The key to growing our economy and providing more opportunity is creating the right environment for job creation. While the backbone of our state economy is small businesses, current state leadership continues to focus its efforts and incentives on large corporations, often pitting communities against each other to keep local businesses within city lines. There has also been little focus on creating jobs with high salaries or at least fair wages.
These policies have caused Ohio’s job growth to trail the national average for nearly half a decade: 21% of our state’s children and 15% of the entire state live in poverty, roughly one third of Ohio jobs only offer poverty wages, Ohio families earn thousands of dollars less than the average American family, and Ohio was ranked 42nd in economic health and 38th in economic growth and performance in 2017.
To remedy the failed policies pushed by Columbus insiders, Phil will:
- Eliminate unreasonable burdens on small businesses while still protecting fair consumer and worker safety standards. Phil will work to provide better tax incentives and loans to small businesses, while creating more transparency with full audits of development programs that deploy public funds.
- Promote innovation and investing in our workforce through actions like expanding access to vocational jobs programs and education, community development grants for local businesses and pro-Main Street organizations, economic empowerment for women and minority business owners through public contracts and more access to capital, and the creation of the Ohio Manufacturing Commission, which will provide apprenticeships, early warnings to layoffs, ready-to-hire pipeline of jobs, and other ways to serve our workforce.
- Fight to ensure that those working are able to build their own savings and earning a wage that provides a pathway to the middle class that allows them to support their families through measures like worker misclassification reform, a sales tax rebate for income eligible recipients to promote and reward spending on such things as school supplies and transportation, and the creation of a bi-partisan and permanent Legislative Commission on Middle Class Economic Strength to act as a backstop for working class Ohioans by providing fiscal analyses of any legislation that shifts taxes between income classes, particularly onto vulnerable communities.
- Protect the well-being of workers by restoring the Consumer Sales Practices Act, enforcing wage and hour laws and equal pay for equal work, raising the state minimum wage with a legal requirement to annually adjust the wage based on inflation, and ensuring wages for tipped employees can be no less than half the minimum wage.