News from Policy Matters: New payday rule, not enough funding for school
Posted October 14, 2017 in eNews
Payday’s bad day: If you’re a payday lender, you’re not happy with the new rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week. If you’re a consumer caught in the debt trap, you know how badly needed it is. Along with state and national allies, Policy Liaison Kalitha Williams pushed hard to rein in unscrupulous payday lenders. We will continue to defend Ohio borrowers if the rule comes under attack in Congress. Kalitha is also defending consumers in Columbus, submitting testimony against legislation that would remove protections against exploitative debt settlement companies.
Don’t follow Ohio’s lead: Many things about Ohio make us proud – but our unbalanced tax code isn’t one of them. Now, with the Trump and GOP budget and tax proposals, the nation could be taking a bad page from our book. The crux of the plans: huge giveaways for the very wealthiest, costly loopholes for corporations and slashing programs that lift people out of poverty and support the middle class. For example, as Policy Fellow Victoria Jackson writes, the House budget plan would cut billions from programs that help thousands of Ohioans pay for college – programs like Pell Grants, subsidized loans, income-based repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness. As Wendy Patton explained in the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio’s tax cuts don’t just drain resources from important programs, they failed to create the jobs policymakers promised. The passthrough tax loophole alone costs us $1 billion a year and has led to reduced support for education, infrastructure and more. Trump wants to bring something similar to the nation and Ohio lawmakers introduced a bill to expand it here at home. Research Director Zach Schiller testified against the state legislation last week.
Budget Bites are back: So many friends enjoyed our quick, digestible analysis of Governor Kasich’s proposed budget that we decided to do post-Budget Bites too. Now that the haggling is done and the budget is signed, we’re looking at how key programs fared. We started this week with funding for Ohio’s public education system — kindergarten through college. K-12 schools need more support, Ohio’s need-based aid falls far short and our community colleges and universities charge some of the highest prices in the nation.
Not with our money! Our state tax dollars pay Aramark handsomely to provide food service at Ohio prisons. But analysis from intern Nicholas Golina shows that many Aramark workers make starvation wages.
A dubious fix: The new attempt to stabilize Ohio’s unemployment compensation system is rife with uncertainty. Despite some improvements from previous bills, Zach Schiller says this one still cuts benefits too deeply and taxes employers below the national average.
Out and about: Outreach coordinator Daniel Ortiz served on the planning committee for the Midwest Asset Building Conference in Indianapolis and spoke at its opening plenary. He also helped lead a workshop on consumer protections. Researcher Hannah Halbert represented Policy Matters at the National Skills Coalition Skills in the States Forum in Nashville. There, she presented on her success in pushing Ohio policymakers to support quality skill-based training programs for Ohioans eligible for food aid. (Both Hannah and Daniel are shown above) And Director Amy Hanauer spoke to Philanthropy Ohio’s Cleveland conference about how funders can support policy work. Coming up next week Victoria will keynote a conference for the Eastern Ohio Education Partnership in Canfield and Amy will moderate a school board forum in Shaker Heights and debate the merits of unions at an Ohio Economic Development Association conference in Columbus.