Many leave program without jobs or aid; food-program requirements to start
The overall caseload at Ohio Works First has plummeted while unemployment remains high in counties across the state, according to a
Shale drilling has created jobs, particularly in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and cushioned some drilling-intensive areas in those states from the worst effects of the recession and the weak recovery. As this report documents, however, the number of shale jobs created is far below industry claims and remains a small share of overall employment.
ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg made the following statement regarding the release by the state auditor of the JobsOhio audit:
It is no surprise that the toxic mix of public money in a private corporation has lead to serious lack of ethical concerns raised in the state audit report. This is why the constitution specifically prohibits public money in private entities.
Many participants in Ohio Works First, the state’s cash assistance program, are not meeting work activity requirements, resulting in a sharply dropping overall caseload. Now work participation is about to be required for food aid in 72 of Ohio’s 88 counties, affecting some 134,000 adults. This huge increase in work requirements is a challenge for Ohio’s poorest families and the agencies that serve them.
A tax-expenditure review mechanism is badly needed. While there certainly are ways that this bill could be strengthened, we urge the committee to approve it as a first step toward providing the accountability for tax expenditures that Ohio needs.
Legislation being considered by the Ohio Senate would limit early voting by cutting "Golden Week", the week during which Ohio voters can both register and vote. The change would shorten early voting to only 29 days, instead of the current 35. Proposed by Republican Senator Frank LaRose, Senate Bill 238 is eerily similar to 2011's House Bill 194, a bill designed to limit voting-a bill which failed, and was later repealed.
Such an amendment would not solve our fiscal problems. Wendy Patton’s testimony raises serious concerns, including the likelihood that a balanced budget amendment would force deep cuts in funding that helps Ohio operate its schools, build and repair highways, and fulfill other fundamental state responsibilities.
Download testimony (3pp) Testimony to the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee on Senate Joint Resolution 5: