Dems blast state budget PDF Print E-mail
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 12 July 2013 09:23
Sandy Rowland (right) and Avneet Singh speaking at Grounds for Thought. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The state budget amended at the last minute behind closed doors has area Democrats crying foul.
Thursday, Bowling Green City Councilor Sandy Rowland and University of Toledo medical student Avneet Singh spoke to the press about their concerns about the budget.
Singh blasted provisions related to women's health care. The budget forbids any hospital receiving public funds from having a transfer agreement with an abortion provider. The state has said that, as with ambulatory surgical units, such a transfer agreement is required. That means abortion clinics will rely on private hospitals, almost all of which are affiliated with the Catholic Church.
That amounts to "a very shady way to close these clinics," Singh said. That includes the two clinics in Toledo.
As a second year medical student, Singh works with poor women and sees what their needs are.
The budget, she said, also takes a shot at the funding for Planned Parenthood.
The state receives federal money to support family planning services. "What the legislature has done is establish a priority list, and put Planned Parenthood at the bottom," she said. "Planned Parenthood is one of the best preventive health care institutions we have. It provides really great low cost health care."
The budget "puts Ohioans at risk," she said.
On top of the priority list are pregnancy crisis centers which, aside from pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, do not provide medical services. She described them as "anti-choice" with the intent of "shaming women into not having an abortion."
Avneet Singh speaking at Grounds for Thought.
"All the money that was to go to Planned Parenthood is going to these centers," she said.
Rowland noted that very little of Planned Parenthood's service involves abortion. She said 97-percent of the organization's activity is to provide health care for women.
Rowland said the budget would be taking more money from the city which has been struggling because of the down economy and cutbacks from the state's local government fund.
Services have been cut and city workers who resign or retire have not been replaced.
That includes police officers. "I consider that extremely critical," she said.
The new budget will make it even harder.
The state budget roils the local tax climate. It includes a provision to eliminate the property tax rollback that will serve to increase the property tax burden on residents and will hike the sales tax by 0.5 percent, she said.
These went along with a reduction in income taxes.
Because so much was done so quickly and "in the dark," what recourse citizens have to reverse any of its provisions are uncertain, Rowland and Singh said.  
Both State Rep. Tim Brown (R-Bowling Green) and State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) voted for the budget.

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