Thursday, March 19, 2009

Increased Revenue Needed in State Budget


By Dianna King

There were sighs of relief from our elected officials when it became apparent that Ohio would receive Federal Stimulus Dollars. Much of this relief is because $5 billion of these dollars would be used to fill considerable holes in our state budget due to the current economy and poor decisions made in the past.

However, despite these additional dollars, the budget proposed by the governor does not do nearly enough to protect low-income Ohioans. It leaves in place the tax cuts approved in 2005 that primarily benefit the affluent and corporate Ohio, cuts that have contributed heavily to the lack of sufficient revenue in our general fund to adequately subsidize our current health and human services needs.

As welcome and needed as the stimulus dollars are, they do not provide sufficient revenue to restore the many cuts in health and human services programs experienced over the years. Even with the stimulus dollars, there are insufficient funds in this budget to prevent further cuts to critical programs such as senior community services, which provide meals, companionship and support services for our elderly, and the kinship care program which assists grandparents and others who are caring for young relatives in their own homes.

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