Press Release: Community Leaders Testify Before House Finance Committee in Support of OCHLA
April 7, 2011 · Print This Article
Columbus, OH – Latino community leaders descended upon the Ohio Statehouse today to defend OCHLA’s budget before the House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education. The House Committee, chaired by Representative John Carey, will make budget recommendations to the full Finance Committee for boards and commissions like OCHLA. The Finance Committee permits public testimony for the budget bill which allows the community to voice support or opposition to the Executive and legislative budget proposals.
Community leaders representing public, private and non-profit entities testified on OCHLA’s importance to connecting the Latino Community to its leaders. Tom Lianez – Former Executive Director of the Columbus Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said the following during his testimony, “OCHLA took the lead and offered support and guidance to build Hispanic businesses which in the long run produced tax dollars, employment opportunities for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Ohioans and increased business for other small businesses as well as benefiting our corporate partners all across Ohio.”
In addition to Mr. Lianez, Kenneth Ramos – President of the Columbus Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ariana Ulloa-Olavarrieta – Director of the Latino SBDC, Nathan Farr – representing Empleos and Employment, Dr. Yung-Chen Lu - representing Asian organizations and Guadalupe Velasquez – Acting Deputy Director for the Community Relations Commission and the New Americans Initiative Coordinator for the city of Columbus, OH testified and defended OCHLA’s value to the state of Ohio before the Finance Committee. Rafi Rodriguez- Chair of the Ohio Hispanic Chambers of Commerce sent written support to the Committee.
Director Lilleana Cavanaugh testified before the Committee on March 29th, 2011. Her full testimony is available at: http://ochla.ohio.gov
Ohio releases a budget every two years (called a biennial budget) and it runs from July 1st until June 30th of odd-numbered years. Governor John Kasich maintained the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission in the initial version of the biennial budget for fiscal years 2012/2013. While the Commission faces a 6.8% budget reduction, it will be able to continue its mandate to advise, connect, and build the Latino community at the proposed funding level. OCHLA’s budget must now survive the House, Senate, and Legislative Conference Committee’s budget deliberations process. Please visit OCHLA’s webpage if you are interested in learning more about the budget process: http://ochla.ohio.gov/ohla/tpb-legis101.budget.aspx