Killer Kills Himself Three Days Before Execution, And Economists Debate Effects Of State Budget

Just three days before he was set to be executed, condemned killer Billy Slagle hanged himself at the prison in Chillicothe. Hearings on a bill that would reform – but not expand – Medicaid in Ohio are likely to start next week. But Gov. John Kasich hints he might be looking into what power he has with an executive order. Voters rejected about two-thirds of the 19 school tax issues in special elections around Ohio. Meanwhile, two Republican lawmakers are working on a bill would eliminate special elections in August and in February. And the Ohio State Fair is over for another year, ending with some money records in the annual Sale of Champions - which this year featured a big-spending bidder with a big name in politics.

The state budget is just over a month old, and analysts are still trying to predict what it will do for the state's economy - if anything. Gov. John Kasich and Republican leaders have been saying the emphasis on income tax cuts will create jobs, and that cutting income taxes while raising sales and consumption taxes is a good way to grow the economy. But Democrats have said that the tax cuts clearly benefit the wealthy while the increase in sales tax hurts the poor, and that the tax cuts don’t pay for even one job. Sharing their thoughts on the state budget are two experts in Ohio’s economy with very different views of how to improve it. Wendy Patton works on budget and tax issues at Policy Matters Ohio, a progressive leaning think tank. Dr. Richard Vedder is a distinguished professor of economics emeritus at Ohio University and has written several books and columns from a conservative viewpoint.

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