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May 22, 2020

JobWatch: Record number of Ohioans laid off amid pandemic

More than a fifth of Ohio’s working people lost their jobs in the coronavirus shut-down. Policymakers must push substantial fiscal stimulus to state and local governments to avoid a prolonged depression.

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May 21, 2020

Improving federal COVID assistance

The HEROES Act that recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives is a strong bill, but it could be stronger. Leaders in D.C. must boost aid to meet need, make funding flexible, continue funding until jobs have returned and make sure it gets to the people who need it most.

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May 20, 2020

COVID-19 is hitting communities of color hardest

No matter what you look like or where you come from, everyone deserves a healthy life. Gov. DeWine's Minority Health Strike Force can address health disparities and the divisive policies that create them.

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May 19, 2020

Draft plan to reopen Ohio schools shows some promise on safety and equity

Ohio's plan for reopening schools commits us to creating great, safe and healthy schools for every kid, no matter what they look like or where they come from. We need our lawmakers to follow through on that commitment.

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May 20, 2020

Death rate in Ohio prisons 10x higher than rate for state’s total population

People who are incarcerated and people who work with them are at increased risk, as are their families and communities. 

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May 18, 2020

Avoid layoffs with Shared Work Ohio

A voluntary program called Shared Work Ohio allows employers to avoid layoffs and workers to receive unemployment benefits proportionate to the time they don’t work. Working people keep their jobs and benefits, while employers retain their workers and avoid the need to hire and train new workers when demand recovers.

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May 14, 2020

Ohio after COVID-19: Looking to the future, learning from history

Government response will determine how painful the COVID crisis and accompanying recession will be. During the recession of 2008, poor policy decisions hamstrung Ohio's recovery. State and federal officials can do better this time.

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May 7, 2020

Putting JobsOhio to work for Ohioans

Ohio’s privatized economic development agency, JobsOhio, can use its considerable resources to create jobs and help Ohioans.

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May 6, 2020

Put down the ax, pick up the umbrella

Governor Mike DeWine announced budget cuts totalling $775 million, mostly to education ($465 million) and Medicaid ($211 million). The scale of these cuts is staggering. The governor has better options.

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May 6, 2020

Essential workers are working in a biohazard and need proper training

Our allies at the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers Center (CIWC) have the resources to lead large-scale worker and volunteer hazmat training programs. Those resources are critical now to protect workers, volunteers and the people they serve. Learn more in this blog post from CIWC Director Brennan Grayson.

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May 5, 2020

Clarify “suitable work” and “good cause” as applied in Ohio’s Unemployment Compensation Program’s COVID-19 work refusal policy

The DeWine administration's guidance on eligibility for unemployment compensation may result in more people getting sick and less accountability for employers. Policy Matters and the Ohio Poverty Law Center sent a letter to Gov. DeWine to spell out our concerns and our recommendations.

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May 1, 2020

Four essential policies to sustain Ohio’s working people through the pandemic

With smart, compassionate policy, we can ensure everyone has a fair shot at a decent life, free from economic insecurity. This report offers four practical policy solutions our leaders can implement today to get Ohioans through this difficult time.

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May 1, 2020

Working for less 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic grips Ohio, working people in low-paying jobs are on the front lines. But the low-pay road leads working Ohioans to struggle and hardship. New employment data prove it. This series of fact sheets illustrates the prevalence of low-wage jobs across the state and in 11 metro areas.

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April 23, 2020

Jobless claims still climbing, but fewer last week

Alleviating hardship for workers displaced by this crisis is critical, and getting it right is the way to prevent a short-term disruption from becoming a protracted recession.

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April 21, 2020

Now is the time to stabilize families in crisis

The DeWine Administration has drawn on the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to help families through this crisis. But TANF can be used to do even more.

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April 17, 2020

Out like a lion? March job report closed the books too early to see COVID-19’s toll

The number of initial unemployment claims filed in the past four weeks--855,197-- exceeds the total for 2018 and 2019 combined. Adams, Clinton, Logan and Union Counties experienced their highest filings last week.

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April 16, 2020

Show me the money: The facts on stimulus payments

Many Ohioans don't know if they qualify for a stimulus payment, or how to get it if they do. We created this fact sheet to help people--including those who have no or little income, or who have insecure housing--claim their stimulus check. 

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April 15, 2020

Letter to Attorney General Yost

Policy Matters Ohio, College Now Greater Cleveland, Ohio Student Association and Innovation Ohio jointly request Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost stop his office's collection of student debt owed to Ohio higher educational institutions during the coronavirus pandemic.

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April 14, 2020

Ohio appears to fall behind with new unemployment programs

Ohio is nowhere near providing new federally funded benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers and others who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19. Neighboring states have already got the ball rolling.

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April 13, 2020

People with loved ones who are incarcerated in Ohio prisons joined with six advocacy organizations to urge Governor DeWine to quickly release from Ohio’s corrections facilities people who are at low risk for recidivism or high risk for contracting COVID-19. Video of the event is available in two parts below, along with a link to a supporting blog post by Policy Matters Researcher Piet van Lier.

Other supplementary materials such as family photos and videos from people who are incarcerated can be found here.

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April 9, 2020

Record jobless claims new normal in coronavirus shutdown

Policymakers can act now to avoid the mistakes they made during and after the Great Recession. Stimulus spending must prioritize working people and families to get the economy running again.

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April 8, 2020

Harnessing Ohio's resources to take on COVID-19

Government’s role must be to mitigate health and economic damage by supporting people and families. When the crisis passes and it’s time to rebuild, policymakers must make sure everyone is included in the recovery. 

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April 7, 2020

Ohio's food assistance policy in the time of pandemic

No matter our differences, we all need to eat. We all want to support our families and live with dignity. Now is the time for our leaders to make policy choices that help all people -- not just the wealthy and powerful few.

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April 6, 2020

Local news is good for our health

Journalists at the Cleveland Plain Dealer are producing excellent content that helps readers understand the pandemic, protect ourselves and stay connected to our community. They’re also providing a service that experts monitoring public health depend on – which makes last week’s news all the more crushing.

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April 2, 2020

Ohio jobless claims top last week’s record high

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) today reported that jobless claims reached 272,117 for the week ending March 28, up 84,328 from the prior week’s record high of 187,789.

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March 31, 2020

Voices of COVID-19: A letter from the inside

Policy Matters Ohio urged state officials to include incarcerated Ohioans in their response to COVID-19. Not long after that, Researcher Piet van Lier received a letter from a man being held in a state prison.

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March 31, 2020

Lawmakers should review, reduce some tax breaks before the sirens start

State and local governments face soaring needs but dwindling tax collections as the COVID-19 epidemic grinds the economy to a near halt. This year, the state legislature will miss out on $9 billion in state revenue via tax breaks. The committee charged with scrutinizing these expenditures has been sidelined.

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March 27, 2020

Increase funding for free tax preparation to support low-income families during the COVID-19 crisis

Free tax preparation programs help filers who are paid low wages keep more of their refund. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, this service is critical. 

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March 26, 2020

Ohio jobless claims hit record highs amid coronavirus crisis

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported that jobless claims for Ohio soared to 187,789 for the week ending March 21 from 7,042 a week earlier. This is an historic high. These weekly numbers top the monthly filings of all but Ohio’s worst month on record.

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March 25, 2020

Federal, state COVID-19 bills offer support, but more is needed

The economic contraction we’re experiencing is necessary to fight the pandemic and save lives. We need policy supports to help workers and families stay afloat through the crisis.

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March 24, 2020

Medicaid's dual role: Health care and fiscal stimulus

When they created Medicaid more than 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson and members of Congress structured the program to grow at times like this, providing health care to people who need it and supporting hospitals and the health care system. At the same time, Medicaid pumps funds into the economy through the paychecks of hospital and health care workers.

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March 24, 2020

Federal COVID-19 response must include support for child care

As families, communities, and lawmakers in Ohio and Washington grapple with the COVID-19 crisis, child care remains a central pillar for family security and stability. Child care is also critical to our nation’s economy. Yet, for decades, state and federal policymakers have failed to ensure all parents can get high-quality, affordable child care.

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March 23, 2020

With revenue about to plunge, Cleveland Council should delay vote on Sherwin-Williams incentive package

The prospect of an economic downturn makes it unwise for city council to approve the incentives at this time. State policymakers should also think twice about supporting the deal, and in particular subsidizing the move of the company’s research facilities from Warrensville Heights and Cleveland to Brecksville.

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March 19, 2020

Governor, judges must include incarcerated Ohioans in COVID-19 response

The DeWine administration has done little to protect youth and adults incarcerated in Ohio’s prisons, jails, detention centers and halfway houses from the coronavirus outbreak. We recommend immediate state-level action. 

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March 18, 2020

COVID-19: The federal response and Ohio

The federal government has started to provide resources states will need to protect public health, treat people who are sick and bolster the economy. 

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Unemployment compensation (UC) is a crucial support to families and communities. With an unknown but possibly large threat to the economy looming in coronavirus, Ohio policymakers should broaden and reinforce UC so that Ohio workers, their families and neighborhoods can sustain themselves through hard times.

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Policymakers can protect Ohioans through paid sick days and increased funding for public health

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