© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fresh off reelection, State Rep. Gail Pavliga looks ahead to lame duck and next legislature

State Rep. Gail Pavliga being sworn into the Ohio House with her daughter.
House Majority Comms
Ohio House of Representatives
State Rep. Gail Pavliga has served Portage County in the Ohio House since 2020.

The Ohio legislature will be back this week for the beginning of the lame duck session. For newly reelected State Rep. Gail Pavliga the next few weeks will be very busy.

"I've got some bills that I'm looking forward to being in the House and Senate," Pavliga said.

Pavliga, who represents Portage County, said one of her priorities is to make sure a bill she sponsored that adds more support for those experiencing a mental health crisis gets to the governor’s desk.

"My bill, the 988, which was the crisis hotline that I worked, will be hitting the Senate," Pavliga said, "and hopefully we'll get that through the Senate."

House Bill 468 establishes the 988 mental health crisis line in Ohio and was passed unanimously by the House in May. The bill would also create an administrator in the department of mental health and addiction services to oversee the hotline.

Pavliga also hopes her bill on affordable housing, which would authorize a nonrefundable tax credit for constructing or rehabilitating affordable rental housing, is passed by the House.

"Then I have a companion bill in the Senate about a workforce development bill providing mental health, increasing our access to mental health providers that I worked on with NEOMED," Pavliga said.

In her next term, Pavliga said she’ll be focusing on improving access to mental healthcare and addiction recovery, lowering costs for higher education and improving workforce development.

She said the legislature is also likely to be making key decisions on abortion in the coming term, something she heard a lot of concern about from constituents when campaigning.

“That voice for both sides resonates with me as a legislator and a representative for people in my community," Pavliga said, "and I will be anxious to hear their opinions as we move that discussion forward.”

Pavliga, who says she’s pro-life, said the legislature will most likely be looking at exceptions to abortion in the next term. Currently, Ohio's six week abortion ban is blocked by a court in Cincinnati. Last session, Pavliga cosponsored legislation that would limit access to abortion in the state.

Abigail Bottar covers Akron, Canton, Kent and the surrounding areas for Ideastream Public Media.