Last month, the “fact-checking” team at PolitiFact Ohio, rated as “half-true” claims by the Ohio Democratic Party that Kasich’s budget cuts had forced local cuts, layoffs and tax increases.
While they admitted there was anecdotal evidence for local impacts of state cuts, they ultimately gave it a half-true thanks in part to pushback from Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols that the number of tax issues on the ballot were not particularly high.
But now we learn in today’s Columbus Dispatch: “More school districts than usual go to the ballot,” which reports that Central Ohio school issues will be [...]Full Story... →
Another of the big developments at Plunderbund in 2011 was the launch of a companion site to track the state budget. The site, Ohio Budget Watch, was primarily active during the spring as the GOP-controlled legislature and Governor’s office drafted what constitutes the single-biggest piece of legislation that gets written in a two-year period. The budget is full of policy changes that affect every day Ohioans. In over 4,000 pages, it would be easy for the party in power to sneak through some fairly horrible new policies, so our reporting was aimed at calling attention to these things before [...]Full Story... →
There are a couple of things you should never do in a hotly contested political campaign. The first is look like you’re picking on a great-grandmother who is grateful to her local firefighters for saving her great-granddaughter’s life. The other thing is that you don’t have as the public face of your campaign an unpopular politician who is under water by double-digits in his approval/disapproval rating and have him travel the State delivering your message. The brain trust that is the Building a Better Ohio campaign did both in the past month, and it’s had the predictable effect on Issue [...]Full Story... →
Why does Governor Kasich support parts of the President’s American Jobs Act? Simple. It takes the pain away from his budget and makes it easier for him to pass even more tax cuts as the federal and local governments are left to cover more and more of the costs of government in Ohio. Also, let’s face it, Kasich needs to do something to appear to be more centric than he’s shown the past seven months.Full Story... →
It is better to remain silent and suffer that people might think you a fool than it is to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Senate President Niehaus should really just stop talking because he keeps digging a deeper and deeper hole on the retroactive raises and how it reflects why Issue 2 is just bad policy. Niehaus’ latest spin in today’s Cleveland Plain Dealer is that these raises actually are entirely consistent with the values embodied in Issue 2. So that I can’t be accused of misrepresenting him, here’s what the Plain Dealer reported Niehaus said:
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Yesterday, the Kasich Administration announced that the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources was leaving the Cabinet… to become the energy industry “manager” position in Jobs Ohio. As the Dispatch put it:
He moves from a post as director of the state Department of Natural Resources to a seat as energy manager for JobsOhio, Gov. John Kasich’s newly privatized development effort. Assistant Natural Resources Director Scott Zody will take over as interim chief of the agency.
Some of the new drilling might come on state lands he used to supervise; legislation passed this year allows [...]Full Story... →
Balancing it with “no time” money.
Like prison privatization proceeds that was supposed to be nearly $200 million? Or State revenues from growth in the economy that has already not performed as projected? For the last two months, Kasich has been touring the national political circuit telling anyone who’d book him that he solved Ohio’s “unprecedented” budget crisis. Apparently, Kasich forgot that a budget is a plan, and not necessarily the reality. Before you declare your budget is balanced, perhaps you should wait a month into it first. Had Kasich done that, Kasich would have realized Full Story... →
(crossposted from Ohio Budget Watch)
You may remember that the Kasich budget proposal featured the potential privatization of five state prisons. The administration estimated that the sale of prisons to private operators would result in $200 million for the state, with $50 million of that going to fill the general fund budget hole and the rest staying with the Department of Correction, whose budget was otherwise hit pretty hard.
Today we learned that the administration has reviewed the bids and found only one proposal worth acting upon: they will sell the Lake Erie Correctional Institution [...]Full Story... →
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2011
Jay McDonald, President
FOP CORRECTS RECORD ABOUT MT. STERLING POLICE DEPARTMENT LAYOFFS
COLUMBUS — The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio (FOP) today expressed disappointment that some supporters of Issue 2 and Senate Bill 5 are claiming that the complete layoff of the Mt. Sterling, Ohio police department was a positive development for citizens there [...]Full Story... →
The Ohio Department of Education has released the State Report Cards for schools and districts (though school report cards have incorrect state data that has yet to be corrected) and that means the names of the teachers who will be required to take the Praxis exams is also available. I’ll be posting the list of 349 schools and over 5,900 teachers on Plunderbund later today.
To help catch you up, here is some light reading about the “Retesting Teachers” provision in House Bill 153 (Budget Bill):
As prepared by the Legislative Service Commission:
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For the second month in a row, Ohio’s unemployment rate in July increased .2% to 9%. This was the first full month of the new FY 2012 since Governor Kasich signed his “Jobs Budget” into law.
The number of unemployed Ohioans increased for the second month in a row. In July, the number of unemployed Ohio grew 12,000 from June. In June, the number of unemployed Ohioans grew 11,000. In other words, the growth in the number of unemployed Ohioans stayed relatively flat, with some slight growth.
But job creation can’t keep up with the changes [...]Full Story... →