Posted September 02, 2010
A year or so ago the five public employee systems in Ohio responded to a request for legislators to recommend changes to their programs in order to address the fiscal health of each system in light of substantial loss in value experienced by the investment portfolio of each trust fund. What...
Posted September 02, 2010
Adding some light to the school funding discussion
By State Rep. Ron Amstutz, R-Wooster
Much has been said recently about the need to rework school funding in Ohio.
Given current challenges of taking school operating budgets or facility improvement proposals to the voters, we can understand the...
Posted July 16, 2010
The following guest column was written by one of my colleagues on the House Finance Committee who is an expert in the health care industry. She shares concerns that I've been voicing on this critical issue:
Hospital Tax is Putting Jobs and Ohio’s Economy at Risk Yesterday at 3:51pm
Posted July 04, 2010
May this day be one of renewal to the foundational principles that converged at the beginnings of our nation. Given that this July 4th falls on Sunday, I'm sharing some connections to comments and views that came from our early national leaders. May they encourage, challenge and inspire us again...
Posted June 29, 2010
At 1:30 PM today I'll be participating in the first meeting of a six-member budget planning commission that was created almost a year ago with passage of the current two-year state. It was known then that the dynamics enacted in the current operating budget set the stage for an extremely difficult...
Posted June 08, 2010
State tax revenues are continuing to lag in Ohio. June is the last month of the state budget year, and we now have the report for the first 11 months. It now appears that tax revenues will fall 20 percent in the two year period ending in a few weeks.
This budget year tax revenues are expected to be...
Posted June 07, 2010
We can all agree that access to working capital is a serious concern for much of the business community. why then would it be cruel to take up a bill on June 3rd in the Ohio House of Representatives proposing to set up a small business working capital loan program in Ohio?
I was very critical of...
Posted May 30, 2010
Let's take time to remember, to give thanks, to take courage in our thoughts and actions . . .
Posted May 22, 2010
It seems to happen nearly every time the legislature is nearing a break in our schedule of voting session. Various levels of panic set in and unusual actions are attempted as the urgency of the close of business sets in. The last half of May has moved into this mode. Memorial Day is only a week...
Posted May 06, 2010
With enactment of Arizona's state law, immigration policies jumped higher in the thoughts and concerns of more of us. This is not a no-brainer for most of us. It requires some homework and some thought. There is no position or policy that is not controversial.
On one extreme of the immigration...
Posted May 04, 2010
Today is voting day for nominating party candidates for state officials and Ohio's representatives to the U.S. Congress, along with two statewide issues and a list of county candidates and local levies. I'm providing links to resources for voters looking to follow local results tonight.
Here is the...
Posted April 16, 2010
How and why did state government get to the point where it increased state income tax rates by 4.2 percent for last year and this year?
That can be a long and tangled story, but I'll offer a shorter version here.
It starts in 2008 and 2009, when state spending -- primarily on health care services...
Posted April 15, 2010
Today is tax day -- the day our state and federal income tax filings are due. You may not know that the state income tax bill you have to pay is actually 4.2 percent higher than the tax rates that were in effect throughout almost the entire year of 2009. How can this be? Let's have a look and put...
Posted April 07, 2010
Today's Daily Record offers insight into how community hospitals are being taxed in the state budget that was enacted over my objections last July. Don't be confused by the implication that the tax is still under consideration. It was passed and went into effect last year.
Posted March 30, 2010
Here is a dialog with Ron about our local economy that is based on his participation on a panel discussion at Wayne College on our local economy: Our Local Economy
Posted March 25, 2010
Federal takeoverof our country's health care systems continues to be a huge issue.
How does health care policymaking in Ohio interact with what continues to flow out of Washington, D.C.?
Several efforts are under way to have Ohio stand up to some of the most objectionable aspects of enactment of...
Posted March 16, 2010
Today, Rep. Amstutz gave the following speech during debate before the Ohio House of Representatives on the question of appropriating $3.2 Billion in capital improvement projects, the majority of which will have to be paid for from future state tax revenues:
The amendment before us takes the $3.2...
Posted March 13, 2010
Two hot topics likely to see votes this coming week in the Ohio House involve proposals to reauthorize spending on previously approved capital improvement projects and prohibit texting while driving.
Posted March 07, 2010
Today's Columbus Dispatch ran "The Mighty Thorium, the nearly perfect fuel no one has heard of"
The Dispatch also ran a more basic explanation "Thorium's promise:Some experts say this element could solve our energy problems.
I first wrote about this idea in this post last December when I discovered...
Posted February 18, 2010
You can give your views to Ron on a number of current issues facing the Ohio General Assembly by taking Ron's Winter Issues Survey online using this link: Click Here to take survey
Posted January 27, 2010
Supt. John Ritchie is presenting in our Statehouse the story of savings being achieved by sharing top administrative positions between Orrville City Schools and Rittman Exempted Village Schools.
The presentation comes at the invitation of the Ohio Society of CPAs, with attendance by state...
Posted January 26, 2010
Some notes and observations on Governor Stickland's State of the State message are the topic of these notes. He is speaking to a joint session of our state legislature.
In general, this is a speech that has the right goals being presented, but it has not been one with specifics to back it up.
Posted January 18, 2010
Today I am interacting with the agri-business community in our area. As part of this interaction, I have prepared an issues survey that will be provided in paper form. The same survey can be completed online: Click Here to take survey
Questions on this survey related to current issues under...
Posted January 12, 2010
Last August I posted some thoughts and information on the whole issue of using cell phones in various ways while driving. A variety of bills have been introduced on this topic.
Today at 11:30 AM in the Senate South Hearing Room the Senate Highways and Transportation will have a second hearing on SB...
Posted January 11, 2010
With contentious budget repair legislation adopted before Christmas, the Ohio General Assembly is moving on to other matters for the new year.
It looks like three issues are under serious consideration for placement on the May ballot as the February 4 deadline for submitting them to the Secretary...