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Stuck in 4th Place in a 3-Man Race, Kasich Credits the Lord with Decision to End Run for Prez
What has long been seen as a quixotic pursuit finally ended when Governor John Kasich called off his quest for the presidency. During his rambling speech Kasich credited the Lord with getting him in the Presidential the race; then getting him out. Lord help Ohio as Kasich turns his attention to our long ignored state.
At least this time Kasich was listening to the voters of Ohio. A recently released Public Policy Polling
Ohio poll finds voters in the state are getting sick of John Kasich’s Presidential campaign. Only 38% think he should stay in the race, compared to 49% who think it’s time for him to drop out. Those numbers have shifted substantially from early March when 52% of voters wanted him to continue on in the race and just 34% thought he should drop out. And the numbers for Kasich when it comes to dropping out are actually even worse for him with Republicans than they are with Democrats- 58% of GOP voters in Ohio think it’s time for him to let it go, compared to only 33% who think he should stay in.
In their historical review and analysis of the Kasich’s campaign the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote what has been on many minds of Ohioans: Was it worth it?
GOP’s Latest Swipe at Organized Labor Gets Sidelined – for Now
The GOP’s ongoing assault against organized labor, safe working conditions and fair wages continued, then got blocked.
A House committee added the restrictions on project labor agreements to a bill banning local hiring quotas on public construction projects. The measure cleared the House on a 51-42 vote Wednesday, but the Senate rejected the changes.
Since voters overwhelmingly rejected the Kasich administration’s assault on public sector workers, it has advanced a series of policies to hurt unions in piecemeal fashion.
Among the more recent endeavors is a plan to close 10 state prison farm operations. The move would cut jobs of 56 members of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association who work at the farms.
On Thursday, the largest state employees union filed a Temporary Restraining Order in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to stop the closures.
Supporters of the farm were blindsided three weeks ago when the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced it would be phasing out its farm operations and selling most of the land..
Under the OCSEA collective bargaining agreement with the state, the agency is required to give appropriate notice and to bargain with the union when a closure is announced. In addition, it must provide the union with a rationale explaining the reasons for the closure, all of which DRC failed to do.
“This is clearly an end run around the union’s collective bargaining agreement,” said OCSEA President Christopher Mabe. “But it also goes against common human decency.”
As Ohio gets Poorer, Hungrier, Kasich wants Tax Break for Hockey Arena, Poor to pay more for Health Care
Ohio’s a bit of a mess. One in four Ohio kids live in poverty. Our infant mortality rate is among the nation’s worst. Ohio ranks third in hunger, trailing only Arkansas and Mississippi.
Why has our state fallen so far? Because politicians like Governor Kasich have their priorities all wrong. This time it is renewing tax breaks for Nationwide Arena according to the Dispatch.
With the arena’s 15-year, 99 percent tax abatement set to expire at the end of 2016, leaving the potential for an annual tax bill of about $4 million, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority has been looking for lawmakers to extend the facility a property tax exemption similar to what is provided to 15 other publicly owned sports venues in Ohio.
Kasich included the tax abatement as part of what he calls his mid-biennium review, part of a series of bills he has introduced over the past six weeks on various aspects of government, including water quality measures and higher education reforms. State Budget Director Tim Keen laid out the new budget bill Tuesday before the House Finance Committee.
Keen said the measure provides the tax exemption even if the arena is leased to a private enterprise. He stressed that it’s the same tax deal offered to other facilities.
As the Governor shows compassion for a hockey arena, he also wants the federal government to approve a plan to ask poor Ohioans to help pay their health care – or risk getting kicked out of the program.
The Plain Dealer of Cleveland is the latest newspaper to explain why the federal government should “Just say ‘No.’”
Legislators Push for Cultural Competency Training for Docs After Ohio Commission on Infant Mortality Finds Bias.
Some members of the Ohio General Assembly have their priorities straight and are introducing legislation to address real issues facing Ohioans. One of them is Representative Emelia Sykes (D-Akron) who last week introduced HB 514 that would require physicians to complete cultural competency training in order to renew their licenses to practice medicine.
In its editorial in support of Representative Sykes’ bill, the Akron Beacon Journal points out that similar, bipartisan legislation has languished in the Ohio Senate since last year.
This resistance comes in defiance of the numbers, that dismaying rate of infant mortality, and what the commission members learned in exploring the problem. Thus, Emilia Sykes is right in applying more pressure in the form of House Bill 514, just as a bill based on the commission’s work is coming. If Ohio is going to reduce infant mortality, it must act on many fronts — including doctors and other providers getting to know better the patients they treat.
Ohio Supreme Court hands Open Government Supporters a Big Victory
A rare victory for good government groups came in the form a decision from the Ohio Supreme Court. The case centered on whether politicians violated open-meeting laws if they debated the public’s business in a series of smaller, private, prearranged discussions. The court said such meetings are not permitted.
Catherine Turcer from Common Cause Ohio applauded the decision, “This is the first time that a ‘tweet’ is mentioned in an Ohio Supreme Court ruling. This decision brings us into the 21st Century. Our elected officials can’t violate the Open Meetings Act or avoid the public by engaging in conversations online. Off line, online— it’s all the same.”
The ruling allows former Olentangy school board member Adam White to pursue a lawsuit against the l board.
At issue is a 2012 letter to the editor published with input from four members of the Olentangy school board responding to a newspaper editorial. The Columbus Dispatch editorial criticized a board policy that said board members should communicate with district staff by going through the superintendent.
The policy the editorial was criticizing was in response to White’s independent investigation of alleged improper district spending.
White said circulating drafts of the letter by email violated open meetings law, reports the AP.
Legislators’ Medical Weed Plan won’t Let You smoke It, Rival Ballot Issue Would
Because they seemingly have to control everything we do with our bodies, the GOP-dominated General Assembly’s medical marijuana plan would prohibit smoking pots, but allow vaping. Also prohibited would be edibles that may be attractive to children.
The legislation appears to be on the fast track, according to the Columbus Dispatch quoting Representative Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), who is spearheading the legislation,
After House passage, Schuring said, he is optimistic the Senate and Kasich administration will quickly approve Ohio becoming the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana.
A rival ballot issue is being pushed by the Marijuana Policy Project. It seeks to amend the Ohio Constitution to allow 15 large-scale grow sites and unlimited smaller cultivators. Ohioans with illnesses ranging from cancer and AIDS to traumatic brain injuries linked to concussions could buy and use marijuana if approved by a doctor.
Those who qualify could smoke their medicine.
New Poll, Conservative Blog, Show Growing Discontent over Portman’s Support for Blocking Supreme Court Nominee
Seems like U.S. Senator Rob Portman and his GOP colleagues have backed themselves into a corner and it could have dire consequences for the November election.
Nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters want confirmation hearings on President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a new statewide survey of Ohio voters by Public Policy Polling released earlier this week. Portman is following Senate GOP leaders who argue the seat should be filled by the next President.
A whopping 65 percent of respondents support confirmation hearings, and just 21 percent of those surveyed agree with Portman that the nominee should be rejected without any consideration. The remaining 15 percent were not sure.
The Conservative blog RedState urges Republicans to confirm Garland ASAP. Though their rationale is a Clinton nominee will be much less appealing to them and their priorities, GOP leaders in the Senate aren’t budging.
The Plain Dealer report didn’t include voters’ frustration over the vacant Supreme Court seat but it did outline how Trump as the nominee brings new challenges to the race for Senator Portman.
Raise Up Cleveland Advances Plan to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15/hour
In Cleveland, groups can gather signatures to compel city council to consider legislation – and need at least 5,000 signatures from registered voters. This week Raise Up Cleveland submitted over 28,000 signatures. If at least 5,000 are valid, legislation to raise the minimum wage will be introduced at the next regular session of the Cleveland City Council.
The Plain Dealer reported that the effort took “about two weeks” – maybe an indication of the strong conviction that people who work full time shouldn’t live in poverty. Anthony Caldwell, Raise Up Cleveland spokesman, explains the demand.
For thousands of workers employed in fast food, retail and other lower-wage jobs in the city, the measure will go a long way toward eradicating poverty, he said.
“No working mom or dad should have to struggle to provide for their family,” Caldwell said. “By sticking together and speaking up, we are building a powerful movement for a better future for our families.”
Last month, Cincinnati City Council voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 for all full-time city workers and contractors.
A report issued this week by Policy Matters Ohio makes the case for raising the minimum wage in Columbus thought the facts having bearing for all communities.
Raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2021 would boost the wages of 20.7 percent of Columbus workers, a total of more than 88,000 people, according to Policy Matters Ohio’s analysis. Among those who would get a raise, the average worker now makes $8.42 an hour. On average, annual inflation is over 3 percent (see box below), so $12 in 2021 is worth less than $12 today. The estimated value of $12 in 2021 is equal to $10.68 in 2016 dollars.
Previous reports have consistently found that minimum wage increases that boost spending power for the lowest wage workers deliver growth and job creation in their communities. We can expect similar effects from a minimum wage raise in Columbus.
Ohio Supreme Court says Toledo schools cannot recoup funds from state enrollment discrepancies between district and charter schools
In another 5-2 decision released this week, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against public schools systems in Toledo, Dayton and Cleveland and their efforts to recoup funds from charter school student discrepancies.
The Toledo Blade’s story points out this is a $3.6 million loss for the Toledo Public Schools.
In overturning a 10th District Court of Appeals ruling, the high court voted 5-2 that the state can retroactively adjust school funding for political subdivisions including school districts.
In 2005, the Ohio Department of Education discovered discrepancies in enrollment figures reported by the school district, which includes district students attending charter schools, and the numbers subsequently reported by the charter schools.
The state later reduced aid to the district to retroactively make up the difference.
The state’s action affected a number of schools with Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati suing to recoup their money. In Toledo’s case, the discrepancy was determined to be 561 students and its state aid was reduced by $3.6 million as a result.
In all, an estimated $40 million could have been at stake for the state if it were forced to refund money to all districts affected.
Faith and Business Leaders Join to Support a Bill to Ban Pregnancy Discrimination
Highlighting the statements from a woman who lost her job because she couldn’t lift boxes during pregnancy, the Dispatch covered efforts by advocates pushing for passage of the Pregnancy Accommodation bill.
This bipartisan measure – co-sponsored by all seven women in the Ohio Senate – would provide job protection for pregnant women, allowing for needed restroom breaks and other accommodations.
Faith in Public Life is leading the charge for this important measure, mindful that one can’t really be pro-family without giving moms-to-be proper job security.