News & Notes, December 23, 2013

News: Supreme Court Expands Medicaid Expansion, Columbus Dispatch Notes: If you have not heard, Medicaid Expansion comes to Ohio and will grant low-income individuals – up to 138% of the poverty level – with access to Medicaid. It is interesting to note that four justices believed the controlling board acted within its authority and 3 justices would have dismissed the challenge because it is a political question as to whether or not a legislative panel can exceed the scope of

News & Notes December 19, 2013

News: Ohio bill allows same-sex couples to file jointly, Akron Beacon Journal Notes: If two people are legally married, they can file a joint federal tax return. Those numbers are then used to calculate the couples state tax return. Sounds simple enough. However, a same-sex couple who marries in a state like Iowa – that recognizes gay marriage – must complete a joint federal tax federal tax return and a separate federal tax return filing as individuals and these numbers are t

News & Notes December 19, 2013

News: House Republicans say the bill would provide tax relief for landowners and small producers, Youngstown Vindicator Notes: HB 375 imposes a 1% tax on oil and natural gas profits. However, it also creates tax credits and distributes any new revenue into income tax cuts that will primarily benefit the wealthiest Ohioans. Ohio should follow the example of other states, including neighboring West Virginia and have a fair rate and invest the new revenue back into our local com

News & Notes December 16, 2013

News: Ohio’s Frayed Safety Net, Toledo Blade Notes: Ohio has much to do to strengthen the safety net for Ohioans who are struggling this holiday season. When 1.1 million children in Ohio are living in low-income situations, we have a moral imperative to act. Simple actions such as strengthening the Ohio Earned Income Tax Credit, increase access to affordable child care, and invest in education will strengthen the safety net, increase opportunities, and build a stronger commun

News & Notes December 11, 2013

News: GOP Bill sets low drilling rates in Ohio, Columbus Dispatch Notes: The severance tax in Ohio is extremely low and does not reflect the current economic realities of oil and gas drilling in Ohio. Updating the severance tax to a reasonable level is the prudent decision, and the new resources should be utilized to serve the needs of all Ohioans and not just the wealthiest in another income tax rate cut. While a step in the right direction, HB 375 would undervalue the resou

News & Notes December 9, 2013

News: Who Should Pay?, Columbus Dispatch News: Ohio Association of Community Colleges want need based aid restored, Youngstown Vindicator News: The Columbus Dispatch Editorial Board asks the wrong question, “Is the state’s primary obligation to help as many needy students as possible to afford tuition, or to also help some cover living expenses?” The Ohio Association of Community Colleges proposes that Ohio restores funding to pre-recession levels for Opportunity Grants. This

News & Notes December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela: 1918-2013 We join the world today in celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. He showed the world the way of reconciliation and fostered a belief in working for the common good. After sitting in prison for over a quarter century, he forgave his captors, was elected president, and set an ambitious goal of expanding basic public services – such as clean water, roads, and electricity – to the entire country.  May your spirit of reconciliation and working for the c

News & Notes December 5, 2013

House Republicans Propose New Severance Tax Hike, Cleveland Plain Dealer Notes: As oil and natural gas drilling continues in Ohio through hydraulic fracturing (fracking), we need the companies who are profiting to pay their fair share. A ‘severance tax’ is the fee  paid by corporations that drill for oil and natural gas and extract it from beneath our feet. (ie. they ‘severe’ a natural resource from the land). The House proposal is endorsed by the Oil and Gas Drilling lobby b

News & Notes, December 2, 2013

News: Capitol Insider-Special Statehouse Access has a price $25, Columbus Dispatch Notes: The Capitol Insider summarizes many current debates at the statehouse, including the debate on how legislators want to spend $400 million. As a result of Medicaid Expansion, Ohio has $400 million to allocate to other programs and areas for public investment. The Dispatch’s summary of different proposals: Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield, wants to use it for a 4 percent state income-tax

News & Notes November 25, 2013

News: Ohio needs to give poor schools more resources, Plain Dealer Notes: It is almost cliche to say that children our the future and a good education is the bridge out of poverty. Yet, it is true. Howard Fleeter’s Apples-to-Apples comparison of school funding schools clearly how we are under-investing in our schools. Ohio needs to restore the $607 million cuts to K-12 education, invest in early childhood education, and make sure that students have access to post-high school

News & Notes November 22, 2013

News: Dual Eligible, Akron Beacon Journal Notes: Education is key to developing a strong workforce and many Ohio students start their college curriculum while still in high school. With state budget cuts, schools struggle to find ways to finance these programs. As conversations continue on how to finance these systems, we cannot remove the responsibility of the state to help pay, because a well educated workforce benefits all of Ohio. News: Northwest Ohio luring Japanese Firm

News & Notes November 20, 2013

News: Poor Students Consume state funding, leaving little to educate others, Akron Beacon Journal News: Ohio Underestimates costs of teaching poor, Dayton Daily News Notes: A new research report shows that Ohio’s urban, high-poverty districts are not in fact spending more per student than wealthy suburban districts. The new report develops an apples-to-apples comparison of school districts based on what the district spends for the average pupil’s education. This report highli

News & Notes, November 18, 2013

News: After the Shutdown, Akron Beacon Journal Notes: State and local governments continue to provide tax credits, incentives, and other financial perks for large businesses that set up shop in their community. However, with the recent Lockheed Martin decision to close their plant in Akron, we see a few realities of modern economics emerge. First, Government investment matters. Lockheed Martin contracts with the defense department, and as a result of austerity, they need to r

News & Notes November 15, 2013

News: Bell’s ’14 budget called Austere, Toledo Blade Notes: Toledo’s 2014 budget proposal will cut back on street repairs as a result of the elimination of the estate tax by the state that eliminates an estimated $3.4 million from the local budget. The city recieved $13.9 million from the local government in 2012, now the city will receive only $8.1million. The budget also cuts overtime money for police and fire fighters. News: New York City to Test New Tax Credit for Working

News & Notes November 14, 2013

News: Legislators, Interest Groups offer ideas for Spending $404 million from Medicaid Savings, Columbus Dispatch Notes: School funding is $607 million below 2010-11. Children’s Hospitals are concerned about losing $68 million. Opiate addiction is a serious health risk for Ohioans, and putting a strain on our mental health and criminal justice system. Ohio needs to fix 5,700 county bridges. Ohio’s veterans are deserving of our assistance in finding safe, decent and affordable

News & Notes, November 13, 2013

News: Another Tax Spin, Toledo Blade Notes: We have done this before and another tax cut is not the right path of fiscal responsibility and investing in our communities. Instead of tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthiest Ohioans, Ohio should re-invest in the College Opportunity Grant and local police and fire personnel. In addition to the items mentioned by the Blade, Ohio needs to invest in our public schools, preschool education, high speed internet and many other co

News & Notes November 12, 2013

News: Municipal income tax reform bill set to move ahead despite opposition from local governments, Plain Dealer Notes: The House is expected to vote on HB 5 on Wednesday. This bill will reform what local communities can do with their local income taxes. It does more than create uniformity in filing requirements.  HB5 will also require cities to give away revenue to corporations through a 5 year loss carry-forward. This means that if company A has a ‘loss’ in year 1, they can

News and Notes, November 11, 2013

We would like to thank all of those dedicated to serving their communities in the United States military and Ohio National Guard today. News: Changing Municipal Income Tax Law Riles Cities, Columbus Dispatch Notes: The Municipal income tax reform was originally intended to simplify the process for individuals and businesses in multiple communities. Ohio’s legislature needs to be cautious about another cut to local governments. The current budget cuts local government funding

News & Notes November 8, 2013

Happy Friday! Enjoy Your Weekend! News: Bridge Repair is a Sound Investment, Columbus Dispatch Notes: Yes it is. Investment in infrastructure does many things: Creates Jobs, prevents catastrophe, helps businesses move goods to market, and helps families travel safely to grandma’s house for a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner. The article fails to mention that most bridges are the responsibility of county engineers and not the state. As a result of continuing state cuts to the loc