Huffman fighting centralist tide


Matt Huffman


Less than a year back in the Ohio legislature, Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, has seen enough of the centralist attitudes and is doing what he can to reverse the trend.

“The centralist mindset likes to consolidate entities,” he said while visiting the Logan County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly legislative meeting. “I think the opposite is the answer.

Education works better with more local input as do efforts to get people off of public assistance and into the work force, Huffman said.

A former state representative, Huffman now represents the 12th Senate District which includes nearly all of Logan County.

He is working on bills that will undo 80 to 90 unfunded school mandates and provide a defined funding formula, something the state has been reluctant to do.

His school deregulation bill is meeting resistance as the administrative state doesn’t want it.

Much of it targets rules and mandates that legislatures never intended and which put financial burdens on small rural districts.

Rules such as six days of training for coaches, certifying via paperwork the eligibility of a long-term substitute every five days, mandating a ratio of eight preschool students to one teacher and requiring third-graders to take timed proficiency tests on computers are among the “good ideas” pushed by the bureaucracies, Huffman said.

“I look at it as cleaning your house,” Huffman said. “It’s like getting rid of the all the stuff you store in your basement. You had a use for it at one time or it seemed like a good purchase.”

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