Local funding cuts hurt communities

Published 10:40 am Friday, September 27, 2013

Enough is enough. The state has drastically cut Local Government Funding in Ohio. It has created hardships throughout the state, especially here in Eastern Ohio. Local communities and government entities have come to rely on LGF monies.

Unfortunately, the situation may worsen. That is because the Ohio Department of Taxation has notified county auditors that their estimated revenues for calendar year 2014 have probably changed.

State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, said many counties will suffer another blow to their respective LGF allocations due to these additional cuts.

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Department of Taxation officials note the change in the estimated figure is due to the impact tax law changes will have in the state budget bill.

We view additional LGF cutbacks as outrageous. Especially when the state has a rainy day fund of $2 billion. …

LGF money is utilized for all types of services. Libraries, especially, take a hard hit when LGF monies are cut. They may be looking at even more hardships.

Rep. Cera has championed passionately that funding needed to be restored to the local government fund. He even introduced HB 17, urging the Ohio legislature to take funding levels back to 2005.

We are in full agreement with Cera’s thinking. … LGF monies are precious, they should be preserved.

The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader


Civility among lawmakers will move Ohio forward

It’s great that state Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley, and about a dozen of his colleagues in both political parties are working on ways to encourage state legislators to get along better. …

LaRose’s group is smart to tackle this issue in an off-year for state elections. It would never get any traction if Ohio House and Senate seats were up for grabs this November.

But the group hopes to influence not only current members of the Legislature but also those who follow them. Among the ideas being explored: Asking each new legislator to choose a mentor from each political party, and discussing civility as part of the orientation for new members.

Meanwhile, the old hands will be encouraged to socialize with legislators from the other party and to spend a day with a lawmaker of the other party in his or her home district.

Incivility is only a symptom of many larger political problems, including the way voting districts are drawn and the pervasiveness of a win-at-all-costs mentality that equates compromise with failure. …

Best of luck to LaRose and the other legislators as they try to put the brakes on this damaging situation.

The (Canton) Repository