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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

State senators asked to increase revenues to ensure essential services

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In a letter sent today, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus urged central Ohio's state senators to make the responsible choice to bring more revenue into the state coffers.

Addressed to Senators David Goodman, Jim Hughes, and Ray Miller, the letter was sent in response to an action alert issued by the League of Women Voters of Ohio. The full text of the letter follows:

On behalf of the board of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus and our hundreds of members across central Ohio, I urge you to make the responsible choice to bring more revenue into the state coffers rather than making budget cuts to vital health, human, and other essential government services.

At the League of Women Voters of Ohio State Convention in Dublin earlier this month, delegates passed a resolution urging the General Assembly to restore Ohio income tax rates to 2005 levels during the 2010-2011 biennium as part of a plan to ensure adequate social, human, and government services for the citizens of Ohio. As submitted, the budget for FY2010-2011 includes significant cuts in human services above those cuts the Governor has already been forced to make to balance the budget. These budget reductions have already had a dramatic impact on health and human service delivery in the state. At a time when the downturn in the economy is forcing more families to seek assistance from the state and private-sector agencies, funding for these services is not available.

These are already desperate times for Ohio's families, workers, seniors, and children. The budget reductions being made will hurt these Ohioans even more by cutting off essential health and human services. Bringing additional revenue into the state coffers is the responsible – if difficult – choice to ensure that all essential services remain intact with no further cuts. The state faces this fiscal crisis in part because of tax changes made in 2005, particularly the 21 percent reduction in personal income tax rates. The Senate can stem the tide of drastic cuts by restoring some of those tax reforms.

Thank you for your consideration of the League’s request, and for your service to the citizens of central Ohio.