Rep. Stivers hears local business concerns
By Jennifer Bahney, Circleville Herald
Pickaway County business leaders commanded the attention of U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R) at a roundtable discussion of community issues that included workforce readiness, the drug epidemic, energy availability and government regulation.Pickaway County business leaders commanded the attention of U.S. Representative Steve Stivers (R) at a roundtable discussion of community issues that included workforce readiness, the drug epidemic, energy availability and government regulation.
“These issues are clearly important to continue to have a growth engine in Pickaway County,” Stivers said.
Circleville Mayor Don McIlroy raised the issue of drug abuse in Pickaway County as a hinderance to quality of life in the community.
“We have an epidemic here in Pickaway County,” McIlroy said. “We have coalition with a vision to end addiction here by 2020. But we need help on the state and federal level.”
Stivers suggested tackling the problem with addiction treatment and drug therapy like once-a-month Vivitrol injections that prevent opioid addicts from getting high.
“That’s a big deal,” Stivers said. “That helps them then deal with the issues that might have driven them to addiction in the first place.”
Stivers recently introduced a bill in the House to allow partial filling of opioid prescriptions in a bid to lessen the number of pain pills accessible to addicts. He also discussed stopping the influx of drugs from countries like Mexico.
Pickaway County Farm Bureau President Mike Videkovich presented three main concerns from the farming community: the voluntary GMO labeling bill, the EPA Clean Water Rule and trade tariffs.
“I don’t see how punishing us for a voluntary purchase of a foreign product is the way to make trade fair,” Videkovich said.
Stivers said he voted for the GMO voluntary labeling bill, which has passed the House. Regarding the EPA Clean Water Act, Stivers said, “We need to make sure that the EPA can’t come in and regulate every puddle on your farm.”
On trade, Stivers said, “I do believe that free trade brings every consumer in here economic benefits. That said, I do think we can do a better job of labeling our products that are made in America...to help those people that want to choose an American product to choose an American product.”
Stivers pledged to continue supporting local farmers.
“We need to continue to look out for agriculture, expand markets and make sure that the safety net of things like crop insurance are there for farms that need them,” he said.
Stivers also discussed his 2016 job fair to be held at The Ohio State University’s 4-H Center on April 5. Stivers said it is his goal to connect local businesses with qualified employees who can contribute to Pickaway County’s continued success.