Protecting Rural Ohio
Provide free and enhanced legal assistance to rural and small town Ohio.
The culture of corruption in Columbus has led to politicians overlooking the day-to-day legal needs of rural and small town Ohio. And massive cuts to the local government fund have made it worse. The Ohio AG can and should help and have their backs.
While the AG’s office now provides criminal legal assistance to County Prosecutors, other more common and pressing legal needs facing local communities are totally overlooked. Rural communities need access to legal services ranging from real estate deals to help save town squares to more complicated transactions to attract new businesses to counseling regarding personnel matters. Those lawyers can be expensive. The Ohio Attorney General should try to have the backs of rural and small town Ohio and provide free legal assistance for such projects upon request.
The AG’s office can establish an office function staffed with attorneys that have such experience. Then these attorneys should be made available to mayors, councils and other elected officials to provide free legal counseling services on a voluntary basis.
Comprehensive opioid crisis plan
See Dettelbach’s plan for Fighting the Opioid Crisis and Improving our Criminal Justice System.
Support expanding access to high-speed broadband internet in rural communities
For Ohio to remain economically competitive, ensuring access to high-speed broadband internet throughout the state is critical. Unfortunately, some 300,000 households in rural communities across Ohio still lack access to broadband internet. That has to change. As Attorney General, Steve will support efforts to get families and small businesses in all corners of Ohio access to high-speed broadband—efforts like the bipartisan HB 378, which passed the House 88-11 and is currently stuck in Committee in the Senate.
Find creative solutions to bring down rural suicide rates
Suicide rates are far higher in rural communities than in other communities. Youth suicide rates in particular are nearly twice as high in rural areas. Sparse access to mental health and substance abuse treatment—especially with the ongoing opioid crisis—contribute to the problem. And there is an urgent need to fix it. We must improve access to both mental health and substance abuse treatment in rural Ohio. We have to explore options like telemedicine, and expand awareness and intervention efforts in schools. As Attorney General, Steve will stand at the forefront of the effort to bring down the high suicide rates in rural Ohio.