New Normal?

- May 23, 2013

In this week’s eNews — If the figures in our latest JobWatch report are Ohio’s new normal, the state’s in deep trouble; a few short pieces on the reasons Ohio should expand Medicaid; tax testimony by Zach Schiller, and; a forum related to work and jobs that’s worth a look.

New normal? – Ohio added just 7,600 jobs in April, nowhere near what’s needed to fix Ohio’s slow-growth economy. The state needs 235,000 jobs just to make up for losses in the last recession. If the current job-growth rate becomes Ohio’s new normal, the state is in deep trouble. See our latest JobWatch report for more.

Medicaid works – Ohio legislators have taken Medicaid expansion out of the budget, a huge mistake. Expanding Medicaid would bring health care, money, and jobs to Ohio. This brief summarizes research on Medicaid quality. Whether in the budget or as a stand-alone bill, legislators should pass expansion this spring. Not doing so means sending Ohio money to states smart enough to accept the generous federal offer. As if that’s not enough, a new federal rule makes it clear that if Ohio doesn’t expand Medicaid, in 2014 the state’s safety net hospitals could lose more than $23 million in federal aid for the treatment of patients without insurance. This Toledo Blade editorial cites our work showing that Medicaid expansion would especially benefit some working mothers.

Tax testimony – Zach Schiller, research director at Policy Matters, took the stand yesterday to tell the Ohio Senate Ways and Means Committee that neither a personal income tax cut nor a business income tax exemption, both under consideration in the budget debate, will help Ohio’s economy. These proposals are bad for low- and moderate-income Ohioans, and would slash revenue Ohio needs to support our economic success and improve our quality of life.

Pull together – Policy Matters, with the arts organization SPACES and others, invites Clevelanders to weigh in on whether work is working for them, and to talk about ways we can improve jobs. Amy Hanauer will speak at this forum on May 30 at 6:30 p.m. It’s part of Pull!, a community performance by internationally renowned artist William Pope.L, coming to town June 7 to 9. During Pull!, teams of Clevelanders will pull an eight-ton truck through the city for more than two days straight!

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