Raising the bar for wages
By modernizing wages, we let one million working people in our state earn the resources necessary to simply get by – for many this means putting food on their families’ table, paying for medicine, childcare and school supplies.
- Raises the state minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, and requires that the Director of Commerce to annually adjust the wage based on inflation.
- For tipped employees, the wage paid can be no less than half the minimum wage.
Putting families first
Working people in Ohio should not have to worry about losing their job or falling behind financially just to take care of a sick child or relative; address their own serious health condition; or care for and bond with their newborn child.
- Creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program. Beginning in 2020, the program will provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave benefit.
- An individual would receive leave insurance benefits for: a health condition which makes him/her unable to perform their job duties; caring for a new child during and/or after birth, adoption, or foster care placement; caring for a child, parent, or spouse who has a serious health condition.
Reducing the cost of everyday essentials
Recent state budgets have taken money out of the pockets of middle class families in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Ohioans, shifting the responsibility of paying for goods and services to those who can least afford it.
- Exempts from sales taxation the sales of disposable baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, and non-prescription medications and drugs.
- Creates bi-partisan Legislative Commission on Middle Class Economic Strength to act as a backstop for working class Ohioans by providing fiscal impacts of any legislation that seeks to shift the tax responsibility. In particular, the Commission must endeavor to identify impacts on vulnerable communities.
Equal pay for equal work
Ending pay discrimination for Ohio workers isn’t just a women’s issue, it’s a family issue. As long as pay discrimination persists, we are cheating families out of their full earning power.
- HB 330: Prohibits gag orders on employees which keep them from talking about their salaries with one another.
- Requires vendors who currently do business with the state or are competing for upcoming state contracts to obtain an equal pay certificate indicating that they pay female employees equal wages and that no wage gap exists in any job class and that women at the companies are given equal opportunity for career advancement.
- HB 385: Creates the Gender Pay Disparity Task Force to: determine the extent of the pay disparity between men and women in Ohio; identify the causes of such disparity; develop recommendations for legislative action to decrease pay disparity; and issue a report of its findings and recommendations.
Making the college dream a reality
Paving a clear path to the middle class and ensuring the next generation’s opportunity for economic success means opening the doors of higher education to more Ohioans, and turning a young person’s dream of going to college into a reality.
- Creates state income tax deduction for qualified higher education tuition and fee payments: available to individuals with gross income of $50,000 or under, or no more than $100,000 for a married couple filing a joint income tax return.
- To claim the deduction, the taxpayer or dependent must be an Ohio resident and attend a qualified institution of higher education, which includes state universities, private institutions of higher education, and career colleges. Certain private, for-profit institutions are excluded from the definition of an eligible institution.
Working people in our state should have the freedom to keep every cent they earn and get paid for the work the do, but corporate CEOs can deny working people pay by using tax loopholes to give them dishonest job titles.
- Creates a uniform “7-point” test to decide whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, replacing the different assessments and mechanisms currently used; state agencies have found current tests to be ineffective. This new test will be applied across agencies so there is no ambiguity about the definition of employee.
- Requires that an employee first approve/choose to receive their paycheck in the form of a paycheck debit card, requires more traditional forms of payment be offered by an employer, and prohibits fees associated with retrieving information about the card and its contents.
Powering our future with advanced technology
The skills and knowledge obtained by Ohio workers in cutting-edge clean energy technologies will place them at the forefront of an advanced sector of the economy and position them to compete globally in the 21st century.
- Sets Higher Renewable Portfolio Standards, Energy Efficiency, and Peak Demand Reduction benchmarks in 2016, rather than January 1st of 2017 as set under SB 310 of the 130th GA.
- Allows for an expedited PUCO approval process of EE three-year plans submitted by utilities while protecting interested party input.
Better roads for brighter futures
If we allow our aging infrastructure to continue without significant investment, power outages, insufficient and unsafe drinking water, poor internet connections, and decrepit roads could all soon have a negative impact on the lives of everyday Ohioans. When goods and services can’t be delivered in a timely and efficient manner, or energy can’t reach its destination, and people can’t get to work on time, we all pay the price.
- Leverages $1 billion from the Budget Stabilization Fund to provide loans and grants to local governments to fund a wide range of infrastructure projects including broadband expansion.
- Enacts section 2 of Article VIII of the Ohio Constitution to permit the issuance of general obligation bonds to fund sewer and water capital improvements.