Armond D. Budish (born 1953)[1] is an American politician currently serving as Cuyahoga County Executive. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Ohio's 8th District in the state House of Representatives, and served as Speaker of the House from 2009 to 2011. He was the first Jewish representative to hold that office.[2] He was re-elected to the House in 2010 and 2012, and thereafter was term-limited.

Before his entry into politics in 2006, he was an attorney specializing in consumer and elder law with Budish, Solomon, Steiner & Peck and has written on the subject.[3] He resides in Beachwood, Ohio.


Budish received his Bachelor's Degree (cum laude) in 1974 from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania where he was a political science major. He then went on to complete a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.[4] In 1993, he founded the law firm Budish, Solomon, Steiner, & Peck, of which he continues to be a partner. During that time Budish became nationally recognized for his work in the field of consumer law, estate planning, and elder law.[5] He was elected to Cuyahoga County Executive in November 2014, and will take office in January.[6]

Ohio House of Representatives

In 2006, after both of his sons left for college, he made the decision to run for public office, and was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives from the 8th District, which includes parts of Cleveland, Ohio, and some of the city's eastern neighbors. He was re-elected in 2008 and was chosen Speaker of the House by his peers in January 2009, becoming the first Jewish Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. His main focus in the 128th General Assembly was job creation in the difficult economic conditions of 2009. To that end, he created several new committees, including Economic Development and Housing & Urban Revitalization.

Budish faced mounting criticism from opponents in February 2010 for not allowing the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner to receive an honorary resolution on the House floor. However, he soon reversed his decision and allowed for the award to be given.[7] He also was criticized for colluding with progressive political action committees in the 2010 election cycle. Charges on the matter were later dropped.[8]

With the Republicans regaining control of the State House in 2010, Armond Budish lost a second term as House Speaker, and was replaced by William G. Batchelder. He was chosen to remain as Minority Leader with the approval of his colleagues.[9] On January 3, 2011 Budish was sworn in as minority leader, and pledged cooperation with Republicans. He stated he would be available "to help you and to help your colleagues forge the essential, equitable, bipartisan solutions to the economic and social problems Ohio faces."[10] However, Budish has also acknowledged that he believes that the Republican Party is motivated to annihilate the Democratic voting base, and is out to make Ohio a one party state.[11] Along with his duties as leader, Budish also serves the ranking member of the Rules and Reference Committee. Budish is also a member of the Ohio Arts Council; a member of the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee; the Ohio Legislative Service Commission; the Program Committee of Ohio Government Telecommunications; and the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, Reapportionment, and Demographic Research.

Budish won a final term in 2012, defeating Republican Tony Hocevar with 83% of the vote.

Policies, positions and initiatives

Fiscal issues

He has called the 2012–2013 Kasich budget proposal "horrific" and said they will have a "terrible" impact on all Ohioans. He has said a proposed $1 billion cut in local government funds will mean local officials will have to slash their budgets and cut police and firefighters. He called a proposed $3 billion reduction in basic funding for schools "horrific" and predicted it would force districts to cut teacher salaries and positions and increase the size of some classes to 50 students or more.[12]

He also pointed to developments in Florida, where newly elected Gov. Rick Scott fired the president of a similar public-private entity and has proposed to consolidate economic development operations into a reinstated Department of Commerce.

Budish has also remained vocal on an initiative to move a Cuyahoga County mental health facility to Northfield, Ohio. "I think it's a disservice to the families to build it anywhere else -- 90 percent of the families are Cleveland families," he said. "You can't just go back and forth on a whim."[13]

Collective bargaining

A leader in the fight against a bill that eliminated portions of collective bargaining for public employees, Budish had promised to "fight like hell" against the passage of the measure.[14] He also has come out against a measure to limit or eliminate overtime pay for any employee of a private company in Ohio.[15] Budish, along with fellow Democrats delivered over 65,000 signed signatures against the bill to the committee that was hearing the legislation.[16] The bill went on to pass the House, and was concurred upon in the Senate.[17] Budish stated it was an attack on something that helped to raise up the working poor over a period of thirty years.[18]

In August 2011, Kasich and Republican leaders, fearing that the repeal effort could potential overturn the bill, sought to bring organized labor leaders together. However, those against the measures opted to not meet with the Governor unless the entire legislation was repealed. As a result, Budish drafted legislation that would effectively overturn Senate Bill 5.[19] He has urged on a vote from Speaker of the House William G. Batchelder to repeal the bill.[20]

Social issues

Demonstrating outrage over a measure that looks to require a photo ID to vote, Budish has called it a modern-day poll tax that will unfairly harm impoverished, minority and handicapped voters at the polls.[21] He has called the bill “partisan attack on the right to vote.” [22]


Budish has also opposed an initiative to allow for the return of five calamity days to schools, mostly due to an unfunded mandate that requires public schools to provide transportation to non-public schools on said days.[23]

External links


  1. ^ Ohio Historical Society
  2. ^ Siegel, Jim (November 19, 2008). "New House speaker has come a long way". Columbus Dispatch(subscription). Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  3. ^ Armand D. Budish on WorldCat
  4. ^ Swarthmore College Alumni Bulletin (November 1996)
  5. ^ Naymik (4 June 2009)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish blocks presentation to 'Right to Life' teen
  8. ^ Rowland, Darrell (2011-07-26). "Democrats, PAC cleared of collusion allegations". Columbus Dispatch. The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-07-26. 
  9. ^ Siegel, Jim (November 19, 2010). "House Democrats stick with Budish as leader". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  10. ^ Bell, Jeff (January 3, 2011). "Batchelder outlines pro-business priorities". Columbus Business First. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  11. ^ Hallett, Joe (2011-04-10). "GOP trying to annihilate opposition, Dems say". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  12. ^ Lawrence, Al (2011-04-10). "Democrat dinner speaker in Mansfield targets Gov. John Kasich". Mansfield News Journal(paid access). Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  13. ^ Marshall, Aaron (2011-03-08). "Democratic leader Armond Budish, local advocates dispute Gov. John Kasich's remarks on proposed mental health hospital in Cleveland". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 
  14. ^ Guillen, Joe (2011-03-11). "Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel evasive about possible run for U.S. Senate". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  15. ^ Guillen, Joe (2011-03-25). "State Rep. Armond Budish says pending legislation would limit or eliminate 'time-and-a-half' overtime pay: PolitiFact Ohio". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  16. ^ Craig, Jon (2011-03-30). "House set to OK SB5". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  17. ^ Bischoff, Laura (2011-03-31). "Backers defend need for bargaining bill; unions promise referendum". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2011-04-01. 
  18. ^ Kovac, Marc (2011-03-31). "Tempers flare as SB 5 approved". Youngstown Vindicator. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  19. ^ Siegel, Jim (2011-08-19). "Want to talk? Only after SB 5 repeal, opponents say". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  20. ^ "Anti-S.B. 5 group wants repeal before compromise". Columbus Morning Call. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  21. ^ Quan, Truong (2011-03-23). "Bill: voters need photo ID". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  22. ^ Hershey, William (2011-03-24). "Ohio House passes bill to have voters show photo ID". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  23. ^ Siegel, Jim (2011-04-06). "House Democrats balk at snow-day measure". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2011-04-07.