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Daily Newscasts

Ohio's Congressional Leaders get Deficit Reduction Snail Mail

October 21, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Deficit reduction should not harm the poorest Ohioans - that's the message sent to members of Ohio's Congressional delegation from nearly 300 diverse organizations in the state. The groups signed a letter to be delivered to lawmakers today (Friday), including Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) who serves on the deficit reduction "super committee" of 12 lawmakers.

Will Petrick, outreach coordinator for Advocates for Ohio's Future, says the decisions made by the super committee should not push more people into poverty.

"They're discussing more cuts to services, and we want to make sure that deficit reduction doesn't further harm the poorest Ohioans and families and seniors, who are already in economic distress."

In addition to protecting the vulnerable, Petrick says any savings found should be used to maintain quality and prevent shifting costs onto states. The groups that signed the letter represent health and human services, managed care, nursing homes and family farms in Ohio.

Petrick says their message is broad and reflects the values of people from all income levels and walks of life. It is crucial for Ohioans to make their voices heard in the deficit debate, he adds.

"As Ohioans, we have a kind of unique opportunity, because Senator Portman is on this deficit reduction super committee. So, we certainly encourage all Ohioans to talk to Senator Portman, and all of Ohio's congressional delegation."

If the super committee fails to come up with a deficit-reduction deal by Thanksgiving, the result will be automatic cuts to health and human service programs, sparing only Medicaid.

Sen. Portman is collecting specific cost-saving recommendations from the public for the super committee on his website,

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH