Broad coalition calls on state leaders to pass a budget that cares for all Ohioans
Posted June 22, 2021 in Press Releases
Early this morning, a broad coalition of 97 organizations sent key state officials a letter calling for a 2022-23 state budget that cares for all Ohioans, regardless of where they live, what they look like, or how much money they have. The organizations represent hundreds of thousands of Ohioans including children, families, direct service providers, policy experts, working people, people of faith, public school employees, and health care providers.
The group sent the letter to Gov. Mike DeWine, Senate President Matt Huffman, House Speaker Bob Cupp, Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, and members of the Conference Committee.
“We believe all Ohioans, whether white, Black, or brown, deserve to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives,” said letter organizer and Policy Matters Researcher Will Petrik. “The pandemic has shown that protecting the well-being of our neighbors is critical to keeping us all safe. We are at a crossroads for Ohio: Will we be a state that thrives or will we keep repeating the policy mistakes of the last recession?”
The Senate-passed budget removes the plan to fairly and fully fund Ohio’s K-12 schools, dismantles the state’s foundation for ensuring high-quality child care, and removes critical funding to make sure all our neighbors are connected to broadband. At the last minute, some Senators slipped in provisions that make it harder for people to get enough food to eat, health care and other basic necessities.
“All of these changes will be damaging to the long-term health and well-being of children, adults and families all across the state, particularly Ohioans who are paid low wages,” Petrik said.
Policy Matters’ analysis has shown that during the past 16 years of state tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, Ohio continues to fall behind the nation on jobs, wages and overall quality of life. This approach led to a slow recovery after the last recession, and it will leave tens of thousands of Ohioans less prepared for the next one. Yet the Senate budget proposes $1.3 billion in tax cuts that would again primarily benefit the wealthiest Ohioans and corporations.
The organizations called on members of the Conference Committee, legislative leaders, and Gov. DeWine to pass a budget that makes the following changes:
- Restore the Fair School Funding Plan to adequately and equitably fund K-12 education.
- Restore $190 million in funding to expand broadband access and remove language that restricts local governments from providing service to their residents.
- Remove provisions from Senate Bill 17 to ensure children and families who most need support can continue to access SNAP and Medicaid.
- Restore Step Up to Quality to ensure high-quality child care for all of our children.
- Remove the amendment (similar to SB 36 introduced in the 133rd General Assembly) that would exacerbate Ohio's affordable housing shortage.
- Remove the 5% income tax cut that primarily benefits the wealthiest Ohioans.
“Our elected leaders need to apply lessons from the past and forge a better way forward for all Ohioans,” Petrik said. “Ohio can be the best state to raise a family. We can build a state where all children have a world-class education, and all parents can afford to send their children to a high-quality child care setting. We can build a state where all people have enough food to eat, a roof over their head, and access to broadband. Let's use our public resources for what really matters — our education, our well-being and our future.”