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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

New report outlines importance of stimulus funds to Ohio's economy

Monday, Jan. 18, 2010

According to a policy brief issued early this month by the Center for Community Solutions in Cleveland, federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act have preserved thousands of jobs in Ohio during this recession.

The policy brief, entitled "State Fiscal Relief has Helped Ohio. Congress must consider additional assistance to states in any jobs package to ensure that the recovery takes hold" and written by Emily Campbell, outlines the importance of federal stimulus funds to Ohio’s economy.

According to the brief, Ohio will receive approximately $4.8 billion, which has been used to support Medicaid ($3.01 billion), education ($1.46 billion), and general government services ($326 million Fiscal Stabilization Fund). If not for the infusion of these federal funds, the state would have needed to cut an additional $650 million from the FY09 budget, or find additional revenue.

The brief supports recommendations urging the White House and Congress to provide additional state fiscal relief in order to stimulate job growth and make an economic recovery possible in Ohio. For example, Ohio has the fifth largest Medicaid program in the nation. Approximately $1 billion in Medicaid dollars are infused into the Ohio economy each month. These dollars have a significant impact on Ohio's economy, which supports over 207,000 in the health care industry.

The brief notes, "The sectors most likely to be impacted by additional state fiscal relief –Education, Health Services, and Government – are critically important to Ohio's prosperity. These industries alone account for more than one quarter of all employment in Ohio. Education and Health Services is the only sector projected to grow during the next two years. By the end of 2010, more than 822,000 Ohioans are expected to be employed in this industry."

This summary of the policy brief was provided by League education specialist Joan Platz in today’s edition of her weekly Education Update. E-mail subscriptions to this service are available free of charge.

Read more: Center for Community Solutions Policy Brief