North Shore AFL-CIO Legislative & Political Bulletin, November
Shutdown Avoided: President Biden signed the stopgap bill this morning, which will avert a government shutdown and extend funding to federal agencies into next year. The bill, a compromise between Democrats and Republicans, maintains current spending levels and lacks deep cuts sought by some Republicans. On Tuesday, House Speaker Mike Johnson navigated a divided GOP, with 93 Republicans opposing the bill. The Senate passed the bill by 87-11 on Wednesday. Expect to see an attempt by Republicans to slash spending in January. They have proposed cutting the DOL and NLRB by a third, a massive cut to education funding (including cutting Title I funding by 80%), slashing transportation funding, including Amtrak, by 64%, and repealing significant portions of the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
School Vouchers: Ohio's increase in school voucher spending this year for the EdChoice Expansion Program sets up the state to rank near the top nationally when it comes to taxpayer use of voucher dollars to attend private schools. Before the expansion, Ohio spent an estimated $241 per capita in the 2020-2021 school year, behind only Maine, Wisconsin, and Vermont. With the budget increase for EdChoice Expansion to nearly $400 million and increases to other programs of smaller amounts, the Ohio state budget has allotted $964.5 million for the current school year, or about $514 per student. We now rank second. Every tax dollar given to private school vouchers means a dollar taken from the public schools. 80% of Ohio students attend traditional public school.
Election Recap: We had a great Election Day last Tuesday – with 65 endorsed candidates and issues winning. That included 15 Path to Power members, candidates who are active or retired union members, or a direct family member of an active or retired union member. 15 of 22 Path to Power candidates to win statewide came from Cuyahoga County. Iron Worker Local 17 members Mike Kilbane and Brian Poindexter won re-election in their races. Sheet Metal Worker and first-time candidate Paul Shymske won the North Olmsted City Council election. We had clean sweeps in the Berea and North Royalton School Board races, with three endorsed candidates winning in each race. You can see a full rundown of election results here: https://northshoreaflcio.org/news/election2023.