The Buckeye Institute’s Fight to Increase Job Opportunities for Military Families: Melonia Lillie ’s Story
Melonia Lillie has been a registered nurse for 20 years and has served this country alongside her active duty Marine Corps husband as a military spouse since 2008. Through military transfers, Melonia’s support of her husband’s military service has taken her and her family from California, to Colorado, to Washington, DC, back to California, and now to Ohio. And while we are glad to have her here in the Buckeye State, our occupational licensing requirements have not been welcoming.
When the House budget was voted out of the Finance Committee it contained an important program that has been unfairly maligned and misunderstood since it was first introduced in 2015. Healthy Ohio—structured after the popular and successful Healthy Indiana 2.0—was removed from the final version of House Bill 166 before it passed the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate can now reverse this action and restore this critical program to Ohio’s biennial budget.
In the Akron Beacon Journal, Buckeye’s Greg Lawson looks at restrictions placed on debt settlement companies that make it more difficult for Ohioans to get help resolving their debt, writing, “There is growing concern in the state’s debt-settlement industry that a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court will be misapplied and ultimately prevent non-lawyer debt settlement firms from serving Ohioans.”
New Justice Action Network Poll Finds Overwhelming Majority of Ohioans Support Drug Sentencing Reform
As the Ohio General Assembly continues to look at drug sentencing reform in Ohio, a new poll from the U.S. Justice Action Network found that a whopping 87 percent of Ohioans favor reducing prison time for low-level, non-violent offenders and reinvesting savings into community-based supervision programs.
In The Cincinnati Enquirer, Buckeye’s Rea S. Hederman Jr. looks at the budget passed by the Ohio House of Representatives, writing, “The House budget includes some sound tax policies and promising improvements, but if the Ohio Senate fails to tap the brakes on the proposed ‘crazy train’ spending roaring out of the House of Representatives, the Ohio taxpayer will be on board for a spectacular economic train wreck.”
With the Ohio House passing its version of the budget, tax changes could be coming to Ohio families. But the question is, are they the right changes? Trying to discuss optimal tax policy is like being Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. But taxes play a critical role in determining how our state operates, and knowing what’s best for the state helps us evaluate if our elected officials are making good tax policy that will help growth Ohio’s economy.
In an opinion piece on Watchdog.org, Buckeye’s Rea S. Hederman Jr. looks at the policies in House Bill 6, writing, “Ohio lawmakers recently introduced legislation to subsidize the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants, reportedly to the tune of $150 million per year. Government subsidies and corporate bailouts interfere with free markets and allow governments – rather than consumers and competition – to pick the private sector’s ‘winners and losers.’”
The Buckeye Institute’s Fight to Increase Job Opportunities for Military Families: Brianna McKinnon’s Story
Brianna McKinnon doesn’t look at being a teacher as just a job she holds, but says “it is who she is.” And she has chosen one of the most difficult teaching paths available—working with at risk youth in a school where it is hard to find substitute teachers let alone full-time teachers. While being a teacher is who Brianna is, it is not the only role she fills. She is also a military spouse, which means she and her family have no say over where they will live—that decision is up to the U.S. Department of Defense. After earning her teaching certificate in Washington state, Brianna’s husband was transferred to Ohio, to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
In The Des Moines Register, Buckeye’s Rea S. Hederman Jr. and Iowans for Tax Relief’s John Hendrickson urge Iowa policymakers to conduct an audit of the state’s Medicaid program, writing, “A cursory review of the Iowa state budget shows health services and Medicaid to be the second-largest line item. That alone suggests a program audit is in order to ensure every dollar is spent wisely — and that resources are used to help people who truly need Medicaid services.”
As lawmakers begin debating Ohio’s biennial budget, Buckeye’s economist, Andrew J. Kidd, Ph.D., looks at the differences between the Office of Budget and Management’s and the Legislative Service Commission’s tax collection estimates, writing, “In general, OBM expects Ohio’s collection of tax dollars to grow faster than LSC, implying that OBM is painting too rosy of a picture, which will hurt Ohioans if spending cuts have to be made or taxes increased later.”