Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ohioans Would Pay the Price

Plunderbund has discovered that a reliably Republican ally of Gov. John Kasich's is opposed to the governor's latest privatization scheme----the leasing of the Ohio Turnpike.


The Ohio Farm Bureau issued an “Action Alert” to their members this week asking them to oppose any plan by the Governor or the legislature to privatize the Ohio Turnpike.

In a video distributed with the email, Lorain County Farm Bureau President and Christmas Tree Farmer Al Divencenzo describes how the Turnpike provides him an efficient and well-maintained route for move his products to and from the market....

Tolls have increased dramatically with the Indiana Turnpike lease, which has a term of 75 years.
The Journal Gazette:

....The consortium that leased the road for $3.8 billion has to make money, and that money comes from people who drive the Indiana Toll Road – many of them Hoosiers.

Already, for automobile drivers paying cash, the rate for the 157-mile length of the road has nearly doubled in six years, from $4.65 to $9. For a five-axle truck, the increase has been greater – from $14.55 when the lease was approved to $36.20 today....

Farmers have every right to worry about the possibility of rising tolls if the Ohio Turnpike is leased. All Ohioans must remember that Kasich may not have raised taxes, but has cut funding to schools, decreased funding to local governments, and increased fees. The fallout from Kasich's budget has resulted in school districts putting levies on the most recent election ballot, pink slips for teachers, layoffs of fire and police personnel in Ohio cities, less money going to the elderly in nursing homes, etc. 

The Kasich-loving Columbus Dispatch reported just yesterday of a new crippling fee planned for GED candidates.

Columbus Dispatch:

...The nonprofit American Council on Education, which owns the GED, has partnered with for-profit Pearson Vue Testing and will abandon its $40 paper test, according to the Ohio Department of Education. The state had no say in the matter....

...On top of the price increase, the switch will mean that the number of locations licensed to administer the test in Ohio will drop from 99 to about 40 when the paper test is completely phased out in December 2013, Bowman said.

Until budget cuts in 2010, Ohio paid the entire fee for most test-takers if they could pass a practice test. So in essence, the cost has gone from zero to $120. Meanwhile, many people without high-school diplomas work at lower-paying jobs that make the higher fee a hardship....

Somehow I cannot believe that with the millions of dollars coming in through the casinos that Kasich doesn't have the money to help out those trying to better themselves with taking the GED. Couldn't the state pay for at least half of the fee or completely reimburse those that pass the test?  The state should re-evaluate the fee structure.

Tens of millions of dollars comes into the Ohio Treasury every month from the casinos. Ohioans want the money to go to our public schools, lower tuition at state universities, help our elderly and veterans, and assist those seeking to improve themselves through the GED. Ohioans deserve an accounting of where the money is going.