Cincinnati, OH – Many Americans want to know what they can truly do to make their voices heard beyond letters, e-mails, faxes and phone calls. While Seth Morgan and Rebecca Heimlich of Americans for Prosperity confirmed that these do have some impact, it is apparently large groups coming together and making their voices heard that have the greatest impact, though additional techniques were also highlighted. They encouraged Ohio Tea Party groups and 9/12 groups who gathered at The Farm restaurant on Monday night to remain engaged in the political process, and offered a few other insights into pending policy as well, dubbing their newest state tour “Turning Around Ohio Today, Ohio 180.” The Tea Party and 9/12 groups have members who are both Christians and non-Christians that are deeply concerned about the future of America.
Collective bargaining is a topic that is being discussed in multiple states right now. Wisconsin has gotten some national coverage regarding that issue, and Ohio isn’t far behind. SB5 has been a hot button bill in the state of Ohio that has drawn out protestors on both sides of the isle, prompting visits to Ohio’s state capital in attempts to sway the votes of the Ohio Congress.
Those against the bill are protesting the fact that they are being told that they may need to contribute more to their primarily state funded healthcare and pension funds in order for those items to remain solvent, and they apparently don’t want to pay the higher taxes on their salaries for those sustained benefits. They are also deeply concerned about losing the opportunity to take advantage of collective bargaining.
Those who are for the bill insist that it is an effort to get Ohio’s runaway budget under control and level the playing field with regard to the fact that state government workers are paid far more than private sector workers. In addition, the present system prevents the state from effectively using merit to determine which workers ought to be hired or promoted, and what amount they should be paid. Those who are for the bill are also deeply concerned that if government workers don’t contribute more to their benefits so that the state can cut back, that Ohio will end up being as bad off as California and Illinois.
Other bills that were discussed were:
House Bill 3 – Ending Ohio’s Estate Tax
HJR 2 – A bill that preserves the freedom of Ohioans to choose their health care and health insurance coverage.
SB 10 – Mandatory sentencing
Issues regarding Medicaid and public pension.
Education bill penned by Matt Huffman (no number as of yet) – A voucher bill which deals with strategies regarding the quality of educating that Ohio children are receiving and costs. This particular bill will also open doors for more religious institutions to provide a faith-based education to families who prefer that option to a public school education.
Seth Morgan pointed out that one little known fact about the Ohio Estate Tax is that life insurance policies are considered to be part of a person’s estate, and so this can bring the value of a person’s estate well above the $350 thousand threshold.
A booklet detailing the specifics of how citizens can become a voice in their community and potentially affect policymaking and reform in an effort aimed at turning around Ohio was made available to all who attended the meeting.
According to the Americans for Prosperity website, other locations where the above issues will be discussed include:
Greater Columbus Area
When: Thursday, March 3, 2011, 6:30pm
Where: Norwich Township Joint Services building, 5181 Northwest Pkwy, Hilliard, OH 43026
Host: Hilliard and Galloway 912 Project
When: Monday, March 14, 2011, 6:00pm (hosting group meets to socialize and watch Glenn Beck starting at 5:00pm, and you are welcome to join them)
Where: 356 Fighter Group, 4919 Mt. Pleasant Road, North Canton, OH 44720
Host: Stark 912 Patriots
When: Monday, April 4, 7:00pm
Where: VanGorden Elementary, 6475 LeSourdsville-West Chester Road, Liberty Township, Ohio 45011
Host: Liberty Township Tea Party
To learn more about Americans for Prosperity, please visit their website links below.