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News & Notes October 28, 2013

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News: Ohio Senate GOP leaders seek income tax cut using savings from Medicaid expansion, Plain Dealer Notes: Through medicaid expansion, Ohio will see about $404 million. This revenue could be handed out in a tax cut that will benefit the wealthiest Ohioans the most or could be invested in expanding preschool to 14,000 kids without access ($67 million) hire back 1,000 police officers and 675 fire fighters ($100 million), create adequate funding for senior protective services ($11.5million), rehire 1,570 eliminated teaching positions ($121 million) and invest in college students ($85.7 million), and so much more… 

News: Ohio Incomes Drop, 1 in 6 live in Poverty, Dayton Daily News (Premium Content)

Notes: Ohio ranks 41th for median family income with a drop of 9.2% since 2007. Florida (50th) and Nevada (51st) round out the bottom of the list with median income falling by 14.9% & 18.4%.  Nevada and Florida also saw their poverty rates increase by more than 5%. It is important to note that neither Nevada nor Florida have a state income tax, further illustrating that a state income tax is not determinative of economic success. States with the smallest increases in poverty during the recession were all states that produce substantial amounts of energy. 

News: Prison population, costs rise despite reforms, Dayton Daily News (Premium Content) Notes: Ohio passed legislation to reform prison sentencing 2 years ago. However, those reforms have not delivered the promised reduction in prison population and our $1.5 billion investment will be inadequate in 2015 to keep up with the costs of a growing prison population. Ohio will need to invest resources either into more prison cells or into probation, diversion, and other community sentencing and drug treatment programs. Either way, we need to Invest in Ohio’s Future. 

News: New state loans for brownfield cleanups tied to job creation, Columbus Dispatch Notes: Ohio currently has a program that provides grants to companies to clean up land that has chemicals or rusting industry. As that program draws to a close, Ohio may replace it with a low-interest loan program connected to permanent jobs. Some have raised concerns that building housing on those sites will not create permanent jobs, but should still be eligible under the new program. Ohio and businesses are better served through loan and grant programs over tax credits, incentives, and loopholes that are poorly targeted and unaccountable for their results. 

News: The State of Arts in Our Schools, Cincinnati Enquirer Notes: We need the arts for our students. The arts inspire kids to be creative in all aspects of their live, help youth to express themselves in emotionally responsible ways, and inspire kids to dream of a better community and world. Budget cuts have decimated art programs in many school districts. It is time to invest in our Children, it is time to invest in Ohio’s future. 

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