Senator Antonio Joins President Biden in Cleveland For Historic Announcement

Senator Antonio with President Biden.

On July 6, I was honored to meet President Biden during his visit to Max S. Hayes High School in the 23rd Senate District. President Biden came to announce the final step in implementing the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance program, which will protect union workers facing cuts to their benefits in multiemployer pension plans.

Before the American Rescue Plan, multiemployer pension plan insolvencies were expected to impact millions of hardworking Americans and their families. Now, with the American Rescue Plan’s Special Financial Assistance Program, pension plans can apply for assistance to remain solvent through 2051. Not only will this protect workers facing a reduction in benefits, but it will also fully restore pension cuts for more than 80,000 retirees in 18 multiemployer plans across the country.

We were joined at the announcement by U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Representatives Shontel M. Brown and Marcy Kaptur, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, State Representative Michael Skindell, Executive Secretary of the North Shore AFL-CIO Dan O’Malley, Lakewood City Council member Tristan Rader, Lakewood Mayor Meghan George, Judge Terri Jamison, as well as hundreds of union workers and retirees to celebrate this historic success.

During our conversation, I also urged the President to continue fighting to protect America’s retirement: Social Security. I am proud to stand with President Biden as we work to ensure retirement security for generations of American workers to come. America is built by the middle class, and the middle class is built by union workers.

Nickie Antonio

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, and in leadership as the Assistant Minority Leader. Antonio, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, previously spent eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served District 13 and was also a member of leadership. Antonio has served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women, Adjunct Professor and as a teacher for children with special needs.

Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Transportation, and Joint Medicaid Oversight Committees. She also serves on the Finance; Ways and Means; Workforce and Higher Education; Rules and Reference; and Joint Legislative Ethics Committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus, previously as chair, and is the State Director for the National Women Legislators’ Lobby.

She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, health care for all and fighting the opioid crisis.

Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she championed Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). Last General Assembly, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (S.B. 18/H.B. 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (S.B. 59/H.B. 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio has introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. She continues to work to remedy and end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as on an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly. 

The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both an MPA and a B.S. Ed. from Cleveland State University, and she was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett Fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011) and has been the recipient of numerous awards as legislator of the year from various organizations during her tenure.

Her daughters, Ariel and Stacey, have made Antonio and her wife, Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:43 AM, 08.01.2022