April 2007 News from Policy Matters Ohio: Events, Testimony, Hiring, Reports

- April 20, 2007

May day – Jonathan Cohn, a senior fellow at the national think tank Demos, and a senior editor at The New Republic, traveled the country talking to those who have suffered from our dysfunctional health care system. He’ll be at the Cleveland City Club on Friday May 11 to discuss his new book Sick: The Untold Story of America’s Health Care Crisis—and the People Who Pay the Price. The book inspired a cover story in the New York Times magazine, catapulted itself onto the NYT bestseller list, and is inspiring discussion and action to cure health care. 

Rescued! – We’ve saved Amanda Woodrum from drowning in a sea of other, less enjoyable job offers. Amanda founded the Akron Law student newspaper, earned a Master’s in Economics and a law degree, and worked at the City of Cleveland Law Department and the Summit County Council, where she received a commendation. That experience and her rave references earned her a slot as our new Columbus-based Policy Liaison. Welcome, Amanda!

Elderly, out of work, and out of luck – Yesterday Research Director Zach Schiller testified to the Senate Finance Committee on a proposal to join every other state in the nation by restoring to retired workers the ability to receive full unemployment compensation when they lose their jobs. Right now, Ohio is the only state that reduces unemployment benefits by 100 percent of Social Security payments. A fix is likely to be voted out of committee next week.

Tax cut fallout – In 2005, we said that ill-advised tax cuts would lead to insufficient revenue for needed services and wouldn’t help the economy. They were rammed through anyway, and we’ve still lost manufacturing jobs since, for a variety of reasons. Now the lack of revenue forces us to choose between college affordability and health care for the poorest. Yet our research has shown that states with strong public sectors have stronger economic growth. Our statement on the budget summarizes these issues.

Dollars that make sense – Over 800,000 Ohio families received the Earned Income Tax Credit in the 2005 tax year, helping workers with modest incomes get by. David Rothstein’s new report shows that Ohio could add more than 40,000 recipients with more aggressive outreach. A state component could help further. Read what we’ve said.

Save the planet and the date – Jerome Ringo, President of the national Apollo Alliance for Good Jobs and Clean Energy, will come to Cleveland State’s Levin College Forum on Thursday, May 31st from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. to talk about how smarter energy policy could help Ohio’s economy. 

Executive decision – The national think tank Dēmos has added our director Amy Hanauer to the Executive Committee of its board of directors. Hanauer will bring the concerns facing Ohio workers to this leading national organization.

That’s all!
The Policy Matters Ohio Team 

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