Off the Cliff

- May 21, 2014

In this eNews:  The childcare “cliff” leaves vulnerable families without help, before they can make it alone; the foreclosure crisis continues to threaten Ohio families and create blight; a new resolution could fund crucial elder protection, more is needed; we weigh in on state and local issues; and our latest video underscores our mission to build a stronger and more equitable Ohio.

Off the Cliff – Childcare aid is a crucial work support that helps parents, children and employers. But before families make enough to survive, the credit disappears; this “cliff” and other problems discourage workers from taking on more hours and advancing on the job. Check out our report and the Akron Beacon Journal’s great editorial on the topic.

Home Insecurity – Despite a welcome 25 percent drop, Ohio foreclosure filings in 2013 were still 2.5 times the average rate in the 1990s, before predatory lending schemes and the foreclosure crisis. Housing insecurity continues to threaten Ohio families and create urban blight across the state. What will help? Renewing funds for foreclosure counseling to help keep Ohioans in their homes, and demolishing blighted and abandoned homes.

Silent Epidemic – Ohio’s lack of capacity to protect the elderly from neglect and abuse, coupled with a sharp increase in the population of Ohioans age 60 and older, makes a strong case to boost spending on Adult Protective Services, according to our latest report. The Ohio House has taken a step in the right direction with a proposal to budget $10 million; the Senate should take it a step further to help slow the epidemic that’s hitting vulnerable seniors.

Spring Swing – Ohio added 12,600 jobs in April and unemployment dropped to 5.7 percent.  The good numbers are definitely a relief, but the report lays bare the drop in Ohio’s labor market participation since the recession. Even though the numbers are the same, today’s jobless rate is very different than the 5.7 percent of December 2007. Since that time, Ohio’s labor force has shrunk by 211,000 and employment is down by 182,000.

Testify – Over the past two weeks, we weighed in on three issues at the Statehouse. We told the House Commerce, Labor and Technology Committee that payroll debit cards can help workers who lack banking services access their funds and avoid fees if we strengthen rules prohibiting high costs and make sure payroll debit is a choice, not an employer requirement. We asked Senate Finance to fund critical needs, not cuts, particularly for adult protective services, childcare, and foreclosure prevention. And we told Senate Finance that for investors to receive the InvestOhio income tax credit, the companies they invest in should be required to create new jobs in our state; they currently are not.

Going Local – Staffers testified in Cuyahoga Falls as its city council considers a resolution on payday lending, and to Toledo City Council about creating a more equitable, sustainable and smarter transportation system.

Getting Ohio to work for everyone – Check out our 18-second video that explains what Policy Matters is and what we strive to do. Please share widely!

Image by Ann Gordon,

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