Editorials from around Ohio
Posted March 13
Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Findlay) Courier, March 11
Ohio Supreme Court justices rarely change their minds about the opinions they write. But they did earlier this week, and their reversal appears warranted.
In December, the court had issued a 4-3 ruling in a drug case that questioned whether prosecutors should be allowed to include the filler substances often used to "cut" cocaine when determining criminal charges.
Generally speaking, the larger the quantity of cocaine involved, the more severe the charge and the longer the sentence an offender faces.
But the court found that purity, not quantity, should matter most, after interpreting that Ohio law, as written, requires a charge to be based only on the amount of pure cocaine, not any additives...
Lawmakers had already started the process of rewriting the cocaine statute to clarify the language, but on Monday, the court reversed the earlier finding...
Pure cocaine is often cut with other substances in order to change or intensify the effects of the drug. Sometimes the fillers are harmless and legal, but the substances added can also be as harmful as the cocaine itself.
Whether someone sells or possesses a gram of cocaine or a kilo, it only makes sense they should be charged based on the bulk amount. Doing otherwise would only open the door to even more drug activity at a time when Ohio can least handle it.
The Lima News, March 10
If you want to fix this country, you need to start with the fathers.
So says Jesse Jackson III, a nationally known researcher and clinical therapist who works with the Lima schools...
"It's the biggest societal problem we have," Jackson said. "Fathers are so important concerning emotional state. We are told that we can be successful without the father physically at home. From an emotional standpoint, this is not true."
As a society, we need to think through what he's saying.
Jackson says family issues cause depression and disruptive behavior in children. He says it drives a cycle of problems down the line, including divorce and abusive relationships.
When people lack a father figure, they go out looking for one...
There's more to being a father than providing half the genetics. Men must take responsibility for raising their children. It's pivotal that they take part in their children's daily lives...
It starts with men pushing to remain actively involved in their children's lives... Your mere presence doesn't help your child's psyche. Your kind interactions do.
Above all things, Jackson said we can't pretend fathers aren't important. He said society has to reject that notion and not let fathers off the hook so easily...
Akron Beacon Journal, March 11
Paul Ryan, the House speaker, talks about ensuring a "stable" transition for those Americans benefiting from the Medicaid expansion. His words echo the standard set by Gov. John Kasich and others who have witnessed how the expansion has advanced lives, bringing health coverage to 700,000 Ohioans. Yet House Republican leaders ... propose ending the expansion, in essence, presenting states with an offer they cannot afford to accept...
As part of their plan to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act, Ryan and colleagues would permit the expansion to continue, at current federal funding levels, until 2020. At that point, states choosing to accept new enrollees would be required to pick up a larger share of the cost, paying from 2.8 times to 5 times more per person...
For those in the program who stay continuously enrolled, states would see no change in funding. The reality is, their ranks would shrink steadily. The way Medicaid works is that most cycle into and out of the program. In time, practically everyone would be a new enrollee at the reduced federal funding level...
Of all the flaws in the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid expansion is not one of them. To mess with this achievement "makes no sense," as John Kasich often and responsibly reminds.
The (Toledo) Blade, March 12
Sherrod Brown says he will fight "like hell" against a Trump Administration proposal to cripple the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. And fight he must.
...Only a determined, bipartisan effort can turn back a proposal to slash funding for the GLRI from $300 million to $10 million annually...
Great Lakes Restoration is not a government boondoggle, like a road to nowhere, or a study of the mating habits of snails. It is about saving one of the wonders of the world, and the economic engine of the Midwest — the Great Lakes.
President Donald Trump is seeking a massive boost in military spending, so, in order to avoid blowing up the national debt, or raising taxes, the money has to come from other places. But it should not come at the expense of Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes.
There is still an urgent need to address toxic algal blooms and Asian carp in Lake Erie...
Lake Erie's frailty is still very fresh in the minds of Toledoans, whose drinking water was rendered undrinkable in August, 2014, because of algal blooms...
... If the Asian carp are able to overtake Lake Erie, they will decimate a multibillion dollar fishing industry. If fertilizer and other pollution continue to leach into the lakes, the algal blooms will return again and again, endangering the water supply...