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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Budget battle winner: partisanship

There is no shortage of critics for the proposed state budget that lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich need to approve before July 1.
As state leaders work to fill an $8 billion hole with a variety of changes and cuts in funding, many groups are unhappy.
Among them is the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, which the Columbus Dispatch reports recently voted to retract its 2010 endorsement of Sen. Shannon Jones, R-Springsboro, who is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 5, the new law that limits collective bargaining for public employees.
Other groups have formed, such as We Are Ohio, which says on its website,, that “Ohioans know Gov. John Kasich and extreme politicians in the state legislature went too far.” The group is leading a referendum effort to repeal Senate Bill 5.
This week a new group that supports the proposed state budget emerged: One United Ohio.
The organization says Ohioans need to understand the budget crisis facts and unveiled a television commercial Monday to promote its message.
The advertisement can be viewed at
One United Ohio says “By closing an $8 billion structural deficit, offering $34 million in job-creating tax incentives, pursuing major reforms and significantly reducing spending in principled, thoughtful ways, the Ohio Jobs Budget helps create the jobs friendly environment that Ohio needs and transforms complex, ineffective programs into sustainable efforts that deliver better services at a better value to the taxpayer.”
State representatives passed their version of the proposed budget last week, 59-40, in the Ohio House, and not surprisingly, the vote followed strict party lines.
Lake County’s two state representatives don’t exactly see eye to eye on the budget.
In fact, they couldn’t be farther apart.
State Rep. Ron Young, R-Leroy Township, says the legislation, House Bill 153, was the product of 57 committee hearings, 811 witnesses and nearly 200 hours of testimony.
He believes it maintains a commitment to Ohio’s job climate and fiscal sustainability and successfully makes significant reductions in the size of state government.
State Rep. Lorraine M. Fende, D-Willowick, says rarely was she as disappointed with her colleagues in the Ohio General Assembly. She also said she was unhappy there was no common ground during the budgeting process.
She blasted the budget and said the bill “is a farce and could prove downright dangerous for the future of Ohio.”
Now the legislation moves to the Ohio Senate, where state Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chester Township, and 32 other state senators will have their chance to shape the bill.
After reading the entire bill, Grendell says he’s got a list of at least 26 items that need to be addressed before he will take a position on the bill.
He’s also concerned that Ohio’s 18th Senate District, which comprises Lake, Geauga and portions of eastern Cuyahoga counties, will lose $41 million in school funding.

Brunner to headline
Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner will speak at the Geauga Democratic Party Headquarters, 12420 Kinsman Road, Newbury Township, to discuss Senate Bill 5, redistricting and other election issues on May 21 during the party’s annual dinner event.
Tickets for admission to the headquarters are $45 in advance ($50 at the door).
A private reception with Brunner will be held at the home of Janet and Terry Carson prior to the dinner.
Visit for more information.

Candidate announcements
Kirtland Mayor Mark A. Tyler announced that he is seeking re-election. In the announcement, he cited leadership, experience and the completion of several major projects within the city.

Lake, Geauga candidate filings
  • Sean Blake has filed petitions to run as a candidate for Mentor Council Ward 1.
  • For Chardon Municipal Court, Timothy H. Synder of Burton Township has filed as an independent candidate.

  • Fende will host “Families for Fende” spaghetti dinner 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Dino’s Restaurant in Willoughby. See Nick Cindric.
  • Desirea Thompson, a candidate for Mentor-on-the-Lake Council, hosts a spaghetti dinner 5 to 9 p.m. July 16 at the Stadium Grill in Mentor. See John Thompson.

-- John Arthur Hutchison | | @newsheraldjah

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