AP NEWS

Editorials from around Ohio

February 19, 2019

Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers.

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The Akron Beacon Journal, Feb. 17

John Kasich left one fiscal mess for Mike DeWine involving depleted funding for highway maintenance and construction. The new governor must address swiftly the shortfall, the transportation budget due soon. And now another bit of Kasich untidiness has emerged. In this case, the new governor acted last week to clean up the matter, restoring money to help counties cover the expense of administering Medicaid.

The sum is relatively small, $4.3 million. Which makes the action of the Kasich team and officials at the state Department of Medicaid as they headed out the door all the more puzzling.

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The concern is the money will be there just through the end of the year. For now, the commitment extends no further.

That doesn’t mean the funding will cease. It still follows that with the increased caseload, from roughly 2 million to 3 million covered by Medicaid, the administrative task requires additional resources. At the least, there should be substantial analysis of the question, something the new state directors of Medicaid and Job and Family Services indicated will be part of moving forward. The state owes counties an explanation of the why behind the reimbursement level.

Online: https://bit.ly/2Im1nbP

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The Canton Repository, Feb. 19

Whether or not Tim Tebow makes a Major League Baseball roster means little to this Editorial Board.

His recurring message, especially when directed at kids and their dreams, however, means a lot. And it warrants our full-throated praise.

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In roughly 80 seconds, Tebow succinctly reminded those critiquing his career how little their opinions matter.

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“Succeeding or failing is not making it to the ‘bigs’ (the Major League roster), or it’s not necessarily fulfilling that; it’s having to not live with regret because I didn’t try. ... I just feel for all the young people out there that don’t go after something because they are so afraid of failing that you’re going to live with a lot more regret than you would have if you tried and you failed. I’m very passionate about that.

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We echo Tebow in encouraging our kids — and even adults, for it’s almost never too late to give up chasing a dream — not to quit. Keep trying. Keep learning. Keep getting up when you “fall flat on your face.”

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Online: https://bit.ly/2DUsyoL

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The Star-Beacon, Feb. 15

The county commissioners need to get serious about enforcing the lodging tax and making sure those establishments that try to avoid paying it suffer legitimate consequences.

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The issue, according to commissioners, is the logistics of going after non-payers. But the county has plenty of systems in place to go after those who don’t pay property taxes, so overcoming whatever procedural issues are holding up enforcement is not an excuse. Rules must be applied uniformly and everyone must be treated equally.

Bed taxes are generally popular — at least as popular as any tax ever is — because those who pay are typically out-of-town lodgers. In addition, most travelers look at location and amenities and rarely, if ever, pay attention to bed tax rates, so arguments they make businesses non-competitive don’t hold much water.

... As tourism continues to grow in Ashtabula County, more people will continue to rent rooms through sites like Airbnb. If those businesses are allowed to continue to skirt the law, the issue will come to a head sooner rather than later. We’re glad the county is talking about this problem and we hope it is resolved in time to put all businesses on an even plane for the 2019 tourism season.

Online: https://bit.ly/2TWmSkH

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The Marietta Times, Feb. 18

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Much of President Donald Trump’s campaign for new barriers, mostly in rural areas, has rested on warnings they are needed to stop drug traffickers, human smugglers and other criminals.

But Pelosi maintained the president has it wrong. Most illegal drugs and guns, along with other contraband, come into the United States at official port of entry, she said. Those are the sites where the two countries are linked by highways. Border checkpoints are employed in an attempt to keep illegal goods from being smuggled into the United States.

Last week, in a New York City federal courtroom, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was convicted of various crimes committed while he ran a massive drug operation in Mexico.

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Billions of dollars’ worth of illegal drugs were funneled into this country in cars, trucks and rail cars that passed through ports of entry, testimony showed. One interesting method involved a shipment of canned jalapeno peppers in which cocaine was concealed.

So in this case, Pelosi is right. More money is needed for equipment to detect contraband at the ports of entry. More personnel should be deployed there, too.

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Online: https://bit.ly/2DUtWYv