Political briefs – July 8


Staff report


HUSTED APPLAUDS LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING REFORM – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today released the following statement in regard the fall ballot issue proposing to amend the state constitution to reform the legislative redistricting process.

“For decades, Ohioans – myself included – have wanted to change the way legislative districts are drawn. That call has finally been answered and meaningful reform to replace the fractured foundation on which our government is built is closer than ever and the decision is, as it belongs, in the hands of the voters.”

“Our government can only function as it was intended if the people can select their own representatives, but for too long, the politicians have instead selected their voters by drawing districts that nearly guarantee their own reelection. This is not fair and it is not self-government.”

“I applaud the continued bipartisan work to make sure the people of Ohio understand the proposal before them this fall and are able to embrace the opportunity to reform their government for the better and for the long term.”

HUSTED: HELP OHIO KEEP NON-CITIZENS OFF VOTER ROLLS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted submitted a second letter to President Barack Obama in regard to concerns he raised in his January 2015 correspondence about the President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions that pose potential problems for the integrity of elections in Ohio. The President’s executive actions increase the potential for millions of additional non-U.S. citizens to illegally register to vote and cast a ballot by allowing them access to Social Security numbers, which can be used to prove identity when registering to vote.

“Seventy-five elections have been decided by one vote or tied over the past two years in Ohio, which is why there is no margin for error when administering elections, especially in a key swing state,” Secretary Husted said. “In order to preserve the confidence of Ohio voters in the democratic process, the President must partner with us to ensure non-citizens cannot register to vote.”

Federal law requires individuals to present a valid Social Security number or driver’s license when registering to vote. The President’s recent executive actions would expand the risk of illegal voter registrations in Ohio and other states by non-citizens by giving them access to those forms of identification.

BROWN PRESSES FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION TO ADDRESS RETIREMENT SECURITY CRISIS – Following the release of the Senate Finance Committee’s Savings and Investment Working Group recommendations, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) renewed his call for greater access to retirement plans and plan participation to help more Americans build their retirement security and help address America’s retirement security crisis.

“The three-legged stool of retirement savings – Social Security, defined-benefits, and personal savings – has been sawed off. The disappearance of defined benefit plans coupled with stagnant wages have left too many Americans with nothing but Social Security to depend upon for retirement. While Social Security remains the bedrock of retirement security, we need to rebuild the other two legs of the stool,” said Brown. “The Savings and Investment Tax Working Group has reached bipartisan agreement on proposals that should serve as the basis for stand-alone legislation that will expand access to employer-sponsored, private savings plans, and strengthen incentives to help individuals save for their own retirement. This report could serve as an important first step – but that requires that our Committee act now and not wait until agreement is reached on comprehensive tax reform.”

In January, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) launched five bipartisan Senate Finance Committee Tax Working Groups to serve as the basis for comprehensive tax reform efforts. Brown co-chaired the Savings and Investment working group with U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID). The five groups worked with the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) to produce an in-depth analysis of options and potential legislative solutions related to savings and investment.

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