Research & Policy
Policy Matters Ohio

June 2015 Ohio CASH e-news

June 10, 2015

June 2015 Ohio CASH e-news

June 10, 2015

Second Quarter Ohio CASH Meeting

The second Ohio CASH meeting will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 25, 2015, and will be held by webinar. The meeting will feature two presentations. Wendy Patton of Policy Matters Ohio will provide an update on the Ohio biennial budget focused on health and human service programs, including the recent Medicaid proposals. There will also be an update on recent national and state developments on payday lending and ways to engage in this important work. Register for the meeting here.

#OhioEITC

On July 15 we will launch a social media campaign to promote a non-capped, refundable state Earned Income Tax Credit to be added to the state budget. The current state EITC is inadequate and does little to help low-income working families. A report from Policy Matters Ohio finds that the credit only helps 7 percent of families earning $19,000 or less. A refundable credit would boost the incomes of these families and help them make ends meet. A non-capped, refundable EITC would provide low-income families already receiving the federal EITC with a few hundred more dollars.

The state budget is being deliberated on in the Ohio Legislature and must signed before July 1. In 2013, very late in the processs, the legislature implemented an Ohio EITC, so we know it’s not too late to get this important policy change. We’ve already met with several policymakers about the need for an a better EITCand shared legislative district fact sheets to demonstrate how a better EITC would help their consitituents.

You can join the #OhioEITC Campaign! Follow us on Twitter @OhioCASH and retweet our discussion on the state EITC. Share your own stories on how the EITC has helped families and why Ohioans need a strong EITC using our hashtag.   Invite your Twitter friends to participate in the discussion.

You can also tell your Ohio state representative or senator that you want them to support a noncapped, refundable state EITC in the budget, by calling the toll-free legislative hotline at 1-800-282-0253.

Save the Ohio Housing Trust Fund

The Ohio Housing Trust Fund is a state funding source that is focused on improving housing conditions for low-income Ohioans. The fund does this by supporting a variety of activities, including  housing development, emergency home repair, handicapped accessibility modifications, rental assistance, housing counseling, rehabilitation, and new construction.

The Ohio Senate amended its version of the state budget bill to cut the the Ohio Housing Trust Fund in half, and send the money to counties to allocate on the local level. Advocacy organizations are concerned about this change for several reasons, including accountability and loss of ability of a single state fund to leverage federal and private money. The concerns are outlined in detail here.

Contact your state senator to express your support for protecting the Ohio Housing Trust.

Advocates & other Stakeholders Get Payday Lending Provision Out of State Budget

The Senate removed a provision that was added to the state budget bill that would have allowed payday lenders to operate under a new pawnbroker statute. Payday lenders, seeking to evade the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate the industry, got this provision added to the House version of state budget proposal. The “pawnbroker plus” provision would allow them to operate as pawnbrokers, but limit the consumer protections for their predatory lending. The Ohio Department of Commerce, Ohio Pawnbrokers Association, and the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs provided testimony before the Senate Finance Workforce Subcommittee voicing  opposition. Policy Matters Ohio, Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO), Ohio Poverty Law Center and other consumer advocates also expressed their concerns through the media and legislative visits.

Ohio Foreclosure rate falling, but still at high levels

A policy Matters report found that despite the decrease in foreclosure filings by 18 percent from last year, the rate of foreclosure is still running higher than it was in 1990’s. The report also includes forclosue data fo table for each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Millions of dollars of funding are needed to stop the blight for these homes, but the resources are dwindling. Read the full report here.

Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility Calls for Equitable, Inclusive and Progressive Tax Reform

The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) has reported that the top 1 percent of households in the U.S. receive more benefits than the bottom 80 percent combined. The Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility, a collaboration of CFED and PoliyLink, is working to educate over 30 organizations nationwide on why progressive tax reform is needed to ensure the long-term security of families, communities, national economies. They recently urged Congress to adopt tax reforms aimed at shrinking the wealth gap, and assisting low-income families in saving and asset building. You can visit the Tax Alliance for Economic Mobility’s website here.

Ohio Housing Market is Virtually Inaccessible to Minimum Wage Workers

A joint report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHO) found that it is nearly impossible for an Ohioan working full time at minimum wage to afford a one-bedroom apartment. The report analyzed data from several sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The online version of the report features seachable county level housing data. Read the report and access the online resources here.

Share Your News 

Do you have any upcoming events, articles or news you would like to share with other Ohio CASH partners? Send it to Kalitha Williams at kwilliams@policymattersohio.org.

Mark your calendars for upcoming Ohio CASH meeting webinars scheduled for 11 a.m. on August 20 and November 19.

 

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