In response to the harsh economic conditions of the state, more than 160 organizations, including the OOA, sent a letter to President-Elect Barack Obama and the Ohio congressional delegation urging support of a federal recovery package that will help provide basic safety net services during this recession.
"At a time when Ohioans are standing in line at midnight waiting for food centers to open at 9:00 AM, our homeless shelters are bursting with children and families, and children are losing child care slots, we must protect Ohio's most vulnerable population now!" said Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, co-chair for Campaign to Protect Ohio's Future.
The letter asks policy makers to specifically support:
* An increase in the Federal Matching Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid for two years, up to $100
* $100 Billion in a block grant to states to be used for education from early care through higher education to protect the investments in our state's children, youth and young people and their ability to enter theworkforce.
* $3.2 Billion in additional TANF funds to the states, including elimination of the work requirement at a time when there are fewer jobs available.
Additionally the letter requests a temporary increase in food stamp benefits, increased federal funding for childcare, including an increase to the Child Development Block Grant and Head Start, and a strong SCHIP reauthorization program in the first hundred days of the new congress and administration.
Greg Kapcar, chairperson of Have A Heart Ohio, stated that "every organization signing this letter is serving the people who are being hurt by the cuts and proposed cuts; cuts that will continue if Ohio does not receive immediate assistance from the Federal Recovery Package."
A copy of the letter is available here: www.ooanet.org/pdf/final_fed_recovery_letter.pdf