Policy Matters Executive Director weighs in on “State of the State”
Posted March 22, 2022 in Press Releases
Tomorrow, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) will deliver his State of the State address. Policy Matters Ohio Executive Director Hannah Halbert has released the following statement about what she’d like to hear from DeWine:
“From Cleveland to Clermont County, most Ohioans are good neighbors. We proved that during the COVID pandemic when we donated to local food pantries and checked in on elderly neighbors. But too many of the policies embraced by Gov. Mike DeWine and many state legislators don’t live up to the values Ohioans hold. The most recent state budget handed out more public dollars to the richest Ohioans and wealthy corporations via tax breaks and tax cuts, draining resources from our communities as we get back on our feet after COVID. Since 2005, lawmakers have taken $8 billion a year from our communities that could have paid for things like schools, parks, clean water systems and foster care. Meanwhile, thanks to tax cuts and tax breaks, the wealthiest 1% of Ohioans are raking in an extra $50,000 a year, on average.
“Gov. DeWine will likely tout the massive deal with Intel Corporation. We agree it will be transformative. His administration agreed to give the corporation nearly $2 billion in public funds to build two semi-conductor facilities in central Ohio. Parts of the deal are still pending legislative approval. Before signing off, lawmakers must attach strings to make sure Intel pays a wage that covers the cost of living and creates opportunities for people of color, women and others who are often left out. The creation of good jobs is still an urgent need in our state. As of January, Ohio has 192,000 fewer jobs than we did before the pandemic. After losing 889,000 jobs, we gained jobs back quickly, thanks to robust federal interventions such as pandemic unemployment assistance, which Gov. DeWine chose to end early. Moving forward, we need Gov. DeWine and other state leaders to help all Ohioans bounce back by leveraging the billions in federal funds to create well-paid union jobs, modernize our infrastructure, and make sure families can keep roofs over their heads and food on the table.
“The ‘state’ of our state will always be stronger when we come together across race and place. In the last state budget, parents, students, and teachers finally won a fair funding formula for our public schools. Now it’s up to Gov. DeWine and leaders in the General Assembly to commit to funding it beyond 2023 and to use our public resources to provide kids in every community with a great education. While we made great progress reforming how Ohio funds public schools, certain politicians in the Ohio legislature are using new tactics to undermine them —stoking racial fears and whitewashing our history to pit parents against teachers and school administrators. Most Ohioans reject this kind of division. We need our governor to stand up for students’ freedom to learn the full truth.
“Ohioans have been through a difficult two years. We’ve lost loved ones. We’ve been laid off. We’ve spent time apart from coworkers and friends. Gov. DeWine helped lead us through the challenging months of the early pandemic. Now we need him to show that same leadership during the recovery.”