Resistance is NOT futile: News from Policy Matters
Posted July 08, 2017 in eNews
Veto victories: Governor Kasich protected Medicaid expansion with a crucial veto of the legislature’s attempt to undermine it. Then the legislature protected counties and transit agencies from even more cuts, with a crucial override of the Governor’s veto of this funding. Confused yet? Medicaid expansion provided 723,000 previously uninsured Ohioans with health coverage. After the legislature passed a budget that froze enrollment in 2018, we rallied with 500-plus concerned Ohioans to successfully urge representatives not to override the governor’s veto of the freeze (at least so far). Separately, during the budget cycle, we worked closely with many allies to protect counties and transit agencies that were set to lose $200 million a year due to a narrowing of the sales tax base. Governor Kasich vetoed a solution legislators included in the budget. Thanks to hard work from both sides of the aisle, the fix remains.
Health care threats loom: As state lawmakers look to chip away at Medicaid and Medicaid expansion, we’re asking Senator Rob Portman to defend health care from his place in D.C. as well. Portman opposed the first iteration of the Senate health care bill because he said it didn’t do enough to address the drug epidemic. But even a standalone fund to fight addiction won’t make up for how the legislation cuts Medicaid. Let the Senator know.
Defending workers: Last week the Ohio legislature passed a Workers’ Compensation Budget that maintained protections for undocumented workers. Our Michael Shields joined allies in speaking out against legislation that would have put workers and employers at risk. Mike also wrote in favor of raising the statewide minimum wage, explaining that paying workers more also helps the housing market in struggling cities like Cleveland.
Revenue woes: The budget signed by Governor Kasich contained several hard-fought victories but when it comes to revenue, it’s still badly lacking. We’ve said it before, but it’s true as it ever was: tax cuts don’t create growth. Instead, they have led to low revenue and a tight budget that underinvests in many important programs.
In the community: Besides almost the entire staff attending the rally to Save Medicaid, Save Lives in Columbus, we participated in several other events to protect our care. Our Wendy Patton spoke at a press conference sponsored by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and Senator Charleta B. Tavares about threats to Ohioans' health care from both Columbus and D.C. Much of the Cleveland office joined the North Shore Federation of Labor for a demonstration in Public Square where we called on Senator Portman to oppose the Senate’s health bill. Amy Hanauer also spoke to phenomenal interns around Cleveland at the Summer on the Cuyahoga’s panel on reinvigorating urban neighborhoods. We’re available to speak at community events about a range of policy issues. Let us know if we can help!