Testimony Trifecta

- March 13, 2013
   

In this edition of our eNews — Several trips to present testimony before legislative committees in Columbus, an action alert to push for a transportation alternatives fund in the state budget, and our latest JobWatch report.

Work sharing – Hannah Halbert testified on House Bill 37, SharedWork Ohio, which would allow Ohio employers to temporarily reduce employees’ hours rather than laying them off. Affected workers could tap into unemployment compensation until the company boosts production again. Good for employers and workers, we’re proud to have helped shepherd this bill through the legislative process. The Dayton Daily News summarized it well in this recent article.
 
Taxing times – Gov. Kasich’s proposal to broaden the sales tax while lowering the rate is good tax policy if (and only if) accompanied by measures to help low- and moderate-income tax Ohioans, according to Zach Schiller’s testimony on HB 59, the administration’s budget proposal. Separately, he testified that income-tax cuts in the same bill would mostly benefit upper-income Ohioans and probably won’t lead to economic growth. Hitting the airwaves, Zach also went head-to-head with Ohio budget director Tim Keen, dissecting the governor’s proposals to change Ohio’s tax code. Meanwhile, Wendy Patton explained tax code changes, Medicaid expansion, and the need to restore funding for vital services on the State of Ohio, a weekly public broadcast show.
 
Moving Ohio – Amanda Woodrum and Ohioans for Transportation Choice continue to make the case for a dedicated fund for transit alternatives in Ohio, now with testimony before the Ohio Senate. The Ohio Environmental Council has set up an action-alert page to encourage Ohioans to contact legislators on the issue.
 
Slowing down – Ohio’s jobless rate ticked up a bit in January, even as Ohio added a modest 3,800 jobs. Our monthly JobWatch report shows why we’re concerned that Ohio’s recovery remains weak and that the current rate of job growth will leave our state behind.

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