A lifelong resident of Western Hamilton County, State Senator Bill Seitz has worked to represent the best interests of the Greater Cincinnati area at the Statehouse. Known for his colorful floor speeches and legal acumen, in a ranking of all 132 legislators published by Columbus Monthly Magazine, Seitz was rated best speechmaker, funniest and was recognized for his effectiveness, his knowledge and his hard work. He has put these talents to good use on issues that matter to his constituents.
Seitz began his public service career as a member of the Cincinnati Board of Education and the St. Antoninus Parish Education Commission. He was twice elected Green Township Trustee, where he also served as President of the Hamilton County Township Association. He has never forgotten his local government roots nor wavered in his belief that government governs best when closest to the people.
Prior to joining the Ohio Senate in 2007, Seitz served in the Ohio House of Representatives for seven years. There, he rose through the ranks, serving as Majority Whip and Assistant Majority Whip and chair of the Civil and Commercial Law Committee.
In the Senate, Seitz serves as Chairman of the Public Utilities Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee. He has also been named to the Transportation Committee, the State Government Oversight & Reform Committee, the Civil Justice Committee, the Commerce & Labor Committee and the Finance Subcommittee on General Government.
A fiscal conservative, Seitz is a champion of government efficiency. While others in Columbus talk about reducing the size of state government, Senator Seitz has put tangible ideas on the table, including now-enacted proposals that would reduce prison overcrowding and save the state $578 million through 2015.
Throughout his legislative career, Senator Seitz has been at the forefront of criminal and civil justice issues, leading the effort to reform Ohio’s criminal sentencing laws and eliminate the barriers to employment many non-violent offenders face following their release from prison. He has also worked to enhance penalties for violent offenders and to keep sex predators away from our children. He was the key architect of Ohio’s sweeping tort reforms by which nearly two dozen such bills between 2001-2004 transformed Ohio’s civil justice landscape and made Ohio more business-friendly. In these endeavors, he has been aided by his legal background. Seitz is of counsel to the Taft, Stettinius and Hollister law firm, with which he has been associated since 1978, and for the last several years, he has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America book.
Throughout his adult life, and despite increasing responsibilities in Columbus, Seitz has served organizations that promote livable neighborhoods and strong local communities. He served as President of the Westwood Civic Association and the Western Economic Council; Secretary of the Bridgetown Civic Association; a Cincinnati Recreation Commission Commissioner, and a trustee of Invest in Neighborhoods. He remains active with the Price Hill/Western Hills Kiwanis Club and has also been a strong supporter of law enforcement as a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Associates and past president and secretary of the Cincinnati District 3 Police-Community Relations Committee.
Senator Seitz is an alumnus of the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated summa cum laude with an undergraduate degree in history. He also earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where he distinguished himself as a member of the Order of the Coif and was selected to the Law Review.
Senator Seitz helped enact landmark legislation designed to ease the overcrowding in Ohio’s prison system, a problem that threatens to cost taxpayers more than a half-billion dollars in new facility construction. The criminal sentencing overhaul is aimed at reducing low-level, short-term inmate populations by redirecting non-violent criminals into treatment, job training, education and other rehabilitation programs. In addition, reforms were enacted to remove barriers to employment to enable individuals who served their time to begin to work and become self-sufficient.
Senator Seitz worked across party lines to pass a new law that eliminates the barriers many non-violent offenders face when trying to find employment once they are released from prison. The legislation allows offenders who receive training for a particular job while in prison to obtain a license in that field once they are released. The bill also include contains certain protections for employers who hire former offenders.
Senator Seitz led a bipartisan effort to reform Ohio’s election laws, working together with a Democratic chief elections officer to address concerns about voter registration data, provisional ballot rules and voting procedures.
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