GSS hosts director of state government relations

GSS hosts director of state government relations

Nia Lambdin, Editor in Chief

Graduate Student Senate discussed how to have a voice when speaking with Ohio representatives for their district with the Director of State Government Relations, Hannah Marozzi, Friday, Jan. 20. 

Marozzi started as a registered lobbyist for Bowling Green State University in April of last year. Since, she has worked to track legislation, meet with legislators and help legislation get passed. 

“My main job is to track legislation, which can be very tedious because last year there were 1500 bills. I don’t think anybody would think there would be that many but maybe 5% will get passed,” Marozzi said. “Most of my meetings with legislators are pretty generic. My goal is to educate them on Bowling Green as a higher education institution in Ohio.” 

While speaking with legislators, Marozzi is aware that her position is representing the students, faculty and staff of BGSU. 

“The goal is for me to always lobby on things that are kind of the consensus and always making sure when I’m speaking, innovating with a legislator, 99% of the people that are affiliated with Bowling Green can agree with what I’m saying at some point,” Marozzi said. 

Last year, a new Voter ID Law was passed requiring voters to have a photo ID in order to vote in elections. However, Marozzi said that this change will affect very little of the population. 

“It’s not gonna change most people’s access to voting. Most people used utility bills, however, so if that’s how you were choosing to verify your identification at the polls, you are no longer able to do that,” Marozzi said. 

Marozzi went on to explain that college-aged individuals are voting and statistics prove that 49% of 18 to 29-year-olds are actively voting in their elections. 

“There’s this whole kind of fake news that people our age, 18 to 29 don’t vote and that’s not true. We have statistics right here that 49% which is 2% less than the rest of the population,” Marozzi said.

By voting in state elections, people can have a voice on issues like road maintenance, gun control, healthcare, higher education and LGBTQ rights. 

A new Ohio general assembly just entered its two-year term this January and has already started redoing the Ohio Department of Education. These changes will affect teachers and “dramatically” affect how a teacher’s licensure is processed, according to Mazzori. 

Other bills to expect in the next general assembly election include:

  • Medical Marijuana Expansion
  • State Operating Budget
  • Redistricting
  • H2Ohio
  • Death Penalty Repeal

When asked about what barriers keep people from voting in these elections, she replied that people are prone to vote if they care about something on the ballot; however, Marozzi wants to change this mindset through education of the ballot.  

“People don’t go to vote unless they care about something on the ballot,” Marozzi said. “I think it needs to be a mindset shift that we should care about every election. We should always be voting. I think that’s a general, large social change that will need to occur.”

GSS also had the first reading for three new senate resolutions. Their first resolution works to change the three-minute thesis competition to be more inclusive. The second resolution makes it so first-generation students have more funding. 

Finally, the third resolution is a joint resolution between Undergraduate Student Government, Faculty Senate and GSS to make election day a day off from the university in order to have more people voting in elections. 

These resolutions will be voted on during the next GSS session on Feb. 17, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.