State Rep. Cheryl Grossman says working in municipal government in Grove City prepared her for the Ohio Statehouse.
"My 12 years have been a great education for me now as I serve in the Ohio House," she said. "It's helpful for me to fall back on that experience for a lot of what we do."
Grossman, re-elected in November to a third term in the Ohio House of Representatives for the 23rd District, was recently elected by her fellow House Republicans to the position of Majority Whip. The legislative whip is responsible for informing members of the party about pending bills, helping to formulate bill priorities and getting input.
"So I spend a lot of time on the weekend on the phone with our members," Grossman said.
Prior to her position at the state level, Grossman was mayor and city council president in Grove City, where she has lived all her life and still lives with her husband, Ron.
"I planted my feet in the ground and said I'm not moving," she said. "It's been a good place to raise our sons."
Grossman said she began getting involved with the community because of her sons, Justin and Josh, and working with a number of organizations, including the preschool board, PTA, the board of Grove City United Methodist Church and the Grove City Rotary Club as a founding member.
"That was a great introduction for me to the community," she said. "I wanted to see what we could do to enhance the quality of life."
Grossman was also involved with the development of the YMCA facility at Fryer Park, the Parkway Centre retail development, the Pinnacle residential project and the new interchange at I-71 and state state Route 665.
Looking ahead at the state level, she said economic development will remain a priority for Ohio.
"We need to do everything we can to encourage economic development in the state," she said. "I think we've done a great job in the past two years, but you can't rest on your laurels or fall back on the status quo."
During the previous legislative session, Grossman pushed for the repeal of the estate tax, which is now in effect. While Grove City received a decent amount of revenue from the estate tax, Grossman said she spoke to many farmers and business people who had to shut down because of the impact of the tax.
"You try to be very fair and balanced on the decisions you make," Grossman said of serving in the Ohio General Assembly. "I thought it was wrong to spend income based on someone's passing."
In the coming term, Grossman said a "real big project" will be House Bill 601, which aims to create uniform municipal tax.
Of all 50 states, Grossman said, Ohio is the only one that lacks a uniform municipal tax structure, resulting in 650 cities using 300 different forms.
"It is a very burdensome and unfriendly business practice," she said. "I'm hoping it'll be a priority bill in the next General Assembly."
In addition, Grossman said she also plans to address Ohio's "brain drain." She said while Ohio has some of the best colleges and universities, the state is losing 40 percent of graduates and will be looking at student loans, tax credits and other incentives to keep them in Ohio.
There's also House Bill 436, which will create SiteOhio within the Ohio Department of Development to certify and market eligible commercial, industrial and manufacturing sites and facilities, she said.
Grossman said she also wants Ohio to tap into the oil and natural gas potential of shale development and the jobs it could bring to the state.
"I want to make sure Ohio is competitive as far as taxes and regulations," she said. "We don't want to price ourselves out."
Outside of economic development, Grossman is sponsoring is House Bill 598, which would promote early intervention insurance coverage for autism.
"It's something I'm very passionate about," she said.
Grossman is also supporting a bill that would require basic CPR training for first-time drivers.