Tuesday, July 27, 2021


The latest on the PRO Act, which could bring major changes to labor law, especially in "right-to-work" states; and COVID spikes result in new mandates.


Travel restrictions are extended as Delta variant surges; some public-sector employers will mandate vaccines; President Biden says long-haul COVID could be considered a disability; and western wildfires rage.

Leaders of Ohio Children's Services Repeat Pleas for Local Funding


Thursday, June 3, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Children's services leaders in Ohio are reiterating calls for more funding to local agencies.

Specifically, they're asking the Senate Finance Committee for $50 million per year in general revenue funds in the biennium budget to support counties facing additional costs associated with new state and federal system transformation mandates.

Jody Walker, director of the South Central Ohio Job and Family Services, explained the historic investments made in the last biennium budget were crucial to addressing the influx of children in care.

"It's allowed us to continue to meet the needs of the families," said Walker. "But if we want to continue going down that road with making changes to our system, we need continued investment."

Placement costs increased by 9% from 2018 to 2020.

At Coshocton County Job and Family Services, Executive Director Danny Brenneman said two cases account for nearly 40% of their local levy dollars.

"We really are doing what we can with the local resources that we have," said Brenneman. "But the bottom line is, we need help."

Brenneman said the proposed children's services funding focuses squarely on states' cost of new policy changes.

Ohio's new Kinship Support Program is estimated to cost counties more than $23 million per year and the local match needed for the federal Family First Act could range from $18 to $25 million in the first fiscal year.

Between the opioid crisis, severe mental health issues, lack of foster homes, and other challenges, Walker said with the needs of children and families are overwhelming.

"We're talking about probably one of the most vulnerable populations," said Walker. "The kids that the agency served that have been abused and neglected, and especially with the needs on the residential side, multi-system sides. And then with the kinship support."

Brenneman cautioned that without additional investments, state and federal child welfare transformation mandates will impede their ability to respond to families in crisis.

"Our goal in child welfare is to ensure safe, happy, healthy families and children," said Brenneman. "And we really need to help the assistance of the state Legislature and the governor's office to make that a reality."

get more stories like this via email
Smoke from the Bootleg fire in southern Oregon is blowing across Idaho and as far east as New York. (National Interagency Fire Center/Flickr)


BOISE, Idaho -- Wildfires are affecting air quality across the West, bringing hidden dangers in smoke that can harm people's health. The Boise-based …

Social Issues

DENVER -- The days of exponentially high increases in health-insurance costs may finally be in the rearview mirror. The Colorado Division of …

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cultural institutions in the U.S. are facing scrutiny to be more accessible and inclusive. The organization in charge of Iowa's …

Electrifying heat pumps are key to lowering the carbon cost of buildings. (SkyLine/Adobe Stock)


BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- Last month's deadly heat wave in the Northwest underscored the need to reduce carbon emissions, but advocates want to ensure low-…

Social Issues

MINOT, N.D. -- Many arguments are being floated about legislation before Congress that would bring big changes to U.S. labor laws. The bill has its …

Studies show Medicaid expansion could reduce costs for Missouri's health-care system as a whole, by getting more patients preventive care, which is less expensive than emergency care. (torwaiphoto/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Health-care advocates called on Missouri lawmakers to allocate funds for Medicaid expansion right away, after the state …

Social Issues

AUGUSTA, Maine -- School meals in Maine will be free for all students again this year and into the future, but parents are being urged to fill out …


CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A report outlines how federal efforts to bring solar energy to one in four American households could bring clean energy to …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021