Morning News and Stuff

Kasich tax plan criticized, JobsOhio records due today, workers demand prevailing wage

click to enlarge Gov. John Kasich working that polling magic
Gov. John Kasich working that polling magic

The Ohio House is

looking to rewrite

parts of Gov. John Kasich’s budget proposal after dissent has focused on the governor’s tax plan. The chamber’s leaders are looking to set aside the tax plan from the bill so they can better focus on other complicated parts of the budget, including the Medicaid expansion and school funding. Even without the governor’s controversial sales tax expansion plan, Kasich’s budget proposal contains enough leftover money to pass some income tax cuts, with about $280.4 million in general revenue available for fiscal year 2014 and $690.2 million available in fiscal year 2015, according to an analysis in

the Bluebook

. CityBeat covered Kasich’s budget proposal in further detail

here

.

State Auditor Dave Yost says

he expects to get the subpoenaed financial records from JobsOhio

today by the noon deadline, even though the audit has come under criticism from Gov. Kasich and other state officials. Yost says he should be allowed to look into JobsOhio’s full financial records, which include private funds, but Kasich and other Republicans argue only public funds are open to audit. JobsOhio is a publicly funded nonprofit, privatized development agency that was set up by Kasich and Republican legislators to eventually replace the Ohio Department of Development, which is susceptible to a full audit.

Workers for the $78 million U Square project near the University of Cincinnati

allege they are being underpaid

. In a lawsuit, union workers are claiming they should be paid prevailing wage established in state law because the project is using public funds and 50 percent owned by a public authority.

With the support of City Manager Milton Dohoney Jr., Cincinnati is now looking to

cash into its innovative water technology

with the formation of the Global Water Technology Hub, which will use expert advice to identify market needs and sell the technology. The city promises the hub will also help keep water rates low for users and find new revenue sources.

Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld will hold a press conference today to introduce his Restoring Our Communities Initiative, which will seek to fight blight and improve child safety in Cincinnati. The initiative will include a push for the passage of Ohio Senate Bill 16, which would make it so individuals are not liable for trespassing convictions if the person is remediating blight on abandoned personal property. In a statement, Sittenfeld explained the purpose of the initiative: “Blight is a complicated issue that impacts many aspects of life, and I think this plan helps attack the problem from several angles.”

Cincinnati Council’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously

approved $10,000

for the Westwood Square project, which will involve a larger facility for the Madcap Theater, green space and changes to the neighborhood’s entryways to better encourage community pride and economic development.

A new $20 million, seven-story apartment tower with 110 high-end apartments is

being planned

for Downtown, above the Seventh and Broadway Garage.

Two weeks in, Horseshoe Casino’s executive

says the casino is doing well

and turnout has been good.

A report found auto insurance rates in Ohio are

“a bargain,”

with the state having the fourth lowest costs among other states and Washington, D.C.

A machine

keeps human livers alive outside a body for 24 hours

, which could double the amount of livers available for transplant and save thousands of lives.
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