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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

Legislators asked to preserve essential social services in state budget

Saturday, Jun. 27, 2009

In an e-mail message sent today, the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus urged members of the Budget Conference Committee and central Ohio's legislators to make the responsible choice to bring more revenue into the state coffers.

The e-mail, in response to an action alert issued by the League of Women Voters of Ohio, was sent to:

  • The Honorable David Goodman, Senate District 3 (R)
  • The Honorable Jim Hughes, Senate District 16 (R)
  • The Honorable Ray Miller, Senate District 15 (D)
  • The Honorable Marian Harris, House District 19 (D)
  • The Honorable Nancy Garland, House District 20 (D)
  • The Honorable Kevin Bacon, House District 21 (R)
  • The Honorable John Patrick Carney, House District 22 (D)
  • The Honorable Cheryl Grossman, House District 23 (R)
  • The Honorable Ted Celeste, House District 24 (D)
  • The Honorable Dan Stewart, House District 25 (D)
  • The Honorable Tracy Heard, House District 26 (D)
  • The Honorable W. Carleton Weddington, House District 27 (D)

A similar letter was sent to members of the Budget Conference Committee:

  • The Honorable John Carey, Ohio Senate
  • The Honorable Mark Wagoner, Ohio Senate
  • The Honorable Dale Miller, Ohio Senate
  • The Honorable Vernon Sykes, Ohio House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Jay Goyal, Ohio House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Ron Amstutz, Ohio House of Representatives

The full text of the letter to central Ohio's delegation 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 in May, 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 to the conference committee, the budget for FY2010-2011 includes significant cuts in human services above those cuts the Governor was 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 ā€“ if difficult ā€“ 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. You can stem the tide of drastic cuts by restoring some of those tax reforms. Please encourage your colleagues on the Budget Conference Committee to preserve these essential services.

Thank you for your consideration of the Leagueā€™s request, and for your service to the citizens of central Ohio.