COLUMBUS (WDTN) – A new General Assembly means a new set of lawmakers making the decisions that affect your life.
Both new lawmakers flipped their seat from the opposing party in the last election and now will begin a four-year term that will have a steep learning curve.
Michael Rulli has had experience as an elected official at the local level but he is new to the Statehouse and looking to the last senator to hold his seat for inspiration.
“I’ve been friends with Joe Schiavoni for years and he’s a centrist, too.” says Rulli. “I think I can take some of the foundation that he began and grow from that a lot.”
Where Schiavoni did not have a seat at the majority party’s legislative table, Rulli does, and thinks that will make the difference for northeast Ohio.
“I think they realize that things are changing in the Youngstown area; things are changing in the 33rd district. People are moving towards the center. I think they realize that Columbus is their friends and that the GOP could really be a wonderful part of their future and can give them hope,” he said.
Tina Maharath is the other new senator with no Statehouse experience; she wants to represent her district in Franklin County and stand up for her ethnicity.
“I definitely want to open up an Asian-American Commission. We’re the only ethnicity currently that does not have a commission,” she says.
She says her priorities also include a focus on healthcare and addressing the opioid epidemic.
As for being the first female Asian-American, and youngest serving state senator, she says, “I’m just happy to have created a pathway of success for the future.”
The exact committees Senators Rulli and Maharath will be serving on have not yet been announced.