Congressman Steve Stivers speaks with the Ruffs inside one of the barns at the Pickaway County Agricultural and Events Center

CIRCLEVILLE — U.S. Congressman Steve Stivers visited the Pickaway County Fair this week and spoke with visitors about their animals and this year’s fair.

Stivers, in one of his first public appearances since the government shutdown, took in some fair food before getting a guided tour of the grounds by Logan Pence who has several animals showing animals at the fair.

Stivers represents Ohio’s 15th district, which includes all of Pickaway County. Stivers said he loves the fair, noting he had a goat growing up, showed horses and was in the Huntington Township Hotshots 4-H club when he was younger.

“This is one of the best fairs in the state,” he mentioned. “It’s great to feel almost normal again. People are social distancing and are taking the virus seriously, but at the same time, we don’t all need to stay home.”

Stivers said he’s proud to be able to attend the fair where he said Pickaway County did everything right.

“We’ve learned a lot more about the virus and for healthy people, there’s an inconvenience, and for people who are older or have a pre-existing condition, we need to take this seriously and protect them,” he explained. “That doesn’t mean we need to all stay home and not do events, we just need to take special precautions and I think people are doing it.”

Stivers said he’s seen the facility before but he’s not been present during the fair.

“This is my first time seeing the facilities during the fair and it’s awesome, I love it,” he commented.

Stivers shared his plans for policy that he wants to push for, including additional support to local governments for COVID-19 support.

“I want to allow in the next bill, I’m probably not going to fight for new money, but to allow existing money to be used for shortfalls allocated based on population,” he said. “Pickaway County gets some money, Circleville gets some money and Ohio gets some money. There’d probably be about $5 billion for Ohio.”

“Fairfield County told me if we do that, it’ll cover them and it’ll be enough,” he explained. “It’s not a slam dunk, but it’s doable.

Stivers said another COVID-19-related package is something he wants Congress to work on.

“Hopefully it won’t be as costly, it’ll encourage people to go back to work,” he said. “It’ll protect people most vulnerable and people whose business can’t or won’t open up. We need to address the problems of the day. I think there are things we can do that I’m excited about, like helping state and local governments, helping with infrastructure and giving businesses liability protections so we can help people get to a semi-normal life.”

In addition to COVID-19 budget related issues, Stivers said addressing police reform is something else he is working on.

“We’re going to do some police reform,” he stated. “I’m not for defunding the police, I think police are very important and support them, but there have been some incidents that we all have seen and we can frankly do better and we need to do better and aspire to do better. There are some things we’re doing at the federal level that we can do to get rid of some bad cops out there. Most police, 99 percent, are great we just need to make sure they’re weeded out.”

“This guy that killed George Floyd had 18 prior use of force allegations against him and someone should have taken that seriously,” he concluded.

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