Audrey F Staten Rural Heritage Quilt Show winners RULH Elementary first graders take on new technology 2017 DAR Charity Golf Scramble St. Michael students visit “Living Lands and Waters” RULH High School reaches out to those in need Lillian E Cowdrey Catherine A Houk Warriors win Jim Neu XC Invite Week 2 football roundup Broncos unbeaten at 4-0 Lady Broncos compete in Bob Schul XC Invite Ronnie L Day Nettie F Lightner Buildings demolished, Village waits to be paid Ohio Rural Heritage Festival celebrated Henry E Fields Anleah W Stamper Maxine M Garrett U.S. 68 reopens Drought ends for Lady Rockets G-Men rise to 3-1 with back-to-back victories Rockets cruise to 4-0 win over Jays Lady Broncos start off SBAAC American Division play with 3-2 win over Goshen Week one football roundup Preparation begins for Ripley River Village Christmas celebration 3rd Annual Job Fair sponsored by Open Arms*****Always helps Veterans and others Evelyn E Smith Peggy A Wiederhold Thomas P Neary Warriors kick off SHAC play Lady Broncos stand at 2-1 Late Devil goals lead to Lady Warrior loss David R Carrington Sr 2017 Ohio Rural Heritage Festival Ripley DAR contributes towards new village flags Rural Heritage Festival event schedule Betty G Schatzman Robert L McAfee Paul V Tolle Herbert D Smith Helen R Little Eugene M Press Lady Broncos out to defend league title SHAC holds volleyball preview Lady Warriors packed with experience, talent for 2017 fall soccer campaign Georgetown’s Sininger off to excellent start for 2017 golf season RULH BOE recognizes Dr. Naylor for years of service as superintendent RULH Superintendent invites public to district open house Bob Groh Memorial Show set for August 26 at Heritage Festival ‘Support Your Veterans’ Car & Bike Show Danny F Dickson Eva J Smith Michael R Stewart Sr Charles McRoberts III Marsha B Thigpen Michael L Chinn William A Coyne Jr Woman found dead in Ripley A girl’s life on the gridiron Rockets face G-Men in preseason scrimmage 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk draws a crowd William C Latham Over 20,000 pounds of trash picked up in and around Ohio River in Ripley Ripley Village Council approves water plans Steps at Rankin House closed Marilyn A Wren Larry E Carter Virginia L McQuitty Practices get underway for fall sports Jays soon to begin quest for SHAC title Western Brown to hold Meet the Teams Night and OHSAA parent meeting Aug. 8 Norville F Hardyman Carol J Tracy James Witt Ripley officer receives commendation for quick action Bicentennial at Ripley First Presbyterian RULH welcomes new school principals Aberdeen’s Police Dept. continues to grow Mary F McElroy Broncos out to defend SBAAC American Division soccer title Bronco 5K to take place Aug. 5 EHS volleyball team ready for new season Michael C Cooper Raymond Mays Harry E Smittle Jr Mary A Flaugher Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Rickey L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate

Budget invests in key priorities

The state’s two-year operating budget was recently signed into law.

We have created a balanced, sustainable budget that invests in Ohio’s top priorities, while making the tax rate more competitive and putting hard-earned money back in the hands of those who earned it.

Education. Making significant investments in young Ohioans, the budget plan improves the state’s K-12 funding formula, which expands state support for rural school districts, while reducing the number of hours and tests required through state assessments.

The budget also increases funding support for early childhood education opportunities for low-income families and provides new support for preschool special education.

Historic changes through the budget make college more affordable for all Ohioans. The state is freezing tuition at all public institutions, while partnering with colleges and universities to reduce student costs by 5 percent.

Rehabilitation and corrections. As chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Corrections, I listened to testimony from agencies, interested parties and concerned Ohioans about ways to improve the state’s prisons and rehabilitation programs. The subcommittee, based on information received during testimony, made recommendations to the Senate Finance Committee to incorporate into the larger budget bill.

During testimony, Director Gary Mohr of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections explained that Ohio’s recidivism rate is 27 percent, versus 49 percent nationally. This difference equates to nearly 4,300 fewer returning inmates each year and reduced cost for the state.

Director Mohr credits this success to his staff and the new innovative programs. Despite progress, Ohio’s prison population is at 50,200 inmates with a record-high female population due to the state’s opioid and heroin epidemic. Experts predict that this number will increase in the future.

With violent crime rates at a 45-year low, experts recommend new community correction programs which are twice as effective for the rehabilitation of low-risk, non-violent offenders to lower cost and decrease occupancy in state corrections facilities.

Director Tracy Plouck of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services testified before the committee addressing the rampant addiction crisis within the state’s prison system.

Eighty percent of the prison population have a history of substance abuse or addiction. The State of Ohio has the capacity to provide treatment for only 4,500 of the 30,000 inmates in need of drug rehabilitation services beyond the time of incarceration. Studies show an 11-percent drop in recidivism for offenders who received at-home drug treatment services after their release.

Juvenile corrections. Testimony from Department of Youth Services Director Harvey Reed stated he is able to fully operate the three statewide facilities under his supervision at 93 percent funding of last biennium. Requests for reductions in state agency funding are virtually unheard of.

Due to its shifting methods and philosophies, public opinion favors less costly alternatives for low-level juvenile offenders, resulting in lower numbers in the DYS facilities. This reduction is an encouraging sign of improvement for all Ohioans. There are currently 500 youth in facilities and additional 400 on parole, the lowest averages in five years.

Natural resources. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources continues to provide excellent services that protect our environment and responsibly manage Ohio’s abundant natural resources. With only slight funding increases, ODNR continues be a leader in its stewardship of taxpayer funds.

Support for local communities. Restored funding for the Southern Ohio Agricultural and Community Development Foundation will help provide rural communities with economic and educational development opportunities. The budget also allocates $4.7 million to support eligible construction projects for county fair grounds through a grant program that will be administered through the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

I am proud of this budget, which invests in worthwhile priorities and allows hard-working Ohioans to keep more of their hard-earned money. If I can be of assistance, please contact my office by phone at 614-466-8082 or by email at uecker@ohiosenate.gov.

State Sen. Joe Uecker represents the 14th District in the Ohio Senate, which encompasses all of Adams, Brown, Clermont, and Scioto counties as well as a portion of Lawrence County.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Copyright The Ripley Bee