Dear Speaker Rosenberger, President Obhof, and Governor Kasich,
As leaders in the Ohio faith community, we strongly urge you to craft a budget that prioritizes those who are already struggling to make ends meet. It is imperative that you and all of your public servant colleagues treat the budget as a moral document.
We are required to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the stranger, and heal the sick. Simply put, we need to put a priority on those who are most vulnerable. In Ohio’s two-year budget, we encourage our legislature to:
Protect healthcare for the most vulnerable – including Medicaid expansion, which has expanded health insurance to more than 700,000 Ohioans. Ohio leads the nation in opioid overdose deaths. We need to make sure those who are sick have access to a doctor.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?
Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?
Create Stability in the Home – Every Ohioan is entitled to safe, decent, and affordable housing. Expansion of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund can help accomplish this. Not only will investments into housing benefit the families who gain stability and security, but the neighborhoods as well.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Create Food Security – it is absolutely immoral that any Ohioan goes hungry, especially children or seniors. We need to improve Ohio’s system of food security from emergency food relief to addressing food deserts throughout Ohio.
If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,”
and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?
We can do all of these things and much more to build a just Ohio by making sure we have adequate tax revenues. Good stewardship requires the wealthiest Ohioans to pay their fair share so that we have adequate resources to meet the needs of Ohio.
We will continue to pray and ask God to bless you and your colleagues with wisdom to make choices that will prioritize ‘the least amongst us’ because we are all brothers and sisters in God’s family.
In Holy Service,