Daniel Ramos speaks on issues facing ohio (Updated with video)
February 18, 2011 · Print This Article
By Marcus Atkinson
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Since being elected to the 56th District, Daniel Ramos (D- Lorain) has been busy visiting his constituents, community groups, and educational institutions. Though he has been in office for only a couple months now, he is slowly becoming a champion of the Hispanic community as well as his constituents within the district.
Since taking office, Ramos has visited cities and townships throughput his district, meeting with city officials as well as community groups such as the League of Woman Voters and the Mexican Mutual Society.
“I represent a lot of people,” said the Democrat form Lorain. “I want to make sure I have a full understanding of what they are going through.”
Ramos has spent time visiting homeless shelters, as well as municipality meetings, Ramos feels it is important to personally see the needs of the people in order to return to Columbus and make a difference.
“I want to see if there is any way I can help facilitate the cities moving in the right direction,” said Ramos.
The freshman legislature has been placed on three committees; education, commerce and labor, as well as heath and aging. For this reason Ramos has met with labor leaders, and school districts to better understand their concerns.
The education committee shapes what subjects are taught in schools and how they are funded amongst other things.
The labor and commerce committee deals with the buying and selling of goods and services, and discusses the rights to form unions and bargain collectively.
The committee on health and aging help decide the roles patients have with nurses and doctors, if Medicaid will pay for a home nurse, or pay for a nursing home etc.
“All three of the committees seam like they are going to be pretty busy,” said Ramos.
The buckeye Institute – a non governmental fiscal watchdog – conservatively estimates Ohio is facing a budget deficit of 8 billion dollars, and unlike the federal budget, the budget must be balanced.
For this reason, many state programs are likely to be cut.
Ramos made in clear, with the uncertainty of where Ohio stands concerning its fiscal challenges, although Gov. Kasich has not released his budget plan for 2011, it is likely cuts will make Ramos’s job more difficult.
“The legislative service commission is non partisan,” said Ramos. “They have budget estimates, and the Governor’s budget must be out by March 15.”
In past years, Medicaid has taken up approximately 40 percent of Ohio’s budget, it is likely the insurance program to assist the poor and disabled will face budget cuts.
Kasich has also been scrutinized for not appointing a person of color to his cabinet. The Cleveland chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership group has raised concerns, as well as Ohio’s National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Ohio Hispanic Coalition.
These groups have used words such as “disappointing”, and “concerning” when asked by reports about Kasich’s lack of diversity in his cabinet.
Kasich has responded saying he does not consider quotes or deal in those types of metrics when making his appointments. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has reported Kasich has attempted to hire African – Americans to his cabinet but has been turned down. Kasich has repeatedly said he appoints those whom he feels will bring jobs to Ohio and do the best job in doing so.
However, Ramos believes Kasich could have found qualified minorities within the state.
“It surprised me that he couldn’t find any qualified candidates that were minorities,” said Ramos. “It’s definitely something that troubles me”
Although Ramos may have his doubts, he believes Kasich needs to be given a chance.
“”It’s not the way I would have done things,” said Ramos. “But, we have to see how it plays out”
Kasich has appointed lee Stevens as head of Health and Human Services. Stevens is African-American.