Ohio governor pushes gas tax hike, water quality in speech
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Tuesday, March 5
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine used his first State of the State speech Tuesday to push lawmakers to raise the Ohio gas tax by 18 cents to fix crumbling roads and dangerous bridges and to announce plans to focus on the state’s deadly addictions epidemic and other health issues like infant mortality.
The Republican governor also said Ohio must address its water quality problems, and in particular, the algae blooms that have threatened portions of the western Lake Erie basin for years. He announced an “H2 Ohio Fund” that would focus on water quality around the state.
DeWine called his gas tax proposal a “minimalist approach” that’s needed to fix the most serious problems as soon as possible.
He said 2,600 local bridges alone are rated in poor condition, while the Transportation Department has identified 150 dangerous roads and intersections that require immediate repair. He urged passage of the tax increase to fill an annual $1.2 billion deficit in road repairs.
“If you think and your constituents think the roads are bad now, you haven’t seen anything yet if we don’t take action,” DeWine said.
DeWine announced the creation of a new public health fund that will use public and private dollars to boost public health awareness and prevention programs. The state will also send money directly into communities to increase efforts to prevent and treat mental health and substance use disorders and to support recovery and wellness programs, DeWine said.
The governor listed a litany of health problems affecting Ohio children, from exposure to lead paint and a high infant mortality rate, to trauma and abuse linked to parents’ drug abuse.
DeWine said he’s directing his cabinet directors overseeing mental health, children, substance abuse, Medicaid, aging, human services and health issues to focus on these problems.
The governor also announced plans to dramatically increase the number of specialty courts where defendants struggling with addiction can get help, “to get people into treatment and out of jail.”
Ohio’s Republican legislative leaders praised the priorities DeWine outlined but expressed a wait-and-see approach on how — and how much — the state might fund some of the top items.
“We do know that there needs to be an investment in Ohio’s highways, bridges and roads,” House Speaker Larry Householder said. “We’re certainly going to make sure that public safety is maintained in the state of Ohio.”
Senate President Larry Obhof, who has been more skeptical of the tax proposal, said lawmakers must collaborate to figure out the needs.
Democrats praised the speech as an invitation to bipartisanship in the closely divided state. House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, of Akron, characterized Tuesday’s speech as evidence “a course correction” is needed to address unfinished business left by former Republican Gov. John Kasich, whom DeWine didn’t name.
Senate Democratic Leader Kenny Yuko, of suburban Cleveland, said Democrats share many of DeWine’s priorities.
The speech was short by State of the State addresses, clocking in at just under 50 minutes. It was the first such governor’s address in Columbus since 2011, following former Gov. John Kasich’s decision to take the State of the State on the road. Kasich delivered speeches in Lima, Steubenville, and Westerville in suburban Columbus, among other cities.
Householder made note of the change when he announced the speech as “Here, back in the people’s house.”
DeWine started the speech with a reference to fellow Republican Gov. James Rhodes, who died 18 years ago Monday, noting Rhodes’ “concern for all people.”
He concluded it with a tribute to fellow GOP Gov. George Voinovich, whom DeWine served as lieutenant governor, noting Voinovich’s optimism.
Overall, the theme of the speech was that the state has “unfinished business” in several arenas, including infrastructure, water quality, drug addiction and children’s health.
“Simply put, it’s time for us to invest in our future,” DeWine said.
AP writers Kantele Franko and Julie Carr Smyth contributed to this report.
Dems say real State of the State shows too many Ohioans still stuck
Commit to working together for better jobs, brighter futures
COLUMBUS—Ohio House Democratic lawmakers today (March 5) responded to Gov. DeWine’s first State of the State Address. Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to working with the governor to deliver real results, but noted that the state has more to do to turn around years of below average quality-of-life standards that have kept too many people from getting ahead.
“We share the governor’s commitment to children and families while also recognizing the reality is that too many Ohioans feel like they’re stuck,” said House Democratic Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron). “People don’t want just to get by, but get ahead. Democrats are committed to renewing Ohio’s promise of better jobs and brighter futures by investing in Ohio and building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”
Ohio’s job growth has trailed the national average much of the past six years, and its current 4.6 percent unemployment rate ranks 6th worst in the nation. In the past decade, middle class Ohioans have seen the sixth worst decline in wages as share of total income among U.S. states. In addition, Ohio incomes have dropped more than six percent in recent decades, which ranks worse than all but three other states.
“Right now in Ohio, too many struggle to get by and too few have the opportunity to get ahead,” said Assistant Minority Leader Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus). “Getting Ohio back on the right track begins with good-paying jobs and investing in our future to ensure that people have the tools they need for a better life.”
Despite some improvements in the state’s fight against the opioid epidemic, Ohio still ranks nearly last in overdose deaths per capita. Ongoing issues with infant mortality and access to health care for women, infants and children, among other factors, rank the Buckeye State 39th in the nation in overall health.
“Too many Ohioans worry that an accident or illness will derail their plans for the future,” said Minority Whip Kent Smith (D-Euclid). “We need to come together to protect healthcare access so that working people can hold a job, start a business or plan for retirement with the security of knowing they’ll have access to quality, affordable care when they need it.”
After the last eight years of total Republican control of state government, Ohio has dropped from fifth to 23rd in education, and ranks first in student debt and near last in college affordability. Though the state has seen an uptick in high school graduation rates in recent years, rates for minority students remain among the worst in the country.
“It used to be that Ohio led the nation in education, but our kids are starting to fall behind,” said Assistant Minority Whip Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo). “To compete and grow a world-class workforce, we need to invest in our public schools. The next generation of business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators are counting on us to get this right.”
Here is what other Democratic lawmakers are saying:
“We must recognize that there are too many people in Ohio concerned and struggling to stay healthy and protected,” said state Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron). “It’s our responsibility to secure affordable healthcare access to give all Ohioans the opportunity to achieve their goals and plan for their futures.”
“Investing in our children is a step in the right direction to ensure a better and brighter future for everyone, as I see the daily struggles of Ohioans trying to make ends meet,” said state Rep. Stephanie Howse (D-Cleveland). “Our constituents want their elected officials to come together to relieve their stress of living paycheck to paycheck. There is still more work to be done to ensure that working families can get ahead.”
“I look forward to working together to improve the health and wellness of children and families in our state,” said state Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin).
“I was pleased to see Governor DeWine affirm his commitment to cleaning up Lake Erie, and I am hopeful we will see renewed interest in addressing environmental health across Ohio,” said state Rep. Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson). “Ohio currently ranks 40th in overall health, 46th in air pollution, and the Cleveland-Akron area ranks 9th in air pollution nationally. We must work together to ensure all of our children have access to the clean air and clean water they deserve.”
“I applaud Governor DeWine for highlighting some of the struggles middle-class families face across our state each and every day,” said state Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo). “Education and equal opportunity are important priorities for many Ohio families. I urge the Governor to follow through on his promises to address these issues and help middle-class families succeed and get ahead.”
“I was heartened to hear Governor DeWine commit to desperately-needed investments in public health. For too long, we have reacted to public health crises rather than proactively addressing the health and wellness needs of Ohioans,” said state Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington). “But a healthy Ohio requires investment beyond the four walls of your doctor’s office. We need concrete, targeted investments in our schools, our local government services and affordable housing in our communities.”
“I appreciate the Governor’s focus on working together to help move Ohio forward. Too many Ohioans feel disconnected from their elected officials,” said state Rep. Randi Clites (D- Ravenna). “The Governor recognized the need to be a defender of the defenseless, and I hope that his proposed budget includes supportive services for our children, those with special health care needs and Ohio’s aging population.”
“I agree with Governor DeWine that we have not been investing properly in Ohio’s future. As one of the youngest lawmakers in Ohio, I have witnessed first-hand the impact of this shortcoming by watching my friends and coworkers leave this great state for better opportunities elsewhere,” said state Rep. Bride Sweeney (D-Cleveland). I look forward to working with the Governor on welcoming new people, new ideas and having a forward-looking perspective toward the future.”
“The governor’s message today was a mixed bag. On one hand, I’m encouraged by his expressed commitment to investing in substantial road and bridge repairs and working with local governments, all of which is overdue. On the other hand, I’m disheartened because he didn’t address Ohio’s desperate school funding situation at all,” said state Rep. Jeff Crossman (D-Parma). “Teachers deserve more than a mention in the governor’s speech. I think Ohioans are tired of the same talk from Columbus. Our state is ready for real progress, and it’s time to deliver real results.”
“I appreciate Governor DeWine’s speech highlighting several areas of concern within our great state. However, I was disappointed at the lack of attention paid to school funding,” said state Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park). “As Ohio ranks 41st in education, the Governor should have put a brighter spotlight on this issue. Education is our greatest equalizer, and as we work to improve the life of Ohioans, education must be adequately funded.”
“As an educator, I appreciated Governor DeWine taking a moment to thank the teachers of Ohio and recognize the challenges they face,” said state Rep. Joe Miller (D-Lorain). “However, now begins the hard work of bringing real solutions to the classroom by empowering teachers, school boards and our local community. That begins with repealing HB70 and restoring local control over our most precious resource: our children.”
“I would like to thank Governor DeWine for his remarks and appreciate his focus on children and jobs.” said state Rep. Erica C. Crawley (D-Columbus). “However, we need to ensure the policies we put in place support children from cradle to career. When it comes to job opportunities and supporting families, the Working Families First tax credit bill is a step towards putting more money into the pockets of hardworking Ohioans.”
“I was encouraged by most of what Governor DeWine said today, and I believe we have a good starting framework of mutual goals that we can accomplish through bipartisanship,” said state Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon). “I’m also happy to hear that early childhood education is one of the Governor’s top priorities, because Ohio ranks only 41st in education in the nation and has the 6th worst graduation rate for black students. We are in desperate need of leadership and legislation to solve Ohio’s education crisis, return the $1 billion in funding cut during the Great Recession and invest in our children’s early education and in their futures.”
Crop Insurance Deadline Nears in Ohio
Farmers Encouraged to Make Coverage Decisions before March 15
COLUMBUS — Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) Director Jillian Froment is reminding farmers that the final date to purchase or modify federal crop insurance coverage on 2019 spring-planted crops is March 15.
“Crop insurance provides a strong protective umbrella for farmers,” said Froment. “They should speak with an insurance agent to purchase their coverage before the March 15 deadline.”
Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Federally-subsidized, multiple-peril crop insurance covers certain weather, pest, and revenue related losses. This coverage is dependent on crop establishment and reporting dates determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) that farmers must meet. The dates vary by crop and county and are listed at www.rma.usda.gov.
State-regulated policies for damage caused by hail and fire are also available with additional requirements.
Ohio farmers can contact ODI at 1-800-686-1526 or visit www.insurance.ohio.gov to find insurance companies and agents licensed to sell crop insurance.
How a socialist celebration of women became Americanized
“International Women’s Day” wasn’t always a card-giving holiday
COLUMBUS, Ohio — On March 8, some Americans will send greeting cards to the important women in their lives to celebrate “International Women’s Day.”
Little do most of them know about the radical origins of the holiday they are marking, said Birgitte Søland, professor of history at The Ohio State University.
The first “Woman’s Day” celebration took place in Chicago on May 3, 1908, and was led by the U.S. Socialist Party. About 1,500 women gathered on a day officially dedicated to “the female workers’ causes” to demand economic and political equality.
“Today, International Women’s Day seems to be more like Mother’s Day, where people send greeting cards, flowers or gifts,” Søland said.
“It is another transformation of a holiday that has undergone vast changes.”
Søland wrote about the surprising history of the holiday for Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective, a publication of the Ohio State and Miami University history departments.
Søland decided to write about the history of International Women’s Day after receiving two electronic greeting cards that seemed incongruous with what she knew as a historian about the holiday.
One greeting card featured a colorful depiction of a young female figure playfully applying lipstick, surrounded by flowers and butterflies, along with the text “Happy Women’s Day.”
“To be honest, I was a bit baffled,” Søland said in her Origins article.
“I didn’t associate Women’s Day with lipstick and chocolate boxes and flowers. I thought that was more for Mother’s Day. But when I got a second card, I realized it was a trend I was not aware of.”
After the first event in Chicago, observance of Women’s Day kept to its socialist roots and took hold in Europe.
On March 18, 1911, International Women’s Day was marked for the first time. More than a million Austrian, German, Swiss, Polish, Dutch and Danish women took part in marches and meetings.
Similar events spread through Europe in the following years, with demonstrations calling for women’s rights and female suffrage.
“Many feminists readily joined their socialist sisters,” Søland said.
In 1913, Russian women were the first to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8. In 1917, the March 8 protests of working-class women in Saint Petersburg, angry about rising food prices and deteriorating living conditions, helped trigger the Russian Revolution, Søland said.
That set the date for International Women’s Day not just in Russia, but also for the rest of Europe. In 1922, Lenin established it as a communist holiday in the new Soviet Union.
While the holiday never gained much traction outside of socialist and communist countries during the early 20th century, things changed with the emergence of second-wave feminism in the 1960s, at least in Europe. There, it was given the updated name of “Women’s International Day of Struggle.”
During the International Women’s Year in 1975, the United Nations first celebrated International Women’s Day. But the UN was careful to avoid any hint of protest, calling it “a time to reflect on progress made” and “celebrate acts of courage and determination of ordinary women.”
“They went out of their way to dissociate this from the communist holiday. It is much more of a celebratory holiday than it is a day of struggle, as feminists cast it at the time,” Søland said.
Now, March 8 is marked in a variety of ways around the world.
“Including, it appears, in the United States by sending cards and flowers to honor the women in our lives,” she said.
URL : http://news.osu.edu/how-a-socialist-celebration-of-women-became-americanized/
Fake warnings on e-cigarette ads distract kids from truth
Study finds advertising strategy stuck with boys
COLUMBUS, Ohio – When it comes to marketing electronic cigarettes to young people, fake news appears to stick.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently requires a prominent warning about the dangers of nicotine for e-cigarettes. But just before that mandate, a 2017 campaign by e-cigarette maker blu included fake warnings in precisely the place the real warnings would eventually appear.
Messages such as “IMPORTANT: Contains flavor” and “IMPORTANT: Less harmful to your wallet” appeared atop the ads in large print inside a box, mimicking the format of the then-upcoming federally mandated message – “WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.”
Legitimate warnings appeared in smaller print at the bottom of the 2017 ads.
When adolescent boys viewed fake-warning ads, those marketing messages stuck with them, according to the new study, which appears in the journal Tobacco Control and was led by Brittney Keller-Hamilton of The Ohio State University.
“On top of leaving an impression on these boys, these fake warnings seem to desensitize the boys to the actual health warnings that appeared less prominently at the bottom of these ads,” said Keller-Hamilton, epidemiology doctoral student and program manager for Ohio State’s Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science.
The research included 775 boys between 12 and 19 years old who were randomly assigned to view real e-cigarette ads with or without a fake warning. Researchers asked the boys what they remembered most about the advertisements – which appeared in magazines likely to appeal to them, such as Sports Illustrated. Boys in the study were part of the Ohio-based Buckeye Teen Health Study.
The researchers were in the midst of that larger study when the blu fake warnings ads began to appear in magazines, Keller-Hamilton said.
“We just couldn’t believe this and we wondered what impression these ads were leaving on these kids, who we already know are at a particularly vulnerable age when it comes to tobacco marketing,” she said.
Of those who viewed the fake-warning blu ads that were part of its “Something Better” campaign, 27 percent of the participants said that positive “warning” was the most memorable part of the ad, and about 19 percent of them were able to repeat what it said.
Those same boys had lower odds of recalling actual warnings about health risks than boys who looked at other e-cigarette ads with the real warnings. All of the advertising carried smaller warning language at the bottom of the ad.
Though this particular advertising ploy can’t be duplicated for e-cigarettes under current U.S. law, the study illustrates the powerof tobacco marketing on young people and could serve to inform policy changes governing other products, including combustible cigarettes, said Keller-Hamilton.
“There’s nothing stopping tobacco marketers from trying a similar strategy, and the FDA could consider putting something in place to stop this type of advertising going forward,” said Amy Ferketich, the study’s senior author and an Ohio State professor of epidemiology.
“The tobacco industry has a very long history of trying to lure in adolescents,” she said. “This shows another way in which young people are particularly susceptible to tobacco marketing strategies.”
Other researchers from Ohio State who worked on the study were Megan Roberts, Michael Slater and Micah Berman.
The National Cancer Institute and the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products supported this research.
URL : http://news.osu.edu/fake-warnings-on-e-cigarette-ads-distract-kids-from-truth/