Posted July 08, 2023 in eNews
Well friends, we’ve made it through another budget season. It wasn’t easy, but it could have been worse. The General Assembly sacrificed crucial public services to pay for more tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy. On the bright side, some kids, parents, teachers and schools will benefit from the tireless work of advocates around the state. (Details are in the links below.)
In our line of work, budget season is a busy and stressful time. The staff at Policy Matters Ohio is sustained by the knowledge that this work is part of a movement with deep roots and broad support. We’re proud to be in it with you.
85.4%: The final version of the budget includes changes to the tax code that do nothing for the people with the lowest incomes, but a lot for those with the highest. In fact, 85.4% of the billion-dollar income tax cut will go to the richest 20% of Ohioans — those who make more than $124K a year. Some of those in the middle will even see a tax rate increase in the next two tax years. We break down the costs of these cuts in our response to the final budget.
413,446: The campaign to enshrine reproductive rights in the Ohio constitution needs 413,446 valid signatures to get an amendment on the ballot this November. The first episode of our limited-run podcast, What’s Good Ohio!?, focuses on the signature-gathering campaign and features Jordyn Close, deputy director of Ohio Women's Alliance.
700,000+: …That campaign delivered more than 700K signatures to Secretary of State Frank LaRose last week!
40%: …Of course, if Issue 1 passes, an abortion-rights amendment would have a much harder time getting through: Just 40% of voters could overrule the majority on any citizen-proposed constitutional amendment. Citizen-initiated amendments are one of the last ways Ohioans can make our voices heard. If you support self-determination and democracy, vote NO on Issue 1 on August 8 — and spread the word!
85 years: Federal laws preventing exploitative child labor have been on the books for 85 years. They remain necessary. Child labor law violations have increased 37% in the last year — and that only includes those verified by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The Ohio Senate would make enforcement even harder. S.B. 30 would allow employers to schedule children ages 14 and 15 for work as late as 9 p.m. on school nights, undercutting a safeguard that helps agencies intervene before exploitation gets worse. In an op-ed for Cleveland.com, Senior Researcher Michael Shields describes the dangers of rolling back laws that protect children.
$2,900: When an employer pays less than the minimum wage, that’s wage theft. Over the course of a year, the average worker experiencing this type of wage theft loses around $2,900. As Michael Shields points out, an employee who stole that much from an employer could be looking at a felony and possible prison time. Mike was interviewed for a recent piece from the Ohio Newsroom, discussing the growing movement among cities and counties to stop wage theft.
- Take a deeper dive into the issues that matter most to you with customized updates on our work.
- Tune in to What’s Good Ohio!?, our new, limited-run podcast with Ohio Voice.
- Make plans to vote NO on August 8thand tell others to join you!