Legislative Updates

State of the 99% Ohio

Attempts to bust unions, privatization of public services, tax breaks for the wealthy – Since becoming Governor, John Kasich has been busy doing favors for his wealthy campaign contributors while turning his back on the rest of us. It doesnt have to be this way.

On Tuesday, John Kasich will deliver his State of the State Address in Steubenville and citizens from across Ohio will come together toprotest his attacks on the 99%.

You can make your voice heard!  Join us outside of Stuebenville High School, 420 W. Fourth Street, Steubenville, OH on Tuesday, February 7 at 11AM and let John Kasich know that we will not sit back quietly while he gives away our state.

Free parking and transportation are available and we encourage you to RSVP at http://bit.ly/SOT99oh.  Parking details and additional information are available at www.stateofthe99.com.

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Despite Questions, Controlling Board Approves JobsOhio

The Columbus Dispatch reports that despite the Kasich administration’s decision not to disclose the criteria being used to determine if Ohioans are getting a good deal with JobsOhio, a state legislative panel approved the contracts to get the privatized organization started.

Ohio liquor profits will be used to fund JobsOhio. Ohio House Democratic Leader, Armond Budish criticized the plan stating, “the deal takes $150 million a year from the general revenue fund for education, police, fire and critical social services, creating a structural budget deficit over the next 25 years.”

When panel members from the Departments of Development and Commerce were asked about the kind of results expected from JobsOhio, the answers were not clear.

“We do not have those goals solidified,” said Ohio Department of Development Director Christiane Schmenk. Director Shmenk expects to see a draft of the JobsOhio strategic plan by March.

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Tonight marks a historic victory for workers all across Ohio and throughout the nation

This election affirms that Ohioans believe in the in the collective bargaining process and workers’ rights. Never before has collective bargaining rights been upheld at the ballot box. Today, we proved that Ohioans will not stand for attacks on the middle class as a solution to the challenges Ohio faces.

Tens of thousands of Ohioans came together in an unprecedented grassroots movement to repeal John Kasich’s signature piece of legislation. This election sends a message that we will not stand for attacks on workers. Tonight, we proved that the power of democracy is stronger than any one politician. Our message will echo throughout state houses across the country and make those anti-worker politicians think again before they come after the middle class.

This was not an easy process and is worth reflecting back on how many obstacles we overcame to get to today. Ten months ago, our sisters and brothers were locked out of the state house, denied the right to speak during committee votes, and thousands of people were ignored during some of the biggest protests Ohio has ever seen. We did not let this stop us. We put together a citizen’s veto collecting nearly 1.3 million signatures to place Senate Bill 5 on the ballot.

Today, Ohio spoke loud and clear to John Kasich and his allies. The Ohio State House is the people’s house and we will be heard. This has been a long journey to tonight and many people deserve recognition for the countless hours spent knocking on doors, making phone calls, and getting the word out to friends and family on why Senate Bill 5 was unfair, unsafe, and bad for Ohio.

Our own Fight For a Fair Economy played an integral role in making sure we won this fight. They knocked on over 250,000 doors, talked to over 1000,000 Ohioans and collected over 25,000 vote by mail forms. Without their hard work and all of our members, this victory would not be possible.

Tonight we celebrate this historic win. Tomorrow, we get back to work knowing that this is just one battle of many in the war on workers. We will fight for workers’ rights until every worker has a good paying job with good benefits. We will fight until we see economic and social justice throughout this country.

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This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

Ohio’s Issue 2: Polls predicting Defeat for Anti-Union Law May Be Shaky
By Mark Blumenthal for the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Two recent polls in Ohio suggest an overwhelming defeat in the offing for Issue 2, the ballot measure that would ratify Republican Gov. John Kasich’s controversial limits on collective bargaining by state public employees.  But past misfired in polling on statewide referendums provide good reason for caution until all votes are counted on Tuesday night.  Click here to continue reading.

Election turnout steady, officials report
Reported by the Blade staff for the Toledo Blade

Election officials in Lucas County reported a smooth start to Tuesday’s voting with a steady turnout and no major problems.  “Seems to be going well.” said Dan DeAngelis, deputy director of Lucas County Board of Elections.  Mr. DeAngelis said Lucas County had a voter turnout of 7.4 percent as of 9 a.m., which is brist.  Last year through 9 a.m. the county reported a turnout of 7 percent and in 2009, also an off-year election, turnout was at 6.5 percent through 9 a.m.  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio Issue 2: Voters To Decide Fate of Collective Bargaining Law
By John Celock for Huffington Post

Ohio voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of the state’s controversial collective bargaining law.  Issue 2, a referendum on Senate Bill 5, pits unions and progressive groups against Gov. John Kasich (R) and the state’s Republican leadership in one of this year’s most closely watched election .  Click here to continue reading.

Issue 2 expected to drive voter turnout today
By Alan Johnson for the Columbus Dispatch

Taking drags of his cigarette and rubbing the dark circles under his eyes, Brendan Mulloy, 26, stool in the parking lot of the Columbus Metropolitan Library branch at 845 Parsons Ave.  It was about 9:30 in the morning, and he had been at work since 11 last night at a Kroger store in Gahanna.  After taking a final puff of his cigarette, he climbed into his car and headed back to work.  But he had made time to vote. Click here to continue reading.

Issue 2 campaign still hot in last days
By Joe Vardon for the Columbus Dispatch

With everyone from the Obama Campaign to Pat Boone trying to mobilize voters, the fight over collective bargaining in Ohio – or at least this round of it – is at its climax.  On Tuesday, voters across the state will head to the polls to cast judgement on Issue 2, the ballot measure for the Republican-backed limits to collective bargaining for about 360,000 public employees introduced through Senate Bill 5.  Polling places across the state will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Click here to continue reading.

New census formula shows more in poverty
By Bill Bush for the Columbus Dispatch

Last year, “poverty’ meant families of four made less than $22,113.  But it should have been more like $24,343 for that family, the U.S. Census Bureau proposed yesterday in a new calculation that would add about 2.5 million more Americans to the total living in poverty  The “supplemental poverty measure” — which would not replace the official federal rate — also would shuffle the deck of who is considered to be in poverty.  People older than 64 would see the largest leap in their poverty rate, while those under 18 would decline the most.  Click here to continue reading.

New small business tax credit program launched
By Randy Tucker for the Dayton Daily News

DAYTON — State officials today announced the launch of a program backed by Gov. John Kasich that would give Ohio investors a state income-tax break for investing in the state’s small businesses.  The program, dubbed InvestOhio, would offer a 10 percent tax credit on investments up to $10 million in small businesses with less than $50 million in assets or less than $10 million in annual sales.  Click here to continue reading.

Rallies, rhetoric mark end of SB 5 fight
By Howard Wilkinson

UNION TOWNSHIP — On the eve of a vote that could boost or do considerable damage to his governorship, Gov. John Kasich spoke to about 300 tea party supporters here in a speech that made scant mention of the issue so important to his future – Issue 2.  But, earlier, at a union hall in Bond Hill, Kasich’s union opponents had plenty to say about Issue 2, the ballot issue which could do away with Senate Bill 5, the Kasich-backed bill that would limit collective bargaining rights for public employees.  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio Issue 2: Election Day Robocall Instructs Voters To Go To Polls Tomorrow
By Amanda Terkel and Sam Stein for the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Union officials in Ohio are questioning whether proponents of an anti-labor ballot initiative are trying to trick opponents of the measure into staying away from the polls on Tuesday, pointing to a robocall message voters received on the morning of Election Day.  Ohio residents are voting Tuesday on Issue 2, a ballot referendum on a controversial measure known as SB 5.  The law restricts collective bargaining rights for state employees, among other provisions.  Opposition to the legislation inspired large protests around the state earlier this year.  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio’s Union-Busting Bill Is on the Ropes
By Andy Kroll for Mother Jones

It is D-Day for Gov. John Kasich’s anti-union law.  Ohioans go to the polls today in one of the most anticipated off-year elections to decide Issue 2, a referendum on whether to repeal Kasich’s law that curtails collective bargaining rights for public sector workers.  Voters will also approve or reject Issue 3, a misguided constitutional amendment intended to exempt Ohioans from a federal health insurance mandate.  Click here to continue reading.

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What We’re Reading – Monday, Nov. 7

This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

Spotlight on Ohio vote on union-limiting law
By Julie Carr Smyth for the Associated Press

COLUMBUS, OH — A ballot battle in Ohio that pits the union rights of public workers against Republican efforts to shrink government and limit organized labor’s reach culminates Tuesday in a vote with political consequences from statehouse to the White House.  A question called Issue 2 asks voters to accept or reject a voluminous rewrite of Ohio’s collective bargaining law that Republican Gov. John Kasich signed in March, less than three months after his party regained power in the closely divided swing state that could again decide the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.  Click here to continue reading.

In Ohio, a Hint About 2012
By David Firestone for the New York Times

Republican state lawmakers in the Upper Midwest have been remarkably successful this year in stripping public employees of their bargaining rights, but that campaign could slam to a halt on Tuesday when Ohio voters get a chance to weigh in.  Union and business groups have poured a huge amount of time and money into a referendum on whether to overturn Senate Bill 5, signed into law in March by Gov. John Kasich.  Click here to continue reading.

Making the Ohio Labor fight all about Obama
By Greg Sargent for the Washington Post

This mailer, which was dropped in Ohio by the conservative group Alliance for America’s Future, perfectly captures how large the stakes are in the Ohio labor fight for unions and national conservatives alike.  The mailer ties the battle directly to Obama by arguing that a No vote on the two referenda on the ballot would make liberals cheer and give Obama momentum.  Click here to continue reading.

Government Unions Strike Back in Ohio
By Fred Barnes for the Wall Street Journal

Ohio Gov. John Kasich likened himself last week to Bernie Kosar, the Cleveland Browns quarterback from 1985-1992.  Mr. Kasich was campaigning across Ohio for approval of Issue 2, the troubled referendum that would sharply curtail the power of public-sector unions.  Asked if his frenetic tour might trigger an upset, the governor responded impetuously: “We never thought Bernie Kosar would bring the Browns back and with that big championship game.”  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio voter look set to dump Republicans’ anti-union law
By Paul West for the Los Angeles Times

HANOVERTON, OH — An aggressive Republican drive to weaken the labor rights of government workers appears to have crested, at least in Ohio, where voters are expected to throw our a far-reaching anti-union law this week.  The referendum over collective bargaining for public employees, potentially the most important contest in off-year elections around the nation, is being closely watched for clues about shifting voter trends in a state expected to play its usual outsized role in next year’s presidential contest.  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio Voters to decide bargaining rights for public employees
By Mark Guarino for the Christian Science Monitor

Ohio voters on Tuesday will decide whether to uphold a controversial labor law designed to change the face of the public-sector labor force in the state.  If passed, the new law will replace a 28-year-old collective bargaining law with a new version that restricts the bargaining terms for the state’s nearly 400,000 public employees, prohibits strikes, and gives management the final say on such topics as health insurance.  Click here to continue reading.

U.S. Wealth Gap Between Young, Old Is Widest Ever
By Hope Yen for the Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The wealth gap between younger and older Americans has stretched to the widest on record, worsened by a prolonged economic downturn that has wiped out job opportunities for young adults and saddled them with housing and college debt.  The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.  Click here to continue reading.

Chief Operating Officers Got More Bonuses, Bigger Paychecks In 2012 Study Finds

Cross-posted from the Huffington Post

CEOs aren’t the only ones whose paychecks keep getting bigger.  For COOs, or chief operating officers, 2010 was a very good year.  Many COOs experienced a sizable jump in compensation during that time, even as the economy tottered and millions struggled to find work, according to new research.  Though executive compensation took a dip in the immediate wake of the financial crisis, as public outraged spiked and government took steps to regulate corporate behavior, the new finding reinforce the impression that business leaders wasted no time getting their pay packages back up to size.  Click here to continue reading.

Sarah Palin Touts Union Cred – The Stumps for John Kasich’s Anti-Union Bill
By Andy Kroll for Mother Jones

With defenders of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s anti-union bill trailing in the polls and getting badly outspend by labor-allied groups, they’ve enlisted the help of one of the biggest names in conservative politics: Sarah Palin.  Palin’s voice can be heard on a new robo-call urging Ohioans to vote yes this Tuesday on Issue 2, which would uphold Kasich’s anti-union bill, better known as SB 5.  Click here to continue reading.

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What We’re Reading – Friday, Nov. 4

This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

Ohio GOP Candidate Josh Mandel Insists Ohio Anti-Labor Law ‘Is About Respecting Police Firefighters
By Tanya Somanader for ThinkProgress

On Tuesday, Ohioans will vote on Issue 2, a referendum on Ohio Gov. John Kaisch’s (R) anti-workers’ rights law called Senate Bill 5 (SB 5).  The bill strips teachers, police, and firefighters, among others of their rights to collective bargain for better wages and working conditions.  The bill is deeply unpopular.  This, however, has not stopped right-wing groups from flushing the pro-SB5 campaign with money or conservatives from insisting that the law helps local governments by preventing layoffs.  Click here to continue reading.

Internal labor memo warns Ohio union fight could go either way
By Greg Sargent for the Washington Post

What if the public polls predicting a sizable labor win in the Ohio battle over collective bargaining are just flat our wrong? With many pundits predicting a comfortable win for unions, even pols like Mitt Romney seem to be edging away from the anti-labor side.  But labor sources say predictions of victory in this fight – which has attracted intense national attention from both sides as a referendum on labor’s strength in the industrial heartland – are way premature.   Click here to continue reading.

Ohio Anti-Union PAC Gets Boost from Koch-Backed Group
By Andy Kroll for Mother Jones

Building a Better Ohio, the political group created to defeat GOP Gov. John Kasich’s anti-union bill and staffed by at least three Kasich administration staffers, released its donor list to the public on October 27.  By law, BBO didn’t have to disclose anything about the individuals and companies who pumped $7.6 million into its coffers (it still hasn’t said how much each donor contributed), and it made a show out of telling the public who gave it money.  But largely overlooked and unmentioned is a slew of contributions to BBO from the Koch-funded, free market advocacy group Americans for Prosperity.  Click here to continue reading.

Bank dumping days
By Blake Ellis for CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMONEY) — Customers are dumping their banks in droves ahead of the nationwide “Move Your Money” and “Bank Transfer Day” movements this Saturday.  Given the recent spotlight on attempts — and ultimate failures — by some of the nation’s biggest banks to tack on new debit card fees, thousands of disgruntled consumers have already either left or pledged to leave their current bank for a community bank or credit union, which are know for having fewer and/or lower bank account fees.  Click here to continue reading.

650,000 Americans Joined Credit Unions Last Month – More Than In All of 2010 Combined
By Zaid Jilani for ThinkProgress

One of the tactics the 99 Percenters are using to take back the country from the 1 percent is to move their money from big banks to credit unions, community banks, and other smaller financial unions that aren’t gambling with our nation’s future.  Now, the Credit Union National Assocation (CUNA) reports that a whopping 650,000 Americans have joined credit unions since Sept. 29 — the date that Bank of America announced it would start charging a $5 monthly debit fee, a move it backed down on this week.  Click here to continue reading.

Police staffing among issues at heart of Ohio’s union fight debate
By the Associated Press reprinted for the Toledo Blade

COLUMBUS, OH — Roughly one in eight labor contracts for public safety workers in Ohio sets minimum staffing levels, according to state estimates, a finding challenged by police and firefighter unions that argue such requirements are vital to public safety and more widespread.  The estimates play into a debate at the center of Ohio’s collective bargaining law as voters consider Tuesday whether to reject it.  Supporters and opponents have seized on the staffing issue in numerous ads in the $30-million plus ballot fight in an effort to sway Ohioans to their side.  Click here to continue reading.

Money rains, rallies rock in Issue 2 slugfest
By Joe Vardon, Joe Hallett, and Tristan Navera for the Columbus Dispatch

Karate Coyote headlined a “rock the repeal” rally at a Columbus union hall, Gov. John Kasich continued his pro-Senate Bill 5 push in northeastern Ohio and outside money began raining across the Buckeye State as the contentious Issue 2 campaign enters its final days.  More than $5 million in TV ads will dominate the airwaves in the frantic final days of the hostile off-year election, with half of it being spent by “vote yes on Issue 2″ groups that acknowledge they are underdogs in the fight to preserve Senate Bill 5, the controversial law curtailing collective-bargaining rights for public employees.  Click here to continue reading.

Economy adds 80k jobs in Oct.; unemployment dips to 9%
By Neil Irwin for the Washington Post

The U.S. economy kept muddling along in October, according to new government data, as employers continued to hire at a sluggish pace and the unemployment rate fell slightly to its lowest rate since April.  The jobless rate fell to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent, the Labor Department said Friday morning, with more people reporting that they had a job in a survey of households.  Employers created 80,000 net new jobs last month.  Click here to continue reading.

U.S Economy: Job Gains Signal ‘Frustratingly Slow’ Growth
By Shobhana Chandra for the Washington Post

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell in October while employers added fewer workers than forecast, illustrating the “frustratingly slow” progress cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke this week.  The unemployment rate fell to a six-month low of 9 percent from 9.1 percent, even as the labor force grew.  Click here to continue reading.

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What We’re Reading – Thursday, Nov. 3

This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

Sides in Ohio union law fight cash in on public employee, politician paychecks to tell stories
By Julie Carr Smyth for the Associated Press

COLUMBUS, OH — Wildly conflicting estimates make it difficult to determine how public and private pay compares in Ohio, and millions are flocking to new online salary tools to peek at the salaries of government-paid friends, neighbors and politicians.  Bitter salary wars – over how much public workers are paid, for what and by whom – are a key element in the debate over a new collective bargaining law signed this spring.  Click here to continue reading.

Citizens United spends big in Ohio
By Dave Levinthal for Politico

Citizens United, the conservative political organization best known for the eponymous Supreme Court decision that last year altered the nation’s campaign finance landscape, will on Thursday begin blasting six-figures worth of advertisements throughout Ohio in support of limiting most state workers’ collective bargaining rights.  The ads, which are slated to target the Cincinnati market in particular, urge voters next week to support Issue 2, a referendum on killing a collective bargaining-curbing bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. John Kasich (R).  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio Union Bill Vote As Possible ’12 Bellwether
Story by NPR on Talk of the Nation

Voters in Ohio go to the polls Tuesday to decide, among other issues, whether to keep the controversial law that stripped public unions of much of their collective bargaining powers.  Senate Bill 5 sparked large-scale protests at the statehouse in Columbus and inspired similar bills in other states.  Click here to listen to the full story.

Issue 2 foes lack identity
By Joe Vardon and Jim Siegel for the Columbus Dispatch

The pro-Issue 2 campaign has a face.  The opposition has no face or many faces, depending on how you look at it.  The unequivocal pitchman for Building a Better Ohio, the Republican group supporting Issue 2, is Gov. John Kasich, who has been on a mad dash across the state for about a month speaking at traditional campaign rallies.  We Are Ohio, the labor coalition responsible for placing before voters the GOP-backed limits on collective bargaining for public employees in Senate Bill 5, has largely (but not entirely) avoided the kind of campaign event where supporters gather to hear prominent politicians speak.  Click here to continue reading.

Once-sanctioned group running pro-issue 2 ad
By Joe Hallett for the Columbus Dispatch

Restoring America, a group that was temporarily barred in Kentucky last month from running attack ads against Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, has plunked down cash for television ads in Ohio supporting State Issue 2.  The group made a buy in Columbus and other Ohio markets for a pro-Issue 2 ad to run from Thursday through Election Day, Nov. 8.  Click here to continue reading.

Wow! Democrats on message
By Steve Hoffman for the Beacon Journal

A recent meeting with Janetta King and Dale Butland of Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank based in Columbus, concluded with a discussion about the difficulties Democrats often have in communicating effectively.  Republican talking heads stick with the script in opposing, for example, President Obama’s health-care plan or his ideas for stimulating the economy.  They frame the debate in simple, emotional terms, arguing  against “a government takeover of health care>” or against more stimulus spending “when the country is broke.” Click here to continue reading.

John Kasich slams use of out-of-state arbitrators in contract talks with safety forces
The Plain Dealer Truth-O-Meter

The elimination of binding arbitration for public safety forces is among the changes Issue 2 would make to Ohio’s collective bargaining law.  Binding arbitration calls on a neutral third party to settle an impasse in labor negotiations.  This process is reserved for police, firefighters and other safety forces that cannot strike under Ohio law.  Click here to continue reading.

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What We’re Reading – Wednesday Nov. 2

This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

Businesses help fund Issue 2 battle
By Lynn Hulsey for the Dayton Daily News

State Issue 2 is garnering financial support from businesses and their advocacy groups, such as the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, which view limits on collective bargaining by public employees as an important way to curtail the growth of taxes and encourage companies to great jobs in Ohio.  But opponents of Issue 2 — including some business owners — say businesses who support the law are being shortsighted because it will financially harm the middle-class government workers who buy their products and services.  Click here to continue reading.

Misinformation distorts measure, Kasich tells crowd
By David Skolnick for the Youngstown Vindicator

Gov. John Kasich said he understands why public employees are “nervous” about state Issue 2, the ballot issue that would restrict some collective-bargaining rights for those workers.  “They were told a lot of misinformation,” Kasich, a Republican, said Tuesday at a pro-Issue 2 rally outside the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton.  Click here to continue reading.

Showdown on Issue 2
By Ashley Luthern for the Youngstown Vindicator

Issue 2 opponents wanted Gov. John Kaisch, who was speaking at the same tim in Hanoverton, to hear their cries.  “We are Mahoning Valley proud and Mahoning Valley strong,” shouted hundreds of people Tuesday at the Mahoning Country Club.  Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras led the call-and-response effort, telling opponents of Issue 2 that they need volunteers and they need to get out the vote .  Click here to continue reading.

Union workers in public, private sectors forge alliance to repeal SB 5
By Karl Henkel for the Youngstown Vindicator

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — Senate Bill 5, which will appear Tuesday on the general election ballot as Issue 2, has divided the Mahoning Valley and Ohio with brightly contrasted line.  But on either side of that line, the issue has forged partnerships and solidarity, creating two behemoth groups.  What started as a public- verses private-sector compensation debate has morphed into a union rights’ battle, with public and private unions generally sticking together.  Click here to continue reading.

Democrats launch petition drive to dump redistricting map
By Jim Siegel for the Columbus Dispatch

Ohio Democratic Party leaders formally kicked off their effort yesterday to overturn the new GOP-drawn congressional districts, though talks among legislative leaders continue regarding a new map that would avoid the referendum.  State Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern said the first batch of petition forms to put the state issue on the November 2012 ballot has been distributed.  Click here to continue reading.

State Sen. Nina Turner says plummeting home values have hammered Americans’ collective wealth
By Henry J. Gomez for the Plain Dealer

Expect to hear more from Nina Turner in the coming months.  The Democratic state senator from Cleveland is considering a primary challenge next year against incumbent U.S Rep. Marcia Fudge of Warrensville Heights.  The potential race already has political watchers buzzing.  Turner has been seen as a rising star since her days on the Cleveland City Council… Click here to continue reading.

Countdown: Ohio remains among best for business climate, but slides in ranking
By Rick Rouan for Business First

Ohio still has one of the best business climates in the country, although it slid in a closely watched annual ranking by Site Selection magazine.  The state fell from a 6th-place tie with Georgia last year and from its No. 4 ranking in 2009.  In ranking state business climates, the magazine said it weighs evenly a survey of corporate site selectors with a state’s tax climate and business facility additions and expansions during the last year.  Click here to continue reading.

Production Slowed at Factories in October
Published by the Associated Press in the New York Times

WASHINGTON (AP) — Manufacturing grew more slowly in October, hampered by weaker demand for exports and slower production at factories.  But companies ordered more goods, factories slashed their stockpiles and auto sales rose.  Those trends suggest manufacturing activity could rebound in the coming months.  The data, which also showed a slight uptick in construction spending in September, points to an economy that is growing but remains too sluggish to lower the unemployment rate, which has been stuck at 9.1 percent for three consecutive months.  Click here to continue reading.

What’s the Matter with Ohio?
By Brian Bolduc for the National Review Online

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R.) rallied Republicans in the state legislature to limit collective bargaining by public employees.  In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie (R.) coaxed a Democrat-led state legislature to increase public employees’ share of their health-care and pension costs.  In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R.) secured merit pay for public school teachers.  But in Ohio, a bill containing all of these reforms is headed for defeat in a referendum on November 8.  Click here to continue. 

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What We’re Reading – Tuesday Nov. 1

This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

Occupy Columbus lunch to put focus on SB5
By Tristan Navera for the Columbus Dispatch

With a week to go until Election Day, Occupy Columbus is hoping to stir up discussion about the implications of Senate Bill 5.  The group will hold a luncheon today on the Statehouse lawn, where union members and teachers will talk about how they will be affected by the bill.  Click here to continue reading.

Kasich glad SB5 hubbub kept focus off budget
By Joe Vardon for the Columbus Dispatch

ZANESVILLE, OH — Gov. John Kasich said today that the emotion and opposition generated by Senate Bill 5 and Issue 2 provided him cover to push through his reform-oriented, $55.8 million budget.  “One really good thing that I will tell you is that as a result of a lot of the hubbub around this issue, we were able to pass our budget with a minimal amount of problems…”.  Click here to continue reading.

Portman, 5 others put focus on deficit
By Tim Reid and Rachelle Younglai for Reuters published in the Columbus Dispatch

WASHINGTON — Six members of a U.S. congressional “supercommittee,” including GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, have begun their own effort to find a plan to slash America’s huge deficits before a Nov. 23 deadline.  The three Republicans and three Democrats are looking at a deficit-reduction deal of between $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion, congressional aides told Reuters on a condition of anonymity.   Click here to continue reading.

Bank of America nixes $5 debit card fee
Published in the Columbus Dispatch through the Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America is nixing its plans to charge a $5 debit card fee.  The news comes after other major banks, including Chase and Wells Fargo, said last week that they were canceling tests of similar fees.  Click here to continue reading.

Kaptur blasts governor, Issue 2 at rally
By Tom Troy for the Toledo Blade

U.s Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Toledo headlined a labor rally on Tuesday calling for the defeat of Issue 2 one week from now.  About 80 people, most of them local public sector union leaders, participated in the rally on the lawn of the Main Library downtown.  Passage of Issue 2 in the election in one week would enact Senate Bill 5, a bill aimed at restricting collective bargaining for state and local government employees.  Click here to continue reading.

Staffing levels of rank-and-file fuel ballot battle
By Ignazio Messina for the Toledo Blade

Mayor Mike Bell — the lone big-city Ohio mayor to support state Issue 2, which would restrict the power of public employee unions — supported the idea of negotiated minimum staffing levels for firefighters when we was Toledo’s fire chief.  Now, times are different, Mr. Bell says, contending that the city cannot afford the overtime it has to pay to keep a minimum number of firefighters on the job.  Click here to continue reading.

Ohio Issue 2: Defeat May Not Be End of Collective Bargaining Law
By John Celock for the Huffington Post

A defeat of Ohio’s controversial new collective bargaining law in the Nov. 8 referendum may not be the final death blow to parts of the bill.  Political observers expect the Republican-controlled state legislature to try to repass parts of the law when lawmakers reconvene in January.  In addition to the ban on public employees being able to collectively bargain for benefits, the bill includes a requirement for public employees to pay in a certain percentage for health and pension benefits.  Click here to continue reading.

Banks Extract Fees On Unemployment Benefits
By Janell Ross for the Huffington Post

Out of work and living on $189-a-week unemployment check, Rob Linville needs to watch every penny.  Lately, he has been watching too many pennies disappear into the coffers of the bank that administers his unemployment check via a prepaid debit card.  The state of Oregon, where Linville lives, deposits his weekly benefits on a U.S. Bank prepaid debit card.  The bank allows him to make four withdrawals per month free of charge.  After that he must pay $1.50 for each visit to the ATM and $3 to see a teller.  Click here to continue reading.

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What We’re Reading – Friday, Oct. 28

This is a daily roundup of news that has an impact on the economy and other legislative issues here in the state of Ohio.  On a few occasions, we’ll even link to national news that is pertinent to the Fight for a Fair Economy.

Articles we’re reading:

New poll shows Issue 2 opposed by 12-points
By Laura Bischoff for the Dayton Daily News

Another poll shows Ohio voters favoring repeal of Senate Bill 5, the collective bargaining reform package, but by a smaller margin than predicted in a previous survey.  The University of Akron Bliss Institute of Applied Politics reports that registered voters oppose Issue 2, the referendum question on Senate Bill 5, 37-25 percent while voters favor Issue 3 on the national health care law by 34-18 percent.  Click here to continue reading.

Dem Govs give $150K to fight SB5
By Joe Vardon for the Columbus Dispatch

The Democratic Governors Association is donating $150,000 to We Are Ohio to help the labor coalition in its attempt to defeat Issue 2.  The donation was announced by DGA executive director Colm O’Comartun in a letter to the AFL-CIO and Change to Win Unions obtained by the Dispatch.  The Huffington Post first reported the donation.  Click here to continue reading.

Democrats get no extra time to gather names for redistricting-issue petition
By David Eggert for the Columbus Dispatch

Democrats don’t have as much time as they would like to collect signatures to force a 2012 referendum on Republican-drawn congressional districts.  The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday again unanimously turned down a request to start the 90-day signature-gathering window on Oct. 14th, when the justices ruled that the new map would be subject to a possible statewide vote.  The clock instead began ticking on Sept. 26, when the redistricting law took effect.  Click here to continue reading.

Wal-Mart offers latest sign that employer-based health coverage is failing
By David Lazarus for the Los Angeles Times

When Wal-Mart, the country’s largest private employer, announced the other day that it’s cutting back on health coverage for workers, it wasn’t just the latest sign that our healthcare system is out of reach for a growing number of people.  It was also the clearest indication to date that our employer-based health insurance system has let us down, saddling millions of families with rising healthcare costs and leaving millions more out in the cold.  Click here to continue reading.

Occupy Protesters continue to push for Columbus Camp
By Tristan Navera for the Columbus Dispatch

As dozens of protesters continue their vigil outside the Statehouse, Occupy Columbus is still fighting for a home.  The occupiers have been seeking a permanent camp for up to 400 Occupy protesters in 100 to 150 tents in one of the city’s downtown parks.  Since Oct. 14, they have been asking the city for a permit to one of the parks, but officials say the parks close at 11 p.m. and camping isn’t allowed because the parks do not have the amenities to accommodate overnight camping.  Click here to continue reading.

U.S. economy grows nearly twice as fast in 3rd quarter
By Neil Irwin for the Washington Post

The U.S. economy grew at its fastest clip in a year during late summer as consumers and businesses shrugged off fears of a new recession, according to government data released Thursday that helped drive the stock market to its best day since August.  Investors were also cheered by overnight news that European leaders have reached an agreement on how to address their constituents’ debt crisis, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index ended the day up 3.4 percent.  European markets   Click here to continue reading.

Will Police Ever Join The Ninety-Nine Percent?
By Allison Kilkenny for In These Times

The great hope of many OWS protesters appears to be that through reason and vigilance they’ll be able to inspire some NYPD officers to leave their ranks and come join the “99 percent” on the other side of the barriers.  When I first heard these aspirations, I had to bite my tongue in order to not laugh outright.  I’ve just seen cops violently collide with protesters too many times to imagine a world where the folks in blue and activists join hands in a circle and together skip under a rainbow.  Click here to continue reading.

You Have To Admit It’s Getting Better
By Annie Lowrey for Slate Magazine

Everything is getting better.  No, no, I know.  It seems as if everything is getting worse again.  Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi says there is a 40 percent of a double-dip.  The Economic Cycle Research Institute, which has forecast the last three recessions, says another recessions is a sure thing – and imminent, to boot.  And it certainly doesn’t feel as if things are getting better.  Real median income has fallen about 10 percent since the recession started: It predictably declined through the crisis and, surprisingly, has kept on plummeting through the recovery, too. Click here to continue reading.

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