Tuesday, the Senate Insurance, Commerce and Labor Committee heard supporter and opponent testimony during the third hearing on SB 323, a workers’ compensation bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz (R – Cincinnati). The bill would “prohibit illegal and unauthorized aliens from receiving compensation” under Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Law. While it might sound like a good idea to make sure the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) isn’t issuing payments to people who aren’t supposed to be here anyway, the devil, as they say, is in the details. In this case, SB 323 would make it more difficult for injured workers to collect the state-administered benefits that their employers are required to pay for. The bill would require injured workers to prove that they are authorized to work in the United States before they can receive benefits. Given that this bill has received three hearings in the Ohio Senate, this must be a big problem for Ohio, right? Nope. Seitz said at an earlier hearing that the state does not collect data on the immigration status of injured workers receiving compensation, so there is no way to know whether even a single cent of state BWC funds has ever benefited an undocumented worker. Tomorrow, I’ll share another couple of big problems with this bill.
Check out IO Communications Director Dale Butland talking Ohio public policy and politics from this weekend’s Capitol Square (WBNS 10TV):
Fresh from an election that saw them win a majority of seats – despite winning fewer total votes than their Democratic peers, Ohio Republicans wasted no time in getting back to an agenda that bolsters Ohio’s economy and encourages job creation. Oh wait – that’s not what happened at all. Yesterday, the same day that another Ohio House Committee passed a bill to block funding to Planned Parenthood, the Transportation, Public Safety, and Homeland Security Committee heard sponsor testimony on a new bill (HB 580) that would require Ohio’s police officers to check the immigration status of persons suspected of being in the country illegally. The bill would require police officers doing even routine traffic stops to make a complicated set of determinations about whether it’s “reasonable” to suspect that someone is in the county illegally, whether it’s “practicable” to try to figure out if they actually are, and whether trying to make that determination would “hinder or obstruct” an investigation. It also requires the officer to make all of these decisions without relying on race, color or national origin. Testifying in support of their bill, Reps. Courtney Combs (R-Fairfield) and Matt Lynch (R-Chagrin Falls) managed to pack enough racially insensitive asides and offensively misinformed assertions into their few minutes of testimony to provoke expressions of outrage and even derisive laughter on several occasions from those attending the hearing. At one point, attendees laughed openly at Rep. Combs’ assertion that “[Racial] profiling is not what it was many years ago.” Combs was eloquently corrected later on by Rep. Bill Patmon (D-Cleveland) who assured him, to murmurs of approval from the gallery, that profiling is indeed a continuing problem for racial minorities. [Read more…]
News Release For Immediate Release: October 10, 2012 Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
ROMNEY, KASICH LIE ABOUT AUTO RESCUE IO; Auto Czar Rattner Say Jobs & China Claims are “Cynical Deceptions”COLUMBUS — Steven Rattner joined Innovation Ohio today at a Columbus news conference to “blow the whistle on the Romney campaign’s cynical attempt to mislead Ohio voters about the auto rescue.” Rattner was Lead Advisor to President Obama during the 2009 rescue of the auto industry. Innovation Ohio is a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus. Rattner and IO cited numerous instances in which the Romney campaign and its GOP allies – including Ohio Gov. John Kasich – have attempted to mislead Ohio voters, including:
- At an October 25 campaign rally in Defiance, Romney claimed that “Jeep is thinking of moving all production to China.” The company emphatically denied the charge the same day, saying “Jeep has no intention of shifting production out of North America” and criticizing Romney’s claim in unusually blunt language as “a leap that would be difficult even for circus acrobats” and lamenting “unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” In fact, Jeep intends to restart production in China by hiring additional workers, not moving U.S. jobs there. It’s akin to Honda or Toyota opening plants here to build cars for the American market.
- Despite the company’s rebuke, on October 27 the Romney campaign began airing a television ad misleadingly saying that “Obama … sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.” The ad also contains three additional distortions:
- It states that Obama “took the auto companies through bankruptcy” — conveniently omitting that was Romney’s plan as well;
- It says that the conservative-leaning Detroit News “endorsed Romney” — conveniently omitting that the endorsement criticized his position on the auto rescue, while praising Obama’s “extraordinary leadership” on the issue.
- It states that Romney has a “plan to help the auto industry” — when neither he nor his campaign has ever announced or spelled out such a plan.
- As a result, the ad has been rated false by numerous media fact-checkers, including the Tampa Tribune’s “Politifact” which rated it “Pants On Fire.”
- On October 28, in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Gov. Kasich that Ohio is only “up a total of 400 auto jobs when you count the companies and suppliers.” In fact, Innovation Ohio has shown that the industry has created over 17,300 Ohio jobs since the rescue. And according to the Kasich Administration’s own Department of Development, 34% of private investment in 2011 – including 11 of 29 investments over $50 million — were in the auto industry. These deals accounted for 18% of all private sector job announcements reported by the Department.
- On October 30, the Romney campaign tripled down on its deceit with a radio ad which not only repeats the debunked claim about Chrysler shipping American jobs to China, but claims that GM is planning to do so too. The ad also falsely blames President Obama for GM “cutting 15,000 American jobs.” In truth, these losses occurred prior to the President’s rescue plan in the summer of 2009. Since then, more than 152,000 American auto jobs have been created.
An op-ed piece co-authored by IO’s Janetta King and Tom Perriello of the Center for American Progress is running in the The Plain Dealer today. It clearly answers the question: “Who is right on the auto rescue debate raging in Ohio?” Poised on either side of the debate are President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney (Romney, aided and abetted by Ohio Gov. John Kasich). The answer to the question is: The President. From the op-ed: [Read more…]
In the second presidential debate held this week, for the first time, we were offered a direct contrast between the two candidates’ position on two issues important to women. Pay Equity in the Workplace Responding to the question “In what new ways to you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72 percent of what their male counterparts earn?”, President Obama spoke of his very first legislative accomplishment:
“… the first bill I signed was something called the Lily Ledbetter bill. And it’s named after this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less, and the Supreme Court said that she couldn’t bring suit because she should have found about it earlier, whereas she had no way of finding out about it. So we fixed that. And that’s an example of the kind of advocacy that we need, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family. This is not just a women’s issue, this is a family issue, this is a middle-class issue, and that’s why we’ve got to fight for it.”Governor Romney did not address the question of whether he would have supported the Lily Ledbetter Act, but his campaign has — after some misdirection yesterday — finally stated that he would not have signed it. [Read more…]
Do you think we’re falling for some conspiracy theory? I’m referring to our recent report on Votes at Risk in Ohio. There is stuff out there that is just plain bad:
In 1912, more than 5,000 women marched for women’s suffrage in Columbus, Ohio on the Statehouse lawn. Yesterday, 100 years later, women stood again in the Statehouse to continue the fight for accountability and fairness in our elections process. Former First Lady Frances Strickland (D) and former State Rep. Joan Lawrence (R) stood side by side in the Ladies’ Gallery, a room honoring women who take an active role in our democratic system. Strickland and Lawrence called on the voters of Ohio to vote YES on Issue 2. Issue 2 will change the way Ohio draws its legislative and Congressional districts, taking it away from the politicians and placing the authority in the hands of an accountable and transparent 12-member Citizens Commission. [Read more…]