Defend Our Dignity
From Akron to Athens, most of us want the same things for ourselves and our family: peace of mind that we can put food on the table and see a doctor when we need to. Today, certain corporate interests and their political allies are pushing Senate Bill 17 (SB 17), which will erect barriers to health care and food and make it harder for people who were laid off to get by — just when Ohioans most need support. They’re attempting to shift even more resources away from Ohioans with low incomes and our Black and brown neighbors after more than 15 years of advancing policies that further enrich the wealthy few at all our expense.
We need a strong recovery for all Ohioans, and this bill moves us in the opposite direction. A year into the pandemic, tens of thousands of Ohioans have been laid off. Many are working hard to put food on the table, pay the rent and afford the basics, but still aren’t paid enough to make ends meet.
Programs like Medicaid and SNAP help us deliver on our nation’s promise to care for our neighbors and extend a hand when they need it. The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) makes sure that more than 1.5 million Ohioans can keep food on the table during difficult times. Medicaid ensures people get the health care they need and covers more than 3 million Ohioans. Unemployment Compensation helps Ohioans make it through a crisis. These programs boost Ohioans’ purchasing power and stimulate our local economies. People who use SNAP and Unemployment Compensation dollars spend them right away in their community and that spending has a positive ripple effect in the local economy. A recent study found that a $1 billion infusion into SNAP households would increase Gross Domestic Product by $1.54 billion. SB 17 would prevent millions of federal dollars from flowing to Ohio communities at a time when this spending is critical for people’s security and to help our economy recover.
SB 17 takes food and health care away from people. It would make children, adults, and families less secure. This bill will punish Ohioans with low paying jobs and those with no control over their work schedules. It will harm Ohioans who have been laid off through no fault of their own. Now is the time to come together to support dignity for all Ohioans and reject policies that punish people based on their race or income.
The maps highlight State Senate districts and the number and percentage of households that participate in the SNAP and Medicaid programs. If enacted, SB 17 would mean fewer federal resources flowing into Ohio communities for food and health care, particularly those in larger cities and Appalachia.
Our elected leaders must do everything they can to help stabilize residents’ lives now. SB 17 does the opposite.
SNAP use by state Senate district
Medicaid enrollment by state Senate district