Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Cincinnati Enquirer, Dec. 8
When Sen. Eric Kearney was announced as Ed FitzGerald's running mate, it seemed like an inspired choice. As the Democratic Party's leader in the Ohio Senate, he's been a voice for expanded access to health care, for retirement security for workers, for children's rights and for tax policies that benefit the middle class....
But below the surface lie serious problems that have already risen to obscure the issues that Kearney and FitzGerald should be talking to Ohioans about.
The business Kearney and his wife own, KGL Media Group, which does business as Sesh Communications, owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes to the state and federal governments. The amount still outstanding, including penalties and interest, could total as much as $826,000 (although some of it is still in dispute). The debts date to 2003 and were all accumulated since the Kearneys bought the business....
But staying in the race will be problematic for the ticket. For one, Kearney's tax delinquency is serious and could undermine any debate about tax policies in Ohio. That's a debate that needs to happen in the upcoming election as Kasich and the Republicans have cut business taxes, raised the sales tax and cut funding to local governments. Ohioans deserve a vigorous discussion on these issues free of the baggage that Kearney's personal tax issues would bring....
That's why Kearney should withdraw from the race, to give Ohioans a chance to have a fair debate on real issues that matter.
The Ironton Tribune, Dec. 8
With the weather fluctuating during the last couple weeks and the wintry mix that entered the region on Friday, residents need to remember to take extra precaution when on the roadways.
With the county being such a rural region, many road conditions can change rapidly from one mile to the next.
As we move deeper into the winter season, the weather will undoubtedly get worse. This can cause major issues for motorists and result in an increase in traffic accidents.
However, accidents are not the only issue with the colder weather, as many vehicles may have mechanical problems that will leave the vehicle and passengers stranded.
Take the time now and have your vehicle checked to ensure parts are working correctly and have a kit in the vehicle.
This includes checking the tires and other mechanical elements along with having an emergency kit in the vehicle.
These items can include blankets, clothes, jumper cables, and roadside flares that can help in a situation where the passengers are stranded.
We encourage county residents to take extra preventative measures and allow extra time to get to their destination.
All of these items together provide residents with the ability to arrive at the destination safely.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Dec. 8
Ohio could make a dent in the tide of homelessness and other problems that befall foster-care teenagers after they age out of their homes by extending the age when foster care ends from 18 to 21.
A number of states have done so recently, including Nebraska and Michigan, thanks to a federal law that provides significant resources to help defray the cost. ...
Intuitively, that makes sense. Few parents would push their teenagers or even 20-somethings out of the nest without further contact and support and expect them to do well on their own, points out Gary Strangler, CEO of the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative based in St. Louis....
Foster kids face special obstacles, often coming from biological families where abuse, neglect and abandonment make it even more difficult to be successful, independent young adults.
Yet regardless of those obstacles, Ohio's foster care children are now "emancipated" from the system after they reach the age of 18....
That's where the federal government comes in. Under a 2008 law, the feds have sweetened the pot by paying half the foster-care costs for any state that extends the age, encouraging Florida, California, Michigan, Nebraska and other states to take the leap....
That's why allowing 18-year-olds to stay in foster care for a few more years should be the law of the land.
Warren Tribune Chronicle, Dec. 9
Ohioans already are paying more for electricity because of a politically correct state mandate that part of the power needs to come from "renewable" sources. As utilities continue moving to comply, it will get worse. A typical family may find themselves paying hundreds of dollars a year solely to ensure the state appears "green."
A bill had been introduced in the General Assembly to scrap the renewable energy mandate, enacted in 2008. But The Associated Press reported last week state Senate Public Utilities Chairman William Seitz, R-Cincinnati, said the reform bill has been altered.
It apparently will allow the mandate to remain in place at least through 2018, before being lifted.
As the law stands, utilities are required to produce 12.5 percent of their power from "renewable" sources such as wind, solar and hydropower, by 2025. Another 12.5 percent of energy must be obtained from "advanced" sources such as nuclear reactors or clean coal generating stations, also by 2025.
Those provisions will not be changed, Seitz told the AP. But some tweaking of the original bill will occur. For example, utilities will be able to use methane gas converters to meet the requirements.
The "renewables" mandate should be killed immediately. Ohioans should be permitted to buy their electricity at the lowest cost possible.