School Choice for Every Buckeye Student
This week, ALEC and FreedomWorks introduce Ohio State Senator Matt Huffman. Huffman represents the Buckeye state’s 12th district encompassing four counties and part of three additional counties. In his first term in the Ohio Senate, Huffman serves as the Vice Chair on Education, and serves on the Finance, Government Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, Health, Human Services, and Medicaid, Public Utilities, and Rules and Reference committees.
Why did you run for office?
I ran for office to save the world, or at least the United States, or at least Ohio, from humanity’s natural inclination to consolidate power and take from their fellow man…and to have a little fun while doing it.
In your view, what is the biggest issue before your state’s legislature and your position on it?
The General Assembly’s biggest issue for decades has been its inability to create long term funding plans for basic governmental duties like education, infrastructure, and public health. This leads to knee jerk policies, government overreach, and broad inefficiency. We need to redefine and enforce the boundary between state and local jurisdictions and map out a clear, predictable funding stream for state services.
If you could “wave your magic wand,” what would you like to see immediately implemented in your state?
Few things would make me happier as a legislator than snapping my fingers and making mountains of federal government mandates and regulations go away overnight. We are constantly bogged down and countermanded by federal crossover and unnecessary overreach. Instead of state tax dollars being taken by an already bloated federal system, I would like to see Washington take a backseat and have the government of Ohio properly funded and equipped to take care of Ohioans directly.
What project or law are you most proud of and why?
I am extremely proud of my work on House Bill 136 in the 129th General Assembly, which led to the establishment of the income-based school voucher program in 2013. We expanded voucher accessibility to low and middle income families that are often overlooked by state programs. That legislation is an important step in my overarching goal of providing true school choice for every student in Ohio, including smooth transferability of funds and a robust set of options regardless of geography and family situation.
How has ALEC helped you as a legislator?
Through ALEC, I have had the chance to meet a wide variety of talented and experienced legislators, allowing me to learn more about fields I am already involved in and gain knowledge about items outside my areas of expertise. The educational programs offered by ALEC also provide unique opportunities to challenge myself and increase my understanding of myriad topics. Through it all, I have built relationships with a large array of legislators and industry leaders who I am proud to call colleagues and friends.
Each week, ALEC and FreedomWorks showcase legislators who embody the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.