Saturday stats: State budget season
Posted February 06, 2021 in eNews
$50 million: That’s how much money Gov. DeWine wants to spend on an…ad campaign? It’s part of his proposal for the 2022-23 state budget – a plan that doesn’t use the people’s money in the rainy day fund to help ease the pain of the recession and pandemic and doesn’t ask the wealthy and corporations to do their fair share. We have a different vision for the state budget – one that prioritizes the well-being of all people, no matter their race or how much money they have. We’re still digging into the details of DeWine’s proposal, but Hannah Halbert gave an early reaction to what we heard from the governor on Monday. We’ll keep you posted as the budget moves through the House and Senate. In the meantime, read Wendy’s op-ed in Cleveland.com which lays out what a budget that’s truly for everyone would look like.
895,000: Last year, 895,000 Ohioans claimed $2.2 billion in federal earned income tax credits. The EITC is targeted to working people who are paid low wages. It is one of the nation’s most powerful antipoverty programs. For national EITC Awareness Day last week, Kalitha Williams assembled a slew of factsheets and two interactive maps to show how many Ohioans are helped by the federal EITC in each state legislative district. She called on state lawmakers to improve the state EITC's poverty-fighting power by making it refundable.
776: That’s how many young people were incarcerated last year either in a prison run by the Ohio Department of Youth Services or a state-funded community corrections facility. As high as that number is, it marked a steep decline from 1992 when DYS incarcerated 2,500 youth. DYS has worked hard to reduce its reliance on incarceration, and a reduction in youth crime and the pandemic both contributed to the decrease. But we have a ways to go, as Piet van Lier wrote. Ohio lawmakers can better serve children and their communities by shifting resources away from a punitive approach to juvenile justice and toward programs that focus on healing and rehabilitation. Meanwhile, policymakers can set the stage for all children to thrive by fully funding public education, expanding access to health care and ensuring all working people are paid a living wage.
$15 billion: Last year, hundreds of thousands of Ohioans received more than $15 billion in unemployment compensation – much of it from enhanced federal programs. Many of them might not have realized that those benefits are subject to state income tax, with no option to withhold. Meanwhile, if state lawmakers follow along with federal tax law, business owners who received forgiven loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program will get the chance to double-dip and avoid state income taxes. As Zach Schiller wrote, something seems wrong here.
45: Years since President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month (though it had been celebrated for years on college campuses and elsewhere). This year, we are profiling Black Ohioans whose stories illustrate the potential for our state to be a place where everyone can thrive. Check out the first installment, on Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes, on Twitter and Facebook.
Piet van Lier will be on All Sides with Ann Fisher on WOSU next Tuesday, February 9, at 10 a.m., to talk about institutional student debt and college affordability.
On Friday, February 12, ACLU Ohio will host a free, public webinar titled “Ohio’s Cash Bail System and the Path to Reform.” It starts at noon on Zoom. Register here.
Registration is now open for a First 100 days Summit for Civil Rights with U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Thursday, February 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.