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News & Notes November 1, 2013

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News: House GOP on Income Tax Cut: Not So Fast, Columbus Dispatch News: Ohio Senate starts work this week on New tax cut, Youngstown Vindicator Notes: Speaker Batchelder raises concerns about a plan to cut Ohio’s income tax again that will primarily benefit the wealthiest Ohioans.  While the Speaker wants to be cautious about ‘projected revenue’ resulting from a new expansion of the Medicaid program, he also recognizes that Ohio has unmet needs such as caring for our veterans and assisting those suffering from opiate addiction. We agree Speaker Batchelder, Ohio does have many needs that we can solve through great public services that will lead to stronger communities.

News: Ohio to Spend $120 million on bridges, Toledo Blade Notes: In a new initiative the state will help Ohio’s local county engineers office fix about 40 bridges. 84% of roadway in the state of Ohio is managed by the counties and not the Ohio Dept. of Transportation. Local communities have lost over $1 billion of state investment since 2011. As a result of falling gas tax revenues and less state investment into local communities County Engineers offices have struggled to keep up with Ohio’s infrastructure. This $120 million is a step in the right direction, but more will be needed to 5,700 county bridges that are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient we still have a long way to go. 

News: Columbus Heading for $30million surplus, Columbus Dispatch Notes: The City of Columbus balanced their budget, without dramatically cutting services, and will run a surplus. Columbus was able to create a surplus, without gutting public services as a result of increasing the income tax in Columbus in 2009. This decision has paid off to create financial stability for the city and public services that lead to a stronger Columbus. 

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