Columbus—Today, members of the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus responded to Governor Kasich’s proposed state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019. The budget is essentially more of the same from a Governor who continues to push for income tax cuts at the expense of schools, local communities and working families.
Governor Kasich proposed raising and broadening the state sales tax by $1.85 billion over the next biennium and increasing taxes on cigarettes and oil and gas production to pay for another income tax cut that disproportionately benefits the wealthy. In addition, he has essentially flat-funded schools, local communities and public libraries.
Senate Democrats, who believe all Ohioans deserve a fair shot at success through good-paying jobs and investments in education and healthcare, offered the following comments:
Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), Minority Leader:
“The Governor’s budget does not contain many surprises because we’ve seen this before. Once again Governor Kasich has shortchanged our schools and local communities and shifted more of the tax burden onto working families. All Ohioans deserve a fair shot, not just a wealthy few.”
Senator Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus), Assistant Minority Leader:
"The Governor's tax and policy proposal does little to protect and provide needed services for older adults, those with addictions, middle and marginal income Ohioans. We are shifting the tax burdens onto those in the middle and below to provide windfalls for wealthy individuals and selected businesses. We are not providing a fair shot to the majority of our residents or businesses."
Senator Michael J. Skindell (D-Lakewood):
“The Governor has proposed another tax shift that benefits wealthy Ohioans at the expense of senior citizens and working families. Once again he has turned his back on local communities and taken learning opportunities away from younger Ohioans by not adequately funding K-12 and higher education. In addition, he failed to fully address the heroin and opioid crisis that is gripping so many communities across Ohio.”
Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati), Assistant Minority Whip:
“I am very upset to see Ohio increase its sales tax yet again in order to continue decreasing the personal income tax. These shifts in tax policies continue to disproportionately benefit the wealthy and disadvantage the lower and middle-class. For the majority of Ohioans, these small income savings do not outweigh the increased cost burden on their everyday necessities.”
Senator Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights):
“Once again, Governor Kasich is shifting more of the burden of the state’s programs onto the neediest Ohioans by increasing the sales tax and charging a premium for many Medicaid recipients. This shift is simply not fair to those who are already struggling to make ends meet.”
Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron):
“I am concerned by the overall lack of resources and investments needed to give all Ohioans a fair shot at success. But, I am encouraged by increases in the area of early childhood education that I believe are vital to our state’s future. I am hopeful that we will be able to identify more funds as we go through the budget process that can be invested into our children."
Senator Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta):
“I was disappointed to find that cuts to local government funds have not been restored in the Governor’s most recent budget proposal. Even more disconcerting is the lack of funding for opiate addiction and services for seniors. Both of these are issues that, left unattended and underfunded, will continue to negatively impact Ohio for the foreseeable future.”
COLUMBUS - Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have launched a series of trips around the state to gather opinions from parents and educators on ways to improve education in Ohio.
Columbus—Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) released the following statement after Governor Kasich rescinded an executive order that granted collective bargaining rights to home healthcare and childcare providers:
Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) has worked over the last few months to pass legislation that would dedicate a portion of I-80 in Austintown in honor of two local Vietnam Veterans as the "Marine Sergeant James Prommersberger and Army Second Lieutenant Charles W. Brown Memorial Highway". This summer, these efforts will become a reality.
Columbus –State Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), Senator Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard), State Representative Ron Gerberry (D-Austintown) and State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) sent a letter to Governor Kasich this week urging him to postpone the transfer of residents from the Youngstown and Montgomery Development Centers. The four Mahoning Valley legislators have sponsored legislation to establish a State Facilities Closure Review Commission to determine if the facilities should remain open.