Dems Vote No On Job-Killing State Budget

Despite strong objections from Democratic members, the Ohio House of Representatives this afternoon approved a state budget that hurts local communities and the middle class.  After the vote, the following members made these statements to the public:

State Representative Debbie Phillips, Ohio House District 92

“This budget moves Ohio in the wrong direction. It includes deep cuts to the services that are important to our community and our working and middle class families. The budget spends $5 billion more than the current one, and yet includes deep cuts to education, mental health care, health care, higher education and funding to our local communities for basic services like police and fire protection.

 It guts transparency and accountability, it sells off public assets for one time money, and it will harm Ohio’s middle class and working families, and our most vulnerable citizens.”

State Representative Kathleen Clyde, Ohio House District 68

 “Today’s budget passed by the Ohio House will be a tough blow to Portage County’s middle class families.  Local communities will be forced to cut critical services, such as police and fire.  Class sizes will increase, teachers will be laid off, and property owners will be asked to pay more for our local schools.  While the Governor increases the budget to his own office, he makes cuts to programs for the most vulnerable, such as the PASSPORT program for senior citizens and child protective services.  Because of these misplaced priorities, I opposed this budget.”

State Representative Connie Pillich, Ohio House District 28

“This budget is an abomination.  After telling us for more than a dozen months that we faced an $8 Billion shortfall, the GOP budget manages to increase spending by $5 billion!  But instead of providing quality services with these increased expenditures, this budget cuts funding for state services.  The budget busts public schools, local governments, and care for the elderly and infirm.  It balances the budget on the backs of the middle class, diverting money from important services to fund pet projects of the wealthy donors of the Governor and GOP.”

State Representative Tom Letson, Ohio House District 64

“I am truly disappointed at the budget decisions that were made by the House this evening.  This budget does not assist Ohioans in finding jobs.  We had an opportunity to make Ohio a better place for our middle class citizens, and instead, the Governor and the Republican led House used this opportunity to ensure the loss of over 50,000 jobs while also ensuring that their rich friends get richer.  This is indeed a sad day for Ohio and its citizens.”

State Representative John Patrick Carney , Ohio House District 22

“The budget passed out of the House today is a detriment to Ohio’s middle class.  Unfortunately, it is a partisan bill that decreases valuable services to children and our most vulnerable citizens.  This budget cuts funding to school districts and local governments while increasing funding and eliminating accountability for failing charter schools.

 “The state budget affects every Ohioan and I believe that we must work in a bipartisan manner to reach common ground.  We must make key investments in workforce development and education if our State is to maintain long term economic viability.  This budget, unfortunately, uses short term budgeting maneuvers at the expense of the long term prosperity and opportunity of our citizens.”

State Representative Denise Driehaus , Ohio House District 31

“This budget eliminates jobs, reduces money for both public and private education, reduces funding to local governments which will likely result in cuts to public safety and cuts to programs that help keep our seniors in their homes. Additionally, the budget cuts important consumer protection funding and hurts the middle class. At the same time, this budget spends more money than the previous budget. This budget shifts the priorities of the State from investing in education and long term strategies to save money and instead sells off State assets for short term gain.”

 State Representative Teresa Fedor , Ohio House District 47

“This destructive budget spends more, provides less, rewards friends, and hurts the middle class.  The solutions offered by this bill are a race to the bottom with no secure investments to weather the economic storm. 

The budget’s cuts to schools and local communities will result in layoffs of police officers, teachers, and firefighters and could reverse Ohio’s 13 straight months of rising employment. Deep cuts to schools and local communities will have long-term, negative impacts on Ohio’s children and the safety of our communities.”

State Representative Sean O’Brien , Ohio House District 65

“Finally in Ohio we are beginning to see unemployment rates decreasing, state revenues exceeding previous estimates, and business expansion. It is unfortunate that this budget proposal does nothing to further capitalize on our state’s economic recovery. This budget increases state spending by $5 billion dollars yet calls for devastating cuts to schools, local communities, and services provided to our state’s most vulnerable populations. It passes the buck to middle class families and will result in layoffs for firefighter, educators, and police offices. These funding reductions will have a significant long-term impact on our children, families, and neighborhoods and will most certainly do nothing to contribute to growing Ohio’s fragile economy. I simply cannot support a budget that does more harm than good in my district.”

State Representative Ronald Gerberry , Ohio House District 59

 “I am disappointed that the budget bill was not a true Bi-Partisan effort.  The direction chosen by our majority party for our schools and educators is troubling.  Democratic amendments that would have made this bill better, that would have helped the middle class and that would have helped keep the programs and services that people utilize on a daily basis in place were constantly tabled.  There is nothing in this bill that screams ‘economic development,’ when in fact, it seems to jeopardize the very jobs the Republicans have said they want to create.  I am disappointed in the whole process and therefore could not lend my support to the proposal.”

State Representative Tracy Maxwell Heard , Ohio House District 26

It is another sad day in Ohio for the middle class and working families of this state.  There is such an obvious intent to dismantle anything that could potentially support the stabilization, elevation or mobilization of the middle class.  Education, transportation and compensation – all under assault.  The failure to recognize that sabotaging the middle class is a detriment to the stability of the entire state is both selfish and short sighted.”

 State Representative Nickie Antonio, Ohio House District 13

“This budget will be balanced on the backs of seniors, working people, the middle class and our children– dashing their hopes for achieving the American Dream in the state of Ohio.”

State Representative Lou Gentile, Ohio House District 95

“This plan does nothing to move Ohio’s economy forward but instead leaves struggling Ohioans further behind. This budget doesn’t create jobs, doesn’t position Ohio for economic success, doesn’t invest in education and doesn’t help keep college tuition affordable. Furthermore, it does nothing to protect the most vulnerable among us who have been hardest hit by the economic storm that has been building for the last decade.”

 State Representative Kenny Yuko, Ohio House District 7

“The budget that was passed today reflects the General Assembly’s lack of respect for Ohio’s middle class.  My ‘no’ vote is in support of our local governments, our working families and our schools.  Ohio’s budget should be fair to every Ohioan, not just a select few.”

State Representative Jay Goyal, Ohio House District  73 

“As north central Ohioans struggle to recover from the recession, this budget continues to devastate the middle class. Public education, local governments and libraries take huge cuts – Mansfield City Schools losing over $5 million alone. In particular, health care for our elderly, treatment for the mentally ill, and protective services for abused and neglected children are absolutely devastated. Gov. John Kasich is balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class and the most vulnerable and fragile amongst us.”

State Representative Matt Lundy, Ohio House District  57

“This so-called “jobs budget” is a jobs buster. When police officers, firemen and teachers lose their jobs in this budget, our families, communities and schools suffer greatly. The sale of our prisons in Lorain County will lead to “yard sale prices” of these valuable assets in a bad economy. Guards will be working for significantly lower wages resulting in less money for our local economy and greater safety concerns for residents. ‘Profitization’ (Privatization) has it’s price. The governor and the republican majority are moving the state further away from meeting a constitutional responsibility to fund public schools, but found plenty of ways to help for-profit charter schools. They’re taking care of their friends, while leaving our schools and children behind.”

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