Pension oversight, jobs for military spouses, and childhood poverty

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Hot pursuit. Cleveland.com’s Andrew Tobias is reporting, “Ohio lawmakers pursuing pension oversight bills.

    “Some Ohio lawmakers are pushing for increased oversight of the state’s public pension systems, amid recent moves by some of the systems to cut benefits for hundreds of thousands of current and future retirees.

    “State Rep. Brigid Kelly, a Cincinnati Democrat, is preparing to introduce three separate bills requiring the state’s five public-pension systems to: Broadcast their board meetings publicly… Not do business with funds run by former pension employees and Disclose certain fee information for alternative investments.

    “State Rep. Diane Grendell, a Geauga County Republican, is circulating her own proposed bill that would cap investment adviser fees and pay increases for top pension-fund employees for two of Ohio’s largest pension funds, and set up a new legislative panel to review all pension system fees and employee salaries.”

    Jobs for military spouses. The Dayton Daily News’ Thomas Gnau is reporting, “Ohio law makes it easier for military spouses to land jobs.

    “DeWine signed Ohio Senate Bill 7 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, requiring state occupational licensing agencies to issue temporary licenses or certificates to uniformed service members and their spouses who are validly licensed in another jurisdiction and have moved to Ohio for military duty…

    “The bill will make it easier for service members and their spouses to use their professional licenses from other states, advocates say.

    “The idea in part is to make Ohio more friendly and welcoming to military families, something the DeWine administration has identified as a priority. The bill offers a pathway for licensing in an array of occupations, including nurses, home health aides, dental assistants and other occupations.”

    The kids are not all right. Innovation Ohio’s Janetta King, in a column for Cleveland.com, is writing, “Make the census count to fight childhood poverty in Ohio.”

    “Ohio’s child poverty crisis isn’t isolated to a small handful of communities. In every region of the state — in communities large and small; in cities, suburbs, and rural areas — far too many children are experiencing firsthand the cruel realities of poverty, homelessness, and hunger.

    “These startling trends demonstrate the urgent need for policy intervention at all levels of government. But these sobering statistics also reinforce the importance of making sure that we don’t lose sight of some of Ohio’s most vulnerable individuals. To help stem the tide of child poverty in Ohio, governments, nonprofit organizations, and child advocates need accurate and complete data to address this crisis head on.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.