Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Backfiring at the Ballot

The Akron Beacon Journal printed an oped today that I wrote on the failed strategy of some Republicans to use TABOR or TEL amendments in the most recent election to turn out conservative voters. The post-election evidence suggests that these measures actually hurt Republican candidates in Ohio and elsewhere because voters, local officials, and the media considered the amendments to be too extreme.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


CCS Report on WETAC Recomendations Available

David Altstadt, an intern with Community Solutions, has written a new report outlining the work of the Ohio WorkforceEducation and Training Advisory Council (WETAC). The group was convened by Governor Bob Taft in July 2006 and charged with making recomendations on how to coordinate Ohio's efforts to educate and train its adult workforce. The paper is available on our website. Governor Taft would like to see the legislature act on the recomendations during the lame duck session, but its not clear whether this goal will be met.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Thinking About 2008

The 2006 election cycle represented the most competitive election cycle for the Ohio General Assembly in a very long time with several incumbents losing their seats and open seats switching from one party to the other. In looking ahead to 2008 its worth looking at where open seats may occur as a result of term limits. Twenty seven members of the Ohio House of Representatives and 6 members of the Ohio Senate will be unable to run due to legislative term limits – including Speaker Jon Husted. The overwhelming majority of these term limited legislators are Republican – they account for 20 of the 27 term-limited Ohio House members and all 6 of the term-limited Ohio State Senators. Races for open seats (where there isn’t an incumbent running) are generally believed to be more competitive. In this most recent election 3 open seats switched from Republican to Democrat.

Members of the Ohio General Assembly Term-Limited in 2008

Ohio House

Name Party District

James Aslanides R 94
Joyce Beatty D 01
Tom Brinkman R 34
Ken Carano D 59
Jim Carmichael R 03
Thom Collier R 90
Tony Core R 83
Kevin DeWine R 70
George Distel D 99
Steve Driehaus D 31
Keith Faber R 77
Diane Fessler R 79
Larry Flowers R 19
Jim Hughes R 22
Jon Husted R 37
Bob Latta R 06
Bob Otterman D 45
Jon Peterson R 02
Chris Redfern D 80
Steve Reinhard R 82
Michelle Schneider R 35
Bill Seitz R 30
Arlene Setzer R 36
Fred Strahorn D 24
Shawn Webster R 53
John White R 38
Larry Wolpert R 23

20 Republican and 7 Democratic Ohio House members are term-limited in 2008.

The Ohio Senate

Name Party District

Ron Amstutz R 22
Steve Austria R 10
Randy Gardner R 02
Jeff Jacobson R 06
Larry Mumper R 26
Robert Spada R 24

Let me know if I calculated any of these wrong because I came across a lot of conflicting term limit information.


Some Early Tips for State Budget Advocates

Here are a few things health, social service, and education advocates should be thinking about in preparation for the fiscal year 2008-2009 state budget:

A new governor gets an extra month to prepare his budget, so don’t expect a Strickland budget proposal before March 15, 2007. This means that the legislative advocacy efforts will have to fit in a much shorter time frame.

A new governor also gets to pick his own team, and because this election represents a political party change as well, there are likely to be lots of new faces. Advocates should reach out to these new leaders early to educate them about the needs of the people they serve

The Ohio House will likely have more than 29 new members once replacements are selected for Senators Marc Dann and Charlie Wilson and if any current legislators are tapped to fill spots in the Strickland cabinet or other roles in state governments (members who face term limits are often likely candidates). Educating these new legislators then will be a time-consuming but important job for advocates.

Democrats picked up at least seven seats in the Ohio House and one seat in the Senate, which will make bipartisan legislative decision making much more likely. This means that advocates, as always, should talk to both Republicans and Democrats.

During recent state budget deliberations, Democratic budget amendments were routinely tabled by the majority. Now those amendments will likely be a part of the as-introduced budget. In recent years, state budgets attracted very few Democratic votes; now the question will be whether the as-introduced budget attracts Republican votes.

The impact of the state appropriation limitation (SAL) on the budget process will depend in large part on how it is interpreted. There is a real question, though, about whether state revenues will even be sufficient to fund expenditures at the level allowed by the SAL.

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