State Senator Rob McColley Honored with 3rd Annual Taxpayer Torch Award


COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) received the Taxpayer Torch Award from Americans for Prosperity of Ohio (AFP-OH) on Tuesday. The award is given to a lawmaker who “shows leadership through policies that break down barriers to opportunity,” says AFP-OH.

Issues addressed by the senator that earned him the Taxpayer Torch Award include civil asset forfeiture, occupational licensing reform, and regulation reduction.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted was the first recipient of the Taxpayer’s Torch Award, and was on hand to introduce State Sen. McColley.

“It’s very important to have allies when you’re trying to make change. The ‘establishment’ way of doing things is very hard to change. And you have to pull together allies who are like-minded, who share the same cause, the same goals. When we work together we can achieve big things,” Husted said.

“I appreciate the fact that there is an award to champion people who do this because I really believe that in society, you get what you celebrate. I was honored to be the first recipient,” he added.

Husted shared a story about a young man who was born disabled with an undeveloped arm and created a program using a 3-D printer to develop prosthetics for people in need. The Ohio Secretary of State’s office began receiving complaints about this young man’s business demanding that it be shut down, that regulations be used to stop his business.

“I called Rob McColley and said, Rob, will you work with us on this?” Husted shared. “And he said, ‘Absolutely, tell me where I gotta be, tell me what I’m gonna do.’ And that’s the kind of can-do attitude of this year’s award recipient.”

After thanking Husted and his staff, Sen. McColley shared a story of his own. “I was talking with my former staffer the other day, and I asked her, ‘What’s one of the overriding lessons you took when you left my office?'”

She smiled and replied: “I left with a healthy skepticism of big government.”

McColley was proud of that, saying it was “probably the most valuable lesson I can leave with any of my staff members.”

There were several key bills that Sen. McColley mentioned during his speech. House Bill 347 in 2015 reformed civil asset forfeiture. He described it as a method for the government to take private property by simply accusing someone of a crime.

“So we dared to stand up for the presumption of innocence and our Constitution,” declared McColley.

Senate Bill 255 was the next key piece of legislation. It reformed the occupational licensing system in Ohio. More than 250 jobs required government permission through licensure in the Buckeye State. That is more than 20 percent of the workforce in Ohio.

The most recent piece of legislation that helped the senator earn the Taxpayer Torch Award is Senate Bill 1, which, if passed by the Ohio House of Representatives in its current form, will cut government agency regulations by 30 percent in three years.

“Ohioans deserve champions who are innovative, bold and willing to take on issues that challenge entrenched interests,” said AFP-OH Director Micah Derry. “Senator Rob McColley has been doing just that his entire legislative career, and I couldn’t be more proud to present him the 2019 Taxpayers’ Torch Award.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].







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