The tragedy in Charlottesville ate up our entire Monday Roundup, so we’re doing a special Tuesday Roundup this week to cover the rest of the news.
Since winning control over the state legislature and the executive branch, the Kasich Administration and Ohio Republicans have destroyed funding for local government, leading to layoffs of emergency personnel such as police and fire, and drastic cuts to local services and maintenance of infrastructure.
Another $200 million cut may be soon on its way, depending on the actions of the Republican majority Ohio Senate.
From the Sandusky Register:
All county governments are affected by the Kasich administration’s decision to change the managed care provider tax and end tax distributions to county governments, according to a new analysis of the issue by Policy Matters Ohio, an Ohio think tank. The Policy Matters piece says that counties statewide will lose more than $200 million a year if the Senate doesn’t join the House in overriding Kasich’s veto on the matter.
The Policy Matters document explains that during the Obama administration, the federal government decided that the state’s tax on Medicaid managed care organizations wasn’t broad enough to comply with the law.
Ohio altered the tax, changing it into a tax on all managed care companies, but cut out the portion of the tax that provided revenue to counties, explains the piece, authored by Wendy Patton, senior project director at Policy Matters Ohio.
Lawmakers heard from county officials worried about the hole being created in their budgets and put a provision in the budget, instructing Kasich to ask the federal government for a waiver to alter the tax again and include counties in the revenue. Kasich vetoed the provision, saying that he was afraid seeking a waiver might take away the entire tax and cost the state its tax revenue.
The House voted to override the governor’s veto, and the issue is now before the Ohio Senate.
Fighting For Women’s Right To Choose
Women in Northwest Ohio may soon be very limited in have access to the full range of their private medical options according to the latest from the Toledo Blade.
Northwest Ohio’s last abortion clinic will ask the Ohio Supreme Court next month to block the state’s attempts to shut it down despite what it claims have been its repeated attempts to comply with a regulatory framework that kept shifting under its feet.
The case, slated to be heard by the high court Sept. 12, is being closely watched as a test of regulatory and statutory restrictions Ohio has placed on abortion clinics.
Over the last few years, the number of clinics in Ohio has dropped from 16 to seven.
In advance of the court arguments, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Foundation funded, in support of the clinic, a billboard at North Haven Avenue and West Sylvania Avenue, near the Capital Care Network.
The state is trying to enforce its order that the clinic permanently close its doors because it has failed since 2013 to have a state-approved written agreement in place with a “local” hospital for patient transfers in case of medical emergency.
A brief filed by Cincinnati attorney Jennifer Branch on behalf of the clinic argues that the closing would force women from northwest Ohio to travel farther to access abortions.
“She would be forced to travel to a facility in Columbus (300 miles roundtrip) or Cleveland (240 miles roundtrip),” the sign reads. “Increased travel distances can pose a serious burden, particularly for poor, rural, or disadvantaged women.”
“These challenges are exacerbated by Ohio’s mandatory delay law for abortion, which forces patients to make the round-trip — and miss work, lose wages, and pay for transportation and child care — at least twice,” the brief adds.
Lucas County Common Pleas Court struck down a state Department of Health’s shutdown order to the clinic on grounds that Ohio’s restrictions were unconstitutionally folded into the state budget along with thousands of other provisions. It also found the state had unconstitutionally delegated state responsibility to hospitals and doctors.
All Ohio women should pay close attention to what the state supreme court does in this case.
Republican Efforts To Deny Ohioans Voting Access
Here’s another issue to be decided next by the Ohio Supreme Court that to which all Ohioans should pay close attention: Is voting a use it or lose it proposition?
That’s what Howard Wilkinson asks in this piece from WVXU:
Let’s say you are a registered voter who has not cast a ballot for the past six years, for whatever reason. Maybe you are fed up with politics; maybe there are no candidates or issues that inspire you. Should you be removed from the voting rolls in Ohio?
Voting rights advocates say no, it would be against federal law – the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to be exact – to “purge” your name from the voting rolls.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says yes, you should be – not because you didn’t vote but because you never responded to a voter confirmation notice mailed to you by your county board of elections after two years of not voting.
Sometime this fall, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide who is right, in a case known as Husted v. Ohio A. Phillip Randolph Institute.
The answer should be a no-brainer. With shamefully low participation rates in the United States already, our elected officials should be doing everything they can to get people to the polls. Unfortunately, Republicans realize that when large numbers of voters show up to exercise the franchise, it hurts their chances of winning.
While this question before the state high court should be a no-brainer, rampant disenfranchisement efforts by political allies may trump Ohioans’ rights to vote. We’ll see.
Husted’s Got A Billionaire On His Side
With the gubernatorial campaign of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted receiving a $1 million dollar subsidy in the form of a super PAC contribution from a billionaire, we wonder who he’d be looking to help were he to be elected.
Something tells us Ohioans could expect to see more insane tax breaks for the rich and more pain for everybody else under a Husted Administration. That’s the Republican modus operandi anyway, isn’t it? Comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.
From the Columbus Dispatch:
A Dayton-area man who made his billions in dog food has contributed $1 million to a super PAC supporting Jon Husted’s campaign for the Republican nomination for governor.
Clayton Mathile, a long-time major GOP contributor who sold his Iams pet food company for $2.3 billion in 1999, made the seven-figure donation to Ohio Conservatives for a Change.
The federal super PAC, which is legally forbidden from coordinating its activities with Husted and his campaign committee, raised $1.3 million through only four contributions in June, according to its filing with the Federal Elections Commission.
A media spokeswoman for Mathile did not respond to requests for comment on Monday. The Mathile family has contributed nearly $123,000 directly to Husted since 2013. Clayton Mathile is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 474th wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $3.8 billion.
Finally, In Ohio-related Nazi News
From the Dayton Daily News:
The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi hate group with ties to central Ohio, must find a new website host after it posted an article attacking Heather Heyer, the victim in the Charlottesville attack.
“We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service,” GoDaddy said on Twitter on Monday.
The notice came after The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin posted an article that called Heyer “a 32-year-old overweight slob with no children” and the “definition of uselessness.”
“Childless women are black hole vortexes of public money and energy. Had she not died yesterday, hundreds of thousands of dollars would have been spent on propping-up this gross creature who had failed to do her most basic duty — her only real duty, in fact — and reproduce,” Anglin wrote.
These are the people the Trump Administration has empowered. These are the people the president waits 48 hours to condemn, while it only takes him minutes to lash out at CNN or a CEO who quits his manufacturing council, or really, anybody who’s not Vladimir Putin or a Nazi.