When Ohio Senator Bill Seitz admitted that he had been up late on Tuesday night celebrating the election victory of Senator Scott Brown, the room broke into applause and cheers. Then he cut to the chase. Though the healthcare bill is quite possibly a dead issue for a while, the issue of whether Ohio would be enforcing its 10th amendment right in the event that the healthcare bill should pass or cap and trade should pass was on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Though a resolution has passed in the Ohio Senate, it has not passed in the house, and Seitz stated that Ohio Governor Ted Strickland would not be signing it even if it did. Not what the crowd wanted to hear, but the good news is that Strickland, a Democrat, is up for reelection in November. It will be interesting to see if there are as many Ohio voters who are angry at the Democrats as there were Massachusetts voters.
He touched on unemployment benefit fraud, bringing out the fact that even though Ohio’s unemployment rate is at 10.6 percent, there are illegal aliens (unauthorized workers) in Ohio who will file for unemployment, but the department is not allowed to check to see if they are legally allowed to work in the US, and they must issue the check even if it is going to an address in a foreign country. The same is true of workers compensation benefits. Seitz said that he is working on legislation that will demand that those who are not US citizens must prove that they are authorized to work here when they apply for unemployment and / or workers compensation.
Seitz moved on to an issue with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, stating that they are sending bills to people who own property on Lake Erie and telling them that they must lease the land along the shoreline from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The Department claims that they control “everything between the ordinary high water mark of Lake Erie and where the waterline actually is now.” Seitz went on to state that even though the people had challenged in the courts for 6 years and won the case, that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is still sending out the bills and demanding that the land owners (who are already paying property taxes on the land) pay the annual lease amount as well. He said he is working on legislation to correct this, as well.
Seitz also mentioned a shortfall in the Ohio budget of $850 million dollars that was being addressed last month. Governor Strickland claimed that it was because he couldn’t get the slot machine and racetrack plan moving as quickly as he had wanted. Seitz admitted to supporting the plan because “I represent this area and I see all your neighbors trucking down to Lawrenceburg (Indiana) spending their money in the three casinos in southeast Indiana while they’re paving the streets with gold down there; while our horseracing industry here in Ohio is going to hell in a hand basket because they don’t have the money to get the good horses and a track.” He said that he supports it and believes that most Ohioans support it. He also said that he believes that the only other alternatives were to, “raise taxes, cut the services that you depend on, or let the fools gamble who want to gamble.” He added, “I say let the fools gamble who want to gamble. They’re doing it anyway down there in Indiana.”
When the issue showed up on the Ohio ballot last year, a plurality had voted for it. Seitz said that casino operators will pay a total of 200,000 million in licensing fees in 2010. Ohio voters won’t actually see the casinos manifest until 2012. Nevertheless, Seitz believes that casinos brought in revenue for state neighbor Indiana, and so the same will happen for Ohio. It will be interesting to see what program he will set in place for all the gambling addicts that the casino and horse track breeds, and what he will do when property values plummet because Ohio residents start to move to other states to escape the increase in prostitution, violent crimes, pedophilia, and an even worse problem with overcrowded prisons. May God have mercy on Ohioans!
Interestingly, the next issue that Seitz brought up is overcrowded prisons. He said it costs taxpayers $26,000 for each prisoner per year, and tens of millions of dollars for those elderly prisoners who need hospital care.
Some of the questions asked by those who were at the meeting were as follows:
Is there any chance that Ohio will be asking for a federal bailout like California plans to, and if so, how will states rights (under the 10th amendment be affected) by a federal bailout?
Seitz said that it is possible that Strickland will make this request. And if he does, the federal government will likely be expecting the state of Ohio to submit to whatever demands it decides to make. He referenced the increase in the drinking age to 21 years of age as an example. Basically, Ohio was told to raise the drinking age or the federal government would withhold their highway money.
He went on to touch on the situation with the healthcare bill and said that he didn’t think that they could force states to do this outright, but that if Ohio refused that the federal government may try to do something like take away Ohio’s Medicaid money, which would put Ohio in a position where it wouldn’t really have a choice.
Does the healthcare bill still have a chance of becoming law?
Seitz said he was listening to Fox News on the way to the meeting, and that it sounds to him like “the thing is dead.”
What’s your stance on corporal punishment in schools, prayer in schools and The Pledge of Allegiance in schools?
Seitz said that the Democrats had included the issue of corporal punishment in “the July budget bill, our friends the Democrats put in that bill, it had nothing to do with budget, (but it) absolutely outlaws corporal punishments.” He went on to state that there are allowances for The Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence, but that “you can’t mandate prayer. That’s the Supreme Court’s deal.” He also said that he thinks that Americans are really more concerned with “jobs, the economy, and restraining the federal government from taking over everything.”