State Rep. Jay Hottinger (R) says he hopes to return to the Ohio House of Representatives to continue to work and fight for Licking County residents.

State Rep. Jay Hottinger (R) says he hopes to return to the Ohio House of Representatives to continue to work and fight for Licking County residents.

He represents the 71st House District, which encompasses portions of Licking County. He is chairman of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, which oversees over $54-billion in tax revenues. He previously served in the state legislature as a member of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. Prior to joining the Ohio House, Hottinger served on Newark City Council.

"I am very proud that I have been a five-time winner of the 'Watchdog of the Treasury Award,'" he said. "I work hard every day on behalf of the people of Licking County. I have clearly demonstrated that I have the ability to work in a bi-partisan fashion with Democrats and Republicans alike to pass important public policy that benefits our community and state."

Hottinger has been recognized for perfect attendance and has never missed a vote during his 17 years in office.

He pledges to continue to give the same effort in the years ahead, striving to promote job growth and transform and revitalize the economy.

As the primary sponsor of the state's $1.57-billion economic stimulus package, Hottinger is proud of this piece of legislation, which was passed and enacted with wide bi-partisan support.

House Bill 554 was signed by Gov. Strickland in June. Hottinger estimates that it will create more than 55,000 new jobs over the next four years.

"This economic stimulus plan differs greatly from the one-time rebate check given by the federal government on borrowed money," Hottinger said. "Instead, this plan represents the largest investment in growing the economy in over 30 years in Ohio, and it is one that is directed towards specific, targeted industries that will transform and revitalize Ohio's economy in both the short and long term."

If re-elected to another term, Hottinger said, as finance chairman he will be charged with working with the governor and his administration in sponsoring the state's biennial operating budget.

"The next budget promises to be a great challenge," he said, "and my first responsibility will be to help craft and pass a balanced budget in the range of approximately $53-billion.

"The tight economic times will make this budget process one of the most challenging in recent years. Every dollar spent in state government passes through the Finance and Appropriations Committee, which I chair."

Likewise, as chairman, Hottinger said he would be working closely with Gov. Strickland on his much anticipated school funding proposal.

"The governor's plan will have to be vetted and pass through the Finance Committee and I look forward to continuing to work with him and other stakeholders in furthering our progress on school funding and further reducing the reliance on local property taxes," he said.

Hottinger said he will also continue his long-standing efforts on tax reform to continue to make Ohio more competitive with its tax code.

Specifically, he will advocate the need for making personal income tax both flatter and fairer.

"While I was a co-sponsor of the tax package that resulted in a 21 percent across the board reduction in all Ohio income tax brackets, I still believe our rates need to go lower and flatter to be more in line with states we are competing with for economic development and job creation," he said.

Hottinger founded the Newark East Association and co-founded the Police Athletic League of Licking County with the late Glenn Cunningham.

He serves on numerous boards of directors on the local, state and national levels.

Hottinger was instrumental in obtaining funding for the state Route 161 widening project, and he wrote Ohio's law protecting the community from dangerous sexual predators (Megan's Law).

He attended Newark High School and graduated from Capital University, where he majored in political science and public administration. Hottinger and his wife, Cheri, are the parents of three daughters, Savannah, Heather and Jayme, who are all students in the Newark City School system.