Architects Of Budget Explain It, And Ex-Cons Consider Enterpreneurship

A former deputy state treasurer who became the comptroller of the city of Chicago has pleaded not guilty in federal court to an alleged bribery scheme, and the former state treasurer says he’s shocked by the indictment. Once again, Democrats are pounding on JobsOhio and Republican Gov. John Kasich’s relationship with a key central Ohio company as a legislative issue – and certainly a potential campaign issue. Two Republican lawmakers are proposing a measure that would overturn a recent decision by the head of the Ohio Board of Regents that allows young immigrants with temporary legal status to pay in-state tuition rates. Ohio's top public schools official says no district received all As on Ohio's new A-F report cards, and none received all Fs. And as Ohio kids head back to school, the adults they interact with in school will have new training under a law that’s designed to stop teen suicide.

While the state budget is a huge topic, it is, in the words of longtime Ohio political observer Tom Suddes, “vexatious and puzzling to people and tedious beyond belief”. Suddes led a discussion of the budget with state budget director Tim Keen and state tax commissioner Joe Testa before the Columbus Metropolitan Club. Keen and Testa talked about the property tax changes which some have characterized as tax hikes, about the money the state sends to local communities and schools, and about the future of the severance tax on oil and gas drillers and Medicaid expansion.

One of the toughest issues people leaving prison face in their transition is finding meaningful employment that helps them establish new lives and settle the problems that may still be plaguing them from their time before and during their sentences. One idea that’s being suggested for ex-cons having trouble getting hired is to start their own businesses. Weslee Pullen is the principal of the Resilience Project, which works with ex-cons both in and outside of prison on entrepreneurship – from the perspective of a former inmate. Pullen uses a behavioral training program called Reset developed by Vanita Nevis, who taught it to in workshops in Cleveland and Columbus. He also works with John Voorhies, a professor at Zane State University and a counselor at small business development centers, which are federally and state funded centers where ex-cons can work on their business plans. One success story is Wendy Adcock, who started Fusion Bakery Café in Columbus after finding no one would hire her knowing that she’d spent time in prison.

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