one of the best schools in the nation – sending students to Georgetown University and the University of Chicago – why should taxpayers in Ross be sending $325,000 to charter schools when Ross is one of the best schools in the nation.

This is just common sense and another opportunity to bring our tax dollars home. more in their paycheck while also investing in their child’s education.

Cost of Higher Education

Students in Ohio pay, on average, about 25% more than the national average for college. Over the past several years, Ohio has cut state investment by more than 33% per student. Ohio should identify ways to restore higher education investment to pre-recession levels. I support expansion of the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) to help working individuals be able to return to school and complete a certificate or degree program. Student’s should not have to rely on student loans and graduate with tremendous debt. Ohio must invest in education pre-K through college and invest in skills training and vocational education.

School Safety

Funding to support school safety, including armed school resource officers, is a necessity. I’ve attended school board meetings in Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross and all share the concern regarding lack of funding for school safety. Because Ohio took $500,000 from Ross, the district had to consider putting three levies on the ballot this fall (two for schools and one to support police services). Voters should not have to choose between safe schools and higher taxes – we just need to bring our money home.

I believe we need to address mental health issues identified in our schools in order to diagnose, treat, and prevent public safety threats before they happen. We can empower school resource officers, counselors, teachers, and parents to report mental health concerns if such resources are available.

Support the Second Amendment

I support the Second Amendment and your right to own a weapon. I support doing more to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and people with dangerous histories; I support universal background checks.