A Republican former state lawmaker from Northeast Ohio is taking on a new job in the administration of Gov. Mike DeWine.
Sarah LaTourette left the Ohio House on Sunday and started work Monday as director of Ohio Family and Children First. The organization works with county-level councils to help kids who receive state services, such as mental health or foster care.
One project LaTourette will likely take on: helping “multi-system youth”— kids with serious needs who rely on multiple state agencies for assistance.
“That’s very expensive,” LaTourette said, “and so you’re talking about families that have to either choose between not giving their child that care, or perhaps going completely bankrupt and receiving even more state assistance, or quite literally signing their child over to the state to access those services.”
DeWine’s budget proposal earmarks $25 million for such families, part of a proposed near doubling of state funding for family and children services.
Under a House Finance Committee budget amendment, Ohio Family and Children First would have to come up with a plan to prevent the signing over of “multi-system” kids to the state for services.
The daughter of former U.S. Congressman Steve LaTourette, Sarah LaTourette has represented Ohio's 76th House District since 2015, losing her spot on the House majority leadership team when Rep. Ryan Smith lost the speaker’s gavel to Rep. Larry Householder. But she said the leadership shakeup didn’t play a huge part in her taking the job.
“While I can’t say with 100 percent certainty I would have made the same decision,” she said, “I don’t think it played nearly as much of a role as some people might think.”