DEMS

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to get the ma­jor Democrats who would be gov­er­nor to enun­ci­ate their pri­or­i­ties and ex­plain how they would fund them.

Ohio Sen. Joe Schi­avoni — Among the north­east Ohio na­tive’s top mis­sions is to do more to ad­dress Ohio’s rag­ing opi­oid epi­demic. Term-limited Repub­li­can Gov. John Ka­sich has touted the $1 bil­lion that is be­ing spent each year in Ohio, but Democrats point out that two-thirds of that is fed­eral money. They also point to a rising num­ber of over­dose deaths as proof that the cur­rent ap­proach has failed to quell the cri­sis.

Schi­avoni has a de­tailed plan that pro­poses to in­crease in­pa­tient beds for treat­ment, add re­sources to Al­co­hol, Drug Abuse and Men­tal Health (ADAMH) boards and re­store fund­ing to lo­cal gov­ern­ments that are on the front lines of the epi­demic. To help pay the cost, he has for months been call­ing to take $200 mil­lion — or about 10 per­cent — out of the state’s rainy day fund.

“When you talk to our lo­cal agen­cies, no­body can fig­ure out what those dol­lars are be­ing used for,” Schi­avoni said when he ini­tially floated the idea al­most a year ago.

To cre­ate jobs in a state that has lagged the rest of the coun­try for years, Schi­avoni pro­poses to Schi­avoni

re­build Ohio in­fra­struc­ture such as roads and bridges, pro­vide tar­geted small­busi­ness tax cred­its and fund bet­ter work­force train­ing. And he also wants to put up money for Ohio’s “dras­ti­cally un­der­funded” pub­lic schools — sure to be a big-ticket item.

To pay for both pri­or­i­ties, he is propos­ing to end Ohio’s pass-through tax cut, which is heav­ily weighted to­ward the wealth­i­est Ohioans and has failed to live up to prom­ises that it would cre­ate jobs. That would free up $1.1 bil­lion a year.

Schi­avoni also pro­poses shoring up reg­u­la­tion of Ohio’s char­ter schools in the wake of the mas­sive ECOT scan­dal. His spokes­woman, Rachel Coyle, said she ex­pects that to free up $200 mil­lion a year.

For­mer Ohio Supreme Court Jus­tice Bill O’Neill — The Cuya­hoga Falls na­tive has sung a re­lent­lessly con­sis­tent tune since en­ter­ing the race. He has trained both as a lawyer and an emer­gency-room nurse, and he is ap­palled that more than 4,000 Ohioans each year die of over­doses.

To ad­dress the cri­sis, O’Neill pro­poses to le­gal­ize recre­ational mar­i­juana. He pre­dicts that will gen­er­ate $500 mil­lion a year in state sales taxes. O’Neill also pro­poses to re­lease non­vi­o­lent of­fend­ers from for-profit pris­ons and thus cre­ate an an­nual $100 mil­lion in sav­ings.

To ad­dress the opi­oid O’Neill

cri­sis, “it is time to take the $600 mil­lion (in) new rev­enue from mar­i­juana and prison re­form and build a world-class net­work of re­gional men­tal health hospi­tals,” O’Neill’s web­site says. On the cam­paign trail, he has said the on­go­ing rev­enue can be lever­aged to build and op­er­ate the fa­cil­i­ties.

O’Neill also pro­poses to pro­vide free tu­ition at com­mu­nity col­leges and to re­duce tu­ition at four-year in­sti­tu­tions, but he has been less than spe­cific about how he would fund those ideas.

For­mer U.S. Rep. Den­nis Kucinich — The for­mer Cleve­land mayor has been pop­ping up in dif­fer­ent Ohio lo­ca­tions to high­light the state’s de­cay­ing in­fra­struc­ture. For ex­am­ple, he was in Cincin­nati in early Fe­bru­ary, vow­ing to jump-start a $2.5 bil­lion project to ren­o­vate the Brent Spence Bridge, which car­ries In­ter­states 71 and 75 across the Ohio River, and to un­der­take a $330 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion of the West­ern Hills Viaduct. Kucinich also wants to im­prove pub­lic tran­sit across the state, build high-speed rail and im­prove the state’s air­ports and its har­bors along the Ohio River and the Lake Erie lake­front.

His health care plans are no less am­bi­tious. He plans to “bring for­ward a com­pre­hen­sive plan, to pro­vide ev­ery Ohioan with ac­cess to af­ford­able, low-cost, ba­sic med­i­cal, men­tal health, den­tal and Kucinich

pre­scrip­tion drug care, with a new em­pha­sis on re­gen­er­a­tive health care, dis­ease preven­tion, diet and com­ple­men­tary ther­a­pies,” his web­site says.

To pay for his pri­or­i­ties and to op­er­ate the gov­ern­ment, Kucinich pro­poses to re­peal the passthrough tax break, which he says “should be good for a few hun­dred mil­lion,” and “to re­pro­gram money into pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion from the char­ter schools.”

Also, Kucinich wants to end the is­suance of li­censes to ex­tract oil and nat­u­ral gas through hy­draulic frac­tur­ing, but he says he’ll raise money by in­creas­ing the sev­er­ance taxes on the wells that are al­ready in pro­duc­tion.

Be­yond that, how­ever, his rev­enue plans are less spe­cific. Kucinich says he can sig­nif­i­cantly cut spend­ing while main­tain­ing ser­vices by elim­i­nat­ing waste, fraud and abuse — a feat he says he achieved when he was mayor.

“I have a jew­eler’s eye on this stuff,” he said.

Asked what kind of taxes he would sup­port, Kucinich talked only about the kind he wouldn’t.

“Sales taxes are gen­er­ally the most re­gres­sive,” he said. “They hit the hard­est the peo­ple who are least able to pay the taxes.”

For­mer Ohio At­tor­ney Gen­eral Richard Cor­dray

— The for­mer di­rec­tor of the U.S. Con­sumer Fi­nan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bureau has been cam­paign­ing

Cor­dray on a set of “kitchen ta­ble” is­sues: ways to make av­er­age Ohioans health­ier and more eco­nom­i­cally se­cure.

Among his pol­icy pro­pos­als are fight­ing the opi­oid epi­demic, in part by restor­ing funds to lo­cal gov­ern­ments; help­ing small busi­ness by re­fo­cus­ing tax in­cen­tives, grants and loans; ex­pand­ing the Chil­dren’s Health In­surance Pro­gram; cre­at­ing uni­ver­sal pre-K; and of­fer­ing free ju­nior col­lege.

Cor­dray’s web­site, how­ever, is short on price tags for his pro­pos­als and al­most silent on how they would be paid for. For ex­am­ple, for uni­ver­sal pre-K, Cor­dray says he will “iden­tify the pub­lic and pri­vate sources needed to fi­nance this ef­fort.” And when he rolled out his ju­nior col­lege pro­posal, he told re­porters that it would cost $60 mil­lion a year, but he didn’t say how he would pay for it.

His cam­paign was asked how it would pay for its prom­ises. It didn’t an­swer di­rectly.

“Rich Cor­dray and (run­ning mate) Betty Sut­ton both have strong records of ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship and de­liv­er­ing re­sults for Ohio work­ers and fam­i­lies,” spokesman Mike Gwin said in an email. “They’ll clean up the cor­rup­tion, stop the failed trick­le­down eco­nom­ics, and will re­di­rect the state’s re­sources to­ward smart in­vest­ments — like mak­ing com­mu­nity col­lege free and sup­port­ing small busi­nesses — that will ex­pand eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity.”

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