After being appointed to the seat formerly held by Karen Gillmor in July 2011, Dave Burke said he hopes to continue serving the 26th District in his first full-term.
Formerly a state representative and Marysville City Council member, Burke said he has been fortunate to serve the district in the Senate.
"I have a vested interest to help friends and neighbors in the state in terms of employment, in terms of its budget, and mainly in terms of opportunity," he said. "I've been blessed with opportunity in my life, in the ability to have my own business and be able to live the American dream, and I believe that is possible for everybody."
Burke is a pharmacist and owner of a pharmacy in Marysville with his wife. Using that background, he worked to introduce and pass House Bill 93, the pill mill bill.
"It has really put a dent in what will be a long-term battle against drug addiction in the state, but I feel confident there will be people waking up today that wouldn't be alive if we hadn't passed that legislation," he said.
He also worked toexpand passport funding, presumptive eligibility to pregnant women and children and funding for food banks.
"It's not about handouts or entitlement, it should be about hand-ups or empowerment," Burke said.
Burke also is proud of working to close an $8 billion budget gap in the state, which was necessary as the state had relied on federal stimulus funding to balance the budget under Gov. Ted Strickland. To offset this, Burke said the state increased funding to school districts by $300 million and has lowered income taxes to residents since 2005.
However, local governments and schools were cut funding. Burke said he "feels their pain," but does not believe the state should be the entity to collect taxes, that local governments should be responsible for levying and collecting taxes.
"I believe in local government, and I believe in a strong local government, so your city police, your county sheriff, your city operates because your friends and neighbors allow it to be funded," he said.
One tool he sees as beneficial for local governments is consolidation of services with other government entities.
"We need to think out of the box, and we need to accept responsibility to the people that we serve, and that means innovation," Burke said.
Burke added that he hopes to continue to work to make Ohio better for employers, to "correct" the tax base and focus on using educational centers to focus on "outcomes that aren't diploma-oriented, but job-oriented."