Gentile works for area residents

To the editor:

To work for the people an office holder must first listen to those he represents. We are fortunate to have a state senator that does just that. State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, knows how to listen, and then take action. That is why Lou needs to be re-elected by voters in Senate District 30 in November.

Lou listened to Terri Lincoln, a resident of Marietta,  when she suggested making the month of October a time for raising people’s awareness of the gifts and contributions made by our fellow citizens who are often forgotten or overlooked. He took the idea and worked with his fellow senators as well as members of the House. The result was an amendment included in House Bill 483, the mid-year budget update for the Department of Developmental Disabilities, that designated the month of October disability history and awareness month. The bill was passed and has been signed into law.

Gentile listened to coal miners when the Mine Safety Training Center in Cadiz was in danger of being closed and quickly began the fight to keep it open. His leadership and his working with other elected leaders from both sides of the aisle resulted in the announcement that a new state-of-the-art facility would be built with state capital funds. His listening and actions helped keep jobs in Eastern Ohio and continued mine safety training for those who work in one of the most dangerous jobs in our district.

Gentile has listened and knows that many retired coal miners and their families are concerned about their pensions and health benefits. He has testified before the Ohio Senate’s Transportation, Commerce and Labor Committee in support of the Miners Protection Act. The act would transfer certain unused federal funds into the UMWA 1974 Pension Plan and enable payment of the full amount of the pensions and health benefits for beneficiaries. Without congressional approval of this act, there is the danger of many miners and their families seeing cuts in their pension as well as health benefits.

Gentile listens to veterans and recognizes the pressures being faced by both the youngest as well as the oldest of our veterans. He has worked with fellow Sen. Joe Schiavoni, D-Boardman, to introduce a bill that would make 100 percent disabled veterans exempt from paying property taxes on their home. He is also one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 18 that is intended to give men and women who have served in the military better access to jobs by making it possible for business owners who hire qualified veterans to claim a tax credit on their state tax return of the same amount that is claimed on their federal tax return.

Gentile knows how to listen, and then go to work for the people of the 30th District in Columbus. Vote for  Gentile this November. He is a proven leader.

Rev. Leland Eilert (Retired)

St. Clairsville