Blog Posts For The Week Of May 7, 2015 Through May 13, 2015

Column: Marco Rubio: The Commander-in-Chief We Need
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: May, 13 2015 1:50 PM

By Josh Mandel

As a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Anbar Province, Iraq, I have seen the great challenges and great rewards of advancing American security interests around the world, and I remain immensely proud of what men and women in uniform have achieved and continue to achieve. Yet today I join many other Ohioans and Americans who are deeply troubled by the direction of our nation’s foreign policy, as more of the world slips into chaos and global threats to American security grow unchecked. I believe that all of us who wish for stability, safety and prosperity in the 21st century should support Marco Rubio for president in 2016.

I originally got to know Marco through hours of windshield time criss-crossing Ohio, discussing family, football and foreign policy. I was impressed by his strategic and decisive approach to the complicated foreign policy challenges we face as well as his sound judgment and clear vision on how to protect America and advance American values. As a United States Senator serving on the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Marco has been a strong and thoughtful leader on the foreign policy and national security challenges facing our nation.

From the rise of ISIS, to the negotiation debacle with Iran, to the disastrous concessions to Cuba, Marco Rubio has been vocal and active when others have been timid and unsure. He possesses a clarity in his message and a confidence in his convictions that is not just needed in America, but in the world.

Marco has proven that he will lead when popular and, more importantly, when not. He will never neglect our allies such as Israel, and will never ignore our enemies such as radical Islam. He will protect our nation and advocate our core principles of freedom, justice and human rights. He will advance our interests wherever they need advancing – which, in our globalized world, may often be far from our shores.

He has shown that he understands the human costs of defending America’s interests, recognizing those brave warriors who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice so we may live free. Just as importantly, he also understands the costs incurred when America fails to defend those interests, costs that can be devastating for both our people and the values that we hold dear.

As Treasurer of Ohio, I am as confident in Marco’s fiscal policies as I am in his foreign policies. Though, as he sometimes says, “In the 21st century, foreign policy is domestic policy.” I believe he is right. In the 21st century, there are hardly such things as remote problems. The economic interests and physical safety of families in my home state of Ohio are often tied to the security of cities, villages and countries a world away.

We cannot afford to elect another president who fails to realize this. America needs strength in the White House. America needs Marco Rubio as its Commander-in-Chief and I proudly endorse his candidacy for president.

Release: School Leaders Headed To The Ohio Senate To Help Lawmakers Understand The Dire Consequences Of Eliminating Tangible Personal Property Tax Funding
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: May, 13 2015 11:01 AM

With millions of dollars of annual funding at stake, school leaders from around the state are headed to Capitol Square May 13 to communicate to Ohio Senators the need to retain permanent TPP funding for school districts as mandated in current law.

TPP Advocacy Day will provide a way for lawmakers to learn more about the dire consequences facing so many Ohio school districts if current state budget proposals calling for the elimination of TPP funding advance this legislative session.

At stake for these school districts are gaping budget holes, according to Tim Pickana, president of the Coalition for Fiscal Fairness in Ohio and school treasurer in Solon, one of the state’s highly impacted TPP districts.

“The governor’s budget plan sets in motion a complete and devastating TPP funding phase out,” Pickana explained. “The House-amended version of the bill, while attempting to mute the first two years of the phase out, is not a solution. It maintains the total phase out of TPP replacement revenues to schools and leaves districts poised at the edge of a fiscal cliff in just 24 months when this state budget cycle ends and they would be at year three of a complete TPP funding phase out without any replacement revenue. Plus, the House earmarked primarily Medicaid funds to supply the backfill dollars for the temporary ‘hold harmless’ it created, seemingly putting them at risk to the Governor’s veto pen.”

State legislators knew a permanent fix was needed for highly reliant TPP districts when the original tax reform package was passed in 2005, eliminating the TPP tax and replacing it with the broader-based Commercial Activity Tax, Pickana noted. Subsequently, the General Assembly renewed that commitment to a permanent solution for replacing TPP revenue four years ago during the 2011 budget process when they approved TPP reductions to all schools to help plug the state’s budget gap and then codified permanent reimbursement to the remaining districts.

“This is where current law now stands – with TPP funding continuing to highly impacted Ohio school districts in perpetuity,” Pickana explained, noting that the CAT currently generates $1.6 billion for the state’s General Revenue Fund, or more than $1 billion more than is needed to continue the TPP funding to schools.

“The commitment to continuing TPP replacement has been clear,” he said. “School districts agreed in 2005 that the TPP tax placed Ohio businesses at a competitive disadvantage and supported eliminating the TPP tax only with the understanding and commitment from the administration, legislative leaders and state business community at the time that school districts and local communities would not have to shoulder the entire responsibility for recouping the lost local TPP revenues from that tax policy change.”

The highly impacted school districts are located throughout Ohio and vary significantly in size and demographics. What they have in common is that their communities support business, which is why they received the locally levied Tangible Personal Property taxes originally.

“That is why our districts are working so hard to preserve this critical funding and help lawmakers understand the consequences of its elimination,” said Pickana, who like school superintendents, treasurers and elected board members from highly impacted districts are testifying before the Senate Finance Education Subcommittee Wednesday.

“Eliminating the TPP funding to highly impacted school districts will cause a further significant shift in the tax burden in our communities onto our residential and commercial property taxpayers or our districts will be forced to implement staggering cuts to our educational programs for students,” he added. “Neither option is good for taxpayers, businesses or the students in our districts we serve. Schools do not have the option of budgeting and forecasting through a rose-colored two-year lens. We take our fiscal responsibility to our communities and taxpayers seriously, so we will continue to talk to anyone who will listen at the Statehouse about what a legislative decision to change current law and eradicate TPP funding will mean for students, families and businesses back home in our local districts.”

Release: Ohio’s Waste And Recycling Industry Has $6.7 Billion Annual Impact On State’s Economy
By Gongwer Staff
Posted: May, 13 2015 11:00 AM

National Waste & Recycling Association’s Ohio Chapter Releases Newly Available Information On The Industry’s Economic Impact Statewide

COLUMBUS, OH, May 13 2015 – At its Annual Meeting today, the Ohio Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) released statewide economic impact data on the waste and recycling industry for the first time. Ohio NWRA members are meeting with legislators and regulators in conjunction with their annual chapter meeting to discuss the positive impact of the waste and recycling industry in the Buckeye State. In Ohio, nearly $6.7 billion in direct, indirect and payroll-induced economic activity is generated by the industry, according to newly released NWRA state economic impact analysis.

NWRA members are significant contributors to state economies nationwide, providing high quality careers and well-paying jobs while providing services that are essential to waste removal, recycling and environmental protection. In Ohio, the private waste and recycling industry employs 14,000 people, has a total annual payroll in excess of $638 million, generates annual revenue of $3.1 billion, and the average annual compensation for industry employees is $45,867. The annual economic impact to Ohio’s economy, generated by the waste and recycling industry is $6.7 billion. When the activity of the waste and recycling industry with other industries is calculated, overall impact to the state economy of the waste and recycling industry in Ohio is over $6.6 billion annually.

“The waste and recycling industry directly impacts all Ohio businesses and residents,” said Kathy Trent, chairman of the Ohio Chapter of the NWRA, and director of government affairs for Waste Management, Inc. “Our industry contributes to our state economy in many ways: through high- paying jobs, the combined payroll of our membership, and also through the broader impact we have doing business with other industries in the state.”

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