Guest Column from State Representative Rick Carfagna
It seems like lately every time you pick up a newspaper or turn on the evening news, there are headlines about some sort of natural disaster occurring somewhere in the world. Wild fires, hurricanes, floods and earthquakes have all impacted lives in recent months and the aftermath related to these situations can bring about devastation including hunger, sickness and death.
In many ways, it can be difficult to plan for these events, but in the Ohio House, we have taken steps to prepare for any kind of natural disaster that could occur within Ohio’s borders. I recently voted yes on the Disaster Relief Act, commonsense legislation that exempts out-of-state communications, utilities, infrastructure companies and other qualifying entities from certain taxes during a declared disaster.
What this bill essentially does is remove red tape and burdensome requirements if Ohio is faced with a dangerous natural disaster and outside businesses want to help in the recovery process. House Bill 133 aims to ensure that out-of-state entities are able to provide aid as soon as possible and with the resources necessary to do so. Whether helping to turn the power back on or assisting in search and rescue efforts, this bill makes it easier for companies to help get Ohio back on its feet.
Ohio is often on the front lines in offering help, deploying National Guard soldiers and sending brave volunteers when a natural disaster hits another state, and now with this bill, we are ensuring easy and fast accessibility for any outside business that is able to help us if that time comes. Even though it is not pleasant to think about, it is vitally important that our state is prepared and ready for any challenge that comes our way.
That’s why I voted in full support of this measure and hope for its final passage in the near future. As a resident of Ohio and representative of the 68th House District, it’s my goal and my duty to encourage initiatives, like this one, that aim to keep constituents safe and families confident that help will be provided, lives can be saved and resources can arrive quickly when we need it the most.