Check out the OneOhio blog for more details on a policy related project OCCN has been helping out with.

In the past OCCN worked on the following legislation.

The CTC Fund Legislation now has a bill number! It is House Bill 413. You can read the text of the bill online at http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=125_HB_413%20

Angela Stuber of OCCN and Sue Shipitalo of Coshocton County Resource Network testfied as proponents of HB 413 in front of the House Economic Development and Technology Committee on May 27, 2004.

Co-sponsors of HB 413 are:
Larry Wolpert (R)
Dixie Allen (D)
Nancy Hollister (R)
Jim Aslanides (R)
Arlene Setzer (R)
Tim Schaffer (R)
James Trakas (R)
Press Conference
At the Ohio State House on February 11, State Representative Jon Peterson (R-Delaware, Assistant Majority Whip) announced his intention to introduce legislation to establish the Community Technology Center Fund.

The Ohio Community Technology Center Fund would be financed through a portion of penalty funds charged to telecommunications carriers. Under the provisions of the legislation, a set percentage of collected penalties would be deposited into the Ohio CTCF. The Ohio Department of Development would oversee distribution of the funds.

The Ohio Community Computing Network (OCCN) would serve in an advisory role and make recommendations to the Department in regard to fund distributions. OCCN is a nonprofit statewide membership-based alliance of community computing centers committed to promoting the creation and sustainability of community based technology centers. These centers provide opportunity and support to those who lack access to computer and network technology. The OCCN was established in 1995 when it was charged with the distribution of telecommunications settlement funds through the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).

Community agencies eligible to receive funding will be non-profit and government organizations providing technology training and access to the public.

Representative Peterson stated “this initiative is based upon a need to provide equal opportunity for individuals who want to share in Ohio’s bright future and is consistent with the economic development objectives of the administration and legislature.”

Press Coverage

Gongwer News Services also reported on the press conference:



A group of House and Senate members Wednesday proposed the creation of a state fund to provide grants to qualifying communities that want to provide computer-related services and training to their citizens. Principal funding for the program would come from penalties paid by the state's telecommunications companies that are sanctioned for various reasons.

Rep. John Peterson (R-Delaware) said during a Statehouse press conference that his legislation, to be introduced later, builds on an existing program that has been successfully operated by the Ohio Community Computing Network (OCCN). Support for the proposal has come from Democratic Senators Ray Miller of Columbus and Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, who were unable to attend the press conference.

Mr. Peterson called the measure a "jobs bill" that is consistent with Governor Bob Taft's initiatives to promote a "knowledge-based" economy in Ohio. The Community Technology Center Grant Fund, he explained, would provide funding for community computing centers; funding would be targeted specifically to the state's economically depressed areas. Financing, he said, would be generated by using 50% of the penalties paid by Ohio's telecommunications providers to the state, usually as a result of service-related matters decided by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Giving Ohioans a means to learn computing skills, Mr. Peterson said, will play an "important" role in helping the state promote the fastest-growing sector of the economy - high technology development and deployment.

Angela Stuber, OCCN's executive director, said while pointing to a mobile computer training bus that was parked outside the Statehouse that the community computing centers can be used to provide training, allow job-seekers to prepare resumes and also be used for job searches.

Source: http://www.gongwer-oh.com/

Bill Cohen from NPR was also there to cover the event
You can listen to the story here

Pictures from the Press Conference:

A cyberwire photojournalist attended the CTC Fund press
conference at the Ohio State House on February 11, 2004. His
coverage is available at http://www.photoj.com/browse/021104.html