Dead bill and waiting, still: News from Policy Matters
Posted September 30, 2017 in eNews
We’re so tired of waiting: A committee to review the $9 billion a year Ohio spends on tax breaks still hasn’t met and is months behind schedule. Some tax breaks make sense, many of them are costly and unproductive. The General Assembly passed a bill to form the review committee to make sure Ohioans are getting their money’s worth. But state legislative leaders didn’t even appoint committee members until they received pressure from us back in July! What’s it going to take to get them moving on this important work? In a new report, Wendy Patton and Zach Schiller show the way forward.
We killed the bill…again: You called, emailed and mobilized and stopped the Graham-Cassidy bill in its tracks. We did our part to protect the Affordable Care Act and the people it helps in Ohio. Our Katie Fallon joined allies like Planned Parenthood and ProgressOhio for a Facebook Live panel. She submitted comments opposing the bill to the Senate Finance Committee. Katie also spoke out in the pages of the Columbus Dispatch and the Akron Beacon Journal, urging Congress to consider Governor Kasich’s health care plan instead. We can’t get too comfortable. Rumors have been flying that Congressional Republicans are looking for other ways to repeal the ACA. Rest assured, we’ll be on it if they try something else.
And while we’re at it: Today is the deadline for Congress to reauthorize CHIP, the health care program that covers 9 million low-income kids nationwide. It looks like they are not going to be able to meet it. That’s a big problem for Ohio where CHIP covers more than 1 million kids and is especially important in the state’s rural areas.
She works hard for the money: In Ohio, women make 82 percent of what men do. The gap is closing, but not as quickly as it should be considering women make up nearly half the workforce and are better educated than ever before. Summer intern Lea Kaylai has some smart ideas about how to remove the barriers women face. Read about them here.
Join the fight: Our friends at Advocates for Ohio’s Future are looking for a new AOF state director. AOF is a statewide coalition of over 475 local and statewide organizations that promote health and human service budget and policy solutions so all Ohioans live better lives. Policy Matters is a proud member.
In the community: Researcher Michael Shields taught a class at Cuyahoga County Community College about how role public policy can be used to reduce or exacerbate inequality. Executive Director Amy Hanauer spoke to members of the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland about the federal budget. Outreach coordinator Daniel Ortiz attended Preterm Cleveland’s monthly community event series where he made a presentation about our work to curb out of control student debt. He also discussed energy, transit and advocacy with Great Lakes Energy Institute Think Energy Fellows. Meanwhile, Daniel has also been helping organize local relief efforts for Puerto Rico. For those looking to donate, he recommends Hispanic Federation or UNICEF.