Rep joins fight for pensions

Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, who represents the northern portion of Trumbull County, is the newest member of a bi-partisan working group focused on the termination of Delphi salaried retiree pensions.

Joyce announced his participation in the Auto Industry Pension Task Force in an email last week.

”Delphi salaried retirees deserve a retirement in which they receive the pensions they earned, and I look forward to being part of the conversation moving forward,” said Joyce, elected to the 113th Congress in November.

The informal group is co-chaired by Democrat Timothy J. Ryan, who represents the rest of the county, and Republican Mike Turner of Dayton. Turner said in a news release earlier this month the group will ”amplify” the voices of Delphi salaried retirees whose pensions were slashed by Congress.

On Wednesday, Joyce joined Democrats from the Cleveland area to announce the introduction of legislation to help cities and states address abandoned properties and demolish vacant homes.

The Restore Our Neighborhoods Act, Joyce said in a news release, is a ”common-sense” measure that will ”increase home values, decrease crime and protect responsible homeowners from the enormous economic drag of vacant or abandoned homes in their neighborhoods.”

The bill is a successor to the Restore Our Neighborhoods Act of 2012, which was championed by Joyce’s predecessor, Republican Steve LaTourette. The 2012 version, which also included Ryan as a co-sponsor, languished in committee.

In addition to Joyce, the remake is backed by Democrat congresswomen Marcia Fudge, who represents a portion of Cuyahoga County, and Marcy Kaptur, who also represents a portion of Cuyahoga County.

In 2012, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat who lost to Kaptur, also backed the bill.

According to information on Fudge’s website, the bill would let the U.S. Treasury allocate bonds to states to sell to investors. Proceeds from the sales would be used by land banks for demolitions.

It would designate $4 billion for the bonds and divide that equally among the states – $40 million per state – and $2 billion among qualified states.

The bill was introduced on Wednesday.

Ryan met recently with gun rights advocates, including sportsmen, to discuss ways to develop legislation to address gun violence. The meeting was part of Ryan’s effort to ”thread the needle” on legislation that keeps guns away from people that shouldn’t have them while making sure law-abiding gun owners aren’t being attacked.

The congressman already has met with law enforcement officials, and there are plans to speak with folks in the mental health and education fields.

One of the sportsmen attending, Denny Malloy, regional director of Whitetails Unlimited, said hunters, sportsmen and gun owners who follow the rules are willing to subject themselves ”as a legal firearm owning community” to certain hurdles to make sure people who shouldn’t have guns don’t.