COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's 134th General Assembly features a number of newly-elected members of the House of Representatives and Senate.
In the House, there are 22 lawmakers serving at the state level for the first time.
One freshman said she wants to unite members during this polarizing time.
Marilyn John (R-Richland County) was sworn in to the Ohio House of Representatives for her first term last month. She represents the state's 2nd House District.
"My district, my county has great potential and I just want to be a part of the team that moves our county forward," said John.
John has served in different positions on the team the last 11 years. First, she was the Mayor of Shelby before being elected Richland County Commissioner. John said her predecessor, now-Sen. Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario), groomed her for the Statehouse the last three years.
"He did talk about how, yes, when you're working with 98 other people other people have gifts but you have to form a consensus in order to get legislation done," John explained.
John is hoping to form a consensus around creating jobs, improving education, economic and workforce development as well as modernizing local government.
"Some of the laws that are in place have been in place for decades and may not apply specifically to local governments the way they did when they were initially written," John said.
Speaking of updating laws, John believes there needs to be legislative oversight over Gov. Mike DeWine's executive orders.
"If we are at the table, then there's gonna be greater buy-in," believes John.
John has bought into the bipartisan "Fair School Funding Plan" which never made it to the governor's desk last general assembly but has been reintroduced as House Bill 1.
She is not a fan of House Bill 6 as far as the subsidies that were included and its implementation.
"That's why people don't trust government," John emphasized.
John would like to see the bill repealed and have former speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) resign. Although she said she would vote to remove him if a vote came up on the House floor.
John said she will know she has had a successful term in two years "if we have recovered from COVID-19, if our businesses are able to flourish as they were previous to 2020 and we have our students back on track to head into a successful adulthood and if our residents feel safe."