Tonight, Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidates will gather in Martins Ferry, Ohio for their first primary debate. Ahead of tonight’s debate, here is a snapshot of how Ohio has fared after 8 years of Republican control:
Wages have stagnated, and remain well below the national average
- According to Policy Matters Ohio, Ohio’s median wage was once 8.7% higher than the national median wage. Now, Ohio’s median wage is lower than the nation’s.
- In Belmont County, where Martins Ferry sits, the median household income is lower than Ohio’s median household income — $43,833 compared to $49,429, respectively.
- The most common jobs in Ohio are low wage jobs, many of which pay poverty wages.
Ohio lags behind other states in job creation and growth
- Ohio ranks 36th in the nation for job growth.
- As of July 2017, Ohio was one of only a few states to have fewer jobs than it had prior to the 2001 recession.
- Ohio’s job growth has been slower this year than last year, and 2016 was Ohio’s slowest year for job growth since the end of the recession.
- Ohio’s unemployment rate remains higher than the national rate. In Belmont County, the unemployment rate is even higher.
Ohio schools are rapidly falling behind
- In 2010, Ohio’s education system ranked 5th in the nation. Today, Ohio ranks 22nd.
- Many Ohio schools are receiving less state funding, forcing many districts to make up the difference through school cuts or by raising local taxes.
- Ohio’s charter schools are plagued by scandals, mismanagement, and an abysmal performance record.
College has become unaffordable for many Ohio families
- Ohio now ranks worst in the nation when it comes to student debt, and 45th in the nation when it comes to college affordability.
- Tuition costs in Ohio are dramatically higher than the national average: 11.5% higher at four-year institutions, and 14.5% higher at community colleges.
- Between 2010-2015, college enrollment in Ohio dropped more than in any other state.
Ohio Republican tax policies — which have largely benefited the wealthiest Ohioans — have led to taxpayers paying more in local taxes
- In 2016 alone, 27 Ohio villages and cities asked voters to approve local income tax increases. According to Cleveland.com, officials in a majority of these cities said that cuts from the Republican-controlled legislature were directly to blame.
- As a result, Ohio isn’t able to invest in things that matter most to Ohio families, such as education, jobs, and our local communities.
“Republicans in the Statehouse have put Ohio on the wrong track, and it’s Ohio workers, students, schools, and communities who are bearing the brunt of Republicans’ bad policy choices,” said For Ohio’s Future Action Fund’s State Director Antonia Webb. “After eight years of Republicans at the helm of our state government, it’s time for new leadership that puts Ohio’s working families first by prioritizing investments in our schools, communities, and workers.”