Posted Friday, December 14, 2012
Newsmaker - Harriet Applegate, Executive Secretary, North Shore Federation of Labor
Michigan lawmakers completed action on a law that makes Michigan the nation’s 24th right-to-work state; the second in the Midwest after Indiana. Approval came over boisterous opposition from organized labor which flooded the capital with thousands of protesters. In Ohio, Governor Kasich said he’s not eager to see Ohio follow suit and it’s not among his priorities. However, a citizens group is passing petitions to bring a right-to-work issue to the ballot next fall.
Roundtable: Michelle Jarboe McFee, reporter, The Plain Dealer; Erick Trickey, senior editor, Cleveland Magazine; Bill Sheil, weekend anchor, Fox 8 News.
Turnpike Stays in State Hands
The state will not sell or lease the Ohio Turnpike. Governor Kasich says the state will instead use the turnpike to generate the money needed for road projects elsewhere in northern Ohio. The money will come from increased tolls. All Turnpike money is now used for maintenance of the 241-mile artery. Using the money away from the roadway will require a change in state law.
New Life for Mothballed Building
Cuyahoga County announced plans to sell the Ameritrust tower and adjacent property to a private developer that’ll turn the building into apartments and related uses. In addition, the developer will put up a new building on part of the property to house county offices. The building’s $27 million selling price is millions less than the county spent to acquire and remove asbestos from it.
Mood of the Voters
New polling numbers are a mixed bag for Governor Kasich. They show him with his highest approval rating since taking office, 42%. However, 43% of those polled say he’s unworthy of re-election while 36% indicated they’d vote for him again. And the new Quinnipiac University poll shows 58% are at least somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in Ohio. That’s the highest level of optimism in the state since these pollsters started work six years ago.