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Report Urges Ohio Lawmakers To Increase Funding For Social Services

U.S. House Oversight And Government Reform Committee/Flickr

A new report by a coalition of social service groups says state leaders need to invest more in families, seniors and low-income residents when they approve the next two-year state budget. 

The report by Advocates for Ohio’s Future says it’s important for Ohio to maintain Medicaid expansion while increasing mental and behavioral health services, especially in schools. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks also recommends the state bring food assistance programs under one umbrella.

“Our request is for $30 million per year. That represents $1.25 per person per month served through the emergency food assistance network," Hamler-Fugitt says.

The report urges increased investment in job training, publicly funded child care and preschool programs, alternatives to youth incarceration, and at least $125 million per year for public transportation.

Another proposal includes tripling investments in home visitations to support at-risk parents and children, something Gov. Mike DeWine already prioritized in his newly-created advisory commission.

DeWine might include other suggestions made in this report when he unveils his budget next month.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.