News & Notes September 30, 2013
News: Shut Down Impact, Youngstown Vindicator Notes: Public services often receive a mix of local, state, and federal dollars. For many community programs, the federal shut down will not immediately impact the communities, except for federal employees that will be furloughed and the closure of parks, offices, and federal lands. For example, 20 Headstart agencies in the country have grants that expire on September 30th and will not be renewed. Non-discretionary spending such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue. Also essential public safety personnel will remain on the job. Public and non-profit organizations in Ohio will be impacted with a drawn out federal government shut down when we are unable to provide the services that local communities require.
News: Cuyahoga County pushing to tax hotel rooms given away for free by Cleveland casino Notes: County is losing $2 million worth of revenue a year as a result of hotel rooms that are given away for free to high priced gamblers. County seeks to collect this revenue, and casino supports the effort because, “the casino’s interests are aligned with county and tourism officials who benefit from the county tax.” Even expensive casino’s recognize the value in public investments.
News: Getting to the root of suicide behind Ohio prison bars Notes: Ohio’s prisons currently operate at 130% of capacity and we need to increase staff levels and training for our prison guards. NAMI, in a 2011 report, found that Ohio was had ‘extreme cuts to mental health’. It is no surprise that our prison system is the largest provider of mental health services in Ohio as a result of failing to invest in community mental health treatment. Ohio also fails to invest in prison mental health services. Ohio cut $2.2 million from prison mental health services compared to the year before, and in FY 2014, Ohio will experience another 2.5% cut to services. Ohio needs to invest in mental health treatment in our communities and behind prison walls.