Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Youngstown) Vindicator, Sept. 20
President Barack Obama expressed outrage over the continued standoff and inaction in Congress over increasing the federal government's debt ceiling to avert a government shutdown and economic chaos. ...
The president's outrage — and that of most congressional Democrats, some clear-thinking Republicans and a majority of level-headed Americans — is absolutely justified.
The political gamesmanship spearheaded by Grand Old Party extremists has produced no winners, only an embarrassing do-nothing loser of a Congress that has brought the stability of government operations and the slow but steady recovery of the U.S. economy to the doorstep of disaster. ...
Some Republicans today are threatening to hold up raising the debt ceiling and passing a federal budget if elements of the Affordable Care Act are funded as a part of it. Obama said Republicans are effectively holding the government hostage by threatening to defund his signature health care reform victory. ...
Wasting congressional time on meaningless Obamacare antics does nothing toward taking care of the nation's pressing business. Little is more pressing now than ensuring government solvency. The ripple effects from congressional inaction on the budget and debt ceiling would trickle down to communities large and small and invite a return to the disastrous recessionary times out of which we are finally beginning to climb.
The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, Sept. 23
Throughout Ohio, rapists who may have thought for years they had gotten away with their vicious crimes are learning otherwise.
Last fall, state Attorney General Mike DeWine asked police departments to check their cold case files for physical evidence in unsolved rapes. Much of it had been preserved in old "rape kits" used to collect evidence during examinations of victims.
Nearly 1,500 DNA samples have been analyzed by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation for analysis. Despite the passage of time — some of the samples were nearly 20 years old — the BCI's technicians matched 460 samples with people in a nationwide database. That has resulted in charges being filed against some alleged rapists.
No doubt there will be more successes in the program; about 2,000 DNA samples submitted by police departments remain to be tested.
But some law enforcement agencies appear not to be taking advantage of DeWine's campaign. Only about one-eighth of Ohio's police departments have submitted evidence for BCI analysis.
Police and sheriff's departments that have not submitted DNA samples in unsolved rapes should dig it out of their evidence rooms and send it to the BCI. Given the agency's success rate in matching about one-third of the samples already tested, the likelihood is excellent that some cold cases can be solved. ...
The (Canton) Repository, Sept. 20
It's great that state Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley, and about a dozen of his colleagues in both political parties are working on ways to encourage state legislators to get along better. ...
LaRose's group is smart to tackle this issue in an off-year for state elections. It would never get any traction if Ohio House and Senate seats were up for grabs this November.
But the group hopes to influence not only current members of the Legislature but also those who follow them. Among the ideas being explored: Asking each new legislator to choose a mentor from each political party, and discussing civility as part of the orientation for new members.
Meanwhile, the old hands will be encouraged to socialize with legislators from the other party and to spend a day with a lawmaker of the other party in his or her home district.
Incivility is only a symptom of many larger political problems, including the way voting districts are drawn and the pervasiveness of a win-at-all-costs mentality that equates compromise with failure. ...
Best of luck to LaRose and the other legislators as they try to put the brakes on this damaging situation.
The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader, Sept. 20
Enough is enough.
The state has drastically cut Local Government Funding in Ohio. It has created hardships throughout the state, especially here in Eastern Ohio. Local communities and government entities have come to rely on LGF monies. ...
Unfortunately, the situation may worsen. That is because the Ohio Department of Taxation has notified county auditors that their estimated revenues for calendar year 2014 have probably changed.
State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, said many counties will suffer another blow to their respective LGF allocations due to these additional cuts.
Department of Taxation officials note the change in the estimated figure is due to the impact tax law changes will have in the state budget bill.
We view additional LGF cutbacks as outrageous. Especially when the state has a rainy day fund of $2 billion. ...
LGF money is utilized for all types of services. Libraries, especially, take a hard hit when LGF monies are cut. They may be looking at even more hardships.
Rep. Cera has championed passionately that funding needed to be restored to the local government fund. He even introduced HB 17, urging the Ohio legislature to take funding levels back to 2005.
We are in full agreement with Cera's thinking. ... LGF monies are precious, they should be preserved.