Each week, Ohio Statehouse News profiles one of our state legislators. Representative Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) is our featured legislator this week.
State Representative Bill Seitz is a lifelong resident of Western Hamilton County. He represents the Greater Cincinnati area. Seitz began his public service career as a member of the Cincinnati Board of Education and the St. Antoninus Parish Education Commission.
Beginning in 2000, Seitz served in the Ohio House of Representatives for almost seven years. Seitz then went on to serve in the Ohio Senate from 2007 to 2016 before returning to the Ohio House where he is now serving the 30th House District in his second consecutive term.
Why did you become involved in government?
I was looking to utilize my extensive background as a lawyer and an experienced local elected official to impact state law across so many issues that affect all Ohioans: economic prosperity, improved education and health care outcomes, and vital reforms in our civil and criminal justice systems.
What are your legislative policy priorities or goals for the upcoming session?
I remain committed to state level action to stem the flow of illegal immigration through legislation preventing illegal aliens from receiving workers’ compensation, encouraging law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts, and preventing illegal aliens from voting. In addition, I am pushing for final legislative action on reforming Ohio’s fireworks law, requiring law enforcement to record custodial interrogations, improving Ohio’s civil commitment law for persons with drug and alcohol addictions, repealing dower, and further reforming our criminal justice system to reduce prison overcrowding and to help ex-offenders successfully reintegrate into law abiding society.
How do you stay in touch with your district?
Mainly, through a combination of personal contact via the numerous clubs and organizations I belong to, and through frequent guest appearances on Cincinnati radio media.
What is the most interesting/unusual request from a constituent?
Requests to intervene in constituents’ court cases are always unusual, and generally incapable of being accommodated.
What are some of the attractions or hotspots in your district?
Restaurants – Ron’s Roost, Maury’s Tiny Cove, Price Hill Chili, Kennings Circle K, The Farm.
Attractions – Western Hills Country Club, Mount St. Joseph College, Covedale Theatre, Harvest Home Fair, Delhi Skirt Game, Neumann Golf Course, German Heritage Museum, Delhi Historical Society Museum.
Ohio is so diverse, what are the primary challenges you’re facing?
Currently, the debate over school vouchers is a big deal. Longer term, we have changing demographics, and a decline in local shopping opportunities.
What have you done to help your district?
The Green Township tax increment financing plan we adopted in 1994, and expanded legislatively thereafter, has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to Green Township and paid for virtually every capital expense for 25 years. I have changed the state gas tax allocation formula twice, in order to provide substantially more money to large townships like Delhi and Green. My advocacy for state-funded community capital projects have provided millions of dollars for Delhi and Green Township park and recreational facilities, for the Covedale Theatre, the Price Hill Incline Theatre, the Madcap Puppet Theatre, and others. Legislative budget changes which I have championed have provided the lion’s share of the money needed to rebuild the Western Hills viaduct.
How has your district benefitted from the budget?
In 2019, we significantly increased the percentage of gas tax money going to local cities, counties, and townships. This funding stream provides much-needed help to local governments to maintain and improve our road and bridge infrastructure. We also have cut the state income tax repeatedly since 2005, putting more money in the pockets of my district’s constituents.