Ohio CASH eNews

September 1, 2012

August 2012 Ohio CASH Newsletter

August – Ohio CASH 3rd quarter meeting2

The 3rd quarter Ohio CASH meeting was held on August 16, 2012 and included a variety of presentations.  Marty Berkowitz of the Ohio Consumer’s Counsel shared information on SB 271 a telecommunications deregulation bill that could leave low-income families without affordable basic telephone services. 

David Rothstein of Policy Matters Ohio presented a short brief on asset limits for public benefits programs in Ohio.  Ohio is one of a few states that have removed asset limits from most programs due to the challenging economy.  Kalitha Williams, also of Policy Matters Ohio, provided a short policy update that included the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services’ decision to eliminate overdraft protection fees associated with the prepaid debit card called the Reliacard.  Policy Matters Ohio met with ODJFS leadership and shared recommendations on how to improve the card for clients, one of them included eliminating overdraft protection fees.  This is a great victory for consumers.  Kalitha also shared the results of a survey the Ohio CASH Toolkit Committee developed and distributed to direct service providers around Ohio.  The respondents provided insight into the type of information they would like to see in a financial stability resource.  Meeting participants agreed that the 4th Quarter meeting should be face-to-face and held in Columbus, Ohio.   A meeting wizard will be distributed soon to select a date and time that meeting.  Attached you will find all of the presentations and the survey summary. 

2012 Free Tax Preparation Summit was a great success!
On Wednesday August 22, 2012, Ohio’s leading organizations providing free tax preparation services came to Columbus for the Free Tax Preparation Summit: Moving the Field Forward in Columbus.  The purpose of the Summit was to share information on the impact of the movement statewide and nationally, discuss opportunities to increase free tax work in Ohio, and begin planning for a successful 2013 tax year through collaboration activities.   The Summit included presentations from the National Community Tax Coalition and was sponsored by The Columbus Foundation.  Funding permitting, this will be an annual event.

Religious Leaders Voice Support for Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit Extensions
A coalition of faith leaders recently called on Congress to extend the enhanced earned income tax credit and child tax credit. The group cited the effectiveness of the credits in preventing millions of working families from falling into poverty.  The statement challenged Congress members maintain credits instead of increasing tax cuts for the wealthy.  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/christian-leaders-call-for-extension-of-improved-eitc-and-ctc-taxes-2012-08-01

Apprisen awarded grant to educate consumers on personal finances                                                     
Consumer Credit Counseling Services, known nationally as Apprisen, was awarded $120,000 by JPMorgan Chase & Company.  The free program will help 100 families in four cities participate in a two year financial education program called MyCoach.  There will be a variety of financial topics covered including debt, credit and bank accounts. Columbus and Newark are among the cities where the program is being targeted.  Read more about the program in the Columbus Dispatch article here  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2012/08/17/grant-pays-for-ohioans-financial-counseling.html

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