Trump’s First Legislative Win: A Tax Cut for Millionaires and GOP Donors
President Donald Trump is calling the Republican tax plan, which Congress passed Wednesday, his Christmas gift to Americans. But Newsweek says the final version of the bill significantly under-delivers on the sweeping legislation the president spoke about while on the campaign trail and throughout his first year in office.
The bulk of the cuts go to the very, truly wealthy.
Ohio Legislators Try to Revisit Anti-Worker Laws
Seeming to forget that Ohio voters rejected Senate Bill 5 by an overwhelming 38% just a few years ago, some uber-conservatives introduced a package of ballot proposals targeting labor laws. The six resolutions are offered by Reps. John Becker of Union Township and Craig Riede of Defiance. They would ban mandatory union dues for public and private employees, limit prevailing wage, ban project labor agreements and make other changes that immediately drew swift and severe pushback from the Senate Bill 5 victors.
If passed by lawmakers, the issues would be placed on the 2020 ballot for voters to decide. Becker chose the resolution route after his legislative efforts went nowhere.
“It has to do with making Ohio more competitive,” Rep. Becker said in an interview. “Currently, Ohio is being left behind. Four out of five of Ohio’s neighboring states are right to work. With 28 (right-to-work) states in the union, the trend is clearly in that direction.”
Rep. Brigid Kelly, also from SW Ohio, said she doesn’t hear any of these issues as priorities from her constituents. Kelly told cincinnati.com that “Ohio is doing well without right to work. We want to build a strong middle class in the state of Ohio, and this issue is not the way to do it.”
Repeated Cuts to Local Governments Taking Toll on Ohio Cities
A recent report from Auditor Dave Yost shows that nearly two-thirds of Ohio’s governments had more “critical” or “cautionary” warnings than in 2015. Several indicators, such as tax revenue changes, expenses and available reserves were assessed. Many policy experts have argued that Gov. John Kasich’s budget cuts to local governments have forced municipalities to manage operations with up to 50% less revenue from the state.
Ohio GOP (Grand Oil Party) Plotting to Undermine Green Energy – Again
The Ohio Senate plans to deliver the final blow to what are known as Ohio’s green energy standards, which require utilities to get a certain amount of power from renewable sources. The legislation, which already passed the House, would turn the requirements — which were bipartisan when they passed — into voluntary goals. Opponents and environmentalists say this would hurt the planet, Ohio’s green manufacturing economy and lead to the standards’ repeal.
You Helped ProgressOhio Prevent Millions of Kids from Losing Health Insurance
Congress is injecting nearly $3 billion into the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to keep it funded through March. The money is included in a short-term spending bill that was hastily cobbled together to keep the federal government open.
After giving millionaires and GOP donors a big tax cut, pressure mounted to find a way to reauthorize funding for CHIP, a popular federal program that provides inexpensive health insurance to 9 million children and pregnant women who don’t qualify for Medicaid yet can’t afford private insurance.
“What we’re doing here today is basically saying, ‘Wealthy Americans, big fat Christmas present for you; Tiny Tim, we’re taking your crutch away from you and all the other kids in this country, and we’re putting a lump of coal into your Christmas stocking,'” Rep. Jackie Speier from California told NBC News.
ProgressOhio chose the Grinch, not Tiny Tim, to make its case for CHIP. Many thanks to those who signed our pro-CHIP petition.
OU Makes the Case That Talk is Cheap, Speech is Priceless
Ohio University passed two interim policies earlier this year regarding “freedom of expression” that the ACLU of Ohio views as unconstitutional. One policy bans protests or demonstrations inside university buildings without prior approval from university administration.
In response, OU President Duane Nellis convened a Presidential Policy Advisory Group with the directive of “reviewing all of the feedback that the campus and other community members have sent to the university on the policies,” according to athensnews.com. OU administration said they will use the feedback to draft new policies.
Latest Abortion Ban Targets Women, Doctors and Taxpayers
On the eve of a big holiday weekend, Gov. John Kasich signed into law a bill to ban doctors from performing an abortion if they know the woman is seeking the procedure because the fetus tested positive for Down syndrome. It’s the 20th anti-choice bill he’s signed since taking office.
A federal judge nullified a similar Down syndrome measure passed in Indiana and independent legal experts say the Ohio law will face a swift court challenge and it will be tossed out, too. Once again, the taxpayers of Ohio will pay for the salaries and benefits of the attorney general employees who defend the law, then pay legal fees to the outside lawyers who get the law tossed out because it’s unconstitutional.
In an editorial, the Akron Beacon Journal criticized the bill’s passage and reminded lawmakers that abortion has been legal for more than 40 years.
While lawmakers are poised to waste tax money on another unconstitutional abortion law, the opioid crisis continues to grow.
Drug overdoses killed 4,329 Ohioans in 2016, the second-highest death rate in the nation, according to a recent report analyzed by The Columbus Dispatch.Let’s get our priorities right, Ohio.