Democratic Lawmakers Propose Reducing Cost Of Everyday Essentials
Say bill will put money back in pockets of working families

State Reps. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) this week introduced House Bill 484, legislation to help working and middle class families make ends meet by reducing the cost of every essential items, such as feminine hygiene products, disposable baby diapers and non-prescription medications and drugs.

“For the many Ohio families struggling to get by, every penny counts – especially as local governments have shifted costs to their residents due to cuts in the local government fund and the state has increased sales taxes in recent years,” said Sykes. “By reducing the cost of everyday essentials like non-prescription medications and diapers for infants, we can put more money in the pockets of working people and families who spend a larger share of their earnings on these important items.”

In addition to granting some relief from the 4.5 percent sales tax increase enacted by the 2013 state budget, the lawmakers’ proposal would also establish a bi-partisan Legislative Commission on Middle Class Economic Strength to act as a backstop for working class Ohioans by examining the fiscal impacts of any legislation that seeks to shift the tax responsibility. In particular, the commission would have to identify impacts of tax policy changes on vulnerable communities.

“Recent state budgets have taken money out of the pockets of middle class families in order to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Ohioans, shifting the responsibility of paying for goods and services to those who can least afford it,” saidCera. “We can level the playing field for all Ohioans by implementing fair taxes that strengthen the economy for the long term and help pave a path to economic stability for future generations.”

The legislation is a part of a broader economic agenda recently proposed by Democratic lawmakers. In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their “Focus on The Future” agenda, an eight-bill package Democrats say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.

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